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Does adjusting or trimming the iPhone 4's micro SIM fix the antenna issue? Probably not.

Nilay Patel
06.30.10
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Ever since Apple decided to do little about the iPhone 4's pronounced reception issues except suggest that users hold the thing differently and / or buy a nice case, the voodoo engineering remedies have been flying in full force -- sure, we'll admit we tried sticking some tape over the side of our phone (no dice), but we stopped short when people suggested we try a couple coats of nail polish (insanity). Even we have limits, after all. But the latest snake oil fix is definitely the craziest we've heard so far: according to a 13-page (and growing) thread at MacRumors, the iPhone 4's reception issue can be fixed by adjusting or even trimming the micro SIM so the contacts don't touch the metal tray. The popular belief is that touching the side of the phone somehow shorts across the micro SIM, causing (mumble mumble) and leading to dropped signal. Making things more interesting, Apple and AT&T are apparently using several different types of micro SIMs, including one with a significantly larger contact area -- you can check a shot of two of our iPhone 4 micro SIMs side-by-side after the break.

So does all this hocus pocus actually work? In a word, no. We tried it on a few of our particularly bad iPhone 4s -- the ones that consistently demonstrate the issue -- and achieved no meaningful results. We even went so far as to line the edge of one of our trimmed micro SIMs in electrical tape (pictured above) to ensure that no contact was being made, and we were still able to flatline the phone using the "death grip." Sorry folks -- we wanted this to work too, but it looks like people are just being hopefully optimistic. We'd say the real fix is going to have to come from Apple -- and given the growing discontent over this relatively severe issue, the sooner the better.



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