The video above is an example of what has happened to every call I’ve received so far on my iPhone 4. From three bars to “call failed” in 20 seconds flat.
Actually, that’s not entire true. I managed to receive one brief call by holding the phone by the tips of my fingers, but nearly dropped the phone in the process. But I can consistently replicate the effect shown in the video above simply by lying the phone on the table and touching the outer rim with my fingertip.
Yet Apple refuses to admit this is a hardware issue. Instead, they’re planning on releasing a ‘software fix’, which will do nothing more than lower the number of bars shown on screen in the first place.
Will it stop the phone from dropping calls? I’m not convinced.
I’ve already tried to get a refund on my iPhone, but Carphone Warehouse have outright refused. They are willing to admit the hardware may be faulty, but simply will not give a refund, as the phone is tied to a non-refundable two year Vodafone contract. So it looks like I’ll be stuck with a phone that doesn’t work as a phone for the next two years.
I could of course spend £25 on a “bumper” case. But that’s not the point. You wouldn’t buy a luxury car, then expect to have to pay extra for a special ‘steering wheel adaptor’ if you don’t want it to automatically drive into walls. The point is that this is a phone that simply does not function as a phone.
Interestingly, in the same press release where Apple offers a software fix ‘within a few weeks’, they also offer to refund the full price for anyone who wants to return their phone. That’s a luxury I’ve been denied.
I may not be able to do anything much to improve things for me, but I can at least offer some useful buying advice:
1. Do not buy an iPhone 4, unless and until Apple releases a fix that’s proven to work and/or recalls the phone.
The problem appears to be a design flaw in the phone and affects pretty much everyone to some extent. People in areas that have particularly good coverage may not notice it, but the problem is still there.
2. Never, ever, ever buy anything from Carphone Warehouse.
Once they have your money, they’re simply not interested in helping you in any way. I learned the hard way.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I’m not some mindless Apple hater. This is my second iPhone, I have three Macs and several iPods. I don’t hate Apple – I just want a phone that works.