I just got a replacement phone on insurance, and i cann't pull down the notification bar when I hold the phone in portrait, but when I turn the phone sideways in landscape, i can pull it down just fine. Also I cannot delete any apps off my home screen cause the trash can is at the top where the notification bar is, I can't bring them that far up.
I did have notifications and I could pull down the bar when I turned the phone sideways. I just ended up getting a new phone, I tried reseting the phone to stock, I even flashed the phone with new software.
I just wanted to touch base with you about your device. I'm glad to hear that you received a replacement device for this issue as the device is capable of accessing the notification bar regardless of if there is a notification on the device. Did you have any additional questions or concerns as both myself and the community are here to help. If so then let us know so we can dive in and provide suggestions/solutions.
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I think you didn't notice (Unless I misunderstanding post) that the OP stated that the replacement device is the one that the status menu is inaccessible.
Do you have any third party launchers installed like ADW, Launcher Pro or GO Launcher because this is a option for the 3rd part launchers and if you have ADW it has a lock feature for the page to avoid modifying, if you have ADW try Menu / More / Lock Desktop.