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When a free lunch isn’t good to eat.

While the excitement over the 2010 iMacs is certainly something to feast on, sometimes we need to cleanse our palettes with news from other areas of the Apple ecosystem.

You remember that iPhone 4 antenna hullabaloo a few weeks back? Well, it seems that a certain big box electronics retailer is offering a free “invisible” antenna cover for its customers to resolve this attenuation problem. At first glance, this seems incredibly nice of them, but as OWC Patrick discovered, it’s not as great as it would seem.

Apparently, in order to get this antenna cover to attach, the technician wound up spraying the back and front of OWC Patrick’s iPhone 4 with water! Though necessary to attach the cover, depending on the amount of water used, this could affect the little water detection stickers that cell companies use to determine whether or not your phone has been submerged, thus voiding your warranty.

So while it’s a free fix now, there is the potential for problems down the line, if you ever need warranty work done.

On top of that, the claim of this actually fixing the antenna problem is somewhat dubious. In-house tests indicate that this solution does not seem to resolve the issue. How come? The reason becomes obvious once you take a look at the covers themselves in the gallery below. You will see that there’s a gap along the edges that still allow your hand to make contact across the antennas, causing the drop in signal.

For those of you who don’t feel like spritzing your new iPhone for little to no benefit, you may want to check out the NewerTech NuGuard Silicone Cases for iPhone 4. These cases simply slide over your iPhone, and not only resolve the “grip of death” issue by completely covering the antennas, but they’ll also help protect your iPhone 4 from getting splashed with water, rather than require it.

Photos of the iPhone “fix.”

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  • I tried out the Invisible Shield as well, but returned it. I sprayed the Plastic (not the phone) as per the package’s instructions, but while the shield may be heavy duty, it made the iPhone look like cheap plastic versus nice glass, plus air bubbles and an imperfect fit sealed the deal on me returning it the next day. The big box squad behind the counter actually was insulting stating “It doesn’t look bad when we install it”. I thought, “cute”, but just got my money back and left instead of arguing.

    Apparently their attention to detail is not as strong, nor their tact with customers.

  • The technician offered to install the guard. I made the mistake of turning my back for a moment and when I turned around she was spraying my phone. I stopped her, but the damage was done. She was following the directions given to her. The phone was turned off (my doing), but that won’t stop the moisture sensors from being activated.
    This is mostly my mistake for not looking into what we offered here in the first place. Lesson learned.

  • The tech didn’t follow the instructions. He should have spritzed the plastic with water, then applied it to the iPhone. the iPhone should have been off, not asleep, but off, and stay off for 24 hours.

    I’ve used Invisible Shields for years on a number of devices, and never had a problem with water damage when following the instructions.