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iPhone 4 Signal Declines While Being Held? A Longstanding Phenomenon?

Gizmodo has compiled a series of videos demonstrating that the iPhone 4s single bars seem to drop down significantly when being held in hand. The report actually began in our own forums with a video demonstrating the reproducibility of the problem:



The finding has generated many responses from people who have noticed similar behavior. While there has been some talk of this being a display error rather than an actual signal issue, several have reported that calls do drop when the bars decline. At least one user has posted a video demonstrating it not happening on his iPhone 4:


While this reader dismisses the claims as "trolling", there are plenty of videos from a variety of users demonstrating the reproducibility on many other people's iPhone 4s.

The question, though, remains -- is this a new issue or are people more acutely aware of it due to the attention drawn to the iPhone 4s exterior antennas. One expert had even predicted this might be a problem.

We're not so sure it's an iPhone 4 specific issue. We remember seeing videos demonstrating this same issue for prior iPhone devices. For whatever reason, those videos never drew that much attention. Here's a video showing the same phenomenon on an iPhone 3G. This video was posted in 2008:



Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6