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Hold the phone

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has responded to complaints that the new iPhone 4 loses signal when it is held a certain way.

"Just avoid holding it in this way," he said in an email to Ars Technica.

Unfortunately 'the way' that Jobs is referring to is a pretty standard holding technique in which the phone is gripped in the left hand the same way you would grip any other handset with your left hand, whether you're left-handed, or doing something crazy at the same time like writing, using a mouse, holding a TV remote or swigging Jack Daniel's in a vain bid to add focus to the blind fury induced by watching the reception plummet on your shiny new smartphone.

As reported by Engadget on Thursday, the problem occurs when the iPhone 4 is held by the bottom left corner of the stainless steel band that incorporates the antenna system. Gripping the phone there bridges the gap between the two aerials, causing signal loss.

Funnily enough, using Apple's official iPhone 4 rubber 'bumper' case - announced ahead of the handset's official launch - solves this issue.

Unsurprisingly Apple hasn't come close to admitting it's a design flaw.

"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," said Apple, in a statement emailed to Engadget.

"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."

Of course it won't be long until some wily entrepreneur releases a special iPhone 4 glove enabling the user to hold their coveted device however they please, replacing signal loss with enhanced feelings of self-worth.
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