Apple has just released iOS 4.0.1 to address the iPhone 4’s signal reception issues. The update’s release notes state that it “Improves the formula to determine how many bars of signal strength to display.”
If you’ve even caught a brief snipped of any news from just about any source in the past few weeks, you’ve almost definitely heard of the iPhone 4’s reception issues. Cropping up on the day of its release in the U.S. and a handful of other countries, many iPhone 4 users have found that they can drastically reduce the device’s cellular signal reception simply by grasping the phone on the metal band on the bottom left corner, bridging the two sections of the antenna for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS and cellular voice and data, respectively. Apple responded publicly with an open letter describing that the issue was instead attributed to an error in the formula used to calculate how many signal bars are shown to represent signal strength. In that letter, Apple promised a free software update to correct this formula.
While there has been much doubt expressed across a number of sites that a software update can address what seems to be a pure hardware issue, this update will likely provide iPhone users with a more accurate visual representation of signal strength and better manage expectations about cellular performance under most conditions. Apple is also holding a press conference tomorrow where the iPhone 4 is expected to be the topic of discussion.