iPhone 4 Reception Problem: Four Possible Solutions

Cupertino, we have a problem. We have an iPhone 4 antenna short. In Korea, up until about 12:30am June 27th, everyone was glued to the tube watching the 2010 FIFA World Cup. So if you’re a football (or soccer in the US) fan there’s a good chance you’re completely clueless about this antenna issue surrounding the new iPhone 4. To catch up here are a few choice articles: Gert Frølund Pedersen Predicted iPhone 4 Antenna Problems on June 10, Hey Apple! You’re Holding The iPhone 4 The Wrong Way!, Apple: You’re Holding The iPhone 4 The Wrong Way, iPhone 4: Touch Left Corner To Drop Calls, and one more: Double iPhone 4 Download Speed With Black Electrician Tape?

Yes, this antenna problem on the iPhone 4 has been a pain for some. If you’re not experiencing this problem just be thankful. For those of you looking for possible solutions, here’s what I’ve found. Note: Possible solutions do not include using electrician’s black tape or some other hideous resolution since one of the reasons why anyone gets an iPhone 4 is because it looks nice. Black tape around the gorgeous stainless steel mid-section is just too ugly. So here’s four possible solutions to the iPhone 4’s antenna problem:

1. Start holding it right. According to Apple you’re holding the iPhone 4 wrong. Ridiculous, I know. Avoid gripping the iPhone 4 in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band. Use three fingers (pointy, middle, thumb) on your left hand (if you’re right handed) to hold the iPhone 4 making sure your thumb isn’t shorting the two antennas when you need to use both your hands to do something on the iPhone 4. If you’re left-handed it’s a bit more tricky but again try using just three fingers but this time make sure your pointy and middle fingers are on just one side of the slit, above it or below it and not one finger above and one finger below. When you’re holding the iPhone to your ear for a phone call make sure to only use your three fingers, or less if possible.

2. Use a non-conducting case. Don’t get one of those fancy real-metallic cases for the iPhone 4. You’ll ruin the reception. Get a cheap plastic one instead. Maybe Apple knew this beforehand and announced the Bumper case at the same time the iPhone 4 was announced. The Bumper case looks like a good option to me: it’s simple, looks nice on the iPhone 4 and somewhat affordable. I prefer my iPhones to be nude but in the case of the iPhone 4, if I ever get my hands on a white one, I’ll be getting the Bumper for it.

3. Cut out a part of the Invisible Shield (zagg.com) and put it over the lower left corner. If you don’t want to use the Bumper or an entire case and cover up the nicely-designed iPhone 4 you can carefully cut out just a little part of the Invisible Shield. Since this little film is expensive (get the screen only version for less), get many of your iPhone 4-toting friends to go in together on this. Update: Scratch this. These films conduct and won’t work (read StealthArmor Fixes iPhone 4 Reception Problem?).

4. Use a Bluetooth earpiece when you’re talking and lay the iPhone 4 on a table when needing to interact with it. I would keep the line of sight between iPhone 4 and the Bluetooth earpiece obstruction-free and fairly close, say three to four feet max.

I don’t have an iPhone 4 yet so I haven’t personally tested these possible solutions but hopefully these four ideas will help those who are experiencing antenna problems. In the meantime, Apple, can you get back to work on a redesign? Here’s a suggestion: why don’t you make the little grooves that separate the different antennas a little bit wider, a little wider than an average width of a thumb. That way we’ll put our thumb there to hold the iPhone 4. And since it’s wider we won’t short it. Maybe you can implement it on the white iPhone 4?