Yesterday, scores of eager new iPhone 4 owners quickly discovered they had a problem: When they held their phones by the antenna band left-handed, reception would in many cases be nuked, dropping to one bar or zero bars. Apple has officially confirmed that there’s a problem, but in their statements, they’re shifting the blame to their customers, saying that in holding their iPhones in a relatively common and intuitive way, they’re doing it wrong, and that they need to adjust their habits or buy a bumper case to insulate their phones. Coincidentally, Apple just started selling such a case for $29.
Apple’s official statement: (via)
Gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases.
This seems far more like an engineering screwup on Apple’s part than a customer mistake: For all of the hype about Apple’s attention to design and user experience, this is a pretty bad limitation. And we thought the days of tools being designed in so anti-lefty a manner were over.
We agree with Engadget that the best solution here would be for Apple to give free bumpers to customers experiencing reception issues. Thus far, aside from pinning the problem on its users, Apple has not offered a solution from its own end.
(title image via Fake Steve Jobs)