Apple has conceded that its glitzy new iPhone 4 suffers from a flaw that makes it all but unusable if held in a certain way.
"Gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas," an Apple spokesman said.
"If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases," the spokesman said, according to the Bloomberg news service.
A number of buyers have reported that iPhone 4's antenna, a metallic strip located on the bottom of the device, is baffled when a user wraps their hand around that part of the phone. An iPhone 4 purchaser in the UK told the BBC news Wednesday that the problem makes the phone "useless in its current state."
Many others reported the problem on various blogs and online news sites. The glitch could be particularly troubling for Apple and its partner AT&T as signal reception is seen as the iPhone's weak link.
iPhone 4 went on sale Thursday amid reports of product shortages and long lines at Apple stores and iPhone retailers Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Radio Shack.
iPhone 4 features a number of enhancements over its predecessor, the iPhone 3GS, including higher screen resolution (960 x 640 pixel technology dubbed Retina Display), a front-facing camera for video chats, and a longer lasting battery that affords 40% more talk time. It's also 24% thinner.
iPhone 4 also includes a 3-axis gyro and a slick new glass and stainless steel case—and it's capable of multitasking thanks to the new iOS 4 operating system. "iPhone 4 is the biggest leap since the original iPhone," Apple CEO Steve Jobs proclaimed as he unveiled the product on June 7 at an Apple event in San Francisco.
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