Print 64 comment(s) - last by blufire.. on Jun 29 at 12:41 PM

Many users are reporting signal oddities with the new iPhone

Apple's problems, like history, seem to have a way of repeating themself.  The iPhone 3G S launch, like the 3G launch of a year before brought more crashed servers and more unhappy customers.  And just this last week Mac Pro users began to experience display problems with their new computers, echoing problems that have been reported for a couple years in various models.  Now iPhone users are reporting reception and signal problems that echo the iPhone 3G's problems last year that were eventually traced to/blamed on faulty chipset firmware.

MacWorld's Ted Landau reports that his own research with his 3G and 3G S phones revealed that the 3G S is perplexing switching to the slower EDGE networks, while the iPhone 3G shows no problems accessing the faster 3G networks.

Apple claims that this actually shows that its hardware is working better.  Writes Mr. Landau, "Checking online, I found others reporting a similar situation. So I contacted Apple Support for an explanation. They said they were familiar with this matter and that there was nothing wrong. At least not with my iPhone 3GS. According to Apple, the software behind the status bar on an iPhone 3GS does a better job of showing when a switch from 3G to EDGE has occurred than does the comparable software on an iPhone 3G."

Apple Support claims that increased traffic is to blame for the 3G S switching to EDGE when the 3G has a high (four or five bar) signal strength.  Apple also claims that it switches users to EDGE first who have been connected to 3G for the longest.

However, this explanation doesn't match real world testing.  Writes Mr. Landau, "To test this out, I went to Settings -> General -> Network and turned off Enable 3G. After waiting a few seconds, I turned it back on. This typically had an effect, but not a predictable one. The iPhone sometimes succeeded in shifting from an EDGE to 3G connection. At other times, it shifted to No Service! No matter what happened, the connection returned to its prior EDGE state within a few minutes. Powering off and turning the iPhone back on led to similar results. As a result, I am skeptical of Apple’s explanation on this point."

For now there is no clear solution or explanation of these problems.  Their scope also remains unknown -- they may be limited to a handful of users, or be relatively common.  While just an inconvenience, it's another troubling sign that Apple still has not worked out the trouble spots with the iPhone.

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Houston, we have a problem
By fsardis on 6/26/2009 11:38:49 AM , Rating: 5
The Lexus just lost a wheel. Again.

RE: Houston, we have a problem
By zsunjian on 6/26/2009 11:57:58 AM , Rating: 5
It's more like the Lexus keeps automatically switching to its backup tire, which turns out to be deflated, and you end up going 45 on hwy.

RE: Houston, we have a problem
By fsardis on 6/26/2009 3:08:50 PM , Rating: 4
Where is Pirks? When it comes to laughs, he always delivers the goods. I could use some comic relief after paying for the 15" Macbook Pro and receiving a Datsun instead of a Lexus.

RE: Houston, we have a problem
By sxr7171 on 6/26/2009 3:43:48 PM , Rating: 2
You asked for it honestly. Why the heck not get a Dell E4200 from the Dell outlet for around $1000? That is the best value in mobile computing out there IMHO. Next to that there are great Thinkpad X200s machines going for $1200.

Why anyone would buy those joke MacBook "pro" machines is beyond me.

RE: Houston, we have a problem
By fsardis on 6/26/2009 3:57:47 PM , Rating: 2
To study how secure they are. After that it will get the Win 7 treatment.

Think different, think the same.(TM)

RE: Houston, we have a problem
By QueBert on 6/27/09, Rating: -1
RE: Houston, we have a problem
By fsardis on 6/27/2009 11:52:38 AM , Rating: 5
I beg to differ. Nobody would laugh at you for using a PC in any industry and I know many a sound engineer and graphic artist who use PC workstations to get their work done.

So what that a couple of apps are exclusive to Macs? I believe you will find a much greater number of apps are exclusive to Windows. I for one use Cakewalk, Ableton, FL Studio and Reaper on the PC to name but a few. I also use PaintShop and Photoshop. The industry standard by the way for sound processing is ProTools which is available on both platforms. There is no "standard" in any industry that is not crossplatform. Having a standard that is limited to one platform defeats the whole point of having standards but Jobs will not tell you that. The reality distortion field at its finest.

The only reason that the people you mentioned own Macs is because they are leading the hip crowd and they have to be "cool". Macs after all are marketed to idiots who cannot turn on their PC and to "artistes" who compete with Jobs on the ego championships.

By theapparition on 6/29/2009 7:00:01 AM , Rating: 2
If you're job is to make music, weather producing or engineering and you use a PC you'll be the laughing stock of the industry and nobody will take you seriously.

Don't know what sort of engineering you're talking about but there are by far at least 1000x more engineering and scientific applications for PCs.

RE: Houston, we have a problem
By jkostans on 6/29/2009 8:18:23 AM , Rating: 3
Engineers use PCs. Most of the industry standard apps are PC only.

RE: Houston, we have a problem
By chick0n on 6/26/2009 4:29:04 PM , Rating: 2
Pirks is the perfect example of how stupid and ignorant Mac users are.

RE: Houston, we have a problem
By fsardis on 6/26/2009 5:02:08 PM , Rating: 2
And he is not even a Mac user because he likes to play games.
The guy is just a troll really but he has made me laugh like no other.

RE: Houston, we have a problem
By Pirks on 6/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: Houston, we have a problem
By fsardis on 6/26/2009 9:06:41 PM , Rating: 2
ROFL! Never fails to deliver.

Read my two posts. I have done a short list of major issues and that is only after about 5 hours playing with it between the two days I've had it. I have also corrected my errors in those list in the interest of objectivity.
I will not be doing any security testing on it yet as I am expecting a friend of mine to bring a Linux laptop running Backtrack and a few fuzzers. Until then, it sits in a corner gathering dust because my 2 year old Acer running Win 7 is much more usable.

RE: Houston, we have a problem
By Pirks on 6/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: Houston, we have a problem
By fsardis on 6/26/2009 11:11:41 PM , Rating: 2
From what depths of your ass crack have you deducted that there are no ports open? You are totally insane. You probably made a few people laugh or cry again.

Even in your twisted world of closed ports, it still makes no sense at all to have the firewall disabled because eventually some ports will open. iTunes? Safari? Time sync? Just to name a few services and apps that run by default and open ports. Auto updates? Skype? You want more or are you humiliated enough?

As for the firmware, I am pretty sure you got no clue what it is nor what EFI is. The way I remember it, you are just a grease monkey repairing laptops. You only understand screw drivers and pliers, leave the science to the ones who do not live in the reality distortion field.

By the way, you compare them to a Lexus yet my Datsun has a fully customisable interface in looks and sound but my Lexus does not. It also came with the firewall enabled and it was not logging me on automatically by default either. It also asks for confirmation when I make system changes but the Mac only asks me if I lock the control panel first and by default it comes unlocked. It also gives me control over the power states of the CPU to maximise battery life and performance. All those things are missing from the Lexus. Wanna explain that to me? I could use some laughs.

RE: Houston, we have a problem
By Pirks on 6/27/09, Rating: -1
RE: Houston, we have a problem
By fsardis on 6/26/2009 11:22:05 PM , Rating: 2
Oh I forgot one more thing regarding the firewall. I am not usually given such idiotic questions and I was caught off guard by your excellence at posting such questions.

You also need the firewall running to block outgoing connections in the event some app or malware is trying to send out info such as your credit card numbers etc. The firewall should block any data going out unless it is from authorised applications. As a matter of fact, most of the time, where applicable, a hardware firewall handles incoming connections and a software firewall deals with outgoing.

No go play a game on your alienware and leave the security to people who have a clue.

RE: Houston, we have a problem
By sgtdisturbed47 on 6/27/2009 6:13:25 AM , Rating: 2
Why on earth would you use Alienware? Sure, Dell owns it now but the "overprice it so it gives you bigger e-peen" concept is still alive and throbbing with Alienwares. As a custom system builder, I look at Alienware as the Michael Jackson lookalike in the black van with a candy bowl on the rear bumper parked at the corner of an elementary school... it lures you in, and you get effed in the A.

RE: Houston, we have a problem
By Pirks on 6/28/09, Rating: -1
RE: Houston, we have a problem
By eddieroolz on 6/27/2009 6:57:37 PM , Rating: 1
He's back...from the dead!

RE: Houston, we have a problem
By phantom505 on 6/28/2009 2:32:24 AM , Rating: 1
Wait.... so you're now a Winfanboy since you finally junked the Macs?

RE: Houston, we have a problem
By Pirks on 6/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: Houston, we have a problem
By Hare on 6/27/2009 2:50:43 AM , Rating: 2
Pirks is the perfect example of how stupid and ignorant Mac users are.

I'm sure the mac users appreciate your generalizations. There are idiot PC users and there are idiot Mac users. These people don't represent the majority.

The Mac vs. PC war is ridiculous. If someone makes an educated buying decision and is happy with what he/she got, shouldn't everyone be happy?

The plague of Internet: Browser wars, OS wars, Computer wars etc...

Disclaimer: I have a PC made of separately purchased components. I also have a Thinkpad and iBook.

RE: Houston, we have a problem
By mcnabney on 6/27/2009 12:15:30 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, PC and Mac users tend use completely different criteria to make their decisions. Usually on the lines of Style vs Function.

For example, you have built a custom PC at home so you can get the most out of a computer system, play all the latest games and software, and not spend too much money. Your mobile, ie - publicly viewable devices are Macs which indicate that you want to look stylish in front of others.

So you acknowledge the usefullness of the PC platform, but still waste money on appearances.

RE: Houston, we have a problem
By fsardis on 6/27/2009 1:37:18 PM , Rating: 3
It's not just that. How many people wearing suits do you see holding a Macbook? I have never seen in my life a company executive of any sort, or even a salesman carry a Mac. Those who really care about appearances never use Macs in my experience. On the other hand, the hip crowd who does not care about appearances actually pays more for a cool looking Mac. Even in their ideology they are hypocrites. There is nothing about Apple and its user base that is not a lie or hypocritical.

RE: Houston, we have a problem
By npoe1 on 6/27/2009 10:57:08 PM , Rating: 2
They care about appearances but not in the same way that an executive, who are more professional in the traditional way.

I faintly remember
By EasyC on 6/26/2009 12:25:03 PM , Rating: 5 apple commercial where one of their "customers" used the phrase "It just works".

I LOVE watching Apple take this elitist approach then failing on pretty simple things (like server usage, displays, sata 1.5 instead of sata 3), etc.

RE: I faintly remember
By fsardis on 6/26/2009 1:12:52 PM , Rating: 5
Apple will break under its own weight. They will become popular but they will implode under the pressure. Security reeks and they are just not what they are advertised to be in many ways.
I got my first ever Macbook Pro yesterday mainly because I received a hefty student discount and I wanted to study security on these things.
A few notable observations:

By default it automatically logs in the user without asking any passwords even if you have set one. Fail!
By default the firewall is set to allow everything incoming. Fail!
Sharing using SMB gives access to the root of the drive if you enable user account sharing. It should be giving access only to the home directory of the user account you are sharing like Windows does. Fail!
The interface is crap. You get no cool effects what so ever. Aero is light years ahead for those interested in looks.
Safari crashed and lost all my open tabs. No recovery of my sessions upon restart. Fail!
No option in safari to force opening new windows into tabs.
My cheapo 2 year old Acer laptop has better sound. The Mac rattles and sounds muffled.
The screen on the Mac can be moved with very little force which means that under steep angles it drops under its weight. Fail!
It came with SATA1 but firmware update sorted it out.
Speaking of updates, if you want to update drivers it means you have to update the firmware courtesy of EFI. This means you get the full blown firmware flash ritual rather than just an installation and restart or sometimes no restart like Windows does for drivers outside kernel mode. Fail!

RE: I faintly remember
By fsardis on 6/26/2009 1:29:38 PM , Rating: 5
Oh I forgot to mention: the Wi-Fi hardware is capable of 802.11n but you gotta pay extra to get a utility that unlocks it.

Talk about milking cows. They would suck the marrow out of a fly if they could.

RE: I faintly remember
By sxr7171 on 6/26/2009 3:41:15 PM , Rating: 1
I use an iPhone personally now, but I think Mac hardware sucks. Their 13.3" model weighs 4.5lbs? What a joke.

Also aluminum is for soda cans. Magnesium alloy and carbon fiber are for high end laptops.

RE: I faintly remember
By Teacup361 on 6/26/2009 4:53:33 PM , Rating: 1
Aluminum is for soda cans; not laptops!
Water is for toilets; not drinking!
Drink Brawndo! The thirst mutilator!

RE: I faintly remember
By blufire on 6/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: I faintly remember
By fsardis on 6/26/2009 7:23:26 PM , Rating: 4
Thanks for the help but I still don't see the option to open links in a new tab in the current window. I got the latest safari and there are no more updates available. The option you are talking about is for links from other applications. This however does not cover links that open in a new window from within safari. So I am left with windows popping up left, right and centre. Quite a let down from a company that advertises ease of use and is bold enough to attack Microsoft when IE is better at blocking pop up adverts and is capable of enforcing links to open in tabs.

The firmware flash process is a disaster. It asked me to restart and gave me a warning that it will flash the firmware. The screen went black for a while with no indication of what is happening (Jobs failed at Nielsen's heuristics it seems).
Generally speaking you do not want to be flashing firmware quite often so their decision to use EFI on the mainstream was wrong. Quite frankly, with Windows 7 I was not even asked to restart for VGA drivers and it only prompts me to restart out of courtesy or because the Vista drivers I was loading were set to ask for a restart anyway. The "innovative" and "technically superior" ones are not only asking me to restart but to flash firmware. Come on now, lets get real.
By the way my Wi-Fi does not list 11n but I will give it the benefit of the doubt.

I do not have a Macs suck mindset without good reason. If it was not for the student discount I got and for my curiosity in regards to their "superior" security I would have never bought it.
I will start running security tests on this thing soon but given how "polished" it looks and how irresponsible the default security settings are, I would be surprised if this thing can survive a ping of death. (if apple even knows what a ping of death is)

Quite frankly, OSX is a step forward from Win XP but it seems Apple still sees Windows the way it was in 2003. Vista and Win 7 are much more polished than OSX in many ways and they also seems to have been more carefully designed. To me OSX so far has the Linux feel ie. unpolished, crude and not carefully thought out. The default security is amateurish at best and criminally neglected at worst.
A few more notable observations:

No DPI settings apart from the accessibility zoom. No way to increase the size of the interface without dropping your resolution. Fail!
No customisation of the interface what so ever. The window borders are fixed in terms of colour and style. So a company that invites us to "think different" is locking us to a fixed theme. You do get a few different sound themes though and by sound themes I mean several different beep sounds to choose from for the error or warning messages. No change to login sound, no change to recycle bin sound, no change to windows opening or closing no changing anything. FAIL!

RE: I faintly remember
By fsardis on 6/26/2009 7:40:56 PM , Rating: 2
Just to set the record straight, I just double checked again and yes, the laptop is capable of 802.11n. I missed it when I looked yesterday it seems. My bad, sorry.

RE: I faintly remember
By blufire on 6/29/2009 12:41:24 PM , Rating: 2
It's good to see that we can have a sane conversation here :) Regarding your "open links in new tabs" issue, I see what you mean now—the solution is to hold command when clicking on a link, and it'll open in a new tab. I've become really used to that, but I can imagine someone getting frustrated when they're used to "open in a new tab" being the absolute default behavior.

RE: I faintly remember
By superPC on 6/26/2009 5:11:46 PM , Rating: 2
well with almost 200$ bill of material and a sale price of 800$ (legally unlocked and no contract in Australia) it really should just works!

By Cobra Commander on 6/26/2009 11:44:10 AM , Rating: 2
I finally turned to the Dark Side and got my first iPhone: a 3GS. Since AT&T's acquisition of Cingular, even though they had increased their tower coverage *dramatically* in that process in my area (North Metro Atlanta) the quality of service dropped radically... I never had dropped calls with Cingular but AT&T repitiously-dropped me in certain areas that were perfect with Cingular.

Anyways, in light of that, I have not had one single issue with my iPhone and call reception. I have not seen EDGE once. In fact my only iPhone-related issues pertain to iTunes and Quicktime crashing on my PC. I love my 3GS but iTunes can suck it.

RE: Odd...
By rrburton on 6/26/2009 12:24:31 PM , Rating: 2
Cingular which was jointly owned by SBC and Bellsouth bought AT&T Wireless (an independent company at the time) and continued as Cingular Wireless

SBC then bought AT&T Long Distance and changed it's name to AT&T.

AT&T (SBC) then bought Bellsouth and with that owned 100% of Cingular and did away with the Cingular name - now calling everything at&t (lower case intended).

RE: Odd...
By biggsjm on 6/26/2009 12:38:48 PM , Rating: 2
Close. The only thing you missed is that SBC bought AT&T (not AT&T LD) and took the name AT&T.

RE: Odd...
By Cobra Commander on 6/26/2009 7:38:40 PM , Rating: 2
Ah. Fantastic. We're all square now.
Now, back to the topic...

RE: Odd...
By Cobra Commander on 6/26/2009 7:37:50 PM , Rating: 2
Um, thanks for informing us of the business dealings.?
We're all very grateful for that information.?

RE: Odd...
By Goty on 6/26/2009 3:09:00 PM , Rating: 2
I live on the verge of what could be called the north metro area (just above the 85-985 split), and my 3G service is most definitely spotty, with quite a few dead spots. When I'm up in Lexington, KY, however, my service is excellent. Go figure.

RE: Odd...
By Cobra Commander on 6/26/2009 7:41:53 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmm. Well when I think of Suwanee I don't think of the metro atlanta area but when I really look at the map, it's not really much further from the perimeter from where I live so I guess I can't debate that.

But then again, it's Suwanee. ;-) I have to assume at&t (SO relieved to know how to type that correctly now) just doesn't respect Suwanee because I'm not that much closer to Atlanta than you.

RE: Odd...
By Cobra Commander on 6/26/2009 7:43:54 PM , Rating: 2
BTW, you're referring to your 3GS, right?
How is it comparing to your prior iPhone in terms of reception quality?

RE: Odd...
By eddieroolz on 6/27/2009 6:58:21 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously, my hyper-cracked Japanese Phone that's never meant to work here has better signal than my friend's iPhone.

Go figure.

RE: Odd...
By Danger D on 6/29/2009 10:39:22 AM , Rating: 2
You can't even buy an iphone in South Dakota because there's no AT&T service here. I just typed the area code of the largest city (yes, only 150,000 people, but still) into the store locator, and it said there's no store within 50 miles.

I don't want to buy one, but it seems stupid of them to not be in every state at least.

RE: Odd...
By Chaser on 6/26/2009 4:45:41 PM , Rating: 3
Welcome aboard. Now if want to be even more popular on the DT blogs get a PS3 also.

As most everyone here own neither, hate them, but are prodigal experts on both.

lies - all lies.
By raabscuttle on 6/26/2009 12:14:01 PM , Rating: 5
These are lies! All lies! Apple 3GS is perfect! Apple is perfect! I bow down to Jobs. ommmmmmmmmmmmm.

please pass the kool-aid.

RE: lies - all lies.
By akugami on 6/26/2009 6:59:02 PM , Rating: 3
I swear the first time I scanned this post I read it as "I blow down on Jobs." Had to do a double-take.

I guess it depends how you read it.
By Smilin on 6/26/2009 12:35:36 PM , Rating: 2
According to Apple, the software behind the status bar on an iPhone 3GS does a better job of showing when a switch from 3G to EDGE has occurred than does the comparable software on an iPhone 3G

So rather than admit there is a new problem with the 3GS they state that it's actually an old problem that has been there all along and the 3G was broken so that it hid the fact.

Apple is REALLY bad about owning up to mistakes.

RE: I guess it depends how you read it.
By fsardis on 6/26/2009 12:54:41 PM , Rating: 2
Apple - Not a problem; a feature.(TM)

Apple - It just switches.(TM)

By psenechal on 6/26/2009 4:54:01 PM , Rating: 2
don't you mean iFeature(TM)?

By omnicronx on 6/26/2009 11:51:12 AM , Rating: 2
Apple Support claims that increased traffic is to blame for the 3G S switching to EDGE when the 3G has a high (four or five bar) signal strength. Apple also claims that it switches users to EDGE first who have been connected to 3G for the longest.
Of course its the network, now I wonder why my friend is having the same problem here in Canada on a network that I know has no bandwidth issues (in fact they now allow free tethering from the iphone).

RE: Sure....
By eddieroolz on 6/27/2009 6:59:41 PM , Rating: 2
Apple. It just works.

Of Course
By planetgenova on 6/26/2009 2:20:39 PM , Rating: 2
A small percentage of people have issues with every piece of hardware and software no matter how well it is made or who produces it. Every time five people have some issue with an Apple product all the Apple haters come out of the woodwork. The same is true for other high profile companies like Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo. Seriously, give it a rest. I've had an iPhone and now an iPhone 3GS from day 1 of each release and I've never had any issues.

RE: Of Course
By eddieroolz on 6/27/2009 7:00:39 PM , Rating: 2
The difference is that this problem is widespread, not just in the US with AT&T. It's also happening in Canada as well.

Not to mention the Macbook display issues. That thing is affecting Macbooks all over the world.

So where's the "5 Apple users" now?

I'm suffering signal problems
By erictardif on 6/26/2009 1:58:28 PM , Rating: 3
I've been experiencing this issue with my iphone 3G with Rogers in Canada.

I found that the phone can't stay on the 3G network if there is an EDGE network nearby. And since there is a lot more EDGE than 3G here, internet browing is always a pain for me ...

It would be great to have an option on the phone to force 3G when available.

Something like disabling EDGE via SBSetting on jailbroken device but made automatically on non-broken device :D

Come on apple ...


By Alphafox78 on 6/26/2009 1:34:43 PM , Rating: 2
It takes a few firmware patches after they come up with a new OS (from 2.2 to 3.0) to fix bugs it seems. I had the 3G and when it first came out the firmware BLEW!!! had tons of signal issues. hopefully they will fix this with 3.0.1 or something. I am having issues connecting to certian wifi access points, worked with my 3G but not with 3Gs... annoying.

By Zaphod Beeblebrox on 6/26/2009 1:35:03 PM , Rating: 2

Just like any other...
By WackoNiko on 6/26/2009 2:41:52 PM , Rating: 2
I accept everyone's post here and especially find the more sarcastic posts humourous. Really, some talented & smart people here.
In my experience, Apple are like any mass product/tech/consumer company trying to maximise profit by taking advantage of their closed 'ecosystem'. We suffer because we get seduced by the coolness of it all which is really marketing b.s.
I have found their equipment to be no more or less reliable or prone to errors/crashes than any other tech brand in the same category (nokia, HTC, dell, hp, generic pc's, microsoft etc) But the cool and design factors make the gear pricey in comparison in some instances so for them to produce average gear is really unfair and hypocritical. They sell us on the sizzle but there is little real flavour...blah
Macs crash. Iphones drop out or have signal/connectivity issues.
We really should keep the complaining up with the retailers and manufacturers and *hope* they care enough to fix a bad situation. I do think Apple tech staff especially don't believe their b.s. stinks but it does. Like anyone else's...Their denial makes it stink even more so.

My 3G is affected too
By LCC2286 on 6/26/2009 3:37:02 PM , Rating: 2
I've been using the 3.0 on my 3G for a week now and it randomly goes into EDGE mode.....I'm with Rogers and it never ever did this to me. Usually I have to power cycle the phone or turn off/on the 3G to fix it. It usually does this 2-3 times a day. Never happened with 2.2.1

Black Screen of Death?
By dk494922 on 6/26/2009 4:04:50 PM , Rating: 2
I am an Iphone 3G user. Ever since I upgraded to Iphone 3.0, I have gotten black screen of death while modifying my contact list. Making phone calls without being able to go back to the phone menu to get to the hang up option.

same issue...
By BillyBatson on 6/26/2009 6:56:50 PM , Rating: 2
I had this same issue with my 3g which would occur about once every 2 weeks. I have now had my 3gs since launch and yesterday this same exact thing happened. My 3gs said "no service" while my friend standing right next to me was talking to his friend in arizona on his 3g connected to a 3G source. It wasn't until i restarted my phone that i regained reception but only edge until a few minutes later when we both drove away and once again had the same reception...

Apples explanation
By Griswold on 6/28/09, Rating: 0
"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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