Apple knows about the iPhone 4 reception problems, one that seem to be one of the phone's "features" rather than a fatal issue and Steve Jobs, the company's CEO, has stepped into the debate with a flurry of emails.
Jobs replied to one saying that it was not big issue before saying to another user that it is an issue but that users should refrain from holding it with the steel bands touching human skin.
Apple issued an official statement saying that any phone (not only the iPhone) will suffer from some sort of "attenuation of its antenna performance" with certain areas being worse than others depending on where the antenna is situated.
The statement goes on with what seems to be a definitive answer for the issue, stating that uses should "avoid gripping it [the iPhone 4] in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band" or simply [buy and] use one of many available cases.
As one commenter said, you don't adjust the iPhone to fit you but you adjust yourself to fit the iPhone 4. So, basically either you get one bumper from Apple (or others), you change the way you hold your phone or suffer from bad reception until the next generation.
Still, it raises another question. If Apple knew about it the whole time, why didn't they alter the phone's design. It surely can't be a cynical ploy to sell more bumper or accessories. Funnily enough, the 12 users of iPhone in the office have never encountered this issue before.