iPhone 4 ‘death grip’ increasing problem for Apple

Tests carried out by PA Consulting Group, an international technology, management and systems consultancy, have indicated that Apple’s iPhone 4 does indeed suffer from connectivity problems compared to other smartphones.
In the majority of the tests, PA’s wireless technologists found the iPhone 4’s performance was in the same range as the other smartphones tested (Blackberry 9700, HTC HD2), but it was consistently at the lower end of that range.

And, as found by other testers, when used in the ‘death grip’ (held in one hand with fingers spread along all four edges of the device), the iPhone 4’s performance was significantly worse than other smartphones.

Simon Tonks, the consultant who led the testing at PA’s Cambridge Technology Centre said: “Our tests indicate that the ‘death grip’ issue is real, and is worse for the Apple iPhone 4 than for other smartphones. The iPhone 4’s radio performance was also found to be generally at the lower end. This means it will tend to drop calls earlier than other phones and may suffer more in areas of weak signal. Though, overall it’s still within the normal performance range for similar products.”

Dr Phil White, head of the wireless technology team at PA added: “Consumers always prefer products that look and feel good. And we all benefit from the way companies like Apple are prepared to take risks and push the boundaries of product design. But that means striking a balance between incorporating the most innovative features and ensuring the product works effectively. The trick lies in finding the right trade-off.

“The question is whether consumers are prepared to put up with occasional performance flaws given the additional benefits more innovative products provide.”

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