In your specific situation Thomas, make sure you have updated your phone's software. Apple's response to the issue was that the problem was related to the software which was addressed in an iOS update back in November of 2010:
That update seemed to have fixed the majority of the problems and user feedback claiming there are still issues has been minimal.
If you are running the latest software, it sounds like the sensor itself may be faulty. The phone is probably still under warranty so I would take it to an Apple store if you can and get it looked at. If you are wanting to replace the sensor yourself, it is located on the power and sensor cable which also contain the ambient light sensor and the 2nd microphone used for noise cancelling. iFixit does sell the part for the GSM/AT&T model and we are sourcing the part for the CDMA/Verizon model:
The following info doesn't sound like it applies to you, Thomas, but it may apply to others:
As pollytintop alluded too, there have been issues reported when trying to replace your front panel on the iPhone 4 and when changing the panel to a white panel from a black panel. The newly released white iPhone 4 has a black oval shaped window over the proximity and light sensor:
If you had a black iPhone originally and then swapped out the front panel with a white one, you probably ended up with a panel that had a window with a bunch of small holes that sat over the proximity sensor. Both the panel with the window with the small holes and the newer panel with the black oval window will work with that iPhone.
If you bought a white iPhone when they came out officially in April of 2011, you must replace the front panel with a panel that has the black oval window. The older front panel that had a window with the small holes will not work properly in the newly released white iPhones.
This contains several key components of the iPhone 4. — 50+ available at 19.95 each.
I had this issue as well. I recently swapped mid frames and glass on my AT&T iPhone 4. I swapped from black to white glass. My new glass came with the sensor "fix" sticker already attached, it didn't have little holes but one large window (the newer design). I replaced the sensor cable and still had the issue. I even saw that they were selling the sensor cable fix stickers online and I replicated it with some electrical tape and stuck it onto the frame of the phone over the sensors, cutting very small holes for the sensors to be restricted as to the amount of light they were putting out. That didn't work either. What DID work, however, was looking at my old frame, and finding a strip of foam running between the two sensors. I removed that strip and placed it on top of 2 strips of tape on the new frame, between the two sensors, to ensure it was thick enough to hit the new glass. It worked like a charm! What it is is light bleeding over from one sensor to the next by reflecting off the front glass into the other sensor. If you have a black piece of foam tape, you can cut a small strip to run between the two sensors. It needs to be thick enough so that when you place the glass back onto the frame, the foam touches the glass and separates the light from the two sensors completely! Hope this helps!
I have a similar problem:
I bought months ago a white screen (with "oval window") to convert my black iPhone 4 into white, and then the proximity sensor worked fine.
Now, I have another iPhone 4 White (Original White, I mean) with the glass broken. I bought the same replacement part, but now the proximity sensor is not working.
Why is this happening? Are they using another kind of flex in iPhone white?
How can I solve this or where I can buy a compatible iPhone White replacement screen?
The proximity sensors on the white iPhone 4s are different (or at least behave differently) than the sensors on their black counterparts.
The reason that I know this is that I had a white one. I quickly installed it in an Otter Box. The proximity sensor was intermitant at best. I called Otter Box and was told that this was a known issue with the white iPhone 4s and that my best bet if I wanted to use eir product was to get a black phone. That's just what I did and it worked out great.
My wife has replaced her Black iPhone 4 3 times so far and each time she has had an issue with her proximity sensor. At first I thought it may have been something she was doing until it started happening right in front of my eyes. Her latest exchange just did it today in fact. Phone was stuck to her cheek and all of the sudden she muted her Father twice. We have no idea what it is. I'm beginning to think that's it's just a faulty hardware part on the iPhone 4 since lots of people have had the problem. My buddies iPhone 4's (multiple) had the problem as well. Went away when he got the 4s. Oh and she has always had the latest updates. The worst part is, the employees at the Apple Stories are either oblivious to the proximity sensor issues OR act like they know nothing of it. At this point she's going to live with it until the next iPhone comes out.
I had an Iphone 3G for over 2 years without a problem and upgraded to Iphone 4 and had constant problems with the proximity sensor - muting callers, putting them on speaker and even worse, adding callers on Facetime while on a call. The phone was replaced and the same problems occurred. Today I have changed phone carrier and got an Iphone 4S and guess what? The same problem. Three lots of muting and Facetime calling in a short phone call. I have used the same case for all of these phones. Is it time to give up on Iphones or can they fix these problems? If I hadn't had the 3G version for so long, I might have thought I was doing something to cause the problem. Obviously, the software was up to date in all of these phones.
I noticed that Siri (raise and speak) worked fine until I put my protective case on the phone. Although the phone case has cut-outs for the sensor, Siri would not work with the case. I trimmed some of the case next to the sensor and now it works fine. Obviously the sensor has a broad view and must have a larger opening (than my case had) to see through. If you have added any type of case to your phone, trying taking it off and see if Siri works without it.
freerefil, this works!
The separator between the 2 sensors is the only thing that has actually worked. The key is for it to be thick, like you said. Thick enough to have it press back against the front LCD.
Proximity Sensor Fixed!:
- Date: 8-31-12 - 3:30 AM EDT
- How: 3 layers of foam making a divider between the ALS (Ambient Light Sensor - left) and PS (Proximity Sensor - right). If using electrical tape, you probably need more.
It needs to be THICKER than what it shown in this picture - http://www.beijingiphonerepair.com/wp-co...
It needs to show that it presses back a little bit when you put the LCD on (before screwing it on)
- Specifically what I used: (in case any details matters. I dont think so, as I believe its only the thickness of the center divider that matters)
Got this - http://www.ebay.com/itm/271022014327?ssP...
(these can also be found elsewhere like there - http://pacifictoy.com/index.php?dispatch...)
1. Cut a piece on the side the form a strip, just slightly longer than the center area btwn the sensors. Placed that in the center
2. Used one of these cut out / stickers and placed that on top
3. Cut another piece like from step 1, and placed that on top.
This was the right amount of thickness, and now my proximity sensor work from like 1 inch away :D
I have tried EVERY SOLUTION under the Sun, on every forum. This is the ONLY thing that actually worked.
- Sharpie (multiple layers)
- Blocking the sensors
- Foam / electrical tape around the sensors
- Tape w/ sharpie
- Replacing the prox sensor (done at a repair shop)
- Different LCD
- I even ordered that little "proximity sensor lens" screen thing
- Even tried this ALS jailbreak app to adjust the ALS (Ambient Light Sensor)
NONE of them worked.
I got a very very very subtle working (but not good enough) when surrounding it with the black foam. But that is because it was like a small divider (but too small to take effect).
And with Dialer-Shield not updated for iOS 5, I have been struggling with this for a while since I had to replace my LCD (after hitting a parking lot face down)
I dont know why the foam divider is needed, and why it has to be thick, but perhaps you are right - the sensors are confusing each other.
I dont think it is the backlight though from the LCD. I have Dimmer (a jailbreak app), and I an almost fully turn the backlight down so low that the screen looks off - and yet the prox sensor still failed to function. I think it may be how one of them (or both works) - possible some kind of IR? (idk I am not an electrical engineer), and due to that signal, one of them was seeing it and saying "no, not turning off the screen, because the darkness condition has not been met (even if pitch black). So my theory is the separate is truly keeping them separate. I’m not sure why or even how the signal was reflecting, but however they were built to work by Apple, they were meant to be separated (would have probably been better if physically separated by more distance, so this crap doesn't happen to people).
So I must say THANK YOU for this. You saved my sanity and my phone. I really do appreciate it.
Everyone with a broken proximity sensor, needs to try this.