It happens on other phones but it definitely is accentuated on the new iPhone if you bridge the two antennas on the left. Merely contacting the two antennas at the same time isn’t enough – I tried putting my fingers on the two antennas as close as possible without covering the gap, and the connectivity sustained. You have to cover the gap. I suspect it will only strongly affect left handed folks who choose not to get a case.
Still, a pretty big design flaw. I get the feeling someone overrode the engineers and made an artistic design decision, because it seems like a fairly trivial issue to overcome. Cover the gap in plastic or glass? It would have messed with the clean design, but eh, people eat up some ugly android phone designs, so I doubt people would have given too much of a damn about an extra panel of glass or plastic.
I predict next year’s phone will have some kind of cover over the gaps.
I told myself if the antenna issue was major, I’d just return the thing, but given that I’m right handed, I suspect it won’t affect me too much. We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks.
On another note, I’m pretty happy with the phone. My coworker showed me Family Guy Blue Harvest on his, and it looked amazing. Video call, while gimmicky, was still quite cool.