Independent testers confirmed that reception did indeed degrade when a user's fingers touched the iPhone 4's unique external antenna. (Other testers, like the New York Times' David Pogue, were unable to re-create that effect.) Because lefties are more likely to cover that section of the phone with their fingers, Lauren Milsom of The Left-Handed Club accused Apple of prejudice against southpaws.
And eSarcasm served up several suggestions on the right and wrong ways to hold an iPhone, including Apple tech support's suggested grip: between your butt cheeks.
I'm still waiting for the "Just avoid holding it in that way" T-shirts to show up.
Yesterday, according to MacRumors, Jobs allegedly added seven more words to the mix in yet another terse response:
There are no reception issues. Stay Tuned.
See, nothing to worry about. But hang on tight anyway, just in case. (And while you're staying tuned, try not to touch anything conductive with your fingers -- just a precaution.)
Today, AppleInsider is reporting that Apple's non-reception non-issue might be patched by a firmware upgrade some time this week. AI's source: readers who reported a discussion on the Apple Support Forums, which mysteriously disappeared shortly thereafter.
The fix is expected to address a issue in iOS 4 related to radio frequency calibration of the baseband. Readers who saw the original forum discussions say that the issue is believed to occur when switching frequencies; because the lag is allegedly not calibrated correctly, it results in the device reporting "no service" rather than switching to the frequency with the best signal to noise ratio.
Yes, this is a lot of silliness over very little (except, of course, for those left-handed iPhone fans who are afflicted). But at least it gives us something to think about other than that massive wound in the earth's crust under the Gulf. And it's nice to know vaudeville isn't completely dead yet.
Also: I bought an iPhone in my pajamas. How it got into my pajamas, I don't know.
Has Apple done anything that ticks you off or tickles you? Post your thoughts here or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. And please remember to tip your waitresses.