Apple To Fix iPhone 4 Proximity Sensor Issue In The Next iPhone Software Update

Likely iPhone 4 signal reception fix

Some of our readers have been complaining that there is a problem with the proximity sensor in iPhone 4.

At the special iPhone 4 press conference where Apple talked about the reception problem, Steve Jobs also revealed that they’re looking into problems with the proximity sensor and expect to fix the issue in the next iPhone software update.

According to messages posted on Apple discussion forums, the "super-sensitive" proximity sensor on the new iPhone was causing calls to be unintentionally dialed, hung up or muted without user consent.

We had also posted some possible solutions to fix the proximity sensor issue, which fixed the issue for some readers but not for everyone.

Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs said at the iPhone 4 press conference:

We’re tracking some problems with the proximity sensor, we’ll have that in the next update.

I’m sure users who were facing the issue will be relieved that Apple has acknowledged the issue and is working on the issue.

It’s not clear if the fix will be included in iOS 4.1, which was seeded to developers of iPhone Developer program earlier in the week.

Are you facing the proximity sensor issue while making calls on your iPhone 4? Let us know in the comments.


iOS 4.1 will fix proximity sensor and Bluetooth problems

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  • Jorge

    The problem is not only for iphone 4 because I have a 3gs and have the same problem during or after calls.So the problem could actually be IOS related.

  • wolverinemarky

    apples on the case they will fix everything


    yep I have the problem. I have had my phone call muted or suddently go in to speakerphone mode.

  • Jon Gibson

    I have both and the problem is much much worse in iPhone 4.

  • RikTat

    There is alread a fix for this:
    Settings>General>Reset>Reset Network Settings

    I had a very bad problem with the proximity sensor and this took card of it.

    Add a case and your golden!

  • GunDoc

    That so called fix didn't help my iPhone 4 out at all. So I hope apple figures something out soon or I will be at the apple store to grt a new one.

  • Chris

    I just talked to Apple about this today, and the support guy said that the latest update should fix it. I'm downloading it right now and will let you guys know if it helps or not.

  • Marc A.

    Every phone call that takes place on my iphone 4 is either muted or put on speaker without my consent. It's gotten pretty annoying that I'm in a conversation and the phone mutes me and I'm left talking the other person can't hear me so they hang up.

  • key

    my sensor seems to stop responding after about 3.5 / 4 min into a call. apple store wanted me to make an appointment with the genius bar. fuck them. it doesn't take an apple "genius" for me to know my shit ain't workin…..

  • John

    I had the proximity sensor problem. I tried every fix to no avail. I finally went to the Apple store and exchanged it for a new phone. They swapped it out with 0 hassle. I was really surprised. The new phone is 2 weeks newer as far a build date. It's 90% better now. I can actually make a call and it only mutes people about once every 15 mins on a call vs. my previous unit which acted up every 5-10 seconds on a call.

  • Andy

    I was told by a so-called Apple Genius at the store that I could solve my proximity sensor issue by buying a bluetooth earpiece. This is a serious issue and I can't believe Apple would allow this product to come to market with such a huge flaw.

    Iphone 4 does change everything again….it's the first phone I have heard of that doesn't allow you to hold the phone to your ear while making calls! Awesome!

  • Chris

    It looks like the newest update 4.0.1, has helped, but I still have hit the mute button a few times. Now I can go about 10 minutes before hitting the mute rathar than every few minutes.

  • kwhand

    I updated my OS to 4.0.1 and it seems to be worse. I've been on the phone with apple. No mention of the OS update. They are sending another phone.

  • Fixed it for me too, for about thre days. Then the problem came back.

  • bamalady715

    nope, it didn't help mine. I am going into the store today to request my 3rd 4. I cannot live with this proximity sensor problem


    Same thing happen to me. I am on my 3rd iphone 4! This is tedious! My gas and time is not free. Then the store personnell told me they can only replace one phone. I told them this was not acceptable. This issue is not my fault!

  • zoli

    Yea,thay don't fix shit. Steve jobs is a big liar just hungry for more billios $$$$$$$$.
    The proximity issue is the huch big problem!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I don't see any solution,this is not softwere problem………….

  • Paul Harrison

    Either I am unlucky in that I have had 2 of these units and both have a serious issue with the proximity sensor, or everybody has the issue but they don't use their phone enough to notice. I would say that between 70-80% of calls which I make are either dropped, muted,swapped or ended. This phone has made me the laughing stock amongst my friends ! I can live with the antenna problem but this is driving be round the bend.

  • Larry

    The proximity sensor is far more serious the the antenna issue.Apple made it public about the antenna because it was easy to fix with a free case.I dont think the proximity switch is an easy fix and they are choosing to avoid it because they dont want it public.That may affect sales and they are buying time.The iphone 4 should have never been marketed with these flaws.

  • damniPhone4

    Too many issues with the Proximity Sensor, can't make a call for longer than 5mins without the sensor activating my loud speaker or muting the call or even worse cutting it off!!

    Come on Apple there had been times (with my 3GS) where I was proud iPhone owner and boasted the fact, but now I'm laughed at by even the HTC owners!!

  • Wrighty

    I Have the same problem.

    Have muted or changed to speaker on numerous occasions. Still running version 4 of the OS.

    According to the Apple forum the latest OS betas still don't fix the problem, and that comes from the mouth of a developer.

    Great, well done apple. Pull your finger out and sort it please.

  • Nicole

    I've had the 2G and 3GS and never had a problem with the proximity sensor until my 4. It's driving me nuts! I hang up on people, start dialing numbers, call other people, mute, and start facetime during most of my phone calls. I love the iPhone, but don't love this major issue. I sincerely hope they fix this problem very soon.

  • Nicole

    This update did not help my phone. I'm thinking about trying the "Reset Network Setting" fix and cross my fingers!

  • James Marich

    The proximity sensor issue is not only the new location of it on the new iPhone 4 directly above the earpiece, but also its sensitivity is set too high. In my opinion the sensitivity could be resolved with a software update but for the design itself it's hard to say that you wouldn't still have the issue once in a while especially while tilting your head up against your shoulder as to "free" your hands while talking. As you all may have noticed, the yet to be released white iPhone 4 has a series of holes to reveal the ambient lighting and proximity sensors. This is merely because the front fascia of the white model is not transparent whereas the black model simply has a black face with clear glass protecting it. I'm sure the white model would also attract more light making it difficult for the sensors to respond properly so that probably forced them to "bury it" under the white backing. Both of the sensors are housed together in a small solar panel type bar about 3/4 the size of the earpiece in lenght about 1/8" above the earpiece(LED maglite reveals it quite well). In order to have it not "wake" your screen during a call, I have found that(given you have half decent hearing)if place on your cheek directly in front of your ear it seems to guard against any mishaps to the sensor that you've pulled the phone away. Surprisingly enough you can almost hear it just as good from your jaw bone as you can having it placed directly aimed in your ear canal. I'm sure if your daring or knowledgeable enough, you WinSCP(ssh) into your phone and change the sensitivity parameters a bit to help compensate for the issue. I actually kind of found it useful to screw up already lol. I was talking to my girlfriend in a somewhat heated conversation so to speak and little did I know my phone awake and my cheek hit the mute button so she just happen to miss the names I called and I lucked out cuz all 'she' heard was the famous "yes dear" lol. Whewwww funny story but untrue in my case and I'm sure it's happened to somebody lol(just thought I'd throw a funny one in the middle of all my other blabbing). Well folks, hoped this helped and no I do not work for nor am I anyway associated with apple or any of its manufacturing partners, this is solely my conclusion of my opinion based analyzation based on studying the phone a bit and digging in the back of my brain cell. I never really this issue with my 3G or 3GS and in my opinion I wish they would of stuck to the L shaped positioning of the sensors as they were in the 3G and 3GS because they seemed a lot more accurate in their functionality and were definately more reliable during calls.


    I have big problems with my phone. Was especially annoying when arguing with my boyfriend it decided to put him on speaker phone, so everyone could hear him!

    Now trying to download iOS4.0.2 and it's Friday the 13th, so don't fancy my chances.

    Fingers crossed.

  • Jane

    Yes! This is a big problem. Muting and disconnecting calls all the time. This hasn't been resolved in any of the recent iOS4 updates. Hopefully it'll come soon because this is a big problem.

  • jeff

    My iPhone 4 is having same troubles: speaker comes on often, contacts list opens etc. and a GREAT one I haven't heard anyone else mention.
    Once I heard a car horn honking in the earpiece while I was talking and another time from in the phone I heard the sound of DOGS BARKING !! That's right. So weird and funny….and tragic! It was somehow bringing up the list of sample ring tones and randomly playing them!
    The AT&T store where I got the phone played pretty dumb and said I was the first to actually come in about the problem but they admitted they had been hearing about it. I told them to get ready for many, many complaints.
    Apple had better get on this one quickly

  • HSmith

    Setting Up Your iPhone 4
    OS / Proximity Sensor / Antenna / Battery

    1. OS 4.0.x. Setup – Use restore (factory setting) not restoring from back-up.
    2. Sync all your media.
    3. Battery. Drain it to 0% and charge to 100% afterwards.
    4. Antenna. It is not an issue with me (i’m getting a good reception with O2 uk). However, use the bumper supplied free by Apple, not that bad, I got the transparent one – it’s neat! It also solves the so-called ‘death grip’.
    4. Proximity Sensor. If you’re using a phone case, make sure you get one that doesn’t cover the front camera area, that’s where the proximity sensor is. The sensor is very sensitive. Some phone case interferes with the proximity sensor.
    5. Yellowish indoor picture. This was once an issue with me. Not anymore! Keep using the camera (break in process). It took me almost hundred pictures before it correct itself. Now the yellowish background is gone!
    6. Keep using all the phone features heavily – Call it SCREAM TEST!

    I’m happy with my iPhone 4 – Just love it!

  • Siv

    I updated my iPhone 4 with new iOS 4.0.2 but still I have the proximity sensor problem. I also tried "Reset All Settings" but it didn't fix the problem. I am really frustrated with this issue. I am planing to buy another phone.

  • Jesse

    Yes im having problems with the sensor. i keep ear dialing, really pisses me off. i can deal with the rest of the crap but not that. get it fixed apple.

  • I am having the same problem as of today, I have patched everything. Drivin me nuts!!!!

  • Phoebe

    I just had the same problem…

    Please fix.

  • darren

    I am on 4.1 and i still have this issue. Its a complete joke. Antenna, and now this?! I hope when they release the iPhone 5, that us iPhone 4 users who have had issues, can trade our handsets in for a big discount on the handset price. Its pissed me off and this is my first iPhone. Might be my last!!

  • Wendy

    I’m curious… I’m on 4.2.1 and these issues are just as bad as ever! Digitized sound; muffled; dropped calls; short proximity; Has anyone followed up on this issue. Is it going to be fixed?

  • Peter

    By now my iPhone 4 is on IOS 4.3.5 but no sign of relief on the proximity sensor issue; does anyone know whether Apple still considers this a problem worthy of being addressed or do they plan on leaving the affected users with a device which can effectively not be used as phone?


    i am facing lot of problem in proximity sensor of my IPHONE 4 , which will work sometimes and it will get shutdown automatically then will not work ..i am using 4.3.3 version firmware , can any one help in this regard,