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June 28, 2010

Calls of discrimination over iPhone 4

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by Darren Allan

Apple has been accused of discriminating against left-handed people when it comes to the company’s latest smartphone.

The iPhone 4 was released to much fanfare last Thursday, although that quickly turned into a flood of complaints from some users, after a problem with the device’s antenna was uncovered.

The problem in question being that holding it while touching the bottom left hand corner seems to degrade the signal quality, to the point where the connection drops for some folks.

And it’s a bigger issue for left-handed people, as that’s how they naturally hold the smartphone.

Laura Milsom, Director of the Left-Handed Club, a group that promotes the rights of southpaws (or the lefts of southpaws, perhaps), has come forward and talked to The Telegraph about the matter.

She accused Apple of discriminating against left-handers. Referring to Steve Jobs’ advice to hold the phone differently if users are experiencing problems, she told the newspaper: “It seems ludicrous to suggest that 10 per cent of potential users should be told they have to adopt a less natural hand hold to use this latest technology.”

“I would strongly suggest that Steve Jobs employs left-handers in his design and testing team in future, and urgently address this issue to ensure the phone is fit for purpose.”

We certainly agree that it seems very odd this issue wasn’t picked up during testing the phone.

Apple’s other suggested solution, to use a bumper or case to shield the sensitive area of the antenna (which runs around the outside of the phone) is almost as unsatisfactory as the “hold it differently” advice.

People have bought the iPhone 4 because it’s a sleek and slimmed down piece of high technology. We don’t imagine they’ll be enamoured with the idea of covering it with a chunky case.

Other buzz on the net regarding these Apple woes seems to suggest that perhaps this is a software and not hardware issue, and there may be an update in the pipeline for iOS 4 which will solve this bugbear.

We hope this is the case, but wonder why on Earth Steve Jobs wouldn’t have mentioned this little fact given the current furore, as opposed to his other rather inflammatory advice thus far…

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1 Comment »
  1. The point so many articles are missing is that it’s many right handed people who use the phone in their left hand, hence to be able to write things down with the right hand.

    Comment by calls — June 28, 2010 @ 12:07 pm

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