Originally Posted by Malligator
So, your assertion is that the other phones drop bars, but only the iPhone 4 actually drops the calls? How do you know? Do you have one? Or are you just going by the word of the tech press? How does someone admit a problem without owning up to it? What is the time limit for full disclosure? If a company's metrics don't show a problematic trend are they supposed to just jump at the beck and call of the blogs begging and pleading to be forgiven for an egregious mistake?
I only know one person with an iPhone 4. I played around with it a couple of days after she got it before antennagate took off. I didn't speak with her again until last night when I jokingly asked how she likes her horrible iPhone 4. She said she gets better reception and can make calls in what were deadspots for her 3GS. We can nerd-rage about dBm and bars all we want, but in the end if the phone works there is no problem.
In several threads (there have been so many) in the past 21 days, some posters identified a potential 3G to Edge handoff issue. One poster said that he lived in a marginal area.
He could make 3G calls with his 3GS, but they would usually drop to Edge.
With his iP4 he would make the call with 3G. Then (to paraphrase) the iP4 really really tried to hang on to the 3G connection-
- when it couldn't, it dropped the call (never handing off to Edge). He said it was repeatable.
His workaround was to turn the 3G radio off. No dropped calls.
A case would not have helped, because he could do this with the iP4 sitting on the desktop.
Several others reported similar problems, but they were drowned out by the feeding frenzy.
It is my understanding that:
-- both the 3G (if on) and Edge radios poll every n seconds to acquire a signal (using software/firmware)
-- software evaluates the signal strength for each radio
-- based on the evaluation the software chooses which connection to use-- with 3G given priority over Edge.
-- the polling and evaluation of signal strength go on continuously,
-- If the iOS software detects a week signal it will try and hand off to the other radio before dropping the call
-- normally this would be 3G degrading (being handed off ) to Edge.
-- If the 3G signal regains strength, a upgrade handoff is made to 3G.
-- the handoff/switch over may take a second or so.
-- there are built-in averaging algorithms and delays to prevent constant switching between radios,
So, there is a possibiliy
of a cell radio hardware, firmware or software bug/defect.
Consider that the iP4 adds a new radio band and uses completely different cell radio chips than any prior iPhone. There seems to be potential exposure here-- different drivers, different signal values, different evaluation algorithms, and different software for switching,
This, also, could be the reason that Apple removed the Field Test-- it didn't work with the new chips.
I certainly am no expert, here, but this is the most reasonable explanation I can come up with for dropped calls being different on the iP4 than the 3GS.
Anecdotally: I live about 60 miles East of San Francisco -- AT&T 3G coverage is pretty good -- about 3-4 bars after the 4.0.1 update (solid 5 bars before). About a week after I got my iP4 I called a friend in Boston. She has a 3GS. We talked for about an hour and the call was dropped about 4 times (I had never experienced a dropped call before). The odd thing, is that my iP4 never lost connection (you could hear the open connection). After a few seconds (say, 10-15), my friends voice would come back on the line and she would apologize "that's AT&T". After we ended the call (normally), she emailed me that she couldn't call out on her 3GS, at all, Weird!