Apple May Have iPhone 4 Antenna Patch

Bloggers report that iOS 4.0.1 is in the works and could be available as early as this week.
Apple might soon release a software patch designed to fix a flaw that baffles the iPhone 4's antenna if the device is held, in Cupertino's words, "incorrectly."

Bloggers at AppleInsider wrote over the weekend that Apple is planning to release a patch for iPhone 4's iOS 4 operating system that's designed to correct the problem.

"Readers report that Apple's tech support forums originally confirmed that a iOS 4.0.1 software fix addressing the issue would ship early next week," the blog said. However, AppleInsider also reported that all comments related to the matter have since disappeared from Apple's forums—leaving the computer maker's plans unclear.

Apple has not confirmed whether it will offer a software update aimed at the bug. It's also not certain whether the problem can even be solved with software, since it may be more related to hardware design.

Many iPhone 4 buyers have reported that Apple's new smartphone drops its signal if the bottom left corner of the device is covered by the palm of the user's hand—a situation that's common when the phone is wielded by lefties.

A YouTube member posted a video that appeared to show a fix that involves placing cellophane tape over the affected parts of the antenna. But Apple fans who endured long lines and shelled out big bucks for the company's newest gadget may not be thrilled about gumming up their sleek new toy with Scotch tape.

Apple has conceded that the flaw exists.

“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 last week.

iPhone 4 went on sale Thursday amid reports of product shortages and lengthy queues 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 is priced at $199 for the 16GB version, and $299 for the 32GB unit. A two-year AT&T contract is required.