Steve Jobs has downplayed the iPhone 4’s reception problem, calling it a non-issue. In a published email conversation, the Apple CEO suggested people were holding the device inappropriately in their hands. A Tumblr blog is now featuring numerous screen captures from Apple’s own TV ad showing people holding their iPhone 4 the “wrong” way, and even of Steve Jobs himself using the "death-grip".
The entire fiasco stems from a couple of YouTube videos demonstrating what seems to be a design flaw with the new smartphone. Long story short - holding iPhone 4 in your hand in what can only be considered a natural manner bridges the antennae located on the phone’s outer metal frame, affecting its reception of radio signals. This is now referred to as the “death-grip”.
According to the aforementioned email conversation Apple’s CEO had with a customer, Mr. Jobs would have us learning an all-new way of holding smartphones in our hands. Getting a good grip is actually the “wrong” way to hold Apple’s new handset, Mr. Jobs' email replies would indicate. "Just don't hold it that way then", Mr Jobs reportedly said to the customer.
Adding insult to injury, the Apple head himself has been caught on video holding iPhone 4 in exactly the same “wrong” manner during the WWDC10 keynote address. A screen capture of that moment during the ceremonious iPhone 4 launch is available just above (click to enlarge the image). The iPhone 4 TV ad doesn’t fall any shorter of wrong device grasping, with pretty much every one of the actors wrapping their palm around the device’s steel frame. One such example is the second image posted in our report.
It’s hard not to believe that Apple really has a serious issue on its hands this time around, with hundreds of blog and forum posts agreeing there is, indeed, a problem with the iPhone 4’s reception of radio waves. If proven so, the company will have a hard time addressing the issue with a firmware fix. There’s a high probability this anomaly is solely hardware related.