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Steve Jobs: Just Don't Hold the iPhone 4 That Way

As a legion of new iPhone 4 owners found out yesterday, the seemingly ingenious steel band antennae design turned out to be one glaring drawback in terms of reception.

Specifically, hands wrapped around the antenna break on the left side of the device would quickly kill the cellular reception.

Many worried iPhone 4 consumers emailed Steve Jobs directly about the issue, and the Apple CEO has replied with various answers. One of the most dissatisfying is the following exchange between Steve Jobs and new iPhone 4 owner Rory Sinclair, as detailed on his blog.

Hi Steve,_____

After a few other "Non issue. Just avoid holding it in that way" responses, Steve Jobs (and the rest of Apple support) arrived at the following official 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.

Such attitude only adds fuel to the fire of speculation that Apple's move to introduce its own "bumper" cases was just an admission of the problem and a chance at the resulting cash grab.

It's interesting to note that some people on YouTube have demonstrated that holding the iPhone 3G and 3GS in the same manner results in a similar drop in signal, but thus far we haven't been able to reproduce the same thing on our own units.

One more thing. This image hit reddit, perhaps mocking the discontinuity of Apple's statements and its adverts.