Steve Jobs on iPhone 4 antenna issue: 'You're doing it wrong'

Steve Jobs stepped into the antenna issue fray today.  If you aren’t yet familiar, if you hald the iPhone 4 a certain way, the antena signal degrades.  

After 24 hours with my device, it is easily reproducible and actually does affect call quality, at least in my case.  But Jobs isn’t worried according to this email chain.  In fact, if you hold your device in such a way as to make the signal go down, you are clearly doing it wrong:

Hi Steve,?????

So, um, just got my iPhone 4. Its lovely and all, but this ‘bridge the two antennae to kill your reception’ thing seems to be a bit serious. If I bridge them with my hand or with a piece of metal the bars slowly drop to ‘Searching…’ and then ‘No Service’.

Its kind of a worry. Is it possible this is a design flaw?


– Rory Sinclair

His reply:

Nope. Just don’t hold it that way.

Rory continued:

I texted someone from the phone and noticed reception dropping as I texted, down to ‘No Service’, so I emailed again:

Actually, its not calls that concern me, but i’ve just been writing a text and its very natural for me as a right-handed person to hold it that way, with the part of my hand at the base of my thumb covering the point the antennae meet, and it kills the reception each time.

I mean, pretty much as soon as i move my hand it comes back, but its pretty crazy… is this the reason Bumpers exist?

 – Rory 

Another one-liner is my prize:
Just don’t hold it that way then.
Hmm.. I persevere:
Well, yeah, thats what i’ll do, but you have to admit thats a workaround, yeah? I mean, normally there aren’t limits to how you can hold a phone. 

I seriously dig the phone, its totally amazing, but I think this is what many would call a design flaw. 

– Rory 

His last reply:


Sure there are – every phone has these areas of sensitivity, depending on the location of the antenna. Some phones even ship with labels warning customers to not cover certain areas with their hands.


Author Ad Placeholder
Will only appear on redesign env.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel