iPhone 4 reception problem – blame the software or the hardware?

LONDON - JULY 11:  A man in the queue to purch...


iPhone 4 antenna issues have dominated the news waves and discussions since iPhone 4’s debut last week and Steve Job’s advice  – it’s all your fault – relayed via an email from him and the subsequent outrage and parodies led by Nokia has thrown the spotlight off the real issue, who is to be blamed, the software or the hardware?

After reports surfaced showing the grip on the iPhone 4 resulting in signal loss, existing iPhone users have released videos showing the same things happening on older models after having upgraded to the latest iOS 4,  this indicates that the fault is in the operating system, the root of this problem is in the hardware.

When you physically bridge two parts of the phone with your hand the signal drops, and then reappears when you change your grip.  This happens because of interference in the radio frequency signal, where the user’s hand will shieldor introduce noise in the signal. This is prevalently on the iPhone 4 because of its exposed antennas . There is a second component, which is how the software handles fluctuations in signal quality. This noise introduction alters the signal’s characteristics in such a way that the phone can no longer identify it. Since this happens on both newer and older iPhone models that are running iOS 4, it indicates the current OS version is not handling signal fluctuations very well.

If rumors are to be believed, An iOS 4.0.1 software fix  may arrive as early as next Monday.  Users of Apple’s tech support forums reported seeing comments from Apple reps confirming that an iOS 4.0.1 update fix would ship early this week, though those comments and related discussions have since been removed.

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