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Users report issues with iPhone 4 proximity sensor during calls

post #1 of 102
Thread Starter 
Some early adopters of the iPhone 4 say they have experienced poor performance from the handset's proximity sensor, which turns off the touchscreen when the device is held against one's ear during a call.

A support thread at the Apple Discussions forum had quickly swelled to 16 pages and more than 230 posts through Monday afternoon, with users last week beginning to register complaints that the proximity sensor on their iPhone 4 is not working properly. Users said they have accidentally hung up a call, placed someone on hold, enabled speakerphone, or attempted to engage a FaceTime connection while placing a call.

"I can confirm that the iPhone sensor is working by covering it with my finger, but when held to my face, the screen blinks as if it cannot decide to disable the screen or enable it," user mdalegre wrote. "It results on me hanging up, putting calls on mute, and dialing numbers accidentally while I'm on the phone. This occurs on 90% of my calls."

Multiple users have responded, stating that they have owned previous generation iPhones and never had a problem with the proximity sensor. However, the issues seem to occur for some with the new iPhone 4 handset, released last week.

"My wife and I both have the same exact problem with out phones," user farfromovin wrote. "I was on an hour phone call this evening and my phone muted me 5 times, put me on hold and tried calling my work and then put me on hold and tried to send a text message to my work. This is very (disappointing)."

Another user, sysrage, said they spoke with Apple support which was unable to provide any solutions for the problem. And mzini wrote that they took a trip to an Apple Store and a Genius was able to replicate the problem. That employee reportedly said the matter was "probably a software issue."

Some said they exchanged their phone at an Apple store for a new one, but continue to have problems with the proximity sensor.

Many said they tried resetting the settings on their handset or restoring the software completely, but the issue remains. Some said they would resort to using a Bluetooth wireless headset until the problem is resolved.

With the iPhone 4 selling more than 1.7 million units in its first three days of availability, Apple's latest handset has received a great deal of press for its success, as well as its alleged issues. The largest issue thus far has caused some to experience dropped calls when holding the iPhone 4 in their left hand.

Apple publicly responded to the issue and stated that "gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas." The company has said that buying a $29 protective bumper, which covers the outside metal bands and antennas of the smartphone, will resolve the reception issue.

Others had launch devices with screen yellowing in the lower corners of their iPhone 4's Retina Display. One user on the AppleInsider forums alleged that the material used to bond the layers of glass in the iPhone has not yet completely evaporated, but the screen discoloration should disappear for most in a matter of days.
post #2 of 102
Apple is doomed!

sorry, had too.
post #3 of 102
Happy this is getting some press! Went to the Apple store with this issue on Friday and ended up walking out feeling like a crazy person. While this does not prove that I am not crazy, it does lend some help to getting this issue some attention from Apple.
post #4 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner View Post

Happy this is getting some press! Went to the Apple store with this issue on Friday and ended up walking out feeling like a crazy person. While this does not prove that I am not crazy, it does lend some help to getting this issue some attention from Apple.

I've had this happen a few times, too. Something that hasn't been an issue for since the original or 3G (I can't recall).
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post #5 of 102
all them middle class yuppie lemmings buying up everything they can. Serves them right.
post #6 of 102
I have been having this same problem. While making a call my phone will randomly either pull up face time, call another person, or end the call. Is this my phone or a software issue?
post #7 of 102
People can smell blood.
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #8 of 102
I luv my iPhone 3G right now.
post #9 of 102
Sort of like this? iPhone 4, unable to hang up a call. The screen hit my cheek prior to this....I'm part of the ADC and didn't have this error in the betas on a 3GS but do on my 4.

ACTC Certified, ADC Member, & Owner of a ACN....
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ACTC Certified, ADC Member, & Owner of a ACN....
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post #10 of 102
I luv my iPhone 4 right now!
post #11 of 102
Not a problem with mine. Prolly the sensor.
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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post #12 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"My wife and I both have the same exact problem with out phones," user farfromovin wrote. "I was on an hour phone call this evening and my phone muted me 5 times, put me on hold and tried calling my work and then put me on hold and tried to send a text message to my work. This is very (disappointing)."

Well now it is all becoming very clear. From this excerpt we finally find out the missing features that Apple asked the FCC to keep quiet...

Apple included an anti work-skipping feature into the phone. Try to stay home from work when you really aren't sick and the phone automatically tries all methods to contact your boss to rat you out

"This isn't a software glitch, now get to work you slacker!

sent from Steve's iPad"
post #13 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

all them middle class yuppie lemmings buying up everything they can. Serves them right.

Dvorak is that you?
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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post #14 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vatdoro View Post

I luv my iPhone 4 right now!

oh man you ruined it for me!
post #15 of 102
Kids, in the meantime, manually lock the screen for talking.
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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post #16 of 102
My wife and I both have this problem. I don't use the phone function as much as my wife, but she's been complaining about this since day 1.
post #17 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post

Dvorak is that you?

No, it's Michael "I never made a decent PC in my life" Dell.
Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
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Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
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post #18 of 102
For those who have the issue, try this as noted in the article...So far, it seems it has fixed the proximity sensor issue on my phone:

Open Settings > General, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the settings page and tap on "Reset". On the next screen, tap on "Reset All Settings". I think it prompts you if your sure. Go ahead and confirm and the phone will reset. By resetting, it doesn't delete any data or unactivate the phone. It will reset the default wallpapers and you will have to reenter your wi-fi password. A few other things but nothing major. Just go through each area in the settings to verify anything you may have changed.

I'm wondering if this had to do with the fact that I first got my 4G, I restored from a backup from my older 3GS...maybe something is just wonky in the process...
post #19 of 102
Let's see. 230 posts on the thread covering this topic.

That probably breaks down as:

- The original poster who had a problem
- 17 trolls who immediately said that they have the same problem and Apple needs to fix it immediately, even though they don't even own iPhones
- 47 people saying "I don't have a problem"
- The original poster responding to all 47 of the above saying "well, I do"
- 30 people claiming that Apple is doomed because their product quality has gotten so bad
- 52 people saying that iPhone buyers are lemmings and would buy anything Apple puts out
- 10 people who claim that Apple is for babies / idiots / sissies
- And the rest looking for directions to the rest room.

When will the people who write these idiotic stories ever get it into their heads- a complaint of a problem is irrelevant. As soon as they can provide numbers showing how many people are experiencing the problem and whether it's greater than or less than the competition, THEN maybe it would be worth writing the story.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #20 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Let's see. 230 posts on the thread covering this topic.

That probably breaks down as:

- The original poster who had a problem
- 17 trolls who immediately said that they have the same problem and Apple needs to fix it immediately, even though they don't even own iPhones
- 47 people saying "I don't have a problem"
- The original poster responding to all 47 of the above saying "well, I do"
- 30 people claiming that Apple is doomed because their product quality has gotten so bad
- 52 people saying that iPhone buyers are lemmings and would buy anything Apple puts out
- And the rest looking for directions to the rest room.

When will the people who write these idiotic stories ever get it into their heads- a complaint of a problem is irrelevant. As soon as they can provide numbers showing how many people are experiencing the problem and whether it's greater than or less than the competition, THEN maybe it would be worth writing the story.

post #21 of 102
I'm not worried about this issue at all. It's the other issue that troubles me.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #22 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post

Not a problem with mine. Prolly the sensor.

Different ears, heads, and holding positions might affect whether the problem occurs. It doesn't necessarily indicate the problem lies in a defect only with some phones - just only in certain circumstances.
post #23 of 102
Hhhmmmmm... I think I've had this happen to me too. I was on the phone with a friend last night and my iPhone somehow started dialing digits.
post #24 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Let's see. 230 posts on the thread covering this topic.

That probably breaks down as:

- The original poster who had a problem
- 17 trolls who immediately said that they have the same problem and Apple needs to fix it immediately, even though they don't even own iPhones
- 47 people saying "I don't have a problem"
- The original poster responding to all 47 of the above saying "well, I do"
- 30 people claiming that Apple is doomed because their product quality has gotten so bad
- 52 people saying that iPhone buyers are lemmings and would buy anything Apple puts out
- 10 people who claim that Apple is for babies / idiots / sissies
- And the rest looking for directions to the rest room.

When will the people who write these idiotic stories ever get it into their heads- a complaint of a problem is irrelevant. As soon as they can provide numbers showing how many people are experiencing the problem and whether it's greater than or less than the competition, THEN maybe it would be worth writing the story.

Touche!

One of the many problems with internet message boards is that they allow people to pretend far too much, and things tend to get blown out of proportion.
post #25 of 102
post #26 of 102
First, MS needed to case-study General Motors (the comparison is obvious and for another thread).

Now it appears Apple should case-study Toyota: i.e. never let your own success lull you into complacency, and never let you own growth rate pull you into shortcuts.

Even if the screen, antenna and proximity issues are only affecting some users, they are all things that should've been caught beforehand. Do we dare say "rushed"?
post #27 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by woofpup View Post

Different ears, heads, and holding positions might affect whether the problem occurs. It doesn't necessarily indicate the problem lies in a defect only with some phones - just only in certain circumstances.

The first day, I thought it was something with AT&T. Calls would just drop without the usual BEEP BEEP drop indication. Then the muting, the speaker and the contacts coming up. Then I realized that my cheek was hanging up the call for me. My cheek has a life of it's own.
post #28 of 102
Also glad to hear I'm not the only one with this issue. I don't use the actual phone function very much, but did experience this on Saturday. I received my phone delivery on Wednesday, and overall, calling has been fine. With one particular call though, the proximity sensor kept flaking around and I kept entering numbers with my face.

There'd been so much press over the left-hand issue, screens, etc. I hadn't seen any other reports of this before today, so I'm glad to know that I'm not alone, and that hopefully an OS update will fix the problem.
post #29 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag101811 View Post

http://discussions.apple.com/thread....4027&#11744027

Just reset your iPhone settings

I tried this a few days ago, not working on my phone.

I am using my headset or locking the phone during a call as another poster indicated. This flaw might end up being great, I like not having the cell phone up to my head all day.
post #30 of 102
From Daring Fireball:

http://funsizebytes.com/post/7457211...h-boil-down-to

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amPG52DVQuk

Anyone want to guess just how many other phones have problems like these?
post #31 of 102
Just today I was using my new iPhone and it just froze. I have never experienced that before. No button would clear. I had to do a forced restart. Interesting.
post #32 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

From Daring Fireball:

http://funsizebytes.com/post/7457211...h-boil-down-to

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amPG52DVQuk

Anyone want to guess just how many other phones have problems like these?

Maybe wrong post, this article is about the sensor. Next article about Nokia.
post #33 of 102
. . .
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post #34 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner View Post

Maybe wrong post, this article is about the sensor. Next article about Nokia.

You're right. These threads look so much the same when you're in them.
post #35 of 102
yup, also had problems, all calls I made this weekend ended up muted at some point, presumably bc the proximity sensor malfunctioned. When I looked toward the phone while talking I could sometimes see the screen lighting up, then going dark, then lighting up again, etc. without any movement of the phone!
Ok, two issues to watch now; antenna, proximity sensor. Hopefully, they will be both manageable by an iOS update.
Not selling my stock just yet.
post #36 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

You're right. These threads look so much the same when you're in them.

Yes, just like iPhone lines. "What, this is not the pre-reservation line???"
post #37 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner View Post

Yes, just like iPhone lines. "What, this is not the pre-reservation line???"

Heh!!
post #38 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Let's see. 230 posts on the thread covering this topic.

That probably breaks down as:

- The original poster who had a problem
- 17 trolls who immediately said that they have the same problem and Apple needs to fix it immediately, even though they don't even own iPhones
- 47 people saying "I don't have a problem"
- The original poster responding to all 47 of the above saying "well, I do"
- 30 people claiming that Apple is doomed because their product quality has gotten so bad
- 52 people saying that iPhone buyers are lemmings and would buy anything Apple puts out
- 10 people who claim that Apple is for babies / idiots / sissies
- And the rest looking for directions to the rest room.

When will the people who write these idiotic stories ever get it into their heads- a complaint of a problem is irrelevant. As soon as they can provide numbers showing how many people are experiencing the problem and whether it's greater than or less than the competition, THEN maybe it would be worth writing the story.

In about 30 minutes it'll be:

- The original poster who had a problem
- 3 people saying "I don't have a problem"

Care of Apple's customer service/damage control department.

When the Superdrive update that was available for about 25 minutes toasted my drive, I had 5 posts deleted from the apple site, and the update unofficially "never happened" in a sort of retcon way.

They'll be able to fix this with a quick update, so it should be swept under the rug pretty quickly, and folks who don't update will discover here or at macrumors that they aren't alone after all...

Try posting about having a problem with the death grip issue on the official apple forum and then try finding your post the next day...
post #39 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

In about 30 minutes it'll be:

- The original poster who had a problem
- 3 people saying "I don't have a problem"

Care of Apple's customer service/damage control department.

When the Superdrive update that was available for about 25 minutes toasted my drive, I had 5 posts deleted from the apple site, and the update unofficially "never happened" in a sort of retcon way.

They'll be able to fix this with a quick update, so it should be swept under the rug pretty quickly, and folks who don't update will discover here or at macrumors that they aren't alone after all...

Try posting about having a problem with the death grip issue on the official apple forum and then try finding your post the next day...

It's a good thing we don't do that here, huh? Complain all you want to.
post #40 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I've had this happen a few times, too. Something that hasn't been an issue for since the original or 3G (I can't recall).

I will confirm this as an issue with my phone. I cannot say that I've hung up on anyone - because prior to this afternoon I had the antennae issue and not only dropped the call - I lost service because I had the audacity of 'holding my phone wrong'.

However, I have place myself on mute, as well as having accidentally activated the speakerphone function when I'm using the phone normally.

So, chalk up one more (I have an issue) to your list.

I fully expect this to be resolved in an upcoming software patch.
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