Like a teenager on their first encounter with hormone-driven adventure into bedtime intimacy, Apple and Steve Jobs have basically told iPhone 4 users today that they’re “doing it wrong.” We’re talking, of course, about the iPhone 4 and its apparent signal reception problem related to the the way you hold its metallic frame – the iPhone 4 “Death Grip,” if you will. The metal band doubles as the cellular antenna, and has become the source of frustration for new iPhour users. Following a spat of reports indicating that the iPhone 4 has problems getting a clear signal when held in the hand in just the right (or wrong, depending on your perspective) way, Apple has officially come out with a statement. It seems the problem is not related to iOS 4 or the iPhour (iPhone + 4 = “iPhour”), Apple says the problem lies in the way you might be holding the phone. Steve Jobs has even chimed in on the issue, suggesting that an iPhour user “avoid holding it in that way.”
Apple had previously sent out a statement regarding the “Death Grip” issue, in which it implies that other phones suffer the same signal attenuation behavior:
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.
The statement suggests that iPhone 4 users “avoid” holding the handset in “a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band.” In essence, the “fix” is to stop holding the phone as you normally do, or buy an iPhone case.
And, it gets better. Steve Jobs himself today answered an email from a curious iPhour user. In reply to the customer’s inquiry into whether there is a plan to fix the iPhone 4 Death Grip reception problem, Jobs answered with a curt “Just avoid hold it in that way.” That email exchange was sent to Engadget earlier today and posted for all the world to see.
So, have you had your iPhour exhibiting any “Death Grip” issues?