Early iPhone 4 adopters face bevy of issues

Yesterday, folks who pre-ordered the iPhone 4 got a chance to retrieve their handset one day early. The honeymoon isn’t going well for everyone, though. According to multiple reports by gadget blogs, the iPhone 4 suffers from a worrying number of flaws, big and small.

First, CrunchGear reported that the iPhone 4’s back clearly isn’t scratch proof, despite being made of super-strong glass (the kind that goes on high-speed trains, Steve Jobs claimed). Another user found that the rear glass panel shattered "like a mofo" when the device was dropped. Oops.

Okay, so just baby your new iPhone and everything will be fine, right? Not quite. According to Gizmodo, multiple users have reported yellow spots and bands on their iPhone 4 retina displays. And finally, for the pièce de résistance: many users are complaining that the iPhone 4 loses reception… when you hold it.

The Gizmodo post includes a handful of YouTube videos showcasing the reception problem, but this one by user awiginton seems most telling, showing SpeedTest results with the iPhone 4 both resting on a table and held in one hand. Apparently, grabbing the iPhone 4 is enough to make SpeedTest stall entirely, while squeezing the device when the test is running causes speeds to plummet. Other users claim they can still make calls when the device is showing zero bars, though.

Comments closed
    • sid1089
    • 10 years ago

    It will still sell like crazy. And Apple will still make tons of money off this product.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 10 years ago

    rofl.

    APPLE MAKES HIGH QUALITY GEAR. THAT’S WHY IT COSTS SO MUCH. DESIGN AND ENGINEERING OF HIGH QUALITY APPLE PRODUCTS MAKES THEM WORTHWHILE. ALL OTHER ELECTRONICS ARE JUNK IN COMPARISON. BUILD QUALITY IS PERFECT AND MAY CURE CANCER*

    *excludes liver cancer

    • Skrying
    • 10 years ago

    §[<http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/24/apple-responds-over-iphone-4-reception-issues-youre-holding-th/<]§ Steve Job's massive ego to the rescue! It's not Apple's fault, it's the user's! ...so much for that "genius" antenna design, eh?

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 10 years ago

      well looks like the apple tax is all for nothing.

    • wira020
    • 10 years ago

    I’m guessing it’s because of the extra metal for reception at the side of the iPhone.. it is a two piece for different signal type… when we hold it and our palm/skin connect the two metal, the signal get’s f’ed up… btw, we’ll forget about it soon enough and it will be rainbows and butterfly again with Apple…

    • njenabnit
    • 10 years ago

    I got my iPhone in the mail yesterday and turned it on to notice one dead pixel. It sucks, but I am sure they will replace it when they have some in stock. Other than that, I wouldn’t be able to see ANY pixels. The display on this thing is incredible. I wasn’t sure how big of a difference it would make compared to the 3GS, but there is a huge difference. If you haven’t seen it, I would suggest at least looking at it.

    Oh and someone else said they lost all of their contacts when they went to iOS4? So did I. If you jailbreak your 3GS using Spirit and do a direct upgrade to iOS4, everything will work correctly except 3G data. I had to restore it as a new phone and lose all of my contact to fix this.

    • jackbomb
    • 10 years ago

    They’re all features…just features, nothing bad. Let’s all calm down and pray to Steve Jobs.

      • green
      • 10 years ago

      ummmm yea …. that’s right …. no flaws…. it’s a feature…
      uhhh…. it’s called… ummm… squeeze speed limiting!…. yeah that’s it

      with at&t no longer offering unlimited plans people might want to limit how fast they receive data over 3g. now you just squeeze the phone to slow it down. think of it like the brake pedal in your car. note that apps work at normal speed, just download is reduced.

      you see? it’s a feature

    • derFunkenstein
    • 10 years ago

    I don’t know what the design wizards were thinking in the first place. A device you hold in your hands, let’s make the whole thing be the antenna.

    • albundy
    • 10 years ago

    made in china (what isn’t these days)? qwawitee pwoduct!

      • PetMiceRnice
      • 10 years ago

      I think I will continue to stick to my land line.

    • Ardrid
    • 10 years ago

    While I don’t dispute that Adi is a raging fanboy, I wouldn’t be so quick to so that he’s nuts to defend the product. I say that because there are people who have been showing that this might be a very, very strange software bug. Users with 3Gs and 3GS’ running iOS4 can duplicate the signal strength drop. If that’s the case, then Apple may be right that this is software related. Of course, that doesn’t account for the drastic speed test drop, which means that something else is going on related to the iPhone 4, in addition to this potential OS bug.

      • mcnabney
      • 10 years ago

      I work in the industry and I have a good idea what is going on here. Read on:

      Cell phones generally handle data on one set of frequencies, but do voice over another. The bars reflect the ‘best’ signal whether data or voice. I am going to guess that the data channel is being handled at higher frequencies using BOTH antennas while voice is using only one at a lower frequency. So when the user holds both antennas it will cause a short, a short that will only effect data transmission. So when you see the bars drop and go to Searching…, it is the HSPA network that is having the problem. The GSM voice is doing just fine, but just not showingthe signal. A few phones will show different bars for voice and data, iPhone is not one of them.

      • _Sigma
      • 10 years ago

      have a link to the 3GS having the issue?

    • yogibbear
    • 10 years ago

    Some newspaper article i was reading about popsicles told me that APPLE is god. Surrender now and follow SJ to the motherland. Pre-emptive brain removal gets a 20% discount and a free upgrade to iOS5.

    Hang on… beta leak there… i meant to say the iPhone4 is awesome and my free one for saying so is rocking up in the mail as we speak.

    Oh wait.. i mean… just found my tin foil hat and all. Apple suck. Typical. Dodgy electronics from another dodgy electronics company. Can anyone point me to a non-Dodgy electronics company? Err… anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    • indeego
    • 10 years ago

    My GF’s iPhone 3g was completely wiped to default state after IOS4 was loaded. Had to restore from backup. Gonna wait a few more months on this oneg{<.<}g

    • glynor
    • 10 years ago

    Mine doesn’t have any of the display issues. The reception does dip a bit when I hold it in my hand, but the SAME THING HAPPENS on my old 3G and my wife’s 3GS as well. This is nothing new.

    Generally, I’m getting better reception using the new phone than my old ones. The new one works down in my basement, while the old ones both drop calls about 3 steps from the stairs.

    As far as shattering the glass… We’ll see. That test video I saw where the guy broke the screen it took 4 intentional drops onto concrete with gravel to break the glass. I don’t know… It is still glass. Glass breaks when you impact it. We’ll see. So far it feels at least as sturdy as my old ones (which were by no means indestructible), but that sure isn’t a scientific evaluation.

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 10 years ago

    if you can’t use it with your hands they blew it!

      • NeelyCam
      • 10 years ago

      Utter fail. Unbelievable, really – how did they miss this?

      When I first heard of the antenna “strip”, I thought it sounded like a cool idea, but I guess they forgot to insulate it somehow…

    • bowman
    • 10 years ago

    Woah, would you look at that. Looks like Apple products, made by the exact same OEM as every other consumer electronics company, suffers from the same issues. Maybe it wasn’t handed down by God to Steve Jobs after all.

    I won’t hold my breath for the fanboys to realise that though.

    • Neutronbeam
    • 10 years ago

    Well, I heard God bought the iPhone 4 [first in line in NYC] and he/she/it says the call reception is divine…

      • zimpdagreene
      • 10 years ago

      Satan was second and said the call reception is shit! He will have a personal talk with Steve when he gets there. (Just joking Steve)

        • dpaus
        • 10 years ago

        Presumably Satan isn’t concerned with the overheating issue…

          • Jigar
          • 10 years ago

          He understands, cause that’s not apple’s fault.

    • Ryhadar
    • 10 years ago

    Maybe now Apple can sell a $100 head set.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 10 years ago

      right on the money.

    • FireGryphon
    • 10 years ago

    Of all the units in the wild now, I wonder what percentage have these flaws.

      • demani
      • 10 years ago

      You know- that’s a good point. I wonder if its a function of the sample size at Day 1: how many other phones have put that many handsets out in that timeframe- screen issues may only be at .1% and that could still be enough to get a bunch of people hit by it.

    • mcforce0208
    • 10 years ago

    They are just haters….Apple is FLAWLESS in every way.. (Besides my Iphone 4 arrives in the post tomorrow!!!!)

      • Caveira2099
      • 10 years ago

      Would FLAWLESS apply if YOUR unit is one of those?

    • demani
    • 10 years ago

    As much as Jigar comes across as a zealot in nearly every Apple-related thread, I appreciate the sarcasm here. I am pretty amazed that A) glass was used on both sides (how about tougher ceramic on the back instead-there could be an aftermarket for that) and B) the antenna wasn’t at least coated with a finish to eliminate the connectivity issue. Seems like relatively simple solutions. I’m guessing because most testers had to have their phones in cases so as not to tip off the public they were using new models the antenna issue didn’t really come up. Ive will have a bit of ‘splainin’ to do.

      • Jigar
      • 10 years ago

      Do you really have some issue in your brain… When i said thing about Apple being uncompetitive technically, you were like, hey you are Anti -Apple… Now when i am supporting Apple, you are like, hey you are still Anti Apple. Make up your mind will ya…

        • demani
        • 10 years ago

        A) When were you supporting Apple? where?
        B) I did say “nearly” every time- that means “not always”.
        C) You said you were anti-Apple (and your job was to show everyone else who wasn’t the error of their ways).

        I guess Apple can expect to sell a ton of bumpers this weekend. The screen problems are probably just a result of production line imperfections and will probably get resolved by an exchange pretty easily. The antenna thing is going to be a big pain to deal with though. Although- can anyone confirm that doing the issue causes the voice call to drop (mcnabney’s point)?

          • Jigar
          • 10 years ago

          A) Find one comment of mine that is anti Apple in this article. Btw, fyi, imo, phone is cool.
          B) Nice… You are improving…
          C) Anti – Apple ? Yes, for a reason. I already said that, they were selling technically less powerful stuff, and asking for more money. That’s not the case with iphone 4.

          Now stop being a attention whore alright.

            • demani
            • 10 years ago

            A) Well, you were either refusing to admit that the documented evidence of the antenna problems and such were actually issues by proclaiming “Impossible… Bunch of liers [sp]…” or you were being sarcastic. If it was the first…oh well. If it’s the second, that is what most people would expect of you. And of course you didn’t say anything in the article…you didn’t write it. And since you haven’t even touched one yet it makes it hard to see what you were basing your defense on.

            B) Nice try at pretending you actually read something to completion the first time.

            C) Which is why anyone reading anything you write would read what you say in that light: you say more and are more vocal about it when Apple does something you don’t agree with. If you don’t like being categorized that way stop whining whenever someone disagrees with you, and stop the savior antics-you certainly aren’t the smartest person here. Your past history colors the way your comments are all taken in the future.

            Back on topic: it appears that some people are actually losing calls.
            @mcnabney: any ideas on what might explain that? Is Apple playing too many games with the signal lock-on algorithm (maybe stronger would be better in this case?) or is it just a firmware limitation like some are saying (similar to what you were saying about the two different band priorities for voice and data)?

            • Jigar
            • 10 years ago

            A) Now i am being sarcastic ? Nice. Re-read my comment, did you see any where “/sarcasm” ?
            B) Well as i said before, you try to be attention whore but there’s a lot, you got to learn… Contact Meadows ? LOL j/k .
            C) That’s the charm of the comment section isn’t it. What happened to the democracy ?

    • adisor19
    • 10 years ago

    Sux about the display issues.. as for the antenna, umm, whether it’s internal or external, if you place it next to water(your body), of course the signal will be absorbed. The same problem exists on every phone out there with an integrated antenna. Whether this particular design is bound to be more problematic remains to be seen but one can just take a look at the Nexus one and its related reception problems when being held..

    Adi

      • xtalentx
      • 10 years ago

      hahahha and the damage control monkeys kick into full swing!

      • demani
      • 10 years ago

      Adi, unfortunately its not about blocking the signal so much as shorting the antenna: its freaking hot and muggy and NYC and I watched someone try it using just one finger: it’s a real problem. Now, it can be easily remedied, but this is a pretty major screw up.

    • morphine
    • 10 years ago

    LIES! ALL LIES!

    I AM STEVE JOBS AND MY REALITY DISTORTION FIELD WILL ASSIMILATE YOU!

    • Jigar
    • 10 years ago

    Impossible… Bunch of liers. This phone is Awesome.

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