I believe, it is not about blocking the signal per say. Rather as mentioned before that some people carry more energy than others, mainly our bodies have an electrical charge and I think that whats get in the way of the signal when bridging the split. If not then everyone could duplicate the problem by simply placing a finger over the gap.
I feel that these 1% are the people who can walk across wool carpet and throw lightning bolts at the same time
Blocking by water mass and blocking by skin contact are certainly physically different processes, and this is indeed interesting. Apple’s not the first to use external antenna patches, nor to warn against touching them (Nokia has for one).
But the real-world RESULT is what any of it matters. The reality: I can hold a call (and simultaneous data) with a finger bridging the gap of my iPhone 4. Or a whole-palm wrap around. In areas where the signal is so-so. And see not one bar of drop.
I can also, in certain spots, make the bars drop! But I have not lost a call, or had a quality loss, as a result. I have seen, in certain spots, “No Signal” before a call, in an area where signal fluctuates, and I feel like I can have an effect with my hand. In theory, I might drop a call there, but it didn’t happen. I’ve run into a couple other 4 owners and they reported no problems either—even though they knew to watch for the issue.
Certainly there will be really borderline cases of weak signal (and a zillion other complex factors) where your hand could actually interrupt a call. This can and does happen on other phones too. Along with lots of other factors that can drop the occasional call. (In fact, in one video—a Blackberry vid posted by Apple maybe?--a single finger had this effect.)
The idea that this iPhone 4 issue is, in actual experience by the masses of users, vastly worse than what phones have always done, is fiction. People WANT to believe it, but it’s really a far tinier issue than it was made out to be. A shame? No—I got a free case out of the deal One more feature the iPhone 4 has: choice of case included. (I’m getting a bumper because I don’t WANT a back: it would trap grit and cause scratches. I know from experience.)
The fact that one finger CAN interfere with an iPhone is not very interesting—merely a handy sound bite--unless it’s actually a common cause of dropped calls. It’s not.
I never noticed my 3G having issues with grip... but it was all along. I tested and proved this—bars would sometimes drop--but I never noticed before “antennagate” came along. You notice what is pointed out to you. Given that, even if the iPhone 4 were the best (yet still imperfect) antenna design ever, thousands of people should have been reporting problems just because they were told to look for them.
Yet that didn’t happen. Actual user complaints (on forums and to Apple) have been amazingly rare. More often you had bloggers and “journalists” and “analysts” in a feedback loop “proving” some terrible crisis to each other, independent of hard facts.
(I believe the hard facts show an increase in dropped calls from the 3G to the 4. An increase small enough that the lack of case usage explains it? Very possibly. An increase small enough not to be a huge product flaw? For certain. At worst, the iPhone 4 is 100 steps forward and 1 step back. Even the antenna itself seems to be better on the whole! Just not in every instance. You’ll find that kind of situational difference between any two phones anyway.)
Loc: Petaluma, CA
No, it's not that I don't believe you (hardly, I trust the opinions here more than any news source, no w/e necessary), it's that after reading about this problem since the introduction, I just want to know the origin. If iPhones were shipped without a protective coating on the antennae, wouldn't that warrant a recall? If new iPhones are shipped with a coating, wouldn't that prove a defect?
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