Apart from the yellow discoloration issue on the display of the new iPhone 4, there’s another more serious problem with the latest iPhone that’s the current buzz on the net – network reception woes and dropped calls when you hold the iPhone 4 in a certain manner. It appears that whenever your hand comes in contact with the lower left portion side of the iPhone 4, the network signal decreases significantly, and if you’re in a call, you’ll eventually get cut off. This is yet another blow to one Apple's new innovations on the latest iPhone which, essentially, should have have provided user with better reception and fewer dropped calls.
The video below courtesy of IGM best demonstrates the problem:
Engadget took the liberty of sending Apple an email concerning this issue and got an appropriate reply in return. Here’s the official statement they received regarding the matter:
"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."
So there you have it. According to them, it’s not a defect, but rather, just "a fact of life." To avoid this, they recommend users to avoid touching the said area, or better yet, use a protective case on the iPhone 4 so that your hand won’t accidentally come in contract with it. It’s not exactly the explanation we were hoping to hear, but nonetheless, this does clear up some confusion regarding this problem as some are blaming the iOS 4 firmware while others are pointing the finger on the hardware.
It's interesting to note though that the iPhone 3G also suffered the same design flaw. Here’s a video demonstrating the said problem with the iPhone 3G:
They obviously found a way to fix this in the iPhone 3G S since we haven’t heard of a similar concern with this particular iPhone model which makes us wonder why the heck it’s back again on the iPhone 4. Apple went the extra mile to make the iPhone 4 stand out from the rest of the pack that, in so doing, it appears that they’ve forgotten some of the lessons they've learned in past, and apparently, they’re repeating the same mistakes all over again.