Apple could be on the cusp of bringing an abrupt end to the ongoing signal strength scandal that has dominated much of the coverage of the iPhone 4.
Almost immediately after the launch of the device last Thursday complaints started to emerge claming the phone would drop signal if held in a way that bridged the wi-fi and 3G elements of the antenna built into the side of the phone.
Apple’s immediate response was, remarkably, to tell users that they were holding the phone incorrectly. It also recommended the purchase of its own £20 rubber bumper that seems to eliminate the issue.
However, over the weekend talk has turned to a possible software fix for the issue. Holding a mobile phone will always affect its signal strength. The degree of the effect depends on the user and how they are holding the phone. It is now being widely speculated that the problem may in fact lie in the way the phone calculates the strength of the signal it is receiving and displays this on screen.
This would certainly support the observation that older iPhone 3G and 3GS handsets also appear to demonstrate the problem when upgraded to iOS4, and the general consensus that iPhone 4 users are suffering far fewer dropped calls on the notoriously patchy AT&T network in the US.
Furthermore, be it true or false there’s been plenty of coverage of an email purportedly sent from Apple CEO Steve Jobs to a user claiming that: “There is no reception issue. Stay tuned.”
Claims have already been made that iOS4.1 is already finalised and could be released worldwide as soon as today.