Apple responds to widespread iPhone 4 signal complaints

iPhone 4

Apple has released an official statement in response to complaints over reception issues on the new iPhone 4.

Within hours of the handset going on sale around the world yesterday, customers were complaining of reception falling away seemingly without reason. It soon emerged that gripping the phone on the lower left corner was interfering with the antenna underneath and reducing signal strength.

With irate consumers many of whom queued for hours to be among the first to get their hands on the new iPhone continuing to make their frustrations known, Apple issued a statement addressing their concerns.

However, the company's advice to simply hold the phone in a different way or buy a case for it will have done little to stem the tide of negative sentiment.

"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," Apple's statement read.

"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."

The problem is a particular issue for left-handed users, for whom the natural way of holding the phone would automatically cover the sensitive area.

Suggestions that users should simply invest in a case to solve the problem will be seen by many as Apple loading on extra costs to an already expensive device especially when Apple's range of bumpers rubber strips that clip over the frame of the iPhone only go on sale next month.

Several sources suggested Apple might have missed the issue because it would probably have field-tested the iPhone 4 inside a iPhone 3GS "lookalike" case, which locates the antenna elsewhere.