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Apple‘s iPhone 4 has problems with dropped calls and slow data rates.  The blame’s been cast on everything from left-handed users holding the phone incorrectly through the signal strength display not being correct.  (They’ve got to be kidding, right?  How can the signal strength meter on a digital phone cause the phone’s modems to mess up?)

Well, I’ve found a great reference, photos included, as to what is actually happening and why.  Bottom-line?  You know that cool stainless-steel band that goes around the outside of the phone?  Turns out Apple placed two different antennas on the outside of the phone and didn’t protect them from your hands!  (Why bother, after all, who would hold a cell phone with their hands?)

When you hold the phone around the lower left side you’re actually shorting out (RF-wise) the two antennas and causing a measured 24dB drop in signal strength.  Ouch!

Read on for a great explanation, photos and tests:  Apple’s iPhone 4: Thoroughly Reviewed

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