How common is the iPhone 4 death grip?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Doc69, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. Doc69 macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2005
    I received my iPhone for 4 a couple of days ago. I like it a lot except for the reception issues. I'm wondering how many of you are experiencing this problem?

    I don't have AT&T reception in my home so I've only done some limited 3G testing. However, I was in an AT&T store yesterday, and when holding the phone normally, and touching the lower left corner with my palm, my bars went from full 3G to 1 bar, then edge, then no edge. Browsing was impossible. However, when I held the 2 store models on display, they kept their full bars and 3G and browsing was ok. To me , this indicated that there was definitely something wrong with my phone. The store representative said he had heard that about 20% of users have this problem.

    Then I went to a friends house and did the same test. The bars fell to one bar again like it did in the AT&T store, but browsing worked fine this time. I compared it with a 3GS and the iPhone 4 was marginally faster even though I only had one bar. Holding the iPhone 4 differently to get the full bars again didn't seem to make browsing faster.

    So in the AT&T store it seemed like the low bars affected the signal but at my friends house it seemed like a software issue with the bar display?

    What's your experience?

    P.S. It's unbelievable that the death grip way of holding the iPhone 4 is the most common way to hold it for right-handed people. Perhaps those artistic developers and beta testers at Apple were left handed?
  2. willcodejavafor macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2007
    I actually thought it was the other way around, that this problem was mostly affecting left-handed people as it is the lower left area of the phone that is sensitive.
  3. WhySoSerious macrumors 65816


    Jun 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    it primarily affects people who hold it in their left hand to use it for data purposes (aka. surf safari, type a text, view the screen, look up contacts, etc).

    that's when the the bottom left corner gets blocked....not when you're holding it for a call (unless you're holding it while on speaker phone).
  4. IndustrialSpace macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2009
    Here's why it affects left-handed users:


    It also makes it quite obvious that the Apple Bumper was designed to shield this antenna, based upon its design.

  5. Maven1975 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    Well there goes sp@nkwire and adult facetime right handers! :D

    Jobs is right, and guess he was serious.. you want Pr0n... get Android!
  6. tivoboy macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2005
  7. boshii macrumors 68040


    Jul 6, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A293 Safari/6531.22.7)

    I haven't noticed any issues but mine has been in a bumper since I got it.

    I actually knew nothing of the issue until I came on here.
  8. BruiserBear macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2008
    This whole left/right hand thing is completely nonsense. I'm right handed and I always hold my iPhone in my left hand while using it, because I want to touch it with my right hand.
  9. mrblack927 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 19, 2008
    Depends on the signal strength in the user's area. Supposedly the actual problem is inherent in the design.
  10. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A293 Safari/6531.22.7)

    Advanced search>search titles only>keyword "poll".

    There's at least 3 polls asking the exact same question and countless other non-poll threads.
  11. dallas112678 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2008
    When i completely cover the lower left corner and cover the top left corner, the most i can ever get it to drop is from 5 to 3 bars. I'm also left handed and always cover the lower left corner when i make a call but i always have a finger around the center of the top edge (as in not top left corner) and never have bars drop when i hold it like that, which is the way i normally hold it.
  12. King Luis macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2008
    you think its connecting the 2 antennas together will cause the issue?

    try connecting the 2 antennas with a piece of metal, see if the issue occurs.
  13. wineandcarbs macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008
    I wonder if more people notice it now that they are actively looking for it (maybe some people wouldn't have noticed it if there hadn't been this press about it?). I'm just wondering though, I haven't actually used an iPhone 4.
  14. JamesM macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2007
  15. zacharace macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2009
    Bexley, OH, USA

    As for me, during normal usage, I actually notice it a lot, but it has little effect on what I'm doing--whether or not data is transferring/calls are happening. In other words, I notice the bars go down when my phone is in "the Grip," but usually nothing negative actually happens. It looks bad, but it's a bit overblown IMO.
  16. King Luis macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2008
    can you try it?
  17. Doc69 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2005
    I was out the whole day driving around in Los Angeles yesterday and this issue is definitely a BIG problem. When I hold the phone in my left hand for browsing the web, the connection grinds to a halt. I also noticed more dropped calls than with my 3GS and an overall worse signal strength.

    I talked to Apple Support and they acknowledged the problem and told me that a software update will be released in a week or two to fix it. If it doesn't fix my problem I can return it to an Apple Store for a full refund within 30 days.
  18. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
  19. Romanesq macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2003
    Vulcan pinch...

    or as I call it the Finger of Death.

    Being right handed I hold the phone in my left hand. Touch that antenna gap on the lower left joining the antenna conductivity and kaboom, say goodbye to that call.

    Apple knew.

    They were clearly insanely focused on the form, chose the antenna placement outside the body and voila, finger of death.

    It's not criminal but denial is at this point silly. Not sure any software adjustment will be able to rectify this even partially. Not in the know on the signal application via the cell towers. I'll guess it can't do it.

    So we await a symbolic visible bar adjustment? No, I don't believe that either. They are trying to change something in the signal modulation to minimize this finger of death problem. Gotta be. :apple:
  20. Windacintosh macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2010
  21. rotobadger macrumors 65816


    Sep 18, 2007
    OP: You were at the Apple store and the employee acknowledged your isse...why didn't you exchange it then and there? :confused:
  22. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
  23. andybno1 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Liverpool, UK
    well I have had an interesting experience with the "death grip" I was getting it regardless of having my case on or off I could get no service...... this week I got a replacement sim after damaging mine and now with my case on no loss in signal.... strange
  24. Doc69 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2005
    I bought it in the online Apple store. When I called support, they told me a return or exchange would have to be done at a physical store.

    I will wait and see what will happen with the new update. If nothing major changes, I will probably be returning (or at least trying an exchange) the iP4 and go back to my 3GS until iP5.
  25. tivoboy macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2005

    I have found this too. I often use the phone to lookup google maps traffic information. If one holds the phone say in the RIGHT hand, and just barely TOUCHES the side the signal is so degraded that it takes a long time to get the information (data about traffic) to update. I know i shouldn't be holding the phone and doing anything with it WHILE driving, but of course THIS PROBLEM just makes that all worse.

    I'll get a case AS SOON AS MY STORE GETS THEM!!!!

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