A report in a British tabloid led to rumours this weekend that Apple's latest smartphone might be recalled. The Daily Mail under the headline 'Apple iPhone 4 may be recalled, says Steve Jobs' ran a story based on a Twitter response apparently from Apple's CEO Steve Jobs.
The Tweet: "We may have to recall the new iPhone. This I did not expect," proved fake, and was clearly fake to many who first read it. The Twitter bio next to the Tweet actually reads: "I don't care what you think of me. You care what I think of you. Of course this is a parody account."
While the Daily Mail quickly removed the story from online, the problem of poor reception is real for many iPhone 4 users.
Shortly after the iPhone 4 went on sale last week, some customers reported poor signal strength and limited reception, due to two antennas being built into the band that wraps around the new iPhone. Apple responded suggesting good reception is dependent on how you actually hold the iPhone 4.
The real Steve Jobs emailed Engadget to tell one unhappy customer: "Just avoid holding it that way."
Apple spokesperson Nat Harrison added: "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."
Using a case should also help improve reception as Positronic_Matrix, posting on Reddit suggests: "The technical explanation for the variation in signal strength found when closing the iPhone's case gaps with one's fingers is, that the antennas are being "loaded". The loading from fingers, a material with a high relative permittivity of ~50 at 2 GHz, changes the input impedance and resonant frequency of the antenna resulting in loss."
"The best solution," adds Positronic_Matrix. "Is to not touch the antennas at the gap (Steve is right) or to buy a phone cover that keeps your high-permittivity sausages away from the RF sensitive areas. Apple made the trade off for you and in my opinion it is a novel and good one, provided it can survive the bad PR generated by the griping gap grippers."
Apple sells a range of iPhone 4 Bumper cases made from rubber and moulded plastic in a choice of colours, although at £25, its an additional signifiant cost, many may have to invest in, to ensure good reception.