The iPhone 4’s antenna problems didn’t exactly sneak up on Apple. A top antenna expert warned Steve Jobs early in design that the proposed antenna—a metal strip circling the phone—could lead to dropped calls, a source tells Bloomberg. Later, one of Apple’s carrier partners raised the same concern. But Jobs and company stuck with their design, because it made the phone lighter and thinner.
For the metal strip to work, an engineer warned, it would have to be broken up to create several individual antennas. If a user put their finger over one of the gaps, it would act as a conductor and interfere with the signal. But the final phone only has one gap, and many users have reported losing calls when touching it. (Read more iPhone 4 stories.)