Feeds

Jobs tells iPhone users to get a grip

Version 4 not suited to use of opposable thumb

The Power of One Infographic

iPhone users having reception problems are just holding the phone wrong, according to Apple, which have released an official fingering guide for those who want to be able to make calls.

The problem is those pesky users who insist on wrapping their fingers around the phone, specifically touching the side at the bottom left corner - doing so will significantly affect reception.

Tech blog Engadget (which Cupertino is still talking to) got the skinny in an email from the company explaining that all mobile phones have the same problem:

"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 many available cases."

So it's not a design problem, or a software problem, it's an opposable-thumb problem – which makes it the customer's fault.

The sinister iPhone user who didn't get their left hand strapped up properly as a child might have less of a problem as their palm (rather than fingers) will be touching the offending area. But it mainly seems to come down to hand size, with the larger span finding an iPhone harder to use (but, if rumour is to be believed, they'll have less need for an iPhone in the first place).

Hands and bodies have always affected mobile signal strength – holding a phone to your ear changes the radio pattern considerably, and the irritating habit of radio particles to act like waves makes things unnecessarily complicated. But that is where the skill and experience of the handset designer comes in, as well as testing in salt mines and suchlike to minimise the problem.

Apple might correctly point out that every phone suffers from this problem to a greater or lesser degree, but the extent to which it affects their new handset is going to be unacceptable to a lot of people, and being told they're holding it wrong isn't going to placate anyone. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
NEW Raspberry Pi B+, NOW with - count them - FOUR USB ports
Composite vid socket binned as GPIO sprouts new pins
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.