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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

June 24, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Uh-oh: A few Apple iPhone 4 problems reported (UPDATED)

Don’t tell the thousands of people who lined up at Apple stores around the world to buy the iPhone 4 today – or the 14 (!) Associated Press reporters covering the story – but a few early glitches with the device are being reported.

One of the top searches today on Google is for “iPhone 4” problems, displacing the Droid X that appeared on Google’s hot list yesterday. But who knows, maybe Google, Microsoft, HTC, Nokia and RIM assigned hundreds of thousands of employees to spend today Googling that term.

The issues include a yellowing of part of the display that may be the result of a glue used in its assembly, according to the word surfacing on AppleInsider.com. New Jersey Twitterer Jasmine LeChelle said the “screens have jaundice.” That sounds like something that can be sorted out in the factory and addressed with warranty coverage; AppleInsider.com called it a “temporary” problem.

Another – acknowledged by Apple after spreading on Web comment threads – is a possible hardware design issue that reduces wireless signals when a user’s hand touches the bottom-left side of the phone. Some are saying this degrades the signal by interfering with the antenna built into its metal frame. MacRumors.com posted a users’ YouTube video demonstrating the signal drop and how it can be remedied with an add-on plastic case:

UPDATE: Apple spokesman Steve Dowling acknowledged the antenna issue, telling the New York Times that it can be an issue with any cell phone. An excerpt:

“Gripping any phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, depending on the placement of the antennas,” Mr. Dowling said. “This is a fact of life for every wireless phone.”

Dowling declined to say whether Apple experienced the issue during testing of the phone and suggested that users not hold the phone in a way that covers both sides of a small black strip on the lower left side. Alternatively, he said, they could use one of many available cases.

Comments | More in | Topics: Apple, apple, iPhone

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