Verizon iPhone 4 death grip is real, affects data performance

Verizon iPhone 4 death grip

Verizon iPhone 4 death grip

Despite initial assertions to the contrary, the Verizon iPhone 4 is susceptible to the death-grip. The death-grip phenomenon emerged when the GSM iPhone 4 landed in the hands of consumers shortly after its launch in June 2010. Owners of Apple’s latest iPhone noticed a drop in signal bars when they held their handset tightly in the palm of their hand. This style of holding the phone was called the death-grip and the whole debacle became know as antennagate.

Apple responded to this issue by denying it was a problem and instructing people to hold the phone differently. The prevailing theory blamed the antenna design which made it easy to contact the antenna with your hand which caused the signal to attenuate. To quell the ever growing complaints, Apple began offering free bumper cases to iPhone owners. The bumper case prevented contact with the antenna and indirectly fixed this troubling issue.

Fast forward eight months to the Verizon iPhone launch and hopes were high that Apple used these intervening months to fix antennagate. When the first reviews of the Verizon iPhone 4 hit the wire, these early reports suggested the death grip was no longer a problem with the handset. Unfortunately, this assessment was premature and iLounge demonstrated the death grip with their Verizon iPhone 4 a few days later.

We have been able to duplicate iLounge’s results with our own handset and have further shown that the death-grip affects data performance. An iPhone 4 held comfortably in the hand will drop bars from three down to one in a matter of minutes. This bar drop affects data performance which likewise starts with download speeds of 1800 Kbits/s and plummets to as low as 90 Kbits/s/s when the Verizon iPhone 4 is held in the palm of you hand. Similarly, latency and upload speeds are also affected by this problem.

The take home message is that Verizon customers with an iPhone should your grab a case for your new handset, especially if you notice unusually slow data speeds. A new case will protect your iPhone during falls and will prevent a disruption in your data and phone calling due to this death-grip problem.

A short video demonstrating the death grip is available below.

  • Ooops!! Unfortunately Apple’s secretiveness is not just about products but about problems too

  • Clyle1

    This is not a problem. If you buy the phone, buy a case. If you don’t feel that is “fair” don’t buy the phone. Simple.

  • the problem is the poor signal strenght the US carriers provide, in Europe you can hardly reproduce the antenna-gate issue

    • Really? So, you’ve tested it personally on a European carrier? Tell me: which of them operates a network using CDMA access technology? I ask because this article is about the Verizon iPhone, only, and CDMA is what Verizon uses…no GSM.

  • I have not had any issues like this with my Verizon iPhone.

  • RichardBO9

    So don’t hold it that way. When I hold an egg with a death grip, the yolk is on me. Much to do about nothing. I can’t believe you get paid to publish such nonsense.

  • This is what happens when a computer company makes phones and thinks that external antennas made of metal work with the human body… How about making the antenna INSIDE the metal surrounded inside by plastic that will insulate it from the metal external parts that way it still can get service signal but not die when you touch the phone itself…

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