[UPDATE July 16, 2010: Apple held a press conference today addressing the issue of the iPhone 4’s antenna and signal loss. Read our latest blog: Apple to provide free cases to iPhone 4 owners —Ed.]
[UPDATE July 14, 2010: We've also tested another remedy to the iPhone's antenna issue. See: Apple's Bumper case alleviates the iPhone 4 signal-loss problem. —Ed.]
[UPDATE JULY 13, 2010: We’ve received many comments and questions regarding this issue. See our latest post: Why Apple—and not its customers—should fix the iPhone 4. —Ed.]
[UPDATE JULY 3, 2010: Since posting this report, Mike Gikas has also experienced the 'dropped call' issue which many of our readers have been attesting to in our Blog readers' comments section. For a recount on Mike's latest iPhone experience, see: iPhone 4 signal debate rages; we experience signal loss in some calls. —Ed.]
Though the blogosphere is abuzz with reported reception problems on the iPhone 4, we haven’t been able to reproduce that problem no matter how hard we tried, as I mentioned in my iPhone 4 First Look yesterday.
Apparently, reception drops when you hold the phone a certain way in your left hand. Apple responded to these complaints yesterday with a variation on an old Henny Youngman joke about a patient complaining of pain whenever he moved his arm: "Just stop doing that."
Here's Apple's official statement as it appears in Engadget: "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. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases."
Apple's suggestion is unacceptable if this is really a problem. There's only one recourse when a product is defective, and it begins with the letter "R," as in recall. But given the fact that we, and Engadget, were unable to recreate this problem after repeated tries, and the blogosphere is rippling with stories of improved reception, compared to older iPhone models, this antenna/reception issue should not deter you from getting an iPhone 4.