I wonder how long it took before someone at Apple saw Steve Jobs’ email reply telling users how to hold their phones before they realized they better issue an official statement on the matter quickly. That said, here’s Apple’s official response to the growing number of user complaints surrounding loss of cellular signal on the iPhone 4 when held in a certain way.
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.
Engadget points out that the problem isn’t solely an issue with the iPhone 4, but that doesn’t get Apple off the hook.
… this isn’t a problem that exists only for the iPhone 4 — we’ve seen reports of the same behavior on previous generations (the 3G and 3GS), and there is a running thread about this problem with the Nexus One. While it is definitely true that interference is an unavoidable problem, we can’t help feeling like this is really a bit of bad design. If the only answer is to move your hand, why didn’t Apple just move the antenna position? What we can say without question is that in our testing of the phone, we had improved reception and fewer dropped calls than we experienced with the last generation, and we never noticed this issue. Additionally, when using a bumper we can’t recreate the signal loss. So, now we have an answer…