This is brilliant! Apparently, a biochemist wrote a letter to Apple detailing how their antenna/signal problems with the iPhone 4 are not caused by (nor are they fixable by) any sort of software issue, but rather by a disconnect between Apple’s lab testing and the actual field conditions experienced by the vast majority of iPhones. In short, engineers who are required to either wash their hands or wear gloves (if in a clean room) before handling devices lack a lot of the skin-surface electrolytes that most of the general populace usually have all over their hands. The difference is particularly evident during the summer, when a lot of iPhone users will have their gadgets at barbecues, ball games, pool parties, and other affairs where they will tend to be perspiring and/or otherwise a bit filthy. The increased conductivity of Average Joe’s hand vs. Joe the Engineer’s hand is enough to short out the phone’s signal when a circuit between the two antenna components (in the lower left hand corner) is created. In short, says the letter writer, Apple needs to hire some chemists to keep them out of these kind of messes.
I quite concur!