Consumer Reports Update on iPhone 4 Reception Issue

Mike Gikas:

While we’ve been unable to date to create the reported conditions in our National Testing Center in Yonkers, New York, I and a colleague did repeatedly experience loss of signal when using an iPhone 4 a few miles north of there today.

While in my home, I held the iPhone in my left hand, gripping it with normal pressure. My palm covered a gap between parts of the metal band that forms the outer ring of the iPhone and serves as its antenna. As I did so, I moved my pinky finger to the corresponding gap on the other side.

Almost immediately, the signal strength began to drop in the meter from the original three or four bars — depending on my location within the house — to zero bars. The drop took about 5 seconds.

So we seem to be nearing consensus. With strong reception, bridging that antenna gap doesn’t matter much. With weak reception, bridging that gap is enough to lose the signal.

Monday, 5 July 2010