I was scribbling our Britain's Broadband Backlash editorial on Friday, so missed Apple and Steve Jobs' now infamous replies to the increasingly farcical iPhone 4 reception issues. So here's the latest...
According to AppleInsider Apple has responded to frustrated iPhone 4 owners by saying a minor firmware update (iOS4.01) will be released at some point today to rectify the famed 'Death Grip' that sees iPhone 4 (and in some cases 3GS) owners lose signal when held so the gap between the external antennas is bridged on the lower left hand side.
I say "according to" because Apple has since pulled not just the company's response, but the entire forum thread relating to this problem. So it's either erroneous or Apple is keen not to hype (even greater) awareness of the issue.
Of course Steve Jobs only has himself to blame for much of this for a) not testing the handset properly before release and b) writing a jaw droppingly trite response to one concerned owner which stated "Just avoid holding it in that way." Something made even worse by Jobs holding it 'the wrong way during his keynote presentation' combined with subsequent image grabs taken from Apple ads also copying this (see above).
Apple's official response wasn't much better:
"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 Phone 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."
Personally speaking the fix would be good news since it would confirm the fault is solely software related - something I'm not entirely convinced about. Until then left handed phone holders beware, Apple clearly doesn't want your business...
Update: StealthArmour has a rather more elegant idea if the firmware fix doesn't work.
Update 2: Jobs has once more come out with a trite comment in which he declares in yet another email "There is no reception issue. Stay tuned." Let's hope this is a blunt referral to iOS 4.0.1 otherwise he may soon look ever sillier than Microsoft.
Images via Softpedia