Guy walks into an Apple Store, goes to the Genius Bar. He says "My iPhone doesn't work when I hold it like this." The genius says, "Don't hold it like that. Next!"
Ba-dum-bum. Thank you, ladies and germs, I got a million of 'em.
This little slice of vaudeville was brought to us last week by our favorite email correspondent, Steve Jobs. In response to a message from an iPhone fan asking why his phone lost reception when he held it in his left hand, Jobs replied "Just avoid holding it in that way."
Yep, that's what he said. You can imagine the reaction. Or you can Google it. But I'll save you the trouble.
When asked for an official response to reception problems with the iPhone, Apple produced this slightly less terse but functionally identical answer:
Gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases.
So now you have two options. You can hold the iPhone in a Manner Officially Approved by Apple (MOABA), or you can buy a handsome "bumper" from the Apple Store for only $29, plus shipping and handling. Any more questions?
It gets more absurd from here. The blogosphere exploded with what became known as iPhone "death grip hysteria." (Hey, it was a slow news week.)
Almost immediately, a Tumbler blog appeared with photos showing Steve himself, along with several actors from Apple's iPhone TV ads, holding their iPhones the wrong way.