if tomorrow apple provides a recall or swap or duck tape or free bumper type of solution, i think they are still not finding the root cause. what really caused the issue is IOS network layer software code which is not able to sync up with its hardware chips. i have 2 cases to support it:
1: death grip. the grip aggregated the problem so that it can be easily reproduced. over the week, i have done many testings and each and every time is showing that once i released the grip, the problem goes away, even though the bar might be still only one. so the grip triggered IOS antenna software logic to kick in, but somehow the code either is in a loop or never be able to reach to convergence in a given time, thus the whole TCP/IP network layer, both TCP/IP stack and drivers, is hold up. once the grip is released, antenna software logic quickly completed and reset the whole network pipe.
2: i have encountered not just once but many times when iphone has 5 bars or 3 bars with bumper and holding is not the death grip style, IOS internet went down and i have to power cycle the phone to recover. i think this is more severe because it needs a power cycle to recover.
in both of above cases, voice side of iphone still works and i can still play games or read books which do not require internet.
based on the above observations, i think an IOS software patch can resolve the issue. and i do think it is not iphone-4-only issue, but generic IOS issue. in addition, the conditions to produce the first case is very easy, so it would be a quick fix. i am not sure on the 2nd case as it is harder to reproduce, thus might take long time to find a solution.
Originally Posted by AppleInsider
Reception problems with the iPhone 4 are a result of "longstanding" problems also found in previous-generation iPhones, but the issue could potentially be fixed by a software fix, The New York Times reported Thursday evening.