Originally Posted by Hodar
I work in a cinder-brick building, next to the windows. When my new G4 is sitting on the desk by the windows, I get 2-4 bars (weak signal to begin with). When I pick the iPhone up, with either hand, I not only drop bars .... it will begin to search for AT&T.
So, I'll confirm this problem for both left and right hands. If you are in an area with a weak signal - simply touching the iPhone may cause you to completely lose AT&T. This really bothered me, as I had near perfect coverage with Verizon - and I switched yesterday when my new G4 iPhone arrived.
Experimenting at my desk, I found that transparent tape HELPS, but does not alleviate the problem entirely. You still drop a bar or 2 with Scotch transparent tape. On a side note; as an experiment we took the cover off a GS and put it on the iPhone and held each one within inches of the other - with the non-conductive rubber boot on - the iPhone performed exactly like the now-naked GS.
But, let me emphasize - I work in an area known to have a weak AT&T signal. In my case, simply holding the iPhone in my hand was enough for me to drop a phone call 3x. With the rubber boot on, I maintained the 2-3 bars whether the phone was on the desk, or being held.
I would expect Apple to replace this hardare - we paid for good hardware. Paying an additional $30 for hardware in order to make their iPhone work; well, that's just wrong.
I'm in a non 3G area on Vodafone in Scotland. The reception has been a lot better than it was on my old 3G iPhone on O2, sufficient to stream radio on edge without any difficulties but dropping out completely frequently, when I pick it up.
I'm encouraged that the tape you used had an effect. Electrical tape is more insulating than most, if not all other tapes, so maybe it'll be enough to hold me over without resorting to a case.
Apple I think will replace, repair or offer a full refund for the phones (how refunds would apply to different contracts with carriers I don't know though). An option Apple will not insist on is simply giving free bumpers to people. Some people might happily want to accept that offer and be done, but for anyone that doesn't, I don't think Apple will want to risk damaging it's reputation, if it's even legal for them not to offer more.
Fingers crossed this is a fixable problem without a major redesign!