A large study carried on behalf of telecommunications authorities in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland found that the antenna quality of the iPhone is significantly worse than its competitors.
The antenna location within the various iPhone models is thought to be the major reason why its call quality and range was found to be so much worse than other phones on the market.
Gert Frølund Pedersen, a professor at Denmark's Aalborg University, conducted the study with the support of the Nordic Council of Ministers. He studied the antenna quality of the 26 most popular mobile phone models on the market and the results were bad news for Apple's popular iPhone.
“Apple has had problems and they continue to have them. It also seems that the problems are greater in their newer phones, which is incredible,” Pedersen told Danish news agency Ritzau.
According to the results of his study, the four different iPhone models examined – the SE, 6, 6S and 6S Plus – were the four worst phones for voice services when the devices are held in the user's left hand.
The iPhone models perform better in the right hand, but are still beaten by a number of competitors. The iPhone 6S Plus has just the 12th best signal, the iPhone 6 is 16th, the 6S is 22nd and Apple's newest model, the SE, is just the 23rd best of the 26 phones tested.
The best phones for antenna quality in the right hand were the HTC Desire 626, Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini and Samsung Galaxy J1. When held in the left hand, the top three were the DORO PhoneEasy 530X, Microsoft Lumia 640 and Microsoft Lumia 650.
Pedersen advised consumers to check the telephone's GSM 900 system before deciding on a model.
Denmark's energy minister, Lars Christian Lilleholt, told Ritzau he hopes Apple and other producers will take a good look at the Danish study.
“I hope this will help put pressure on them. And that's where consumers can have the most impact by voting with their wallets,” he said.
Apple did not respond to Ritzau's request for a comment.
The full study can be found here (in English).