Having iPhone 4 reception problems? Try adjusting your grip. That's the advice from Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who yesterday responded to press queries about a possible antenna issue with a typically terse rejoinder: "Just avoid holding it in that way."
Meanwhile, Apple PR issued a longer statement about the iPhone 4, reminding bloggers and journalists that all cell phones are vulnerable to antenna issues and urging consumers to consider purchasing a plastic case for their Apple handset.
"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," Apple said in its statement. "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."
As we reported yesterday, Apple was slammed with complaints yesterday about a range of issues with the new iPhone 4, including a yellow blotch – possibly glue residue – which appears under the screen glass of some iPhone 4s. But the most buzzed-about iPhone 4 problem was 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.
"I have [an iPhone] 3G phone and an iPhone 4 sitting side by side and the 3G will have full service and the iPhone 4 either says searching, no service, or has 1 or 2 bars," one of our readers, "Ziggy," wrote yesterday.
"Jose" wrote to us that he "bought my iPhone 4 yesterday in France, and I got both problems, the reception drops to nothing when holding the phone, and the yellow blob across the screen."
While most of our commenters had negative anecdotes, reader "Mikeyp" said that, "My service works lovely in [Virginia]. No problems with my reception (knock on wood)."
Still, reception issues seemed unlikely to sink the launch of the iPhone 4, which was off to a good start yesterday. USA Today reports that Apple outlets in dozens of cities around the country – including Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles – had sold out of the iPhone 4, as had BestBuy and RadioShack.