Originally Posted by Foo2
Where I live, Speedtest normally yields very roughly 1.6M down and 0.5M up.
As soon as I invoke the iPhone 4 death grip (more like a touch), the transfer speed dives. If I invoke the death grip before starting the test, Speedtest sits forever at the ping test. As soon as I release, the test moves along and the reported ping time is roughly the length of time I held the death grip.
I added a small piece of electrical tape over the 'seams' (see below) while waiting for my case to come in. My speedtest results showed no difference. Interestingly, unlike most people, my uploads are roughly equal to downloads:
1. Hold phone near top. 5 bars. Download 1145, upnload 1166
2. Cup phone in hand on bottom. 2 bars. Download 1110, upload 1119
3. Small piece of electrical tape covering seam, cup phone in hand on bottom. 4 bars, Download 1145, upload 1120.
The antennae seem to affect the number of bars but not performance (although the performance meter jumped around more in case #2).
Originally Posted by dimitris
I tested the "signal death grip" with my iPhone 3gs and it also has the same issue with the iPhone 4.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmXpGGrB_hg
The interesting thing though is that even though the phone has no signal at all
when I make a call the signal goes back up even though I still hold it with the "signal death grip"!!
If I let go of the grip the signal goes back up even further.
So I don't really know what to think but maybe it's a software issue after all?
I believe that there are two issues involved.
1. The normal behavior of all phones to have variable signal intensity depending on how they're held, proximity to the body, etc. There are plenty of reports that all phones suffer this problem. This is simply a result of the fact that the human body absorbs the signal and Apple has no way to override the laws of physics. I suspect that this is what Apple was referring to when they talk about the way users hold their phone.
2. The antennae are very close together on the iPhone 4 and it is easy to touch both anntennae at the same time. This apparently shorts things and causes the number of bars to drop. It is not yet 100% clear if the signal is really dropping. My data suggests that the signal really is OK, just the bar levels are off. That is essentially what Apple told Mossberg and claims to be able to fix it. Apple needs to release this software update ASAP.
HOWEVER, there are reports that #2 also causes dropped calls. I'm not sure that anyone has done enough controlled experiments to know that this isn't just 'normal' AT&T behavior. IF IT DOES TURN OUT TO BE REAL, then it appears to be a design problem related to the placement of unprotected anntennae. If that turns out to be the case, I would hope and expect that Apple would:
a. Make whatever design changes are needed so that future phones do not have the problem.
b. Repair or replace existing phones. Alternatively, they might offer the customer a choice of a free case (or credit so they can buy their own) or a full refund.