Believe it or not, Apple iPhone 4 reception is just a case of miscalculating on the signal strength and it doesn’t cause any issue on the reception of the iPhone 4.
According to Apple, this problem exists on previous models of iPhone (3Gs, 3G) and they will be issuing a patch for it in a couple of weeks.
This is an excerpt from Apple (taken from Engadget).
Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength. For example, we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars. Users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they don’t know it because we are erroneously displaying 4 or 5 bars. Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.
To fix this, we are adopting AT&T’s recently recommended formula for calculating how many bars to display for a given signal strength. The real signal strength remains the same, but the iPhone’s bars will report it far more accurately, providing users a much better indication of the reception they will get in a given area. We are also making bars 1, 2 and 3 a bit taller so they will be easier to see.
We will issue a free software update within a few weeks that incorporates the corrected formula. Since this mistake has been present since the original iPhone, this software update will also be available for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G.
Do you believe it? We have seen so many videos of signal strength dropping and Apple just brushed it off as a calculation mistake. What they did was to mention (again) that holding on to a phone will cause some attenuation on the reception.
To start with, gripping almost any mobile phone in certain ways will reduce its reception by 1 or more bars. This is true of iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, as well as many Droid, Nokia and RIM phones.
So, lets wait for the software update to see if it really solve the problem.