Look. The whole reason the antennas are on the outside is to improve reception. Now if you cover the antennas with your hand or anything, of course the reception will deteriorate!! If the signal does not deteriorate then it is pointless to have the antennas on the outside now, doesn't it? Now the thing about the signal bars drop from 5 to 1 when you cover the antennas with your hand is because Apple tries to play game with the bars - it makes you think the iPhone is getting a strong signal even when it is not. Now they shot themselves in the foot and instead of getting from say 3 bars to 1 bar you get 5 bars to 1 bar which seems like such a big attenuation when it is not.