Seow Tein Hee's Blog

Seow Tein Hee male Former Associate Editor

Attuned to the latest mobile technology and news, Tein Hee is always on the lookout for innovation and creativity in the mobile industry.

The iPhone 4 Reception

You've heard it all - Apple's iPhone 4 is suffering from a bout of negative publicity from its poor reception when users hold and block the antenna. In fact, as we speak, a load of class-action suits have been filed against Apple and its partner service provider, AT&T, over this issue.

But everything's happening over at the States. Does this translate to similar issues when we do get the iPhone 4 here? During a recent conversation with a fellow tech writer, we came to the conclusion that we should have some faith in our local service providers. After all, AT&T is notorious for its weak coverage in the states, as confirmed by our colleagues who attended CES 2010 and had to live with constant dropped calls on AT&T networks. Back home, on the sunny island of Singapore, we do enjoy slightly better coverage from the three service providers here, what with the number of base stations and the relatively small area of coverage here.

Mobile devices will always face the same problem - signal degradation when our hands inadvertently blocks the antenna. Granted, Apple should have given more thought to the placement of its antenna to reduce as much signal loss as possible, but you can't please everyone. At the end of the day, a phone needs to be a phone, and have a feasibly strong signal anytime and anywhere. Meanwhile, as Apple deals with this current problem, be amused at some of the swipes its competitors are taking. Such as the recent blog post by Nokia, and Verizon's recent advertisement for its upcoming Motorola Droid X.

So, if you really want to know how the iPhone 4 fares when it reaches our shores, keep your eyes peeled. We have crossed into the month of July, and who knows, maybe two weeks from now, you'll see the first iPhone 4 here.

Edit: As pointed out by our reader, Eric Ong, the iPhone 4 antenna issue is due to "our hand shorting the two EXTERNAL exposed non-insulated antennae." I blame my brain for laying dormant after a week of mosquito feeding during the recent low-key reservist.

All Reponses

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I've been testing my iPhone 4 in Singapore for the antennagate issue and so far, the signals only drop when I'm in door; but they do not drop to the point that I will have no service.

When I'm outdoors, everything seems to be working just fine.

For more information, visit my site @ www.iphonecore.blogspot.com


I am waiting with bated breath for your review of it now that it's hit our shores =) Since I am OS/Company neutral, perhaps you might like to do a comparison review of the iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy S and HTC Desire. Two more months before 11 months of my contract is up for upgrading, I still haven't decided which to go for. =)


I am waiting with bated breath for your review of it now that it's hit our shores =) Since I am OS/Company neutral, perhaps you might like to do a comparison review of the iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy S and HTC Desire. Two more months before 11 months of my contract is up for upgrading, I still haven't decided which to go for. =)


The root of the antenna problem is not so much as our body grounding the signal (which is the problem for all phones), but our palm bridging the 2 antennas together (which affects only the iPhone 4). Those who hold their phones on their left hands will be affected more.


Why couldn't the exposed antenna be placed inside the casing ? that way your hands can't short it out.


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