December 4, 2022
Apple Missed iPhone 4 Reception Issues Due to Cleanliness? [Easy Fix]

Apple Missed iPhone 4 Reception Issues Due to Cleanliness? [Easy Fix]

Posted July 6, 2010 at 4:34pm by iClarified · 23945 views
A post-doctoral biochemistry fellow at a leading American university has told Wired that Apple likely missed the iPhone 4's reception issues due to cleanliness.

Take a look at this email sent to Steve Jobs and a couple other Apple employees. The biochemist suggests that when engineers washed their hands before touching devices they stripped off their natural hand electrolytes and therefore didn't experience the reception issues now widely reported.

Apparently Apple can fix these issues at minimal cost by placing an electrically insulating organic hydrophobic layer atop the bare metal. This could even be performed at the Apple Store or via a simple self application kit sent to customers.

Subject: HowToFix for minimal cost — hydrophobic organic thin film layer


In truth, Apple’s explanation for iPhone 4 signal reception problem is inaccurate at best and disingenuous at worst. iPhone users are in some of the hottest and most humid parts of the country this summer and have salty, damp hands especially at events such as baseball games, barbecues, or other outdoor activities. having bare metal antennae purposely handled will absolutely short the signal. This problem will be difficult to reproduce in Apple’s labs because the engineers are required to wash their hands before touching devices, which also strips off the natural hand electrolytes that are ever-present in the field on a hot day.

Anyway, the solution is not a redesign of the phone, but rather an electrically insulating organic hydrophobic layer atop the bare metal. a variety of plastics will work, such as polyethers, polystyrenes, or nylons. you could even use the plastic labels ever-present on aluminum soda cans, which likewise have an electrically insulating effect when holding said cans. these plastic coatings can be very very thin films which do not ruin the aesthetics of the device, and would require a minimal change of your production line. More importantly, this coating in no way affects the ability to recycle the aluminum — the organic thin film layer will burn away cleanly during the aluminum remelt process. Phones that have already shipped could easily be coated with this new layer at any Apple retail store or with a simple kit you could send to your customers.

In summary, this is a problem of electrochemistry, and certainly NOT a problem of software design, nor one that can possibly be solved by a software update.

Apple needs to hire some chemists.

Best regards,

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Apple Missed iPhone 4 Reception Issues Due to Cleanliness? [Easy Fix]
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SteveMagin - July 30, 2010 at 10:22am
I can understand why Apple engineers may wear gloves, as the email suggests but I'm not buying the whole electrolyte angle. Check out this youtube video showing an iphone 4 drop 4 bars within seconds; after it had been coated with a third party thin surface protector. I think this theory is well and truely busted! Its more a pressure related issue with the hands on the anntena, as mentioned in other posts. I can't help but think Apple knew about this well before retail release. But hey didn't stop me from buying one!
yves - July 7, 2010 at 5:24am
I have an Iphone 4, I do cook, do many things which get my hands ditry and I've never experienced any losse signal issues till now. A friend of mine aalso has an iphone4 and also no issue could it be a fabrication issue
Mike - July 6, 2010 at 11:12pm
Do you even have the iPhone 4? The issue isn't that u can block the signal with your entire hand. The problem is that one finger lightly covering the black strip between antennas causes the phone to lose all signal. This is what the shielding is for.
jazze - July 6, 2010 at 6:40pm
i think its a good idea to coat it and i think the best job can be done by colorware they coat the phones and do a good job without making it bulky... here is the link
Tom - July 6, 2010 at 6:10pm
It wouldn't surprize me if Apple engineers had to wear gloves whilst in their labs. We also know from the Iphone 4 leak earlier this year that the Iphone 4's being tested in the field were being used within cases to make them look like Iphone 3gs, so it's very likely that this is something that was completely missed in the testing stage. I too, doubt the ability of a software update to fix this issue. It really does look like a bit of poor design. So Mr. PhD, where can I pick up some of this organic stuff eh?
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