Apple's New iPhone Already Dropping Calls

Hours after iPhone release, users complain about antenna's performance.

ByABC News
June 25, 2010, 10:31 AM

June 25, 2010 — -- Touted as one of the most advanced phones ever, Apple's eagerly anticipated iPhone 4 was greeted with some early criticism and began generating user complaints about the performance of the phone's antenna shortly after was released on Thursday.

Improved call reception was one of the most eagerly anticipated features of the new iPhone, as Apple claimed to have achieved better reception with a new antenna design that CEO Steve Jobs called "the most precise thing Apple's ever made."

But within hours of the phone's release, iPhone users and tech bloggers began talking about a problem with the antenna.

"People are saying if they hold the phone in a certain way...if they cover it in a certain way, the bars -- the AT&T 3G bars drop down precipitously and call quality goes down," said Lance Ulanoff of PC Magazine.

Previous iPhone models featured an internal antenna, but this model has an external one.

"It's got these integrated antennas right in the structure of the phone," Jobs said at the recent announcement of the phone.

But it appears call reception decreases when the user's palm bridges the external antenna. Users demonstrated the change in the number of "bars" of reception they had when gripping the phone this way.

In side-by-side comparisons with a previous version of the iPhone, the new iPhone 4 had fewer bars when held this way.

Apple responded quickly to these complaints. The company released a statement that said, "Gripping any phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance.depending on the placement of the antennas." The company suggested holding the phone differently, or using a case with it, which it said would help alleviate the problem.