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Oct

Have you had any of the following problems with your iPhone 4:  Inadvertently muting, Hanging Up, engaging the speaker phone or dialing others when talking?  Read on!

Update 9-28-11:

If you’re having problems synching your iPhone calendar with Google Calendar, here are some solutions.

Update 4-22-11:

According to one of our blog readers who comments below, the proximity sensor has been redesigned.  Has anyone purchased an iPhone 4 recently who can comment on their experiences.

Update 4-1-11

It appears that cradling the phone between my head and neck exacerbates the proximity sensor problem. When I hold the phone parallel to my head sitting or standing upright, I don’t have the problem.  Maybe the gyroscope or whatever its equivalent in the iPhone doesn’t like the phone to be held at an angle.

Update 1-24-11:

I’ve had occasional problems with the proximity sensor in the past few weeks, perhaps a couple of times per week, but still not nearly as bad as my first iPhone 4.

Update 11-25-10:

So far, so good.  I may have had a few instances in which the proximity sensor didn’t work, but I’m not sure.  After scores of calls, however, it’s not really a problem, and with the 4.2 iOS update, perhaps I won’t have any more problems.  Plus, I can now print directly from my iPhone 4 to this printer, including attachments.  How cool is that?!

Update 11-10:

Karen’s Blackberry Curve died over the weekend, necessitating a new phone.  I convinced her to try an iPhone after reading mediocre reviews of the Blackberry Torch, especially regarding Gmail.  She agreed, but decided to take my iPhone 3GS, and have me get an iPhone 4.  I’ve had it for three days now, with none of the proximity sensor problems so far.

Update 10-19-10:

I think I’ll be waiting for the iPhone 5 release next summer.

Update 10-1-10:

The proximity sensor problem was NOT fixed with latest iOS update, which means there’s no reason for me to upgrade my phone.

Update 8-23-10:

The proximity sensor problem is still not fixed, and may not be with the latest software update.   I’m going to wait until they come out with a 64 GB version of the iPhone 4, when they will have presumably finally fixed all the glitches in the original iPhone 4.

Update 7-26-10 — iPhone 4 returned.

After enduring repeated problems with the sensor while traveling in Seattle, I returned the phone yesterday at my local Okemos, MI  AT&T store.  The assistant manager, with whom I’ve talked about this problem several times, stated once again that most of customers have not reported any problems with the phone, but “since it is manufactured in China, that is probably why some of the phones are defective.”  Nice.  I then was told that I would have to get the refund for my $69 AppleCare warranty from Apple unless I had all the proper packaging including the AppleCare serial number, which I did have and so was able to get a refund on the spot.

During the entire 15-20 minutes it took to get the refunds, I witnessed the assistant manager chastise one his employees for allowing one of their customers to see the computer screen that the employee was reading in order to convince the customer that her monthly minutes had not been used up.  “We can’t let you see the computer screen because it might contain notes on you we don’t want you to see.”  Wonderful.

It’s so “nice” to see AT&T not trusting its own customers while taking notes on us that might be objectionable.  You can see where my remaining loyalty to AT&T is going…

Aneil

Update 7-16-10:

Here’s my interview in AOL News about this problem.

Steve Jobs admits there’s a problem:

By AppleInsider Staff

Published: 01:40 PM EST

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said on Friday that his company is aware of problems with the proximity sensor on the iPhone 4, and that they are working on a software fix that is expected to be included in the next iOS update.

The statements from Jobs were the first official confirmation from Apple on the issue that users have been experiencing since the handset first launched in late June. Users have found that the touchscreen on their iPhone 4 will sometimes activate while on a call, resulting in accidentally pressed buttons that can place a call on hold or even end it.

Update 7-16-10:

Apple is holding a press conference about its iPhone 4 problems today.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the company has several options, including:

4. Offer a Real Fix to Consumers Now
Even if only a few vocal consumers are hit with dropped calls, those consumers need to be placated. One option is a recall — a redesign of the phone and a replacement for anyone who wants one. Another is an in-store fix that would involve the application of something to mitigate the effects of the “death grip.” Apple also could offer its iPhone “bumper” for free.

In any case, it’s worth it to Apple, and everyone else, to do something now to make this issue go away. A fix that can’t be implemented immediately will slow sales and anger customers.

And a discounted case would not be enough. New York Senator Chuck Schumer even sent a letter to Mr. Jobs on Thursday insisting that the company “make a public commitment” to remedy the problem “free of charge.”

Aneil

Update 7-9-10:

http://a248.e.akamai.net/7/248/51/20070917/www.apple.com/support/expert/images/apple_expert.png, NOT!!

I had nothing but trouble with the Proximity Sensor today.  An Apple Care tech support person recommending a complete Restore, which required me to wipe everything from my iPhone and start over, and may have fixed the problem, but it caused another problem, which prevented me from syncing my songs or my apps.  I then had to contact tech support again, which led to this problem, which I reported via Apple’s email feedback option:

I was placed on hold and had given the support person my call-back number.  I was disconnected after being on hold for several minutes, and the person has yet to call back after several hours.  I believe I have found a way to fix the problem myself in the meantime.

I have spent a total of several hours now trying to fix two problems associated with my new iPhone 4.  After near-flawless performance from my iPhone 3GS over the past year, and now nothing but trouble with this new phone, and two tech support people that are uninformed about the problems, and now unresponsive, I am very disappointed in Apple’s product and service quality.

Aneil K. Mishra, Ph.D.

Aneil

Original Post 7-8-10:

I just received my iPhone 4 in the mail yesterday, proudly set up all by myself, even though it took almost an hour to re-synch contacts, reinstall all my thousands of songs on iTunes, and get my apps updated and in all the folders I had on my iPhone 3GS.

Then, the trouble started.  I was talking with someone, and all of a sudden she couldn’t hear me even though I could hear her.  It turns out, my cheek had accidentally hit the mute button, but didn’t know that the time.  Today, the problem, and similar ones, such as accidentally dialing another person while I’m talking to someone, accidentally hitting the speaker button, all because the phone didn’t realize my cheek was touching the phone.

Karen, the Chief Budget Officer who reluctantly approves my never-ending requests for new technology, was not happy when these problems occurred while I was talking to her this afternoon.  I needed to get it fixed, pronto.

A description of the problem can be found here.

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Comments

  • By Randy, July 11th, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    That sounds horribly annoying. I had been thinking about getting an iPhone off and on for a while now. You would think they would install a lock button on it to control the sensor. My phone/mp3 player has one and its much cheaper then the iPhone.

    Knoxville Moving Service

    • By totaltrust, July 26th, 2010 at 6:32 pm

      Tried all of these suggestions, and none worked at all or for very long.

      Aneil

  • By David, October 15th, 2010 at 11:09 am

    I have gone through 5 iPhone 4′s with iOS 4.1 update. All with the proximity sensor problem

    What a POS this phone is has become. How could this have never been detected in field testing??? Did no one ever hold this phone to their ear with their shoulder?

  • By Konrad, April 23rd, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    There is a huge difference between the original iPhone 4 and what is shipping now. Now there is a hole over the proximity sensor. On mine it’s solid glass.

  • By Jacie Osborne, May 23rd, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I just recently upgraded to an iPhone 4 (4 weeks ago) and it has the problems with the screen not “sleeping” when I am on the phone, and am constantly facetiming and muting people accidentally. I don’t know how new my 4 is that was at the store, but is still having this issue. My husband is upgrading at the end of the month and getting a white new one, and we will see if the newest models are fixed!

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