Rotten Apple: iPhone Reception Worse Than We Thought

iPhone signal and reception issues
iPhone signal bars display wrong
Can you hear us now, Apple? We're the iPhone users who have been complaining for years about bad reception. About our phone showing we have three bars, yet being unable to make a call...

Yesterday Apple finally acknowledged that the issues aren't all in our heads. Or even in the way we hold our phones. The company admitted Friday that iPhones have been inflating signal strengths and masking poor reception. In many cases the phones were displaying two more bars than they should have. 

In an open letter to iPhone users on Friday, Apple said:

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,


Apple discovered the issue while investigating widespread complaints about bad reception when the iPhone 4 went on sale last month. Users complained that the signal bars dropped four or five bars when the phone was held a certain way. A class action lawsuit soon took shape and Apple began to take the concerns seriously after initially seeming to brush them off.

Apple went to the lab to figure out what the issue was and discovered a miscalculation in signal strength that has been present for years. The issue affects all iPhones, not just the new iPhone 4 that has been selling extremely well (over 1.7 million in the first three days.) Apple plans to issue a software update that will fix the calculation and signal bar display.

But, the bad news ... All this means is that we'll know when we have really bad reception. In big metro areas like New York and San Francisco, where AT&T service for iPhones is horrible, we'll now be able to see just how bad it is. Hooray?

Photo via cogdog/Flickr

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