Complaints are rolling in that Apple's new iPhone 4 suffers from a serious flaw for a handheld smartphone—it doesn't work so well when held in one's hand.
A number of buyers have reported that iPhone 4's antenna, a metallic strip that's 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 that the problem makes the phone "useless in its current state."
Many others have reported the problem on various blogs and online news sites. The glitch could be particularly troubling for Apple as signal reception is seen as the iPhone's weak link. The company has not officially commented on the issue.
iPhone 4 finally went on sale Thursday following weeks of pre-launch buzz. The device is available at retailers Wal-Mart, Radio Shack, and Best Buy, as well as Apple and AT&T stores.
Supplies are expected to be short, and long lines were forming at stores around the country. Best Buy's Web site listed both the 16GB and 32GB models of iPhone 4 as "sold out" early Thursday.
Apple said it's attempting to make new shipments of iPhone 4 available as soon as possible. But the company conceded Wednesday that the white version might not be back in stock until the second half of July.
Demand for iPhone 4 is such that Ebay sellers have been asking for—and getting—prices that are marked up by 300% or more. One Ebay merchant sold a 32GB black iPhone 4 for more than $900 Wednesday.
Officially, the 16GB model is priced at $199 while the 32GB model is listed at $299. Both prices require a two-year AT&T contract.
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.
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