Apple has sold a huge number of iPhone 4s but antenna issues resulting from the new design marred the launch. Yes, it was quickly discovered that hands wrapped around the antenna break on the left side of the device would quickly kill the cellular reception. However, it seems a Danish professor had foretold that the new antenna would present a problem before the iPhone even came out.
On June 10 -- two weeks before customers got their hands on the iPhone 4 antenna and saw a sharp drop in reception -- Professor Gert Frølund Pedersen, an antenna expert over at Denmark's Aalborg University, expressed his concern over the new design aimed at improving signal for iPhone 4 users. Speaking to comon.dk, Pedersen contested Steve Jobs' claim that this had 'never been done before' and predicted that aside from being old hat, the innovation might even cause problems.
"The actual circuit board works as a part of the antenna and the metal frame around the coupler signal into it. But it means that the user can not avoid interfering antenna system with its touch," ComON quotes Gert Frølund Pedersen as saying (Google translation via Slashdot).
"But the human tissue will in any event, have an inhibitory effect on the antenna. Touch means that a larger portion of the antenna energy turns into heat and lost. Thus becomes less efficient antenna to send and receive radio signals," he continued.
ComON goes on to suggest that the reason Steve had problems connecting to WiFi during the iPhone 4 keynote was because of the antenna issue. Pedersen says that there were so many other factors, it's not possible to arrive at such a conclusion, but he did concede the antenna may have contributed to the problem. The Professor suggests the best solution would be to add a second antenna, allowing for a back up, should one be covered.
Apple has yet to comment on Pedersen's comments to ComON.