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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

With the GSM version of the iPhone having received considerable attention for issues with loss of cellular signal when held in a "death grip" position, observers have been interested to see whether a similar issue affects the Verizon iPhone with its modified antenna design.

iLounge reports that not only has it been able to demonstrate loss of cellular signal strength with the same "death grip", but it has also been able to hamper Wi-Fi reception by subjecting the device to a grip dubbed the "death hug".
As seen in this Verizon iPhone 4 antenna attenuation video, the CDMA iPhone 4 can still lose substantial cellular signal strength when held in the prior "death grip" position, as well as Wi-Fi signal when held in a different position, in each case noticeably slowing or completely stalling the reception of data.

The problem with Wi-Fi reception appears when the device is held snugly in landscape orientation with two hands. Prior to the Verizon iPhone 4's launch, sources told iLounge to be on the lookout for the issue, which was being referred to as the 'death hug."

It's not clear if such a "death hug" is of any practical concern.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously referred to the antenna problems with the original iPhone 4 as a "non issue", telling a customer to simply "avoid holding it in that way".

All phones do suffer from some attenuation when gripped tightly in certain ways, a phenomenon caused by the human body's natural ability to absorb signals in the range used for cellular and wireless networks. Critics of the iPhone 4, however, argued that the effect was seen by some simply by bridging the iPhone 4's antenna with your hand. The video makes no effort to see if this antenna bridging remains a factor on the Verizon iPhone 4.

Article Link: 'Death Hug': Verizon iPhone Demonstrates Antenna Attenuation Issues
Last edited by a moderator:

Vantage Point

macrumors 65816
Mar 1, 2010
New Jersey
No iPhone yet but I think I'll stick with AT&T when I get one. rollover minutes (better value) and talking and surfing at the same time seem worth it.


macrumors regular
Jun 30, 2010
Bay Area
UGH!!!! IM sooooooooooooooooooooooo SICK of seeing that CRAP.....we ALL know that phone will do arent cool because you say some big a$$ words to describe what happens when we ALL know and have ALL seen it with a bunch of phones NOT just the **** with this already!!! :mad:

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
Washington DC

Same phone design works similarly to other phones of same design.

People are shocked? Surprised?

It's time to move on...everyone should know about this by now.


macrumors 6502
Jan 30, 2009
New York
i am trying very hard to replicate these results with my verizon iphone and all i lose is one bar, if that. when i had an at&t iphone, all i had to do was THINK about holding it wrong and it would drop to one or no bars. dont be too swayed by this anti-verizon propaganda, i think your local coverage might have something to do with it


macrumors 65816
Sep 11, 2002
iLounge must need some hits. Hasn't it been proven that all phones do this to some extent? Or are we ignoring signal degradation when it happens to other phones?


macrumors newbie
Nov 7, 2007
Come on! Who holds their phone like that in the first place? Sure if you let your hand have sex with your phone by totally molesting it, you will have signal issues. I have been using an iPhone 4 since the day it came out, and I have never encountered anttenaegate...


macrumors newbie
Feb 1, 2011
I know we all love our iPhones, but seriously here... just hug and squeeze the thing a little less vigorously and you won't lose any signal. Despite Apple's engineering prowess, they can't defy physics and make antennas that don't suffer attenuation when "death gripped". Neither can Nokia, Motorola, LG, Siemens, etc.


macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2008
It doesn't sound at all threatening called the death hug. I wonder if it drops bars inside a lead cage?


macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2004
"Death Hug".... funny. I still think Steve Jobs is right, non-issue. Only the most lonely of people hug their phone. Ok, I have done it once or twice, but still not a issue.


macrumors 68040
Apr 14, 2010
Washington State
*insert eye roll here*

Yeah... you cover up an antenna, it's going to lose effectiveness... gee duh!

You want a better phone design that helps alleviate that? Bring back the phones that had antennas that stick up above the phone where you wouldn't be holding it. You want your nifty small phones that don't have antennas that stick out... well, you'll have to worry about where you hold it might cover up the antenna.

Even my old Nokia phone had in its manual "do not cover this area" on the area that had the antenna. I think that's Apple's biggest mistake. If they just put that in the user's manual, people would just take it for granted it was normal operation and quit raising a stink over something that Jobs had it right, "don't hold it like that!" The only thing wrong he did was forget that he's PR for his company so he can't be so blunt about it. But he had a point!


macrumors 65816
Jan 6, 2007
Nobody holds the phone with that exaggeration of a death grip. His palm covers a fourth of the screen! Yes, it has an antenna issue, we've known that for a while now. Re-position your grip on the phone and ! suddenly it's issue free! :rolleyes:


macrumors regular
Oct 8, 2010
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

don't hug it like that.


macrumors newbie
Feb 3, 2011
There is no issue. Mine is working perfectly and my wifi connection is sooo much better then when I had my Droid on the same wifi network. I'm EXTREMELY happy.
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