Verizon iPhone 4 Suffers From Antenna Death Grip

Antennagate could be coming to a Verizon Wireless location near you. Turns out when Apple said any changes to the Verizon iPhone 4 antenna were simply to accommodate the CDMA network, they meant it. Some were hopeful that visible changes in the external antenna design would improve reception problems when the phone is gripped in specific ways.

apple iphone 4 verizon wireless CDMA

Now that the Verizon iPhone has made its way into the hands of consumers there are reports of the same reception issues that AT&T customers experienced. Holding the iPhone in specific ways that cover the sides of the device cause a drop in signal strength due to the external design of the antenna.

Next Generation iPhone 5 Parts Show Antenna Redesign

Purported next generation iPhone 5 parts have been revealed by two independent smartphone repair outfits. This unreleased iPhone features four antenna separation gaps in the silver frame, one at each corner of the device. In contrast, the iPhone 4 only has three of these black lines.

apple iphone 5 verizon new antenna design antennagate

Although these changes to the iPhone frame are likely a redesign of the antenna, it's not clear if the changes are to accommodate the Verizon Wireless LTE network or simply to reduce the attenuation issues experienced by some users. Apple decided to distribute free cases to iPhone 4 owners last year due to complaints that the iPhone 4 dropped calls when held a certain way.

Apple Offering Free iPhone 4 Bumper Cases After Sep. 30

Apple's free iPhone 4 case program and app may have smoothed over any lingering doubts over the new antenna design with consumers. Consumer Reports, however still has a bone to pick with Apple over the end of the program, scheduled for September 30. Starting in October, Apple will no longer offer third-party cases to iPhone 4 users.

apple iphone 4 free bumper case program

The company will continue to offer free Apple Bumper cases, but only to those customers who contact AppleCare support with antenna problems. Those purchasing an iPhone 4 by September 30 will still have 30 days to claim their free case under the original program using the iPhone 4 Case Program app.

China Unicom to Launch iPhone 4 With Free Cases

Chinese news source Caixin reports that China Unicom will indeed offer the iPhone 4 for sale on September 16. This is Apple's second iPhone release in China in under a year. October of 2009 saw the launch of a special iPhone 3GS model that shipped without Wi-Fi functionality due to Chinese regulations. The iPhone 4 slated for China Unicom's network this fall is said to have Wi-Fi.

apple iphone china unicom release date

Grey market iPhones are popular in China, with millions of units in operation. China Unicom allows users with any iPhone that supports its network to purchase data plans. The lack of Wi-Fi and high prices may have kept iPhone 3GS sales lower than expected. iPhones imported from other countries can sell for half the price.

New Antenna Coming to White iPhone 4 in October?

Apple fans are still waiting for a white iPhone 4 release date as Apple claims to have encountered manufacturing difficulties. The device was delayed twice, even after Steve Jobs announced white iPhone 4 availability would come by the end of this month. It could be that the press conference about the iPhone 4 antenna has more to do with the white iPhone delay than the painting process.

apple iphone 4 white pre order

Apple is offering iPhone 4 owners a free case to alleviate antenna reception problems until September 30. Speculation is now rampant that the company will use this time and the already long white iPhone 4 delay to implement improvements to the antenna design. A change would make it unnecessary to offer free iPhone cases to owners of the white model, especially if the white iPhone 4 release is delayed until October 1st.


Subscribe to RSS - Antennagate