Jul 4, 2010

Solve iPhone 4 Problems

iPhone 4 launched few days back to record sales—and record problems. While the device sports an amazingly clear HD screen, many customers’ screens are marred with yellow spots (including the one we received through the Apple Online Store pre-order).
Even worse, if held in the left hand while talking, the phone loses reception and drops calls. Apple has been less than candid about tackling these issues, but there are still a few things unhappy users can do to improve their iPhone 4 experience.

Yellow Spots

The yellow spots on some iPhone screens are reportedly caused by the bonding agent used to attach the retina display (the fancy glass Apple about which Apple has been bragging) to the iPhone.
Apple says these spots will disappear as the bonding agent cures—but ours did not. Instead, the spots went from small in the bottom left corner to huge in the upper left corner, bottom right corner and bottom left corner.
If you have the phone for more than two days and the spots do not disappear, see a Genius at the Apple Store. Customers can make an appointment with a local store through the Apple Genius Bar Web page, call a local store for an appointment, or join the stand-by line at the Genius Bar.
Our stand-by wait was about 20 minutes. The Genius took one look at the phone and swapped it for a new one. Regardless of their out-of-stock status, Apple keeps a stock of phones ready for this purpose.
Besides the in store Genius Bar, the only recourse is to call the Apple service line at 800-694-7466. You can also call schedule a time for an Apple support representative to call you through the Apple Expert Web page. It takes no less than a week to swap the phone for a new one this way.

Antenna Reception Problems

The iPhone 4 uses an external, stainless-steel band as an antenna. While in theory, this should strengthen signal, if the phone is held in the left hand, the phone will lose signal due to the main antenna’s location on the phone.
If you are trying to pinpoint the problem, look for the small, black lines on the left and right hand sides of the stainless steel band. Steve Jobs has instructed the world basically not to touch these black lines. If you are left-handed, this is virtually impossible.
iphone antenna
There are a couple of options to help with this problem. Apple suggests buying a case or silicon bumper to go over the antenna. We had no luck with this, though many people have. The cases are sold out in most Apple and AT&T stores, but are available on eBay.
iphone bumper
If you cannot find a case or bumper, or the case does not solve the problem, try placing a piece of black electric tape over both the black lines on the antenna. This tape is designed to minimize friction and conductivity, so it may do the trick. Yes, we are aware of how lame this looks on a gadget that is designed to look cool.
electric tape1
A software fix will be released in the near future to shorted the signal loss time from the antenna problem—but while this may tweak the length of time we lose signal while holding the phone in the left hand, it is unclear how this will completely fix the problem for left-handed users.

Returning the iPhone 4

If all else fails and you are fed up with iPhone 4, you can return the phone up to thirty days after the purchase date. Since we bought the phone during the pre-order on the Online Apple Store, the return process is a complete nightmare.
The phone cannot be returned to the retail store, which means it must be mailed to Apple—leaving you without a phone. Even more, if you used an AT&T upgrade credit to lower the price of the phone to the coveted $199, you must wait a minimum of three days before attempting to buy another phone with the upgrade discount. You must call the Apple Expert Support line (800-694-7466) to start this process.
apple expert
If you bought the phone from AT&T or the Apple Retail Store, things will go smoother if a return is necessary. Simply take the phone, its box and the original receipt back to the store and ask for a refund. AT&T’s managers can override the wait time for the upgrade credit and give you a new phone immediately. Apple still enforces the wait time in their retail stores.
att store
On a side note, the Apple stores are almost all sold out of the closeout 32 and 16 GB iPhone 3Gs. However, most AT&T stores still have plenty in stock. We were able to buy a 32 GB (with a choice of color) for the same price we paid for the iPhone 4 16 GB. While we do not have the crystal-clear HD display on the 3Gs, we can at least make a phone call.

[ source:  Apple]
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