iPhone advice from Dr. Jobs

Vaudevillian advice for iPhone 4's dropped calls doesn't stick, but this trick does

So a guy walks into the doctor’s office and says, “It hurts when I do this.” The doctor says, “Well, don’t do that.”

Those of you who reported that your shiny new Apple iPhone 4s were dropping calls whenever you held the phone a certain way probably feel like that patient in the age-old vaudeville skit. Steve Jobs, the high lord of Apple, says the answer is simply, “Well, don’t hold it like that.”

But like the poor guy at the doctor’s office, that doesn’t really fix the problem, does it? This is especially true when the danger spot happens to be in the lower left corner of the phone, exactly where most people would grip the device when either talking on it or typing into the touch pad. The problem is that the “revolutionary” antenna on the iPhone is apparently interrupted by the human hand. Some users don’t seem to get the error while others experience it all the time. We were able to reproduce it somewhat with an iPhone 4 -- touching that part of the phone halved the signal strength, though a call never dropped.

Could it have something to do with how much conductivity a person's hands have? Perhaps it could be a new party game, kind of like mood rings. If you can zap the iPhone connection with your bare hands, you’ve got the magic to be a suitable mate. The downside is that you’re almost certainly too combustible to work for the gas company.

Fast Company magazine offers a real solution that goes beyond the Apple one, which really isn’t a solution at all. They say you should add a piece of Scotch tape over the antenna. Hey, if Scotch tape works OK, we thought duct tape would be wonderful. And guess what, when we taped up the iPhone, the calls worked great, with no signal loss no matter how we held it. Can’t you just imagine all those pretentious people walking around with their expensive iPhones covered in duct tape? It’s sort of like a Lexus with wads of duct tape holding its bumper together. It’s still chic, but in a backwoods hick kind of way.

It’s a bit disingenuous for Apple to simply say “don’t do that.” They should come up with a solution to stop the problem, even if it’s issuing an official roll of Apple duct tape, complete with logos.

Why should they dictate how people use iPhones or how to hold them? In our testing, we found that by raising your right arm and holding it out at a 45 degree angle while talking creates perfect reception. If you can’t quite get it right, Jesse James can show you the way. We bet Steve Jobs won’t be encouraging people to take up this method. Perhaps he might even rise from his throne to proclaim, “Don’t do that.” Long live the king.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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Reader Comments

Thu, Jul 1, 2010 Alex

Hey Captain Apple, congratulations on creating the longest run-on sentence in world history. I guess your iPhone doesn’t work when you try to use the punctuation keys. You may need to use less tape.

Thu, Jul 1, 2010 Captain Apple Man A DC Boy

Oh my god I have to wonder why you are such a apple hater because I TOUCH MY CELL ALL the time and have never had any trouble with my iPhone dropping my calls and I mean that I TOUCH MY CELL in different ways and not because I am doing some experiment but because I am actually using it to do things like make calls or lookup places to eat in case I meet someone online and last week I even went online using the great cell service to look for a new girlfriend online because I really want to meet someone nice who isn’t such a hater and if I get lucky I might even meet a fellow iPhone user because contrary to what people are saying about guys the truth is that a lot of HOTTIE young things, you know, girls have iPhones and apple equipment in general like notebooks that they take to coffee houses and places like that so when I looked up places to take my new HOTTIE as soon as I get one I made sure to look for places like that and in all my time doing those tasks I TOUCHED MY CELL in a lot of different ways and it worked just fine with full signal bars and no degradation no matter what websites I went to so I have to wonder why you would say that these calls are being dropped when it does not seem to be true but I plan to use this as a conversation piece when I go on my first date with my new HOTTIE and I don’t think that will be too long since I am a lover and not a fighter and believe me I know how to treat my girls and have studied up on the topic but the one thing I wont worry about is that my iPhone wont get signal because I TOUCH MY CELL and always get signal no matter where I am and that includes watching The Karate Kid movie even though people were shushing me and telling me to turn it off and last week I took a call in the bathroom at the U station because I got food poisoning from a street vendor that I plan to jack up for that sometime as soon as I am feeling better but the only difference between my iphone and others out there is that I put a little piece of black electrical tape over the antenna area to prevent any problems in the first place so why didn’t you just do that when you were testing the thing then you could TOUCH YOUR CELL any way you want just like I do and not be part of the hater army that is trying to bring down apple because commandant Gates is telling you so and you don’t have the guts to go against him even though real people like me and my pending girlfriend know the truth and don’t plan to waste our time reading your stories in your government sponsored rag that is obviously part of the conspiracy against all that is good and true in the world but since I am not a hater I just will say peace in the middle east and out man!

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