The antenna problems associated with the iPhone 4 have resulted in an unusual turn of events. In case you’re new to the story, many iPhone 4 owners are reporting that the device loses signal strength when you touch the left side of the phone while simultaneously touching the phone’s bottom left corner.
This problem doesn’t appear to affect all iPhones, but some users experiencing a drop in signal strength took to emailing Apple CEO Steve Jobs to figure out what the hell was going on. And while Jobs’ emails to users are typically on the ball, the following exchange is anything but promising.
So, um, just got my iPhone 4. Its lovely and all, but this ‘bridge the two antennae to kill your reception’ thing seems to be a bit serious. If I bridge them with my hand or with a piece of metal the bars slowly drop to ‘Searching…’ and then ‘No Service’.
Its kind of a worry. Is it possible this is a design flaw?
– Rory Sinclair
Jobs reply reads,
Nope. Just don’t hold it that way.
Weaaaaak. Luckily, Rory didn’t take that half-ass excuse for an answer to heart and fired back:
Actually, its not calls that concern me, but i’ve just been writing a text and its very natural for me as a right-handed person to hold it that way, with the part of my hand at the base of my thumb covering the point the antennae meet, and it kills the reception each time.
I mean, pretty much as soon as i move my hand it comes back, but its pretty crazy… is this the reason Bumpers exist?
Jobs replies once again,
Just don’t hold it that way then.
Rory replies back once more:
Well, yeah, thats what i’ll do, but you have to admit thats a workaround, yeah? I mean, normally there aren’t limits to how you can hold a phone.
I seriously dig the phone, its totally amazing, but I think this is what many would call a design flaw.
Jobs’ final reply reads:
Sure there are – every phone has these areas of sensitivity, depending on the location of the antenna. Some phones even ship with labels warning customers to not cover certain areas with their hands.
Seriously, Steve? Seriously?
You can’t honestly expect iPhone users not to hold the device in their left hands. And it’s pretty shitty to tell users how exactly they should hold a brand new phone under any circumstance. As Rory explained above, even if you’re right-handed, it’s only natural to hold the iPhone in your left hand while texting, browsing the web, or dialing a phone number.
And who is Jobs fooling with his “Just don’t hold it that way” nonsense? After all, that’s exactly how Jobs held the device for a good part of the WWDC Keynote. And the tug-at-your-heartstrings iPhone commercial hyping up Facetime is filled with shots of users holding the device in their left hands. “Just don’t hold it that way?Gimme a break.
And whadya know, a tumblr blog has emerged showcasing a number of stills featuring Steve Jobs and people from Apple’s iPhone 4 video who just happen to be holding the device in their left hands.