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Apple instructs employees on how to handle iPhone 4 'death grip' complaints

Apple has reportedly released a memo with advice to employees on dealing with consumers upset about poor reception on their new iPhone 4 handsets. Although the phrase 'iPhone 4 death grip' is never mentioned, Apple does recommend stressing that the reception on the iPhone 4 is the best of any iPhone in history.

By Matthew Shaer / June 30, 2010

Consumers line up outside an Apple store in Germany. Apple HQ has issued a memo to employees deluged with complaints about the dreaded iPhone 4 death grip.

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Still considering signing up for that big class action lawsuit against Apple? Here's a little more grist for your mill: According to the tech blog Boy Genius Report, Apple has released a memo to employees with instructions on how to deal with consumers furious about the iPhone death grip and other reception-related maladies. (For a full rundown on the death grip problem, check out some of our previous posts on the topic.)

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The memo, which has not been authenticated by Apple HQ, tells Apple retail employees to watch their tone when speaking to customers, and to stress that "the iPhone 4’s wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped." It also suggests that consumers invest in a plastic case, which could help alleviate the reception issues associated with the dreaded iPhone death grip.

"Gripping almost any mobile phone in certain places will reduce its reception," the memo reads. "This is true of the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS, and many other phones we have tested. It is a fact of life in the wireless world. If you are experiencing this on your iPhone 3GS, avoid covering the bottom-right side with your hand. If you are experiencing this on your iPhone 4, avoid covering the black strip in the lower-left corner of the metal band."

The advice is more or less in line with previous Apple statements on the iPhone 4 reception problems – and with advice dished out by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Last week, Jobs responded to press queries about a possible antenna issue with a typically terse rejoinder: "Just avoid holding it in that way."

Apple has been slammed in recent days with complaints about fuzzy reception. Many reported that if they gripped the iPhone 4 on the bottom left corner – or with their left hand – the reception quickly tailed off. That grip behind came known on the blogosphere as death grip; at least one law firm, Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff, is already hunting for consumers so angry about the death grip that they're willing to sue.

But don't worry folks, there's good news, too: According to several news reports, Apple is currently hiring antenna engineers.

Related links:

Verizon iPhone coming as soon as Apple is ready, says CEO

iPhone 'Death grip' cripples iPhone 4. Could a patch help?

iPhone 'death grip' lawsuit is in the works

IN PICTURES: Apple's iCandy

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