Apple iPhone 4 may have proximity sensor issues

It looks like the Apple iPhone 4 is facing some more problems, as multiple users are reporting issues with the proximity sensor during calls.

If you don’t know, the proximity sensor is that cool thing that basically disables your screen when it’s near your face on a call. When working properly, it ensures you don’t accidentally hang up or mute a call with your cheek.

“I can confirm that the iPhone sensor is working by covering it with my finger, but when held to my face, the screen blinks as if it cannot decide to disable the screen or enable it,” a user wrote on Apple’s support forum. “It results on me hanging up, putting calls on mute, and dialing numbers accidentally while I’m on the phone. This occurs on 90% of my calls.”

Hopefully, this can be fixed with a simple software tweak, as the sensitivity may need some adjusting.

This is just the latest issue consumers are having with the iPhone 4. Users have reported that there is some discoloration on the screen but the biggest issue seems to be reception issues when you actually hold the handset like you’re supposed to.

This issue can apparently be solved if you buy Apple’s $30 case or if you hold it like a Nancy boy. This is causing a lot of frustration and we’re already seeing a class-action lawsuit, as well as Nokia poking some fun at the “Jesus phone.”

You would think these launch bugs would hurt sales but Apple and AT&T are laughing all the way to the bank. Apple sold about 1.7 million iPhone 4 units in the launch weekend, and AT&T is seeing strong demand for its in-store units.

How say you, IntoMobile readers? Are you having any problems with your antenna or the proximity sensors? Let us know in the comments or via Twitter (@IntoMobile).

[Via Apple Support forum]

  • Charlie

    I’m having no issues. I’m also not losing any signal as others have said. I couldn’t be happier. Friends of mine who have also bought it are not having any issues.

  • c0nd3mn3d

    "when you actually hold the handset like you’re supposed to."

    wow! really? you're that daft? pick up the (handle-less) cup, mug or pop can near you. tell me: is it in the crook of your hand? no. perhaps if we want to secure a thing with a death-grip, we would hold it in the crook of our palm, but certainly not when when we're gripping it to control it. the unnaturalness of gripping the phone the way you say "you're supposed to" can also be demonstrated by poking your hand, particularly your palm, with a not-to-blunt object — the corner of an iPhone, say — and taking note where the poking causes you the most discomfort. Here's the spoiler: you will experience the most discomfort right where you're saying a person is "suppose to" jam the handset while talking on it. Fail… though you have provided a fine example of why cephalization is not over-rated.

    • marinperez

      Wrong. You don't put your cup, mug or pop can against your face so part of it hits your ear. If you're left handed, that's the most natural way to hold a phone while talking.

  • Chris Kringle

    Charlie is fulla crap! We’re all suffering from the sensor issue. I’m suspecting Charlie doesn’t have any friends that want to talk to him for longer then the 10 seconds it takes to recognize the problem.

  • Slimsey

    No Problems here.
    Happy with my purchase.

  • Frustrated User

    I'm having major sensor issues, the phone goes to mute, and random screens pop up while I'm talking. There will have to be a software fix for this. After the bumper and the software fix the phone should be fine, but this all could have been prevented in testing….they probably ran out of time and wanted to get the phone out in time for the conference…greed took over and we are paying for it as we go…..aweful thing to do to customers who wont forget.

    • SirAthos

      It's sad, but this is where you're wrong. Apple mostly caters to people being proud to buy Apple devices, regardless of price or any technical details. If 50% of the iPhones would explode on contact, the other 50% of users would say "it's fine, I don't see any problems with it" – and the users with exploded phones would write rave reviews about Apple's amazing customer support for getting their iPhone replaced at no charge. The level of brainwash is amazing – I've seen it. And the more you try to argue against anything Apple, the more they are convinced of how right they are.

  • Laxin

    I'm also experiencing the proximity senor issue. I was actually on a call and my cheek accidentally dialed my ex-girlfriend while I was talking to current GF…That could of been awkward!!!! Apple really needs to get this bugs fixed ASAP…I'm still unclear on how these seemingly glaring BUGS got by Apples QA folks and usability teams???

  • TDW

    The proximity sensor issue is making me wish I had bought a 'droid instead of iPhone.

    The phone is hanging up on people and putting calls on speaker.

  • Lee

    I have a new iPhone 4 and the signal strength issue is more than just recalibrating the bar graphs. With the new phone, I have no phone service in most of the house. Adele has a 3G and I put both phones side-by-side on the kitchen counter. The 3G has four to five bars, whereas the new iPhone 4 as one or two or none! I have lost more than one call with it.

  • MarkOD

    I think everybody should have a look at this post that was deleted from the Apple support forums by Apple. It seems that they have no interest in fixing this issue or even making a statement on it unless they are forced to by a lawsuit or something to that effect. I am VERY disappointed in Apple. I have been a fan for over 15 years. It seems as if they have forgotten who they are and just becoming a big bully now. (see below)

    iphone4_925 posted "Re: Issue with Proximity Sensor during calls" in "Issue with Proximity Sensor during calls" on Jul 5, 2010 6:16:29 PM.
    > ramellam wrote:
    > I took my phone to the Apple store for repair/exchange this evening. The Genius first said that he had not heard of the issue (yeah, right! total lie). I told him there are nearly 70 pages on the Apple Support forum for this exact issue. He immediately dismissed my comment and said, "We typically don't lend too much credence to support forum posts…" Ok….
    > Anyhow, the Genius made a call on my phone and, of course, he did not encounter any of the proximity issues I'm having. He gave the phone back to me and said, "There doesn't appear to be any issues with your phone. You'll just have to get used to the new Proximity Sensor location on the iPhone 4…" I was like, "Ummm… Huh?" He refused to exchange the phone.
    > Luckily, I bought my phone from Best Buy on launch day. I immediately went back to Best Buy and the Mobile Phone sales guy said they've already had 9 of their 30 launch day iPhones returned due to antenna and proximity sensor issues. He put me on a list to exchange the phone. Luckily, I have 45 days to exchange the phone, since I'm a Best Buy silver rewards card holder…
    > Anyhow, I'm kinda bummed the Genius refused to help me :-(. He was rather arrogant, too, which really made me mad. Oh well… Back to Best Buy it goes…

    Wow just cause of this attitude of apple employees They are being SUED by lawyers well apple you should take this time and save yourself from another class action law suit for proximity sensors

    PS ~ Apple mods now don't be wasting your time deleting this post since I have a right to say stuff when you guys sell us your defective product and I think if apple doesn't address this issue then we all should return the Iphone 4 at lease those who are having this proximity issues.

    And also apple instead of deleting peoples post how about investigating why Iphone 4 proximity sensor is going haywire and maybe you will save yourself from another law suit and also people who are having problem with there iphone 4 with the proximity sensor do report it to KCR LEGAL LAW FIRM

  • Jay

    I am having the same proximity problems. I hang up on people and put calls on hold. I heard Apple is coming out with a prosthetic cheek. Should solve the problem.

  • Kj

    So far I’m having problems with the reception…the back camera has purple lines going through it at random times and freezes…the front cam works great though and also the sensors on the front I was actually on the phone with apple today letting them know about my camera problem and I muted the phone for about 2 mins of the Convo lol…but I still love the phone

  • Marios

    I have a new iPhone 4 and when a get a call and have close to my face, after 3 minutes approx. I get no service and the phone hangs up. After 1 minute I get a full service signal. I tried a call from my wifes iPhone 3g with my iphone 4 on the table and it was ok. Proximity sensor makes my iPhone 4 lose connection to my carrier.

  • Scott

    I have had my phone replaced no luck. The issue is actually getting worse. It now is hanging up more instead of just muting them.
    Apple staying quiet about the fix is not helping. If it can be fixed with software then they need to send that fix out seperately, like they did with the security issue that embarressed them.
    This phone has too many bugs. It should not have been released yet.

  • Marios

    Hi again….
    Things got worse. Now it drops the call while my iPhone 4 sits on the table.
    I call from my home to my iPhone 4 while it sits on the table. After 4 minutes or so it hangs up. I get a ” No service” from my carrier. After a minute or so I get a full signal. Don’t know if it’s a proximity sensor problem but I’m taking it back.

  • Ali Drizzle

    I have this issue with my new iPhone 4 … It’s really a shame ….

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