Apple iPhone 4 issues – a roundup

The Apple iPhone 4 is a massive success already and the handset may go on and sell 1 million units today alone but that doesn’t mean everything’s gravy, as we’ve already seen scattered reports of problems with the handset.

It’s way too early to say that the hardware was muffed, as Apple generally does a good job with its products. But the complaints have been coming from all over, so we’ll walk through the problems that are being reported. As always, let us know what your experience is by leaving comments.


Apple iPhone owners have always loved their devices but it has been notorious for not being able to make calls or send text messages. That’s kind of a big deal because it’s, you know, a phone.

The iPhone 4 was supposed to fix that because it has been redesigned to have the stainless steel bezel double as the antenna. Unfortunately, it looks like this may be causing more reception woes.

Multiple videos are reporting issues with call signals when you touch the steel frame. It looks like adding a bumper or case could alleviate this problem and luckily Apple will sell you one of those for $30.

There are also reports that this may be a software bug. Some are saying the software makes the signal drop or that it makes the phone say there’s no signal even though users can make and receive calls normally. If this is a software bug, it could be easily fixed through an update.

Whatever is the case, let’s hope this is only impacting a few users and doesn’t indicate a bigger problem. Vote in our poll to let us know how widespread this issue is.


AT&T issued a statement to GearLog about the alleged reception issues. Their “fix” is apparently to stop holding the phone in “certain places” or to use one of the “many available [iPhone 4] cases.” Full statement:

Gripping any 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 Phone 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.

Screen discoloration

The iPhone 4 has a spiffy new Retina Display that is supposed to blow away the competition. Unfortunately though, it looks like a few screens are experiencing ugly, yellow discoloring.

This problem doesn’t appear to be as widespread as the reception one though but we do know that Apple had display issues with its 27-inch iMac that took a while for it to admit.

Let us know if you’re having any problems.

  • Oposum

    Just my two cents:
    Talked with a buddy last week about the antenna of the iphone 4.
    We couldnt imagine how apple handled the fact, that touching the stainless steel bezel with your hands always changes the characteristic of an antenna – mostly with a negative effect. Or maybe they try to fix this with software – which now behaves not as it should do (bug?).

  • Matt

    its not just a at&t issue i have the same problem over here in the uk

  • chance

    i have the yellow spots…

    • almmohd

      that's the first symptom you need to see a doctor quickly

  • F..k new babylon.

    Happens with my 3gs as well in uk on o2.but after a 3 visit that sh.t hole aple store I have my money back so 11 of free use.aple is big corporation they dont give a f..k about you ,all they want your money and your attention.

  • Just me

    The only way I can replicate what what shown in this video is when if sqeeze really really hard on the antennas of the phone. Who the hell would squeeze their phone that tight when making a phone call.
    If this guy was genuinely out to report the issue and the resolution, he would havemention this one inportant fact. Don't squeeze the phone like you are using a damn nut cracker.

    • Walter

      You're probably near an AT&T tower. Take a trip out to the boonies, and try to replicate it there. One personal experience does not disprove the overwhelming weight of evidence.

    • SirAthos

      Try to get your fingers moist, then you won't have to squeeze as hard. Basic skin conductivity knowledge.


    Looks like i will have to get it replaced. I bottom screen has a yellow line going across the bottom of the screen

  • Dobi

    Get an EVO 4G phone, much faster, 8mp camarra. HDMI output. 8 laptop hot spot. Better than iPhone.

    And contact a lawyer.

  • dobi

    Get HTC EVO 4G super smart phone that is 10 times better than iPhone.

    And then contact lawyer. AAPL is being sued as we speak.

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