Steve Jobs in front of Apple Logo

More Apple iPhone 4 Aggravation

Image representing Steve Jobs as depicted in C...
Image via CrunchBase

Everyone was excited about getting the new Apple iPhone 4.  But seriously, did these people test this device much at all?

First, the issue with the antenna signal decreasing surfaced right away.  My first call on the iPhone 4 fell victim to this problem when it went from a full strength signal to dropping the call with no signal at all.  Steve Jobs tells the world to stop hold the phone incorrectly —basically, don’t hold it in your hand, and spend an extra $30 for Apple’s new bumpers.

But I am finding other quirky issues with my new phone.

During calls, my phone appears to become confused as to whether I’m holding it to my ear and talking on the phone or whether I’m just holding it in my hand.  (Oops!  I forgot.  I’m not supposed to hold it in my hand.)  When I’m talking on a call with the phone to my ear, the handset appears on the screen, and my cheek presses the keys making the audible key tones we’re all familiar with when dialing.  Then the screen blanks out when I remove the phone from my ear and the screen remains invisible and completely non-responsive no matter what I do from that point on.  I have to do several repeated hard reboots (Home button and Power simultaneously) to kill the phone and get it to work again.

During my first call about this issue to Apple technical support, the lady told me to do a complete backup and restore of the phone to correct the problem. Regrettably I got a phone call in the middle of the resyncing process and the resync didn’t complete.  I called Apple back to make sure I wasn’t going to lose all of my folders, etc.  This technical support lady asked me two questions about my issue:

  1. “Are you using a screen protector?”  No, I’m not.
  2. “Is your iPhone in a case?”  Yes, it’s in a leather case I used for the iPhone 3Gs.

Oops!  Well, there we have it.  Not only must you hold the iPhone 4 “correctly” when placing a call so the signal strength doesn’t drop to zero, you can not place your phone in a case or use a scratch resistant film to protect the front of the phone.  Doing the later apparently upsets the proximity sensor.  Oh, and if you want to hold the phone in your hand when placing a call and avoid having to hold it parallel to the orbit of Pluto the former planet, you have to spend an additional $30 for Apple’s new bumper.

I’ve read in the blogosphere that despite Steve Jobs’ claims that the new glass surface on the front and back of the phone is stronger than Iron Man‘s suit, it scratches rather easily.  I’ve always worn my previous iPhones (I’ve had them all.) on my belt in a leather case both to protect them and provide easy and continuous access.  I guess I could tie a string around my belt and around the bumper of my iPhone 4 and hope that doesn’t disturb the proximity sensor.

I planned to purchase an iPhone 4 for my mother whose purse abuses every object it contains.  Without the phone being in some full-bodied protective case, it will be destroyed in her purse.  I’m sure she’s not the only one that runs a roller derby inside her purse.

Another problem I have experienced was corrected by restoring the phone:  people can once again hear me when I use my Bluetooth Jawbone headset.  I could always hear them just fine.

Years ago Steve Jobs was credited with saying that customers don’t know what they want until Apple shows it to them.  For the most part, that may have been true at the dawn of the digital era.  But today’s tech-savvy customers do have a rather clearly defined sense of what they want and expect from their high tech devices:  continuous advancement without any regression from formerly attained benchmarks in design, function, and reliability.

I’ve always been a die-hard Apple fan boy, but Apple needs to start doing a better job of “getting it right” before they have to tell their customers they are “using it wrong.”

[Update:  Others appear to have this issue too:  Macworld Article ]