Apple has admitted to a widely-reported problem in which millions of iPhone 4 units are likely to lose signal when gripped by the lower left corner, saying there’s nothing unusual about the flaw, illustrated in this video.
In an official statement issued late last night after hundreds of customers reported the flaw, which particularly impacts left-handed users, the company issued the following widely-published statement.
“Gripping any 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 CEO, Steve Jobs also emailed one user to say: “Just avoid holding it that way.”
But with Apple’s own cases costing an additional $29 atop the unit price, customers are likely to complain that the iPhone should have shipped with some protection in the first place, in an echo of the outcry which greeted the iPhone nano in one iteration.
MacRumors points to a support thread for Google’s Nexus One which warned of a similar issue in February.
Apple is expected to have sold up to one million iPhone 4’s yesterday, and had 600,000 of these sold last week.
It is possible Apple missed this problem in testing because prototype units were disguised inside cases designed to make the iPhone 4’s lool like the iPhone 3GS.