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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Deal with it
By kb9fcc on 9/30/2009 6:31:59 PM , Rating: -1
All wireless carriers have system parameters that they can set that will determine how many drop calls they find necessary to keep the whole system up, stable, and, generating revenue. Based on call load, time of day, etc., they can crank in any percentage of drop call they desire. 10-30% is nominal. There will never be 0% dropped calls or 100% completion rate, there just isn't enough cellular infrastructure to support all the users. Kinda like airlines overbooking seats as they know there will always be some no-shows.

Basically folks, this is a feature , not a failure. Oh, and if you do want to kick someone, pick on AT&T not Apple, as it's AT&T that's dropping the calls, not iPhone loosing connection.

Given the density of NYC and what must be a crazy number of iPhone and other users on the network, 7 out of 10 calls not dropped sounds pretty good to me.

RE: Deal with it
By sadffffff on 9/30/2009 6:56:12 PM , Rating: 2
in a word, thats bullshit. not what youre saying, but rather that practice. they need to stop taking subscribers or get a bigger better network.

there is no defending it. its a horrible way of running things.

RE: Deal with it
By Josh7289 on 9/30/2009 7:31:38 PM , Rating: 2
Keep drinking the Kool-Aid.

But seriously, listen to yourself. 30% dropped calls is in absolutely no way "pretty good" or "a feature". It's unacceptable. Even if there are technical reasons, they're not excuses, and any company with a call failure rate that high had better be devoting all their resources to fixing it.

RE: Deal with it
By kb9fcc on 9/30/09, Rating: 0
RE: Deal with it
By Odysseus145 on 9/30/2009 7:32:59 PM , Rating: 2
ATT can't meet the needs of its subscribers. That is a failure.

RE: Deal with it
By Scrogneugneu on 9/30/2009 8:24:38 PM , Rating: 2
As long as its subscribers still give them money, it isn't a failure.

Sad, but true.

RE: Deal with it
By MadMan007 on 9/30/2009 9:50:28 PM , Rating: 2
Once people are in a contract they feel locked in and are much less likely to change. So while the subscriptions do continue it doesn't always mean good service.

RE: Deal with it
By ExarKun333 on 10/1/2009 11:21:57 AM , Rating: 2

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