Antenna-Gate – What solution will you use to avoid death grip?

Today Apple began offering their free case program for iPhone 4 owners to help solve the death grip problem with their new antenna design. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, where the heck have you been for the last few weeks? ;) iPhone 4’s have a problem where touching the seam between bottom left outer stainless steel edge of the phone will cause an immediate and drastic drop in call signal quality. Last week Apple held a press conference where they explained the issue and announced that they would be offering a free Bumper case to all current and new iPhone 4 owners (at least until September).

I installed Apple’s case program app and selected Apple’s own bumper as my freebie (btw: it doesn’t ship till Aug 27th).  I haven’t noticed the problem with my phone. I’ve been using it without a case for the last 2 weeks and have not dropped any calls. As far as the signal strength bars going up and down, that’s nothing new as far as I’m concerned. I’ve noticed that with every AT&T phone I’ve ever owned.

Any case that covers the metal edge around the iPhone will fix the death grip issue if you have a problem with it. If you don’t want to use a case, other solutions include:

www.antennagatefix.com – A simple adhesive strip custom die cut $3.99, a three pack is $6.99 and a ten pack is $9.99.

Antenna-aid – Bandaid vinyl sticker that goes on the side of your iPhone. Available in a 6pk with several colors for $4.99.

ZAGG – You’ve probably heard of this company before. They offer the invisibleSHIELD protectors. Now they are offering sides only protectors and skins.

Cool Decal – An ETSY shop that offers various Mac related decals including ones specifically for the sides of the iPhone 4. I ordered their rainbow apple stickers recently, so I can recommend them.

Put your DIY cap on and modify a Live Strong (or any other similar bracelet) to fit your iPhone like this guy did.

Hold the phone differently.

Do nothing at all. <- This is the one I’m going with right now…

How are you coping with death grip?

Posted in: iPhone, iPad, iPod, News

{ 16 comments… add one }

  • Jon McKee July 23, 2010, 12:20 pm

    This is is my 1980’s solution, http://yfrog.com/1x490sj

  • crquetzal July 23, 2010, 12:39 pm

    It was an easy fix for me. I bought an HTC Hero on Sprint. Never had any problem.

  • 1000Acres July 23, 2010, 12:40 pm

    I ordered 3 Cool Decals and 2 Zaggs. The Zaggs should arrive early next week. The Cool Decals are being shipped from ??International somewhere. Right now, the friends & family are getting by with black electrical tape. Not sure that is even necessary. In the mean time, I’m getting along just fine with my HTC Desire Android.

  • Julie July 23, 2010, 12:42 pm

    @1000Acres Just a heads up that my apple stickers from Cool Decals took 2 weeks to arrive.

  • eClipse July 23, 2010, 1:12 pm

    I’d probably just put a piece of invisible tape over it and move on.

  • Peter July 23, 2010, 2:19 pm

    Personally, I think I’ll just avoid an iPhone – very easy fix. Never had these sorts of issues w/ any of the phones I’ve had barring one really, really weak signal while visiting my hometown resulting in my phone going into emergency mode until I completely removed the battery and reset it. (RIM device, I think, but doubt it would have mattered – the signal was next to non-existent. Try removing the battery in an iPhone….)

  • Bill C July 23, 2010, 2:41 pm

    The Cool Decals don’t work worth a flip.

  • bob July 23, 2010, 3:01 pm

    I’ve had the phone since the day before the official release and haven’t noticed the signal “problem”. In fact this phone gets far better reception than any phone I have owned.

  • Ed boogie July 23, 2010, 3:03 pm

    I have never had a problem. I think you all spend to much time making love to your phones. Maybe At@t just loves atlanta.

  • nomaded July 23, 2010, 4:03 pm

    I picked up a cheapo case from Best Buy the following weekend of release of the iPhone 4. I got the case because I found the naked iPhone 4 a bit too hard to pick up off a table/desk. I like the bit of extra grip from a case.

    I’ll get one of the free cases, probably the Speck PixelSkin HD.

    The antenna problem doesn’t really bother me. The signal strength is really no different than with the old iPhone 3G. I’m sticking with the iPhone 4 because it’s so much faster than the 3G. And a small antenna problem with the best phone out there still means it’s the best phone out there.

  • Andrew Baker July 23, 2010, 6:58 pm

    Solved it by upgrading my wallet, and not buying one. Still love my Palm Pre

  • ucfgrad93 July 24, 2010, 10:11 am

    I am using an iFrogz luxe case. It solves my antenna issue quite nicely. Like nomaded, I find it also makes the iPhone feel less slippery and I don’t worry so much about dropping it.

  • Andy Simmons July 24, 2010, 11:41 am

    Turns out that the one advantage to having to re-order my iPhone 4 after the release was that the antenna issue was sufficiently documented before I even placed the order. I ordered the Bumper case (it actually arrived well before my iPhone did), and it works great for me. The only issues with it so far are:
    1) it has a tendency to *very slightly* slip off of one corner while in my pocket, probably due to the case itself being pushed when I sit, etc. Not frequently a problem, and only a minor annoyance.
    2) the hole for the dock connector doesn’t play nicely with a lot of third-party devices. It will dock in most universal docks, but only if you remove the dock adapter. Thinking out taking a dremel to a 80GB iPod adapter and seeing how that works.
    3) the mute switch is harder to reach, really requires one to stick a fingernail down into the opening. I can’t just silence my phone without taking it out of my pocket anymore.

  • KenC July 25, 2010, 1:16 am

    I completely cupped my Nexus and even had some friends put their hands on it too – just like a basketball team headed out to the gym floor. Nope, the caller was still there (it was my mom and I don’t mind a “dipped call” once in a while).

  • ShelTK July 29, 2010, 12:52 pm

    No signal issues with either my iPhone 4 or my partner’s. We originally purchased cases to avoid scratches (especially since I haven’t found a decent belt clip case yet – I don’t trust the metal “pinch clips”), but took them off after we had Ghost Armor installed – again, this was to avoid scratches, not because of a nonexistent signal issue.

    We went ahead and grabbed the free bumpers from Apple, and were originally told they wouldn’t ship til late August, but I got a shipping notification the other day and should have the bumpers by August 1.

  • Catty M November 5, 2010, 1:57 pm

    I use the iPhone Bumper but so very disappointed by the docking issues. I have spent good money on decent docks and there is no way I am going to remove the bumper each time. I was able to find a less expensive little dock extender that I use with my iPhone and my iHome dock that I found at http://www.gadgetboost.com -definitely solved the problem and I get to keep both the case and the dock and not spend too much

Leave a Comment