There are things that I love about my iPhone4. It's reception isn't one of them, and Apple's insistence that I don't have a problem is an even more annoying one. Well, two sources have sent an inside pitch directly at the gut of the Apple PR machine.
Consumer Reports did what should have been done a few weeks ago: put the phone in a lab, connect it to a local base station, and test the antenna signal strength. Guess what? The found that shorting the antenna made a huge difference and led them to revoke the "buy" recommendation for the iPhone4. See this here:
Some clever engineers managed to put the iPhone4 into a hidden diagnostic mode and run some real world tests. While they found the antenna to be far more sensitive than any previous iPhone, the shorting issue resulted in attenuation that was consistently strong enough to drop calls.
Bottom line: even if Apple fixes its supposed software issue, the iPhone4 suffers from a hardware design flaw. The only way to fix this is to either avoid touching the phone in such a way as to short the antenna (which is difficult and totally absurd) or to coat the antenna with something that insulates it from touch. How Apple deals with this (and the inevitable class action lawsuits from angry customers) will be very interesting to watch.