Video: iPhone 4 “Antennagate” in Canada

Ian Hardy

July 30, 2010 2:06pm


I got hold of a couple iPhone 4’s today, one we are giving away and the other I’m adding to my collection of devices. There’s been much talk about the iPhone 4 “Antennagate” issue and when users grip the phone a certain way your signal drops and reception is lost. Apple came forward and acknowledged the problem, offered customers free Bumpers and cases to temporary fix the issue. Some people have stated that the reception issue is a “country issue“… but I wanted to experience it first hand for myself. Check the video after the break

(Realistically you’re honestly not going to grip the phone this hard but it’s good to see what happens)

Update: So I’ve been using the iPhone 4 all day, battery life is decent so far. It’s still apparent that the reception problem exists but the antenna problem is not a big deal at all. I can understand how it was blown way out of proportion. I’m getting good reception, no dropped calls and people can clearly hear me. Screen is incredibly impressive.

  • Jason

    Fucking unacceptable. And these i****s still go out and buy this phone.

  • Andrew

    Why anyone would deliberately buy something that’s broken is inconceivable to me…

  • Saif

    Just registered… I hope I win! :D

  • Lexcyn

    LOL and there were still lineups. Like I said in a previous comment … sheeeeep bahhhhhh.

    I would NEVER pay $ for that.

  • dutchcanuck

    Ok…that confirms it, no iphone 4 for me. Now its a matter of choosing between the Samsung Galaxy S on Bell or the HTC Desire on Telus.

  • Ray Nicolini

    can’t wait for the iPhone 4 Contest, I went to 2 Best Buys in Aurora and Newmarket and both locations only received 1 iphone per store, totally unacceptable.

  • xaueious

    And this was supposed to be a phone?

  • JK

    I’m keeping my BB, but I won’t decline a free iPhone4 :p…I might get an iPad and share the data with my BB.

  • J.B.

    LOL @ everyone who thought this was just a country problem and it was AT&Ts fault in the States. I agree, this is completely unacceptable for smartphones now-a-days. Especially with the iPhone and all the media and hype around iPhones over every other companys phones, this is pretty sad.

    Yet, what I seen today…Upwards of 300-350 people in Vancouver waiting in line to either sign their 3yr life away on a phone that is essentially “broken” or people who spent over $650 and will basically be going to Rogers, Bell, Virgin or Fido, because if you get an iPhone 4 unlocked and go to Telus, your even more of a dummy then the people who designed the phone. (Telus = A JOKE)

  • RileyFreeman

    Some of you know me from my extensive leak and post history on jock and themobileninjas. I have an iPhone 4. I couldn’t drop a call no matter how much I cover it up or squeeze it.

    Let’s all stop overreacting. Our networks are not shitty like at&t

  • Stephen

    I’m not going to pretend to know how the iPhone 4 antenna works, but Europe uses different 3G bands so perhaps they aren’t as severely affected by the grip as 850/1900 are this side of the ocean, explaining the Norwegian results.

  • Ryan Waddell

    So, what happens if you just put your finger across the antenna on the bottom? Because that looks like a ridiculously uncomfortable way to hold your phone. If you just hold it like a normal person, does the signal still disappear?

  • James Lui

    Mmm, I think to put the issue to complete rest, if you just put your finger on that black gap on the left side and repeat the experiment and still get the same result, then it will be definitively Apple’s design flaw.

  • Ryan Waddell

    Oh – and to the person trying to choose between the Desire and the Galaxy S? NO QUESTION – Galaxy S beats the pants off the Desire.

  • Cadet

    apple will say… it’s canada’s problem XD

  • Mike

    I bought one this morning and tried to get the antenna signal to drop. I can only get it to drop one bar when holding it like a gorilla for a few minutes. Who even holds their phone like that? I don’t see this being much of an issue for me. If you use the phone for alot of voice I could see the potential for an issue. For me I mostly use my smart phones to text and use for browsing and media so it should be fine for my needs.

    I also have a nexus one and will be holding onto it as well.

  • JonnyP

    Update to 4.0.1 and then post an updated video… I don’t think you’ll see the dramatic drop seen here…

  • a

    I trust Consumer Reports.

  • shawnellsworth

    I’ve heard so much about this issue. Nice to see it for myself in your demo. I notice your phone is Bell, I’ll assume the issue has been recreated with Rogers?

    I’m looking forward to the day when the iPod gets the phone part right! Totally unacceptable engineering, but iPhone is still the only choice for me for too many reasons.

  • Don

    Apple didn’t admit to anything. They totally ignored that specific issue.

  • CD

    I’m going to wait until after September 30 to see if there is a fix for me to buy this phone. I am most likely going to buy this phone outright and I will not buy a phone with this type of issue. I don’t understand how people can be buying this phone at this point in time or signing 3 years of their life away for it.

  • Nick

    I still see mixed reports about the existence of this problem. Forget that for a moment though. Man, that screen looks like it’s printed on paper. I gotta say I love that part of it at least.

  • Jordan

    I don’t feel sorry for anyone who bought this phone. How did you not see this coming?

  • Harry

    do you people( iphone basher) not understands that it’s not an “issue” ANYTHING with an antenna will drop signal when it comes in contact with human body, please DO NOT CALL ME AN APPLE FANBOY I am anything but…. however LOGIC dictates my previous comment.

  • Mike

    Sure I like to win a 4g iphone!!!

  • Larry

    I got an iPhone4 from Bell at WEM,Just walking by the bouth at 10:45am got second last one,Working better in WEM than my Rogers 3Gs.Stayed on 5floor WEM hotel only got 3 bars on Rogers most times flat line.

  • rm

    do a drop test!!

  • Jonathan

    @Mike – You obviously don’t understand the dB -> “bars” conversion. You only lost one bar, probably because you are very near a tower at the moment. Move farther away, and that 20dB signal loss is considerably more dear.

  • Ned

    I’m not planning to use it without a case, so who cares?

  • Arman B

    i dont have the issues with the death grip,
    im so happy ;D
    and i got sucha good deal with my iPhone,
    32BG for 200
    and free case and i still get another one from apple.
    50$ a month
    6 GB Data
    300 minuites
    unlimited text
    6 months unlited local calling
    weekends and evening after 6 free

    im happy with my iPhone .

  • Ej

    I like how atleast half the people bashing the antennae issue have never actually experienced it themselves. All they are doing is exaggerating an issue they saw on giz or some youtube clip and accept that as gospel… and then call iPhone fans sheep for not questioning their reasoning and just accepting the iPhone4.

    Sheep pointing out sheep. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again Apple vs. Non-apple, who gives a crap. Buy the phone you want and spend less time worrying about what everyone else does, seriously it’s not grade school.

  • Dave

    Happy with my Bold 9700 but wouldn’t be too upset to win the Iphone 4.

  • Mike

    After reading comments I can’t believe how dumb some of you are, seriously try holding your current phone like a gorilla and see what happens, there is pretty much nothing I can do to my phone to make it lose signal, when I grip it REALLY TIGHT I lost one bar, when repeating this test with my HTC, I lost 3 bars! This is just what the US government did to Toyota, blew everything out of proportion. Simply because GOOGLE and a bunch of other company benefit from blowing this issue out of proportion, they will do it! Google is also one of the largest sources for information in the world, so if you think this isn’t being blown out of proportion, just don’t get one, shut up and be happy with your crappy android.

  • crismejia

    I was going to upgrade to the iPhone4 but with it sold out most places and the signal issue, I’ve opted for a 9700 Bold to upgrade from 8900 Curve.

  • Sheeple

    @Mike

    Yeah, because when you’re looking for an honest review of crippling problem for a certain device, you should go to the manufacturer’s website. FAIL

  • Justin Luey

    The antenna issue is completely over blown. You basically have to squeeze it on purpose, it’s never going to happen with regular use. It’s also completely dependent on the carrier and signal strength. I tried the “death grip” on four iPhone 4s today, and couldn’t reproduce the problem. All of them were on Rogers 3G network. I tried it in different parts of town, and even in my office where I only get two bars of signal, and couldn’t make it happen.

  • Chord Haase

    I still will be getting one, free bumper case here I come!

  • Orwellion

    I should would love this phone.

  • Ed Yong

    It is still a cool phone. I hold it on my right hand, no issues for me.

  • Iphone4user

    Picked up the iphone 4 today from Rogers. Tried to duplicate the antenna issue with the death grip and and just a finger over the antenna area and NOTHING happened. My phone works fine.

  • najib

    i dont believe that, If you guys hold any phone like that for a while, it will lose the network, not only the iphone. people are just making these issues.

  • TY

    Personally I never hold my phone like this. I also held one at the Telus showroom at the Telus Tower Bldg near the AirCanada Centre in downtown Toronto, grip it like what he did in this video, and it just dropped 1 bar after full 60sec. And hey, if you walk and talk on the street, dropping 1 bar or 2 is pretty normal and you won’t notice coz you’re talking not looking at bars. So I think it is ok with me.

  • yathink

    If you decide to buy anything that’s electronic when it first comes out, you run the risk of getting a product that still has some kinks in it. You can beta test the crap out of it but when it’s released to the massed you’re bound to find some flaws. If you want the iphone that bad then be prepared to endure some problems. It’s the same with any phone or gizmo. I’ve had new blackberries that are just released and they sucked just the same. Months later and the problems are corrected, the same phone gives virtually no problems. I want to hear that apple has fixed the program completely before they get my business. Blackberry, I’d like the 9800 but make sure if you have an antenna problem that you fix it before releasing. Caveat emptor.

  • Bigdad

    I just tested my friend’s iphone 4. It doesn’t matter how I hold it or squeeze it even a few minutes long. Signal doesn’t drop a bit….and even we were streaming youtube HQ and apple movie trailers and no delay….
    And I am thinking there are many people in the apple store doing the same death grip testing at the same time on the demos…It would looks funny…

  • Don Alberto

    I was at the Apple Store at Yorkdale today. Check this out:

    My iPhone 4 had no service inside the store, my BB 9700 had 3-4 bars and I was talking on the phone. Both devices on Rogers, 1 personal, 1 work.

    After I came out of the store, it took about 2 minutes for it to pickup network. It’s a gorgeous phone regardless, but only if it’s a second phone for someone.

  • miker_74

    My GF got the iPhone 4 yesterday with TELUS and I tried to recreate the antennagate issue with no avail… I guess perhaps the signal is too strong in Edmonton?

  • Vampiro

    im so happy with my pre.

    sorry for all my trendy friends, i know you gotta have an iphone to feel like a real man or woman.

    truth is this phone is a joke.

    still cant do what my pre can.

  • cody

    I think if you don’t hold on to it like a r****d when talking on it it’s not noticeable anyhow. It’s just a flaw that is overly stressed and exposed.

  • Tyler

    Hm

  • Smart

    If anybody can help me, would be much appreciated, when I take a picture with flash on, I get a dark image, I am not using any case, I tried reseting 2 times but it is still the same, anybody has experience this? Any fix?

  • Andrew

    @Smart…I saw that as well with a demo phone…sounds like a bug in 4.0.1 O/S maybe?

  • Mark Skerritt

    Don’t forget this is only a problem in weak signal areas. If you are not already in the -100dBm area then the problem shouldn’t show up. I would like to know if rogers/bell/telus have stronger node transmitters than att, because if they did then that would explain the problem in the USA, but they are probably the same.

  • K

    Lulz Bell can only be on 3G though.

  • Ryan Waddell

    It’s good to see people taking this debate seriously, and downvoting all the pro-iPhone comments regardless of whether or not they are junk comments.

  • Ryan Waddell

    Interestingly, I finally had a chance to try to “antennagate” my sister’s iPhone 4 on Rogers. She uses it with a case, so it doesn’t matter to her… But just bridging the antenna in the bottom left corner with my index finger, I was able to make the signal drop from full down to 2 bars. Wasn’t able to kill it completely though.

  • ben

    i love how incredibly anti iphone this site is.

    -sarcasm

    all you do is bash this phone. have you used it? i dont think so. if you browse the web a little you will see that yes some people have the whole reception issue but there are a few times more people who have no issues AT ALL.

    this phone has an amazing screen, great features and looks awesome.