iPhone iOS 4.1 Update: No Fix for Proximity Sensor Problems?

By Alan Ng - Sep 1, 2010

We have some important news for iPhone 4 customers now, as it has been alleged that Apple will ‘not’ be fixing up a known problem with the proximity sensor with the next update to iOS 4.1.

According to this report from Gizmodo, an Apple spokesman for Australia has commented on the problem, saying that the issue will not be fixed in time before iOS 4.1 is out.

This is contrary to comments from Steve Jobs himself, who previously informed iPhone 4 users that issues with the proximity sensor will be fixed up in the ‘next update’.

Two things to note here: One is that it is good that Apple are working hard on a fix to the problem, and two, the issue remains pretty isolated, as I know there are a lot of you who have said that they have no problems with the proximity sensor whatsoever.

It is obviously a major frustration if calls are being dropped because of this, so it still be good if Apple were to give us an update on this at their media conference tomorrow.

Do you have any problems with the iPhone 4 proximity sensor? Let us know your thoughts on this.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.

Also See: WWDC 2018 event dated early for iOS 12, new iPad Pro?

  • Mr. Hudson

    My wife and I both purchased iPhone 4's in early August. The problems with the proximity sensor was initially not understood by us but we were maddened by the constant cycling between speakerphone and the earpiece for no reason. iOS 4.1 came out and the problem got much better but it is certainly not fixed. Now the problem seems to happen most often when we are either walking or riding in a car almost as if motion triggers it or perhaps external loud sounds. We have been careful to control for the phone not bouncing away from our ears but the switching back and forth just ruins the phone experience. The iPhone seems like a nice computer but a pretty poor telephone. We are also very dissappointed with the voice control quality. There we find commands are wildly mistranslated no matter how clearly, loudly or articulately we speak. We have about 500 names in the directory but my old Microsoft phone with voice commands never did such a poor job. I surely hope things get better with this iPhone 4 soon. I purchased the extended warranty as I envision needing to manage some returns in the near future and since there is no apple store in this area, the extended warranty will allow us to swap the phone without downtime.

  • CTO

    I actually ported to Verizon because the proximity was making me go insane. When the supposed ios 4.1 update was rolled out I ported back to ATT and my iPhone 4 thinking the issue was resolved. DID NOT WORK. So I exchanges the phone yesterday AGAIN and it still did not correct the proximity sensor. Tech kept saying there was no problem even though HE TOO muted a call with his ear while testing the new device. I asked him if he gets a dollar every time he says there is no problem and he just smiled as if maybe they DO in fact get some kind of incentive for denying a problem? Kinda like HMO’s reward doctors for not admitting patients to a hospital and perform fewer tests. The more they save the company, the more BONUS they earn. So that might explain the robotic repeated reply by Apple tech that there isn’t a problem even though they replicate the problem. Maybe there is a bonus system? Apple is turning into the General Motors of the 1980’s. They SUCK.

  • CTO

    ios 4.1 DOE NOT FIX PROXIMITY SENSOR. I have exchanged my iphone 4 TWO TIMES now. TWO TIMES. Have reset network. Have restored. Have restored as a NEW PHONE. Have hard booted. Have tried EVERYTHING. PROXIMITY SENSOR IS STILL BROKE. Obviously this is a HARDWARE and engineering design issue. Went to the Apple store and the tech DID REPLICATE the issue repeatedly. BUT HE KEPT SAYING THERE WAS NOT A PROBLEM…. I asked him if he was on drugs. He REPLICATED THE ISSUE but kept repeating the same canned answer like a robotic recording! It was bizarre to say the least and even a few customers jokes that the techs were actually iPeople and not human. Just imagine a TV that keeps turning OFF in the face of the TV repair man but the repair man repeatedly says there is no problem here that I can see. WHAT?!?!?!?!?

    the iphone 4 should be avoided. If Apple wont be honest then they should be avoided as well. KARMA is a bitch Steve!

  • viceversa

    Stupid, stupid, misinformed article.

    I've been running the GM of 4.1 on my iP4 for almost one week. The prox issue is MOST DEFINITELY fixed in 4.1.

    I experienced the prox issue from day one, with the screen activating when pulled ever so slightly away from my face. With 4.1, I can pull the phone almosty 1/2 inch off of my face before the screen turns back on.

    Fixed. Fixed. Fixed.

    • Prashant

      Hi also did the the 4.1 update but still experiencing the proximity issue.

  • Jay

    Sonyavading, you are totally wrong. A normal sane guy? Truly an idiotic comment.

  • Jayne

    I too am constantly muting calls and hanging up on people, I've had to warn my friends and family not too hang up on me if they can't hear me but to wait until I've unmuted the phone. VERY annoying agreed.

  • sonyavading

    Could we just stop the proximity sensor issue for a moment. I have an iPhone 4 and the only time I had those signal-error is when I really hold it, intentionally. But if you are a normal sane guy. That signal-issue is something irrelevant.

    However, this one would be even better if it will be compatible to other old iDevice, but I guess it would be impossible. iOS 4.1 New Impressions

  • Troy Hurley

    My thought is, they all have the issue. The ones who aren’t complaining are using the hands free device or the headset. That or they have long hair or facial hair that seems to make a difference. However, for me to take a phone that seemed to not have the issue and place a regular call putting the speaker right up to my ear and even make contact, so it cant be said I was holding it too far away from my head, and produce the same issue of the sensor not working properly. I think Apple needs to take this problem seriously and actually fix the problem. I’m betting however they wont. And what they will probably do is come out with an Iphone 4s and expect us to buy another phone and this one wont have the problem, while everyone with the original iphone 4 will just have to deal with the issue. After all, in their words," its only a few isolated cases."

  • Troy Hurley

    Then while AT&T was at my work pushing their new product. I went up to the display and informed the manager of my theory. He claimed he hadn’t had too many reports of the issue. While he watched, I placed a call from his demo phone to his personal phone. Placed the I phone 4 right up to my ear, and sure enough the screen started going on and off. . He was dumfounded speechless, Then said "we haven’t had many reports of the issue."

  • Troy Hurley

    Despite the reports that the proximity issue is isolated. I contend they all have the problem. I have gone through though Iphone 4 and they both had the same issue. My wife contended she didn’t have the issue with her phone. However she does have long hair. I decided to test my theory and used her phone . Placed it right on my ear where the proximity sensor is and waited . Sure enough a minute into the call the screen started flashing on and off.