Print 48 comment(s) - last by Jalek.. on Oct 18 at 12:42 AM

  (Source: The Huffington Post)

When one NYC iPhone customer complained that many of his calls were dropping, Apple informed him that his 22 percent drop rate was much better than its average NYC customer's 30 percent dropped call rate.  (Source: Gizmodo)
"It just works" -- Apple Inc.

Apple is famous for its advertising that its products are easy to use and problem free.  Thus, when it is confronted with problems in its products, it's perhaps predictable that it would get a bit defensive.  It often glosses over complaints or stretches the definition of the word "working".  Despite some signs that it was turning a corner, responding to hard drive issues on its MacBook Pros, a recent report from Gizmodo indicates more of the same.

A customer named Manoj Gupta took his iPhone to the local Apple Genius Bar when he became frustrated with its tendency to frequently drop his calls.  The Genius Bar gave Mr. Gupta some good news -- his iPhone was perfectly fine and working and needed no repairs.

The bad news?  The phone dropped over 22 percent of the calls it made in the test routine.  But the Genius Bar printout reassured Mr. Gupta that 22 percent call drop rates were actually quite good -- and that most of AT&T's iPhone customers have 30 percent or more of their calls drop.

Granted, Apple may be getting more than the fair share of its criticism for this egregious claim, but its lack of concern and its customers plight and its decision to partner with AT&T, whose network is obviously not up to snuff, are an invitation to such critique.  As for AT&T, it seems hard to believe that it will be able to retain many customers in areas where its dropping 30 percent of their calls.  While call drop rates are traditionally higher in New York City, they're seldom that high.

AT&T is offering a solution to their customers -- buy their own 3G hotspot for $150.  AT&T will soon be rolling out its MicroCell, a femtocell device that will offer a bubble of 3G coverage.  It is unclear, though, whether customers will be required to subscribe to one of AT&T's unlimited calling bundles ($20/month) to use the device.

AT&T and Apple are confident that their customers will stick with them -- even if they drop 30 percent of their calls in some areas.  And AT&T feels that it is giving customers plenty of options, allowing them to subscribe to an extra service to help fix the shortcomings of its network.

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That's pretty bad, but...
By mmntech on 9/30/2009 5:01:23 PM , Rating: 3
30% dropped calls with the iPhone in NYC is pretty bad but from what I hear bad phone service is pretty common in the city across all networks. I've personally have never experienced dropped calls using my iPhone on Rogers/FIDO here in Canada. Not with any other phone for I've owned for that matter on different networks. I live in the Toronto suburbs. It's more of an AT&T problem than an Apple one.

RE: That's pretty bad, but...
By Lord 666 on 9/30/2009 5:07:43 PM , Rating: 5
Bullshit. With my VZW BB Tour and all of our 100 other VZW phones, never had any issue in NYC. It's really the AT&T network thats the problem.

RE: That's pretty bad, but...
By Souka on 9/30/2009 5:20:13 PM , Rating: 5
Kinda strange... my previous company had about 100 smart phones from Verizon, ATT, Sprint, T-mobile in NYC... only time people complained about dropped calls were the classic "when I drove into the garage" or "got onto an elevator"

I will say that we prohibited iPhones... and were probably about 75% of the devices were Blackberry...

I myself had no issues with my phone in NYC (Verizon) and I was constantly on it...going in and out of buildings and elevators. (no garages for me.. I walked mostly, with some taxi use).

My $.02

RE: That's pretty bad, but...
By Spivonious on 10/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: That's pretty bad, but...
By ebakke on 10/1/2009 8:22:35 AM , Rating: 3
It makes sense for telecos to put repeaters in the subway lines so commuters have cell service through their entire commute. It doesn't make economic/business sense, on the other hand, to add a repeater in a garage or elevator shaft.

RE: That's pretty bad, but...
By Lord 666 on 10/1/2009 11:08:24 AM , Rating: 2
What's being discussed in NYC is to have cell service provided at subway stations.

The valid concern providing end-to-end coverage in the tubes is terrorism using a mobile phone activated bomb. Not long ago, there was a heated debate to terminate the leaky coax cable that services the Lincoln and Holland Tunnel. Eventually, the need for phone service was recognized as a greater need than the potential terrorism threat.

RE: That's pretty bad, but...
By Souka on 10/1/2009 11:14:37 AM , Rating: 1
Just eliminate the people from the subway tunnels...then you don't have to worry about any terrorism threat.

Oh wait... nvm

RE: That's pretty bad, but...
By sebmel on 10/7/2009 10:44:43 AM , Rating: 2
Well NOW there's a choice: Windows Mobile 6.5 is OUT!

And to such good reviews too:

Last week, here on DT, the regulars were bravely taking one for Steve, saying Ballmer is doing a GREAT job despite losing over half the capital value of the company, over $10 billion on the Xbox and several points of Windows Mobile market share. Well, those reviews show just how good!

RE: That's pretty bad, but...
By maven81 on 10/1/2009 1:27:29 PM , Rating: 2
Why does that make sense? I like the fact that the NYC subway doesn't have cell service. It means I can ride it in peace most of the time. Imagine being next to someone who's chatting away on their cell phone for half an hour or more? It also forces most people to read instead, which isn't a bad thing.

RE: That's pretty bad, but...
By Jackattak on 10/1/2009 1:50:34 PM , Rating: 2
I absolutely CANNOT STAND when some squawky bink gets on the MAX here in Portland and interrupts everyone else's smooth and quiet ride.

What's worse is they generally sit directly underneath the "please be courteous to others and lower your voice" signage.

I pray for when we hit the tunnels on those days.

RE: That's pretty bad, but...
By tmouse on 10/2/2009 7:58:07 AM , Rating: 2
It would make it harder to tell who is really talking to someone and who is just talking to the voices in their heads.

RE: That's pretty bad, but...
By hands on 10/1/2009 8:26:49 AM , Rating: 3
Tunnels are a special case for telcoms. They actually have specific equipment to provide service in tunnels. Cell techs I've talked to call it a "leaky feed."

Garages and elevator shafts are a different story.

RE: That's pretty bad, but...
By nafhan on 10/1/2009 8:59:17 AM , Rating: 3
Verizon works pretty well in the Washington DC subway (Metro), but from what I understand, that's due to repeaters.
If you have enough metal, concrete, or earth between you and the nearest cell towers, it doesn't matter what network you're on.

RE: That's pretty bad, but...
By Motoman on 9/30/2009 5:24:36 PM , Rating: 5
To be fair to both parties, you'd have to have compare the same device on different networks, and different devices on the same network. Since AT&T is exclusive with the iPhoney (jailbroken units notwithstanding), that's not going to happen.

Basically, if iPhones on multiple networks dropped calls 30% of the time, then the iPhone is the problem. If a dozen different devices on AT&T drop calls 30% of the time, then AT&T is the problem (granted that the same devices could be tested on other networks, to ensure you don't have a dozen crappy devices). That would be what you'd have to do to truly find the problem.

RE: That's pretty bad, but...
By bohhad on 9/30/2009 7:44:23 PM , Rating: 4
The way they are locked at the hip, a problem for one is a problem for the other.

RE: That's pretty bad, but...
By mmntech on 9/30/2009 5:58:59 PM , Rating: 3
IDK, I just heard Opie & Anthony talking about it maybe a year ago. There's was also something on TV about it. I've never tested it myself obviously.

RE: That's pretty bad, but...
By Bateluer on 9/30/2009 5:10:21 PM , Rating: 3
I've been with Verizon since 2004, across 3 different cell phones. I can count on one hand how many of my calls have dropped. 22%, let alone 30%, of all calls being dropped is unacceptable and I'd drop AT&T over that.

RE: That's pretty bad, but...
By Alexstarfire on 10/1/2009 1:59:57 AM , Rating: 2
So k, I'm on AT&T and don't have any dropped calls. I have had problems making calls sometimes, though rare in itself, but it could very well be my phone. Not like my phone doesn't have it's share of oddities.

I can really only think of one person I call where the call gets dropped, but I'm not the one dropping it's the other person. Which became very obvious when the called dropped while I was using our landline. She lives in Taiwan with bad cell and internet service so it's not uncommon for it to happen when we talk. It's quite frustrating, but I can't fix it.

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