'Retina Display' & 'Reception' Complaints Launch On iPhone 4 Launch Day

With the iPhone 4 launch firmly under way, early Apple and gadget-focused Web sites are reporting problems with Apple's latest smartphone iteration. Did the device leave the station too soon - or are these cases an anomaly?

Apparently the much-discussed "Retina Display" is susceptible to a yellow discoloration, either as a thin line of yellow or as a circular tint. Gizmodo alone has registered 27 cases commenting on this issue and it's unclear what's the cause of the problem, or how widespread it is. The images below don't have a lot of definition, but do make an attempt to provide a visual of the 'yellow spots' new owners are experiencing.

Yellow tint on iPhone 4Yellow tint on iPhone 4

Additionally, there is apparently a problem with the reception functionality. When the new iPhone is held by its sides, the reception quality is  decreased markedly. According to another Gizmodo report, dozens of the iPhone owners are finding their reception drops dramatically, where the metal ring that encircles the unit acts as an antenna. This YouTube video gives you some insight into this problem.

Here's another vid on the same issue which is a little more explanation.

Steve Jobs & iPhone 4Steve Jobs & iPhone 4Ironically enough, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report, CEO Steve Jobs touted the antenna design as an innovative way to improve the device's reception.

The Gizmodo report goes on further to say that with the 'reception' flaw, the new iPhone loses bars and the call quality and download speeds are affected. And in some instances, reception is lost completely. Since this is a hardware problem, it could affect more phones than the 'retina display' issue above.

With every launch of a new product going to mass market - particularly one as popular as the new iPhone - problems are going to surface. So, with this roll-out just underway, there is no way to know how critical these defects actually are until more units are sold. Hopefully neither issue will be serious enough for a recall.

On the plus side, iPhone 4 is a dramatic but classic redesign. It offers a sharper screen, front-facing camera, a larger battery, a better rear camera with flash, and a faster processor into a body that is 24% thinner and retains the same length and weight as its predecessor’s. In fact, Apple claims that the iPhone 4 is the world’s thinnest smartphone and offers the world’s highest-resolution smartphone screen.

For all my readers, these early problems may be indicative of other issues to come - or may be an anomaly. Let us know if you are having any problems with your new iPhone if you are one of the launch's early adopters - and also how you're addressing the problem with Apple?

In a related post, here is humorous tale about an enterprising soul who not only parked a tent to be first in line to purchase an iPhone 4 in San Francisco, he actually posted an ad to rent it out to the highest bidder - see "Rent Tent, Be First To Purchase iPhone 4G & Live To Tweet & UStream About It."

UPDATE: June 24 - Engadget reports Apple has responded to those concerns some new iPhone 4 owners are having with poor reception issues, and the gist is essentially either “stop holding the phone that way” or “buy a case."

UPDATE: June 25 - Steve Jobs and Jony Ive, Apple's senior v.p. industrial design were interviewed to discuss the problems pertaining to their  "magical" new iPhone 4. With such wonderful insights from these great innovators, it's hard to understand how anyone could be complaining about this cutting-edge device! (note: some of the language in this YouTube vid is x-rated.)


Jun 25, 2010
by Anonymous

Video calling

I guess this is why the video calling is only available on Wi-fi, it wouldn't be possible to make a video call on 3g as you'd have to be holding it "that way" and would lose reception.

Jun 25, 2010
by Anonymous

iphone4 Too high expectations

You expected the iphone4 to make phones calls out of the box? Buy a case for that feature to work. Funny how this device has the misnomer of the word "phone" in it.

Jul 3, 2010
by Anonymous

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