Living with credit

iPhone death grip

Emily Crone

A few weeks
ago, I blogged that I was dying to get an iPhone 4,
but was doing everything in my power to resist. Emily's list: Resisting the urge for an iPhone 4 edition Despite the new
features I so desired, I concluded that I just didn’t need one. Shortly
after that, once the phones were in stock, I called AT&T to see if I
qualified for an upgrade. I learned that even as a
current AT&T customer, it would still cost a whopping $199. Ouch. I wavered back and forth, and ultimately decided to wait — at least until I heard more from people as to whether it was actually worth it.

Boy am I glad I waited; it turns out that the iPhone 4 has major antenna reception issues. According to Wired, it’s so bad that Consumer Reports, which initially ranked iPhone as the best smartphone, has come out and said that it can’t recommend the phone because of this major technical problem. A steel antenna band runs along the edges of the phone. When you grip the phone in a certain way — particularly in the left-hand corner–the phone will lose three or four bars of signal (the problem is humorously called “the death grip”). Apple has even advised consumers to avoid holding the phone in that corner, and I’ve seen some blogs call for a recall. There were murmurs that a new software update would fix the problem, but Mobile Crunch says it doesn’t work.

The moral of the story is I coveted something I didn’t need. I knew it would be a bad investment, but I wanted to be an early adopter and have all the fun new bells and whistles. I was almost willing to pay the price, when reason kicked in and told me to save the $200. Looking back, that’s the smartest thing I’ve done in a while. Purchasing brand new technology is inherently risky. It’s unsure what, if anything, Apple will do to help these down-and-out customers. Has this happened to you?


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