Well, it appears we now have evidence that the iPhone 4 “death grip” is not completely software related. Based on the evidence provided in the video above, it is safe to say – we have a very real problem on our hands (pun intended) which no amount of software updates can fix.
Erica Sadun of TUAW wrote an application which directly measured signal strength on the iPhone 4. As shown in the video, once she gripped the phone, the signal strength quickly degraded to essentially nothing. This problem will arise most commonly in areas with poor signal strength, which unfortunately with AT&T is many places. However, in places with good signal strength, the problem is non-existant (as I’ve pointed out in my iPhone 4 review).
The Internet has been flooded by stories of the iPhone 4 having a reception problem when one holds the phone with their hand covering the antennas in the lower quadrant. There are hundreds of videos and articles showing people gripping the phone, which covers the antennas, and the AT&T bars slowly go down and calls being dropped. The way the grip the iPhone is a normal grip, although you have to squeeze a bit to see the problem. People are obviously upset at this issue and Apple has acknowledged it, by saying putting a case on the phone will solve the immediate problem. That is just what case companies wanted to hear.
The iPhone case market has been a jackpot ever since the first iPhone came out in 2007. With people spending $500-600 on their new investment, they obviously wanted to protect their phones. In came the market of cases. Companies had been making cases before the iPhone for other phones, laptops, and mp3 players/ iPods. These cases did exactly what they were meant to do, which is protect your device and not much else. These cases slowly evolved, and the market boom became what it is today. There are hundreds of case manufacturers, most specialize in Apple products, and the cases today bring nifty features and amazing designs that will let your phone stand out in the crowd as well as add some extra features.