Proximity Sensor Issues iPhone 4 - resolved by Apple

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by colin8651, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. colin8651 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #1
    I got the iPhone 4 on release date. After the first day I noticed that I was getting disconnected from my phone calls or the mute button was enabling itself while it in near my face.

    I noticed that the screen was turning itself on while I was talking on the phone. The 3Gs I had never had such issues. A day or two after I saw reports here the resetting the settings would resolve the issue. I went one better and wiped the device to factory settings and reconfigured everything manually and not restoring from backup. This fix did not seem to resolve the issue; if anything I feel that it got worse.

    I went to the local apple store today and presented my problem to the tech. After a few test with his thumb, we found that the sensor worked fine while holding your finger to it, but would sometimes not disable the screen if he put his finger over the sensor slowly.

    Without a discussion, he replaced the phone with a new unit. Right off the bat I noticed a design change. On the old iphone4, you could not see the sensors behind the glass in bright light conditions like you could on the 3G. The replacement unit has a sensor that is visible in most lighting conditions, but not noticeable unless you know it is there.

    It looks like the sensor issue with my original iphone4 was that the black glass covering it was too tinted and didn't allow enough light to pass, thus causing the sensor to not be reliable. The new unit seems to have a slight design change that allows more light to pass (or RF, I don’t know how the sensor works).

    On another note that I am sure to be asked about; the antenna issue. My old unit did appear to have the antenna issue that has been discussed at length in the NEWS and on tech sites. If I were at home for example, the bars would go down a minimum of two if I were to bridge the gap in the lower left. At work I didn't seem to have the issue, but I think it is because my office is near a cell tower.

    Do I have the issue with the new replacement unit?? Yes, it still appears to be present and not changed at all. That isn't to say that I have a problem with the iphone4, I hold the phone in a way that doesn't bridge the antennas so I don't have an issue, but I am sure others do.

    PS, they may have moved the prox sensor also. The apple tech said that the sensor is to the left of the speaker. The new unit has a visible sensor above the speaker in the center. The tech may have been wrong as to the placement.

    PPS, The apple tech said that it is the first he has delt with or heard of this issue, but his testing procedure for the sensor seems to have a process which he was following so I am sure a memo is sitting in the break room.
     
  2. spblat macrumors 6502a

    spblat

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
  3. rittchard macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    #3
    I think the implication is that the newer version of the 4 has a different glass tint that allows the proximity sensor to work better.
     
  4. colin8651 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #4
    That is correct rittchard. I think the glass has a more transparent coating that allows the signal to pass. Also, I think they may have changed the placement of the sensor, but I can't be sure as my knowledge of the placement on the original unit. Also, moving the sensor would be a big design change that should take more than a few weeks to release so it could be in the same place and my information is wrong.
     
  5. penguy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #5

    well...I just got my iPhone 4 yesterday, and I had the problem on several phone calls today. I don't know if there was a change from the early models (I doubt it), but my phone has the sensor above the speaker, and it is visible in reasonably bright light.

    I had the screen turn on even while held to my face and activate the mute button several times in a call. I don't think the problem is 'solved' yet.
     
  6. capucci macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    #6
    Proximity sensor issue

    I am an Apple Fanboy, but this issue irritates the HELL out of me...I am always hanging up on people... I think this is a MUCH bigger issue that how many bars the signal meter shows....Priorities Apple...
     
  7. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #7
    Same here.
    I had all iphones starting from the 2G, 3G and 3GS and never had this issue.
    Just today I put calls on mute 3 times and was sitting there talking to myself while the other person thought I hang up.
    Annoying as hell.
     
  8. ericg301 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    #8
    Apple Store Fail

    So my wife can't make calls on her IP4 without having proximity sensor issues. My phone is fine.

    Today she stopped by the local Apple store to see what they could do, if anything. They told her that she shouldn't have any issues because she had the updated software (4.0.1). She obviously has no idea of the differences between 4.0.1 and 4.1, but at least held her own said that even if she had "the fix" she was still having problems. They told her to come back tomorrow to meet with a Genius—hopefully he'll know the difference.

    You'd hope that Apple's employees would know what fixes are contained in the updates for their flagship product.
     
  9. bigsexyy81 macrumors 6502a

    bigsexyy81

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    #9
    You are asking WAY too much from those people. I would be surprised if more than 10% of those people had a clue.
     
  10. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #10
    +1. I was severely disappointed in my experience with the Genius Bar. I had great expectations, but after some problems with an iPod Classic, I was in there 3-4 times for the same problem over the course of 4-5 days, and finally got them to replace it.
     
  11. bigsexyy81 macrumors 6502a

    bigsexyy81

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    #11
    I wouldn't even waste my time again with the Genius Bar. I would come here or Google. I'm sure you can find one or two people in every store that really know what they are talking about, bust most of them don't know a thing past what is posted on Apple's knowledge base or what they learned in training.
     
  12. ericg301 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    #12
    well in my case, i'm trying to get my wife a replacement IP4. no guarantee that it won't have the proximity sensor issues, but it's worth a shot.
     
  13. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #13
    I've also found that calling AppleCare yields better results than the Genius Bar. Part of it is they are on the phone with you, and you only for however long you need until you work it out or hit a brick wall. Geniuses are always multi-tasking and it keeps them from focusing on your problem and brainstorming WITH you on what might be happening.
     
  14. mpetrides macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    #14
    Software or hardware?

    When I took my iPhone back to the Apple Store last weekend, they insisted (as Steve did in his press conference) that the problem was software, not hardware. It might well be software because doing a restore basically do a clean install of iOS4 seemed to help, although it is hard to tell with an intermittent problem. If I added back apps, photos, contacts, etc., the problem seemed to recur.

    Wonderful! I can have a functional phone or a functional PDA but not both at the same time. I think not.

    I returned the iP4 for a full refund (nearly $800 with sales tax--since I did not qualify for an update).:rolleyes: If/when Apple REALLY figures out what the problem is and fixes it, I will reconsider purchasing the iP4. Meanwhile, my 3Gs is just fine.

    Which brings up another point. If the problem is software and a restore back to a clean install of iOS4 appears to fix it, then why don't I have the same problem with my 3Gs running iOS4 plus all my apps, contacts, photos, the whole 9 yards? :confused:
     
  15. spblat macrumors 6502a

    spblat

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #15
    The longer this drags out the more I worry. If it's purely a software glitch I would have expected a fix in 4.0.1. I hope Apple says more about this soon.
     

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