Chapter SixLISTENING HARD

In the spring of 2010, a complaint about the new iPhone 4 went viral. Hordes of people were finding that the strength of the device’s signal was compromised—beyond the limitations of the service provider, AT&T—if they held it by its lower left corner. This was especially a problem for those who were left-handed. Finally, late in June, Apple issued an official response by Steve Jobs to his customers’ problem:

Gripping any phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance. . . . 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 the many available cases.

This statement was greeted ...

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