Low and/or fluctuating signal strength collectively represent one of the most frustrating issues affecting iPhone owners. It can cause poor reception, dropped calls and other afflictions. The problem can be exacerbated by firmware updates, as recent reports have shown.
We've covered a number of procedures for boosting signal strength, including resetting the iPhone, dangling a USB cable off the device and buying a signal booster. We've also noted the following: if your iPhone's SIM card is not seated properly, signal strength can suffer. As such, re-seating the SIM by pushing a straightened paper clip into the small hole on the top of the device to open the SIM tray, making sure the SIM Card is properly in place, then re-inserting the SIM tray can prove effective or boosting signal strength. You should also check for debris inside the tray or SIM card slot, removing it by blowing into the slot or using compressed air.
Rooted in the notion that improper SIM contact can result in a weak signal, we've now received reports that attaching a small piece of scotch tape to the outer side of the iPhone's SIM card (the side that does not have metal contacts) can result in a surprising boost.
iPhone Atlas reader Jeggrey Swiger recently wrote:
"I found that a small piece of scotch tape under the SIM Card had put enough pressure on the Contact to give a great increase in signal strength."
We certainly can't recommend this procedure, as it might void your iPhone's warranty. But if you've already cleaned debris and made sure your SIM card is properly seated, a piece of scotch tape may very well provide the added pressure needed for proper contact and a strong signal.