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iPhone 4 Grip of Death: Is using a case pointless?

Most of us are aware of the issues surrounding the antenna on the iPhone 4; the grip of death was well publicized soon after the handset came out. More recently when the handset arrived on Verizon, the problem surfaced once more. Apple looked to address the problems with the offer of a free bumper case for a limited time, but now some new research is saying a case might be a waste of time.

Lewis Page from The Register is reporting that the research carried out at Bristol University in the UK, has found that using some cases will not make any difference to the antenna performance. The team at the university looked at the performance of antennas in a variety of different conditions.

The research found a 100-fold reduction in sensitivity when the device was held, or when a user’s thumb is mimicked by a different material. This dramatically lowered the electrical match between the antenna and the handsets electrical circuitry.

Further tests showed that when using a layer of plastic material such as a bumper case, the electrical match between antenna and electrical circuitry was not restored. The bumper solution though may not be totally wrong; just some cases may not make any difference where others do. The team at the Bristol University is investigating ways to solve the issue with smartphone antennas.

Most handsets signals can be affected in one way or another when held in certain ways, but with the iPhone 4 being such a high profile device, it got much more stick for the problem. It also seems to affect some people, where others don’t have any issues what so ever.

Did a case do the trick with your iPhone 4?

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Written by Gary Johnson

Gary has a background in engineering and passion for motorcycles, gadgets, and home cinema. In his early years, his obsession for Hi-Fi technology would see him creating the perfect setup with a good ear for sound quality. While Gary is keen to write about most topics that PR covers, his love for phones finds him reporting a lot of news about applications for iPhone, Android, and other popular operating systems

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