'Death Hug': Verizon iPhone Demonstrates Antenna Attenuation Issues
With the GSM version of the iPhone having received considerable attention for issues with loss of cellular signal when held in a "death grip" position, observers have been interested to see whether a similar issue affects the Verizon iPhone with its modified antenna design.
iLounge reports that not only has it been able to demonstrate loss of cellular signal strength with the same "death grip", but it has also been able to hamper Wi-Fi reception by subjecting the device to a grip dubbed the "death hug".
As seen in this Verizon iPhone 4 antenna attenuation video, the CDMA iPhone 4 can still lose substantial cellular signal strength when held in the prior "death grip" position, as well as Wi-Fi signal when held in a different position, in each case noticeably slowing or completely stalling the reception of data.
The problem with Wi-Fi reception appears when the device is held snugly in landscape orientation with two hands. Prior to the Verizon iPhone 4's launch, sources told iLounge to be on the lookout for the issue, which was being referred to as the 'death hug."
It's not clear if such a "death hug" is of any practical concern.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously referred to the antenna problems with the original iPhone 4 as a "non issue", telling a customer to simply "avoid holding it in that way".
All phones do suffer from some attenuation when gripped tightly in certain ways, a phenomenon caused by the human body's natural ability to absorb signals in the range used for cellular and wireless networks. Critics of the iPhone 4, however, argued that the effect was seen by some simply by bridging the iPhone 4's antenna with your hand. The video makes no effort to see if this antenna bridging remains a factor on the Verizon iPhone 4.