What's new

Apple Issues New iPhone 4 Statement


iPhoneForums.Net News Team
Staff member
Jun 18, 2010
Reaction score
Apple has just issued a lengthy statement on the iPhone 4 reception issues. Here it is in full:

The iPhone 4 has been the most successful product launch in Apple's history. It has been judged by reviewers around the world to be the best smartphone ever, and users have told us that they love it. So we were surprised when we read reports of reception problems, and we immediately began investigating them. Here is what we have learned.

To start with, gripping almost any mobile phone in certain ways will reduce its reception by 1 or more bars. This is true of iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, as well as many Droid, Nokia and RIM phones. But some users have reported that iPhone 4 can drop 4 or 5 bars when tightly held in a way which covers the black strip in the lower left corner of the metal band. This is a far bigger drop than normal, and as a result some have accused the iPhone 4 of having a faulty antenna design.

At the same time, we continue to read articles and receive hundreds of emails from users saying that iPhone 4 reception is better than the iPhone 3GS. They are delighted. This matches our own experience and testing. What can explain all of this?

We have discovered the cause of this dramatic drop in bars, and it is both simple and surprising.

Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength. For example, we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars. Users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they don't know it because we are erroneously displaying 4 or 5 bars. Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.

To fix this, we are adopting AT&T's recently recommended formula for calculating how many bars to display for a given signal strength. The real signal strength remains the same, but the iPhone's bars will report it far more accurately, providing users a much better indication of the reception they will get in a given area. We are also making bars 1, 2 and 3 a bit taller so they will be easier to see.

We will issue a free software update within a few weeks that incorporates the corrected formula. Since this mistake has been present since the original iPhone, this software update will also be available for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G.

We have gone back to our labs and retested everything, and the results are the same-- the iPhone 4's wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped. For the vast majority of users who have not been troubled by this issue, this software update will only make your bars more accurate. For those who have had concerns, we apologize for any anxiety we may have caused.

As a reminder, if you are not fully satisfied, you can return your undamaged iPhone to any Apple Retail Store or the online Apple Store within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.

We hope you love the iPhone 4 as much as we do.

Thank you for your patience and support.

Source: Apple
Nice! Exactly, my view on the subject.... You still don't like it..simply return it.
Kind of wonder how many bars my phone will show after this fix. Probably where I have two bars now will I have zero. My signal will still work hopefully.
Kind of wonder how many bars my phone will show after this fix. Probably where I have two bars now will I have zero. My signal will still work hopefully.

Yea, your prolly right.... I don't really see the point of why it was programed this way in the first place?!
I'm kinda torn on this entire issue. A part of me feels like Apple is still denying the problem. Almost the way BP was denying the oil leak, blowing it off at first like it's no big deal.
This opens up a new can of worms to me. Did Apple intentionally "lie" about your signal strength to make you "think" the iPhone may have gotten a better signal then it really did.

Ie, let's say your comparing it to another phone and the iPhone is getting 4 bars and the other phone only 2, you would assume that the iPhone has a better radio/antenna design.

So did they just get caught with their hand in the cookie jar and were trying to fake it and now realize that was a mistake or what?
the worrying thing about this of course is is that the signal will remain just as bad ! just we will see more realistic lower bars ! how does this help people experiencing dropped calls ....
I agree, there are several issues that just can't be "fixed" instantly and I think apple will do what they can but the point being with the quantity they have produced even if they had a solution the time to make and implement it would be too costly and take too long. Seeing as iPhone 5 will be out in less than a year... They will change the bar meter to make most happy and you can be sure iPhone5 will have some type of modified antenna setup.
Last edited:
I get 5 bars most always - except in my Mom's house 3 miles away. Then the bars drop but so does her phone (she has a Samsung by ATT).
I have good reception mostly everywhere I go.
I tested my new phone without the case I bought and held it tightly on the left hand side, and nothing happened at all.

My friend who lives 1/2 mile away who has a new iphone 4 has bars dropping all the time. So, I guess the problem isn't a problem? how is it that all phones bars are different? Confusing......
Thats all well and good, but a lot depends on where and when you purchased your phone. If you purchased (Pre-ordered) on the 15th of June, you have until the 15th of July to return your product. Some places go by the order date and not the ship or recieved date unfortunatly.

For the rest of us that love and enjoy our new iP4's its all good.