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Apple admits iPhone 4 antenna issues

Since the iPhone 4 went on sale Thursday, numerous reports have begun to appear online about consumers having strange issues with the antenna. Namely, that if they put their hand over the new steel band that encases the iPhone, they lose reception.

Apple has responded with a statement:

"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."

We did a test call today, and found that yes, indeed, put your hand on the bottom of the iPhone (something most people tend to do) to hold it while chatting, and reception takes a nose dive. Then we tried putting one of Apple's new "Bumper" products, similar to a case, over the phone, and reception improved. The bumpers come in several colors, and sell for a whopping $29.99 each. All it is is a plastic strip that goes around the iPhone. But if it lets you hold the phone while speaking, it is worth considering as an investment.

By Jefferson Graham for USA TODAY

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