The company says after investigating the claims of signal dropout, it found the iPhone 4 is not the only smartphone to show such a drop.
“To start with, gripping almost any mobile phone in certain ways will reduce its reception by 1 or more bars. This is true of iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, as well as many Droid, Nokia and RIM phones,” the company said in an open letter.
It’s countering the growing alarm with hundreds of emails received from users claiming the iPhone 4 has better reception than the 3G S.
However, the company now says that it got the mathematical formula wrong for calculating the the number of bars to show signal strength.
“Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength. For example, we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars. Users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they don’t know it because we are erroneously displaying 4 or 5 bars. Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.”
The company will now adopt AT&T’s method for calculating bar strength, making bars 1, 2 and 3 a bit taller and will issue a new software update within a few weeks to correct the formula.
Apple says there is nothing wrong with the wireless performance of the phone.
It also reminds users that if you’re not happy, the phone has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
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