iPhone 4 - Signal Bars Drop Even With Case!

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by spacetycho, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. spacetycho macrumors member

    spacetycho

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #1
    I received my iPhone 4 on launch day via a preorder. I am very grateful to have it and to have received it while others still try to get one. Anyway, onto the issue.

    I had signal drop issues from the get go, occasionally even a few dropped calls. Per Apple's statement and other blog recommendations I bought a case to alleviate the issue. It's the Griffin Reveal. It is a nice case too.

    Last night I noticed low signal bars after a dropped call and realized I was holding it over the left corner. I let go and up went the bars.

    EVEN WITH A CASE ON THE SIGNAL BARS DROPPED!

    I called :apple:care. They opened a case # and gave me the same as anyone else. I was told that I needed a bumper to fix the issue, that they couldn't guarentee with any third party case it would fix the issue. I responded asking why I should give :apple: another $30 to fix an issue they know about. I asked if I would recieve and email or call to follow up and they said they didn't know. I will follow up in 2 days and let you know.

    Is this a ploy to just get people to spend more money? 1.7 million sold in three days x $30 for a bumper = $51 million more for :apple:. Um, NO!

    If I can't get this resolved with :apple: I will post a video.

    Let me know if you have had the same issue.
     
  2. dhy8386 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    #2
    My friend you are way late to the party so i suspect you will not get many responses. Read this article and it should educate you on exactly the issue and therefore help you decide what to do.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3794/the-iphone-4-review
     
  3. spacetycho thread starter macrumors member

    spacetycho

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #3
    More.

    Apple now says according to documents leaked to Boy Genius Report today:

    e. The use of a case or Bumper that is made out of rubber or plastic may improve wireless performance by keeping your hand from directly covering these areas.

    May improve? WTF:apple:? So what if it doesn't? Then I guess I'm just f**ked!
     
  4. spacetycho thread starter macrumors member

    spacetycho

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #4
    Response.

    I don't need to read that. I know all about the signal drop issue. I just thought it was meesed up that a case doesn't really help that much. Plus the canned responses from :apple: don't help.
     
  5. fishmoose macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #5
    Try to take your SIM out for a few secs and put it back in. Seems to be working for people.
     
  6. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #6
    The problem is that part of it is that there is conduction happening between the antenna and the bottom strip of steel (which appears to be grounded, which is very bad in this case).

    But it isn't just conduction, hands can react like a capacitor too which will mess things up. That said, I don't even need more than say, 1-2mm between me and the phone to completely remove the effect on the antenna.

    You will still get some attenuation from covering the antenna, but what you aren't getting is the conduction path that completely horks the transmission ability of the antenna unless there is something conductive on the inside of the case.
     
  7. spacetycho thread starter macrumors member

    spacetycho

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #7
    Response.

    The :apple:care rep asked me if I took out the SIM, which I haven't. I asked if I should and he told me not to. I will try it to see if it does anything, but that doesn't help the fact that :apple: are dealing with this in a very strange way.
     
  8. Munitalp macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    #8
    I think you will be most happy if you just return your iPhone :)
     
  9. spacetycho thread starter macrumors member

    spacetycho

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #9
    Also.

    I wouldn't use this phone without a case. Too afraid of dropping it. So if most use a case or bumper, most won't ever see the steel sides anyway. So why didn't :apple: just use rubber or silicon on the sides? Seems logical to me.

    Oh wait, I know. If they did that then there would be no need for Bumpers, aka a ******** of more money for :apple:!
     
  10. spacetycho thread starter macrumors member

    spacetycho

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #10
    Um NO.

    No. The phone is great. It's the sneaky business :apple: is doing that upsets me. I love the phone! I wish they would just come out and say, "Hey we f**ked up, sorry. We will do our best to aviod this in the future. Here's a iTunes store credit, or something."
     
  11. fishmoose macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #11
    Yeah well, taking out the SIM wont break anything so worth a try. And yeah I guess Apple are dealing with this in a strange way but I expect them to make an announcement shortly.
     
  12. VTMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    #12
    There is nothing sneaky at all. The phone attenuates when you put your hand on it. Every other phone on the planet does it too. Some do it more. Some do it less. Some will be more effected with the signal strength in your area. Some less. If this was the Nexus One, nobody would talk about it because it's irrelevant and people only expect perfect from Apple. Oh wait .. they DID test the NexusOne and the same thing DOES happen. Shocker. :rolleyes:

    There are several ways you can reduce attenuation with this and any other phone. Cover the antenna with a non-conductive material - such as a case and don't hold the phone is certain areas that effect the antenna the most. In most phones that is either bottom left of bottom right due to FCC regulations. (FCC wants the antenna as far from a persons head as possible -- hence the bottom locations.)

    If you actually read the various articles being posted explaining the science behind what is happening, you'll have a better understanding of the limits. At the end of the day either the limits of the combo of the iPhone 4 antenna and ATT coverage in your area is acceptable, or it's not. If not, return the phone.
     
  13. SpaceKitty macrumors 68040

    SpaceKitty

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Collins Colorado
    #13
    I tried an old rubber iSkin case that was made for the original iPhone. Obviously the case was a bit too loose for the iPhone 4 but it let me test to see if the reception would drop when held where the band is on the left side.

    My signal did not drop and the bars remained at five. I would try another case if I were you.
     
  14. Lifesuxsbad macrumors regular

    Lifesuxsbad

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    #14
    Take out sims



    That has seem to help mine. I use to drop to no bars while having the dreaded death grip on it now it drops to 3 bars which is a lot better than no bars!! I have never lost a call due to no bars but I like the 3 bars a lot better than none!! Thanks for the tip!!
     
  15. spacetycho thread starter macrumors member

    spacetycho

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #15
    What, do you work for Apple or something? I never had an issue with my 3G that was related to my hands making the signal drop.

    1. :apple: telling me to buy a case or hold the phone different and not admitting the issue is sneaky.

    2. I have a case and the bars drop. If the bars aren't important they shouldn't be on the phone at all.

    3. I will hold the phone how it feels natural. It just happens that in either hand the bottom left corner gets covered.

    4. Every phone I ever had before the iPhone had an antenna on top.

    5. Do you even have an iPhone 4?

    6. I don't have a plethora of phones at my disposal to compare.

    7. I am not returning my phone, it is awesome, besides this issue, well so far.
     
  16. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #16
    Just because you didn't see it so clearly, doesn't mean it wasn't there. Flesh tends to absorb RF in the 1900Mhz band pretty well. This means you will always get some attenuation.

    The difference here is that while it might have been a few dB on the 3G/3GS, the conduction path to the second antenna pushes it up into the 20-30dB range.

    Ars' report on this actually covers the details pretty well. Suffice it to say, 24dB is enough to make a signal that is borderline 5 bars drop to 1-2. And 3 bars drop to none. With the 3GS, where the attenuation was maybe ~14dB, you were usually looking at one bar from the effect. It all has to do with how the properties of the antenna are affected, and proximity to the skin.

    You will still see the ~14dB drop with both the iPhone 3GS, but that's maybe a bar or two. The difference here is that the seam causes such an attenuation of the signal that it's almost impossible to ignore unless your reception is above -70dB.

    Interestingly enough, the Nexus One had similar problems where it was winding up getting ~28dB attenuation if you held it in a specific way until they seemingly released a software fix that brought it in line with ~14dB like the 3GS.
     
  17. Iphone4Mac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    #17
    I've had a bumper since day one

    Now I'm really starting to notice it, when I hold it side ways, another wrong way, the bars drop down to 1. And when I hold it erect it only drops down to 3 ....?
     
  18. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Denver Colorado
    #18
    After one year, I've discovered that my 3GS has this same problem if I hold it the way Stevie tells us not to. I've been using my 3GS without a case today and noticed it has the iPhone 4 problem as well. I never noticed it in this entire year because I always had a case on it.

    When I place that case on my iPhone 4, the problem goes away as well.
     

Share This Page