Friday, June 25, 2010

On the Jobs Incident: iPhone 4 vs. Your Left Hand?

One of the weirdest issues emerging with the new iPhone has to do with how the phone is held.

According to some reports, the phone actually loses signal when held in your left hand. Engadget has a pretty solid explanation of what's happening (be sure to watch the videos), but here's the long and short of it:

  • The metal frame surrounding your phone is actually two antennae. One is for the 3G, the other is for your Bluetooth, etc.

  • When you hold the phone in your left hand, your hand actually acts as a bridge between the two antennae at a point near the lower left corner of the phone. This causes the antennae to sort of short out.

This is an easy fix: you need some way to prevent the bridge. You can either purchase a case for your phone (which most of you will probably do anyway- you just dropped hundreds of dollars on a piece of tech- you really want to cheap out on the case?) or, if you're feeling especially trashy, you can put a small piece of electrical tape (or duct tape, if you want to rep the silver) on the lower left corner of your sleek, shiny, minimalist phone, preventing your skin from acting as a bridge. Of course, it'll make you look like a hillbilly; but, if you're using duct tape on an iPhone, you probably don't care about appearances.

This is in line with Steve Jobs's take on the situation (via Engadget again). You have to give the J-Man credit for continuing his tradition of responding to queries.

The antennae quirk, however, shouldn't be seen as "anti-left handers," as Buzzfeed suggests. Consider this: which hand do you use to dial numbers- your dominant hand or your subordinate hand? Score one for the lefties. (Brendan Hilliard will be relieved.)

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