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Sprint investigating iPhone 4S speed issue, unable to replicate it

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Wireless operator Sprint has said it is taking seriously reports of problems with iPhone 4S download speeds on its network, but the carrier has yet to consistently reproduce the issue.

Not long after Sprint began carrying Apple's best-selling smartphone last month, customers began reporting connection issues and slow speeds. As of Wednesday evening, a support discussion on Sprint's website has received 1,291 replies and more than 240,000 views.

One customer reported seeing speeds three times as fast on the Samsung Epic Touch on 3G as on the iPhone 4S during a test.

Sprint's head of product development Fared Adib told CNET on Wednesday that the company is looking into the complaints.

"We're taking the reports of problems from a small number of customers seriously," he said. "There's nothing of significance to report yet."

Adib acknowledged the issue in hopes of letting customers know that Sprint wasn't ignoring them, but he had little to report in terms of a solution.

"We don't see anything that is easily replicable," he told the publication, adding that the company would move fast once a fix is discovered.

Last week, The Next Web reported details of an alleged internal Sprint email that acknowledged a "confirmed nationwide issue" that Apple and Sprint were working together to fix.



For its part, Apple has its own issues to work on. The company confirmed on Wednesday that a software bug in iOS 5 has been affecting iPhone users and promised a fix would arrive in a few weeks.

Despite the fact that the iPhone has a 40 percent higher subsidy than the industry average, the carrier has said the smartphone is "worth every penny." CEO Dan Hesse has also hinted that the iPhone's high network efficiency helps keep costs down for its unlimited plans.

The carrier has already seen early success with the iPhone. In just four hours, Apple's newest handset smashed the company's previous one-day sales record.

Hesse has indicated in the past that not having the iPhone was the main reason it lost customers. As the third-largest wireless carrier in the U.S., behind only AT&T and Verizon, Sprint is now counting on the iPhone to reverse the heavy subscriber losses it has sustained from its competitors.
post #2 of 24
I dont think Sprint could change a roll of toilet paper quickly. I am sorry but every one I have known who had Spring has ended up going to another provider. I would bet that they know what the issue is but are not wanting to fix it for financial purposes. How many times have you heard positive things about Sprint in these forums? More negative than positive. My goodness. I honestly see them being bought out or merger by another company.
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post #3 of 24
Something here smells fishy.
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post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Something here smells fishy.

Yeah. Over 80 pages of complaints on the Sprint forums and they are "unable to replicate it".

Messed up.

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post #5 of 24
I'll just say this. With Sprint NOT trying hard enough to find out their problems with the 3G iPhones, makes me not want to become part of their technology experiment again. As a FORMER Sprint customer from about 2 weeks ago (1st day of 4s release I was new), I did not see decent *stresses decent* speeds from Sprint at all after early day 1. The speeds were atrocious. It took me close to 30 seconds just to pull the MLB playoff score on a 'mobile' website. I don't think I got above .6Mbps even in the middle of the night using speed test apps. Everything was slow. Sure, unlimited data is nice, but I need to be able to use the data at a reasonable rate, and--sadly--Sprint just plain sucked at it ... at least in my area.
post #6 of 24
I'm getting 137ms ping with .83mbps down/1.09mbps up. Is it great? No. But then I look at my unlimited plan and how much I'm paying for it, and I smile.

I'm not watching movies on my phone (at least not streaming ones), but everything I do is pretty snappy. I even tether on a daily basis for e-mail and some browsing at work. No additional charges!
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twelve View Post

I'm getting 137ms ping with .83mbps down/1.09mbps up. Is it great? No. But then I look at my unlimited plan and how much I'm paying for it, and I smile.

I'm not watching movies on my phone (at least not streaming ones), but everything I do is pretty snappy. I even tether on a daily basis for e-mail and some browsing at work. No additional charges!

You're on Sprint?
post #8 of 24
For what it's worth myself and a co-worker (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s) have both been having issues on iOS5 with AT&T. The past few days my bandwidth tests go from 2.0 to 2.5 mbps down to almost nothing. Browsing is hit or miss as well. I've been on iOS5 since June and this problem started after the GM/PR releases. Am I alone?
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

Yeah. Over 80 pages of complaints on the Sprint forums and they are "unable to replicate it".

Messed up.

What's messed up is the "any time someone complains, the company is automatically guilty of something and should immediately fix the problem and give everyone a trillion dollars in damages" attitude.

There are a thousand posts. Based on averages I've seen on similar forums, that thousand posts consists of:

10 people who see a problem - but who post 10 times each
200 people who say "I don't have a problem"
500 people who say "Apple sucks" just on general principles
and
200 trolls who can't even bother to stay on topic.

There are many millions of phones out there. A small percentage of phones will have a problem, regardless of the carrier or circumstances - and random problems are difficult to track down.
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post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Something here smells fishy.

Your girlfriend in town?
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbtinc View Post

Your girlfriend in town?

That's disgusting, uncalled for and sophomoric.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

What's messed up is the "any time someone complains, the company is automatically guilty of something and should immediately fix the problem and give everyone a trillion dollars in damages" attitude.

There are a thousand posts. Based on averages I've seen on similar forums, that thousand posts consists of:

10 people who see a problem - but who post 10 times each
200 people who say "I don't have a problem"
500 people who say "Apple sucks" just on general principles
and
200 trolls who can't even bother to stay on topic.

There are many millions of phones out there. A small percentage of phones will have a problem, regardless of the carrier or circumstances - and random problems are difficult to track down.

Sometimes, where there's smoke, it's just that, as you indicated (although I find the reference to trolls rather pathetic). Sometimes, there is more than smoke.

Case in point - As Isaacson's book points out, Apple's own engineers expressed concerns about the external antenna on iP4. So it's rather indefensible to say that was not a real issue, even though Jobs pulled off a masterful performance to placate the masses. In the end, it didn't turn into a bigger issue in part because telephony is a secondary necessity for a smartphone.

There may or may not be a real problem with iPhone 4S on Sprint's network. But it's baseless, irrational to dismiss other people's complaints out of knee jerk reaction to stand guard around the Apple moat. A more rational, sensible response is to analyze possible causes.
post #13 of 24
I read some of those complaints. Many were from people switching from AT&T to Sprint. If you are accustomed to AT&T's network speeds, you are going to suffer a hit in terms of speed when going to Sprint (which might be OK for some). AT&T might stink for voice, but its data speeds are the best. Moreover, the new iPhone is 4G on AT&T.
post #14 of 24
That is because very few of those complaints are likely legitimate. Many are admittedly new to Sprint's network and have no idea of what Sprint's speeds are. They are comparing it to AT&T.

I am not saying there might not be some legitimate complaints, but they probably are not that massive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

Yeah. Over 80 pages of complaints on the Sprint forums and they are "unable to replicate it".

Messed up.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

I read some of those complaints. Many were from people switching from AT&T to Sprint. If you are accustomed to AT&T's network speeds, you are going to suffer a hit in terms of speed when going to Sprint (which might be OK for some). AT&T might stink for voice, but its data speeds are the best.

That's a plausible explanation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Moreover, the new iPhone is 4G on AT&T.

Only in the imagination of marketers and those who don't know better.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Sometimes, where there's smoke, it's just that, as you indicated (although I find the reference to trolls rather pathetic). Sometimes, there is more than smoke.

Case in point - As Isaacson's book points out, Apple's own engineers expressed concerns about the external antenna on iP4. So it's rather indefensible to say that was not a real issue, even though Jobs pulled off a masterful performance to placate the masses. In the end, it didn't turn into a bigger issue in part because telephony is a secondary necessity for a smartphone.

There may or may not be a real problem with iPhone 4S on Sprint's network. But it's baseless, irrational to dismiss other people's complaints out of knee jerk reaction to stand guard around the Apple moat. A more rational, sensible response is to analyze possible causes.

Maybe they are holding their phones wrong

Look I've never had a problem on Verizon ip4. The possible causes are crappy coverage areas or antenna issues on the phone. Antenna problems affected no more than 5% of users, this seems to be much smaller than that so it makes it hard to replicate. Well see what happens.

Maybe sprint got a few defective phones or cell towers don't recognize or are overwhelmed by iPhone.
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post #17 of 24
I've had an iPhone 4 on AT&T through work for a little over a year, but we just got a 4S for my wife yesterday through Sprint. This is her first 'smartphone' and she will never be considered a heavy data user so she will undoubtedly be satisfied with the speeds that she receives.

There is definitely a problem though. Away from our home wifi connection, we tried using Siri several times on 3G. Each time Siri said they were unable to connect to the network. Obviously I don't have Siri on my 4 to use as a comparison, but I have to believe that Siri *should* work just fine on a typical 3G connection. Sprint definitely has some issues to work out.
post #18 of 24
Sprint Sucks big time. I got an iPhone 4s on launch day with sprint, and 7 out of 10 times I was unable to use Siri because of network issues. Not to mention a simple webpage which is not graphic intensive, took over a minute sometimes to load. I was never able to get speed that reaches 1 Mbps, my best result was 0.89 down 0.23 up. Anyway I returned the phone, because I wasn't willing to fall for sprint stunt that they r working on a fix, and then I would be way pass my 14 days return window, then be stuck with a phone that is of no use, and would be hit with ETF if I wanna opt out. Hahahaha, nice try sprint with your mediocre network. Verizon is king.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

That's disgusting, uncalled for and sophomoric.

Well, duh...that's why he said it
post #20 of 24
AT&T realized that its network wasn't comprehensive enough to deal with all the data iPhones use and Sprint is about to discover the same thing except that its "unlimited" plan is about to either become super expensive or just like all the other carriers. The reason the others carriers don't provide unlimited is because so much data being used will stress the networks too much, yes? (or if someone else understands networks better please enlighten me). The iPhone might actually bring about the end of Sprint.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamipig View Post

Sprint Sucks big time. I got an iPhone 4s on launch day with sprint, and 7 out of 10 times I was unable to use Siri because of network issues. Not to mention a simple webpage which is not graphic intensive, took over a minute sometimes to load. I was never able to get speed that reaches 1 Mbps, my best result was 0.89 down 0.23 up. Anyway I returned the phone, because I wasn't willing to fall for sprint stunt that they r working on a fix, and then I would be way pass my 14 days return window, then be stuck with a phone that is of no use, and would be hit with ETF if I wanna opt out. Hahahaha, nice try sprint with your mediocre network. Verizon is king.

the Siri problem was an apple problem not sprint

first week i couldn't hit siri on AT&T and wifi
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by S8ER01Z View Post

For what it's worth myself and a co-worker (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s) have both been having issues on iOS5 with AT&T. The past few days my bandwidth tests go from 2.0 to 2.5 mbps down to almost nothing. Browsing is hit or miss as well. I've been on iOS5 since June and this problem started after the GM/PR releases. Am I alone?

That sounds about right for a SHARED resource over a wireless network.

Data speed for ANY phone on ANY network is a highly variable parameter with many different factors that can affect it.
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post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

That sounds about right for a SHARED resource over a wireless network.

Data speed for ANY phone on ANY network is a highly variable parameter with many different factors that can affect it.

I think you misunderstood me. My 3G bandwidth goes from 2-2.5 down to nil. At times I cannot access websites with 5 bars and the 4s user next to me is have similar problems.


I live an hour from where I work and the bandwidth oddities exist regardless of my location.
post #24 of 24
I have an EVO 4G and my speeds can vary from as low as 20Kbps to as high as 600Kbps though most of the time they are around 250Kbps. It's the reason I'm leaving Sprint after 13 years. I can remember when I was getting 1.5 - 2.5Mbps about 5 years ago.

A friend of mine sitting across the table from me earlier this week who uses Verizon ran a comparison test for me. I tested at 400Kbps and across the table he tested at 1.8Mbps on 3G. That the was the straw that broke the camels back.

AT&T here I come.

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