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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
55,026
17,406


Earlier this evening, MacRumors forum member jav6454 related his story of how his iPhone 4 signal issues had resolved. Essentially, while at the Apple Store for a tech support issue related to his iPhone 4, his SIM card was removed for a period of time and then reinserted. He subsequently found that his reception had improved:
I went on my merry way, but realized something now. No matter what position I held my iPhone 4 in, the signal never decreased. I held it the many ways I know the signal issue pops and nothing. No bar loss, no signal loss, no call drop. NOTHING. So there you have it.

I am theorizing that moving the SIM card had something to do with the signal issue, because the only thing I have done to my iPhone 4 differently is take out and reinsert the SIM card. Other than that no other changes to it. No setting change, no software change no nothing. Just reinsertion of the SIM card.
To prove his theory he asked others to try it themselves. As people investigated, some thought that SIM contact with the SIM tray might be causing the issue.

002805-simm_500.jpg


A few people have isolated their SIMs from the tray with electrical tape or even by cutting the SIM on the opposite side. The results have been mixed. A few users have reported full resolution of the signal drops, but at least an equal number have reported no change at all. Here's an example of a positive response:
I just tried this. My sim contacts were under the edge of the tray too. I cut a piece of electrical tape to exactly cover only where the gold contacts of the sim touched the tray. I went back to the exact location in my house where I had 1 signal bar. I now have 3 signal bars. Unreal, I can't believe this did anything. Tested before and after with a bumper on the phone. I'll keep an eye on the performance outside the house tomorrow. I don't want to jump to conclusions that this helped my iPhone reception without more data. Looks promising so far though!

At this point the results are too varied to come to any single conclusion, but we thought it was of enough interest to post and follow along the results. Of interest, if the SIM card is somehow responsible, it would also explain why individuals getting replacement units are unlikely to have seen an improvement, as the SIM card is usually transferred to the replacement phone as well. Alternatively, some are speculating that those that are seeing improvements are simply due to the iPhone's network systems resetting and simply connecting to a different tower or band that maybe be less susceptible. In fact, at least one user's issue has returned after initially improving.

The full discussion thread is here.


Article Link: One Possible iPhone 4 Antenna Fix With Mixed Results
 

Sustainability

macrumors regular
Jun 27, 2010
108
0
This got to the front page awfully quick!

It is important to note that people shouldn't leap to the conclusion that they should be cutting the edges of their simcards with scissors to make it not touch the actual tray.

This 'fix' is far too early in the confirmation phase to justify possibly ruining a good simcard and damaging your phone even further.
 

Eddyisgreat

macrumors 601
Oct 24, 2007
4,851
1
Wasn't this a fix for 2G/3G related signal issues also? I mean I know a sim not making full contact will hinder any phone, but this seems to be the "go to" solution for iPhones, atleast in my experience.
 

thetaylor13

macrumors regular
May 14, 2010
148
0
Work
Who'd a thunk it? So no one is actually holding their phone wrong, their SIM cards were missing electrical tape. "Stay tuned" indeed. :apple:
 

CFreymarc

Suspended
Sep 4, 2009
3,969
1,149
This is getting to the point of lore now. Does the phase of the moon matter when you reinsert the SIM card too?
 

Neotyguy40

macrumors regular
Jul 15, 2009
152
0
So wait, does that mean that the antenna issue can be fixed and we can no longer 'bridge' the signal by holding it a certain way?
 

Matthew Yohe

macrumors 68020
Oct 12, 2006
2,199
138
Tested this theory here, not good results.

I took a tiny strip of Scotch tape and insulated that edge that is "touching," no difference observed. (Still drops bars when "gripped" and still can halt upload speeds with the speedtest.net app)

Also, that micro sim tray looks painted on the area where the sim's contacts would touch.
 

Chaos123x

macrumors 68000
Jul 8, 2008
1,696
33
I have not been able to get my iPhone to lose reception by holding it a certain way, I always have full bars. Watched many YouTube videos on how to hold it "wrong" but I can't get the bars to go down.

So either my phone does not have the problem or my hands are not as conductive as other people.

I did have the proximity sensor issue but that was resolved with a simple settings reset.
 

carlos916

macrumors regular
Jun 18, 2010
155
88
Sacramento, CA
SOB!!! I just checked my sim n yup it's touching the metal tray!!!

Can sombody with an iPad check Ur sim trys n see if it's the same as the iPhone!!!
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
16,263
5,473
SOB!!! I just checked my sim n yup it's touching the metal tray!!!

Can sombody with an iPad check Ur sim trys n see if it's the same as the iPhone!!!

iPad SIM looks the same, but the iPad doesn't have an external antenna either.

Like I said results have been pretty mixed, but there are some people it seems to have helped. It didn't help me when I tried it.

arn
 

Aadhil

macrumors regular
Aug 4, 2009
236
0
California
Interesting. I chipped away on the clear side of the sim with a pen knife and my signal now stays at a consistent 5 bars. I had 4 bars before. The signal still decreases with me covering the lower left side of the phone though.
 

Matthew Yohe

macrumors 68020
Oct 12, 2006
2,199
138
Interesting. I chipped away on the clear side of the sim with a pen knife and my signal now stays at a consistent 5 bars. I had 4 bars before. The signal still decreases with me covering the lower left side of the phone though.

A good way to quantitatively judge the effectiveness of any "fix" is to download the Speedtest.net app and then turn off wifi. I am able to completely halt any upload activity while gripping the left.
 

Dmac77

macrumors 68020
Jan 2, 2008
2,165
2
Michigan
I trimmed my SIM card down because it was touching the tray and it seems to have solved most of my problems. Instead of losing all of my bars I only lose two while holding my phone in a death grip in my left hand.

I can't believe this works and that it's such a simple fix.

-Don
 

d00m42

macrumors regular
May 16, 2010
117
0
Miami, FL
Good to know there's a fix with inconsistent, mixed results. :)

EXACTLY!

I really doubt that this is the magical solution that everyone is looking for, but we'll see what happens when a lot more reports come in from people who are trying this.

We also need to wait for a CERTAIN COMPANY to politely announce what was wrong, and how it can be fixed.
 
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