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Having iPhone 4 reception issues? You’re holding it wrong

If you’re one of the lucky 16,000 people in the UK who managed to get their hands on an iPhone 4 yesterday, then you might be finding you’re having issues with the reception – particularly if you’re left-handed.

When you hold the handset in your left hand you cover too much of the stainless steel band around the antenna and reception drops, sometimes dramatically. It’s not something that everyone is having issues with (we didn’t find it to be a problem as we gave our handset its first walk-through – using Vodafone, if you’re interested), but Apple has responded with the following statement:

“Gripping any mobile 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 iPhone 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 the many available cases.”

We’re sure by ‘one of the many available cases’ what Apple really means is its own ‘bumper’ range; how convenient. It’s almost as if they knew you would need such a thing. Which begs the question, why aren’t they giving them away with the handset if the phone struggles to fulfil its titular task without one?

Of course, you could always hold the phone differently, as Steve Jobs suggested to one user who emailed him to complain. Of course it’s us at fault, not the phone. Silly us.

[via The Telegraph]

Update: Never one to stay quiet, Stevie-J has responded to another emailer to say “There is no reception issue. Stay tuned.” Does this hint at an impending fix? AppleInsider reckons so, noting the iPhone 3GS’ similar issues when upgraded to iOS 4 so a software update my relieve GripGate hysteria.

Apple’s tech support forums had also confirmed a software update to sort the issue out, to be released early this week – although they’ve removed any reference to this fix from the site so we may be waiting a little longer than that, after all. [via TechRadar]