The iPhone 4 antenna band ‘death grip’ issue has taken the blogosphere by storm. It’s being spoken of almost everywhere you can find technology being discussed. The reasons being that people expect a near perfect level of quality in Apple products, but let’s face it, they’re humans. Another reason is the reply Steve Jobs gave on the issue. Instead of admitting that there’s a problem, he had the guts to say that people aren’t holding the phone correctly, even though he was holding it that way himself during the announcement at WWDC10.
The story behind the death grip is that if you hold the iPhone 4 in a way that the bottom left side of the antenna band is covered, the reception takes a sudden dip as evident from fewer signal bars. Not a lot of people have reported this issue, but sites like Gizmodo made sure that it seemed huge. Right after the death grip issue with iPhone 4, people came out and spoke how Nexus One and the iPhone 3GS suffer from this as well.
After finding out that the iPhone 3GS suffers too, specially after iOS 4 upgrade, the problems seems to lie in the OS which doesn’t report the signal strength correctly. To solve this issue to some extent, a fix is in the works by Apple. iOS 4.01 might be released on Monday as a fix, according to Apple Insider
Readers report that Apple’s tech support forums originally confirmed that a iOS 4.0.1 software fix addressing the issue would ship early next week (as early as Monday), before the comments were subsequently taken down along with all the other related discussion about the matter.
The fix is expected to address a issue in iOS 4 related to radio frequency calibration of the baseband. Readers who saw the original forum discussions say that the issue is believed to occur when switching frequencies; because the lag is allegedly not calibrated correctly, it results in the device reporting “no service” rather than switching to the frequency with the best signal to noise ratio.
While this is good news for those facing this issue, we suggest that users who jailbroke and unlocked their iPhones stay away from the update, if made available on Monday, until it has been cleared by the jailbreaking community. Any upgraded to the baseband could mean you getting locked out of your iPhone.