Until today, I've kept pretty much quiet on the iPhone 4 reception issue. Part of that was simply that I didn't own a phone until a week ago when my pre-ordered phone finally arrived. Part of it was just that I'm crazy heads-down on the book and doing client work right now. And part of it is that I'm having trouble deciding exactly what I feel about it. It feels to me like the issue is being overblown, but I doubt that people who are severely impacted feel that way.
I also don't think Apple has handle the situation as well as it, perhaps, could have. Apple is normally exceptionally good at "spin", but the response to this issue has felt a little ham-handed.
For me, I can recreate the issue if I try, but not in the drastic way that some people can, and not consistently. I've been able to get my phone to drop from five bars down to three, on a few occasions even down to two. Sometimes it won't go down at all. I don't know if it's whether there's moisture on my hand or what, but sometimes no amount of pressing will cause it to drop, other times, simply placing my thumb over the break on the left side will cause it to drop one or two bars.
Fortunately, even though I usually hold my phone in my left hand both for voice and data, this just doesn't affect me. The way I hold my phone, I don't bridge the gap. But even when I do bridge the gap intentionally, my phone still functions fine even with the lower bars. In fact, my reception and data transfer speeds are measurably faster over 3G than they were on my iPhone 3Gs. We have some large "warehouse" stores in the area (Lowes, BJ's) where I have always lost reception with every cell phone I've ever head when I get more than fifteen or twenty feet into the store. That was true even back when I was on Verizon. My iPhone 4 gets signal in those stores, throughout the store. I also haven't had a single dropped call since I got my iPhone 4. So, for me, not only is this not an issue, I'm thrilled with the reception my phone.
I know it's a real and serious issue for some people and for them, it's preventing them from fully using their phone, and that's gotta suck. But for me, and for all but two people that I've talked to (and I know a few people with iPhone 4s) it's mostly a non-issue in terms of real day-to-day usage. The foofoorah over this really seems a bit overblown to me, not that I've come to expect anything more from powerhouses of journalistic integrity like Gizmodo, but still…
If Apple were to recall the phones or offer a refund, I wouldn't let them have mine. I wouldn't willingly go back to an iPhone 3G at this point. Now, if Apple offers a free bumper, I might take them up on that. I've been thinking about getting one anyway, and only the fact that I live 45 miles from the nearest Apple Store has kept me from getting one already, but I'm not going to be upset if they don't.
I'll be curious to hear what Apple does say tomorrow in their press conference. I have to think that the days of ham-handed responses to this issue are over. They can't afford for those days not to be over. This is hurting their reputation far more than it should.