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Inside the iPhone 3G dropped call complaints

post #1 of 87
Thread Starter 
Experts and analysts of all stripes are trying to explain what's wrong with the iPhone 3G, but their answers are frequently supported by bad science, outlandish claims, and pure speculation. Here's what's wrong in the reports, and why a simple firmware update is likely to solve the current issues.

What's the problem?

While nobody has formally studied the problem, lots of iPhone 3G users are complaining that they can't find 3G service, can't maintain 3G service in areas where other 3G phones can, witness wildly fluctuating signal strength bars on the phone, or conversely can't use 3G because it consumes battery life too rapidly.

Many articles on the subject are referencing Apple's support forums, where some discussions have gotten so long that forum moderators have had to lock the original thread and create a new overflow discussion.

Clearly, there are real problems. How widespread and common those problems are is more difficult to pinpoint. Apple said it sold a million iPhone 3G units on its opening weekend, and Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster reported that each of the company's US retail stores are now selling an average of 95 iPhone 3G sales per day. He expects the company to sell 4.47 million this quarter. That indicates that well over two million iPhone 3G units have already been sold to users.

Even if the 3G issues were only affecting one percent of the phones sold, that would leave twenty thousand users with problems. If only a tenth of those users posted comments online, that would easily account for the two thousand messages on Apple's discussion boards.

Blame the provider?

In the US, AT&T has been fingered in the iPhone 3G's reception problems due to the telco's relatively new and limited service coverage of its 3G network. Even in urban areas where AT&T's service maps indicate there should be 3G service, the iPhone 3G frequently fails to find it or maintain a strong enough signal to complete a call.

Compared to Sprint and Verizon Wireless, which both have wider 3G service coverage in their more mature 3G EVDO networks, AT&T is building out its 3G network using UMTS, a worldwide standard. AT&T is also forced to use different radio frequencies than other UMTS providers, which results in less technical maturity for AT&T's 3G network than those overseas.

AT&T primarily uses the 1900MHz band in the US, but is working to expand its use of its 850MHz band, a lower frequency that allows radio signals to spread farther and penetrate walls easier. Europe uses the even higher 2100MHz band for 3G, but there is also more dense network coverage there.

While AT&T's network is still experiencing some growing pains, the iPhone 3G's reception issues are also being reported in other countries too, even in Europe where 3G UMTS networks have been built out for some time. In those locations, the iPhone's dual band 3G radio uses the standard UMTS frequencies, making it hard to blame AT&T for more than just its limited coverage.

Dropped calls by provider

An article on the iPhone 3G by BusinessWeek cited unnamed sources to report, "the problem is affecting 2% to 3% of iPhone traffic, the people say. That compares with a dropped-call rate of around 1% for all traffic for AT&T." A source for the dropped call rate at AT&T wasn't given.

Studies on dropped calls are difficult because users don't report their dropped calls, and providers would be challenged to know whether phones on their networks ended a call on purpose or not. Further, calls may be dropped for a number of reasons, from poor service coverage or intermittent signal interference to phone set problems to users walking into a elevator or bank vault.

A study on dropped calls published by mindWireless in February 2007 ranked US providers on dropped calls by analyzing 80 million calls on 130,000 wireless accounts over a the first six months of 2006. It defined a dropped call as any two calls placed to the same destination within two minutes, without a call in the middle. This would not identify dropped calls where the user did not call their party back immediately, or where they were called back by the dropped party. It also excluded voicemail calls.

The company reported that Sprint had a dropped call rate of 5.4%, AT&T Wireless 5.7%, Verizon 8.0%, Cingular 11.3%, T-Mobile as 13.8, and Nextel at 14.6% (not including push to talk calls). AT&T Wireless was bought by Cingular in 2004, but the company was still in the process of merging its networks when the study was underway; that merger combined the GSM towers operated by both, strengthening Cingular's signal. Over the next year, Cingular subsequently rebranded itself as AT&T. Sprint has also since merged with Nextel, although those two companies operated incompatible networks (CDMA and iDEN) that couldn't help each other in terms of signal.

Those numbers indicate that the reported "2 to 3%" dropped call rate on the iPhone 3G, as well as the 1% drop rate for "all traffic on AT&T" are not likely to be anywhere close to reality. They are also not the product of any scientific study, since the iPhone 3G as only been out for a month and during that time the firmware has been updated.

Incidentally, Sprint and AT&T began fighting over the ad line "fewest dropped calls" last year, and AT&T was separately sued by subscribers over its claim as false advertising. AT&T no longer makes that claim, but now advertises "more bars in more places." That promise hasn't solved iPhone 3G reception issues however.

Blame the components?

Nomura analyst Richard Windsor kicked off the iPhone 3G panic when he published a research note suggesting that the iPhone's problems were due to a faulty industrial design using Infineon chips, and suggested that Apple might have to recall the faulty units.

The problem is that Windsor isn't a technical expert; he's a financial analyst. More problematically, this isn't the first time he's described a speculative hardware problem and sounded a false alarm for a possible recall based upon erroneous guesswork. Last year, he claimed that the original iPhone was plagued a faulty design for a film on its screen that used "a chemical deposition to provide touch sensitivity based on heat."

Windsor wrote that the design had failed in earlier attempts to make it work after just a few months, and suggested Apple might have to accommodate a massive recall after iPhones suddenly stopped working in the first three to six months. That never happened, but more importantly the iPhone also never used a heat sensitive film. It has always used an entirely different multitouch technology based on sensing capacitance that lays under the iPhone's glass screen, not on top of it.

The chips used in the iPhone 3G are similarly not unique nor the likely subject of a massive recall. Guenther Gaugler of Infineon told BusinessWeek, "Our 3G chips are, for example, used in Samsung handsets and we are not aware of such problems there."

Blame the production?

Some have blamed Apple's phone manufacturing instead. NyTeknik ("New Technology"), a Swedish publication, said that problems associated with the iPhone 3G may be due to problems in high production manufacturing, and notes that similar "normal childhood illnesses" have affected phones from Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson and Nokia.

Testing each iPhone during manufacturing would cost more than its actual components cost, according to Claes Beckman, a professor of microwave technology at the University of Gävle. The site performed its own testing on an iPhone 3G and found results for nominal sensitivity of 3G radio signals that were below the minimums set by the ETSI standards body. However, it also noted the iPhone 3G design has passed the CE mark, which means that it originally met the ETSI standards in testing. This led the group to believe that the problems cropped up in manufacturing after production accelerated.

Users reporting problems with their iPhones have been asked by Apple to provide their "build week," represented in the fourth and fifth digits of the unit's serial number. This could mean that Apple is tracking problems with phones manufactured between specific dates; the company has been swapping out phones for users with complaints.

The number of faulty devices may fluctuate slightly during manufacturing, but there is yet no clear suggestion that problems have accelerated with new production. Some users report having exchanged out several new iPhones without seeing any difference in exchanged models between different build weeks.

Blame the firmware?

The two sources cited by BusinessWeek indicated confidence that Apple would be able to address reception issues in the upcoming iPhone 2.1 software update, expected next month in September. Earlier in the month, Apple released 2.0.1, a bug fix that also included updates to the iPhone 3G's baseband firmware. That update had some impact on the signal strength display that users were seeing, but no details were provided on what the release actually fixed.

Earlier this year, Apple released a 1.1.4 update which also addressed a problem with dropped calls that some users were experiencing at the time on the original GSM iPhone. It too was only described as being a bug fix without offering any specifics. The iPhone 3G's UMTS technology is more computationally complex than the original iPhone's GSM radio. While its chipsets are also used in phones by other makers, the firmware Apple is using to drive the its hardware is unique and has plenty of room for maturity and optimization.

The good news is that Apple is selling millions of iPhone 3G units all of the same design; other manufacturers, such as Motorola, Samsung, HTC, and others not only sell fewer smartphones than Apple but also offer a range of different models, ensuring that each model gets less focus. All of Apple's attention is going into optimizing the iPhone 3G. RIM, which sold twice as many smartphones as Apple last fall, and Nokia, which sold just over 8 times as many, similarly split their development resources across a wide number of different models.

Credit iPhone 2.1?

When it arrives, the iPhone 2.1 software is expected to combine firmware optimizations with higher level software updates, including tools to enable developers to work with more accurate GPS data for turn-by-turn directions, as well as the notifications system for third party apps that Apple described at WWDC. The notification feature was reported missing from the fourth iPhone 2.1 beta released to certain iPhone developers just days ago.

Features are frequently added or removed during beta build testing, but the removal of the notifications system from the 2.1 build may relate to an effort to deliver its anticipated low level firmware updates as soon as possible and perhaps sooner than planned, leaving the notification service to be distributed as part of a separate release.

Apple has not publicly connected the notification system with the iPhone 2.1 release; it delivered the details of both under a non disclosure agreement intended to prevent speculation and panic as changes occur in its deployment schedule.
post #2 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Clearly, there's real problems.

Clearly, there are real problems.
post #3 of 87
so glad I'm out of it.

Funnily enough with my new handset I live in a 3g area whereas before (iphone 3g) I wasn't.
post #4 of 87
I commend you on an excellent article. This is really what the world needs to hear. Of course, since the iPhone gets a ton of press, everyone jumps on every little thing. I completely agree with all of your comments. Sure, there may be problems with the iPhone, but they're getting blown way out of proportion.

Joe
post #5 of 87
Nice article! I for one have had ZERO problems including 3G connectivity. I was 20th in line on the 11th though.
post #6 of 87
The dropped calls are not accidental. Apple has developed advanced heuristic, AI algorithms that determine when your calls have become tiresome, boring, tedious, redundant, repetitive, redundant and repetitive, and puts these calls out of their misery.

It's not a bug -- it's a feature!
post #7 of 87
I was in Manhattan yesterday, and the drops in data accessibility were quite annoying.

I hope for everyone's sake that this is an issue which can be fixed by a software/firmware patch.
post #8 of 87
Comparing my iPhone 3G to my work phone, a SonyEricsson K610i, I find that in my office the 610 gives me three out of five on the 3G signal strength meter while the iPhone only connects to the GSM network (both in the same spot in the room).

I know which one I'd rather use though..... but even so I hope there is a fix coming.
post #9 of 87
Good article.
I don't have any reception issues. I've tested with a Motorola RAZR2 V9 and a Nokia 6085. Reception is similar and even better in some cases on the iPhone 3G vs. the others.

Good to see someone challenge some of the fud. I'm tired of seeing reception threads which instantly degenerate into Apple bashing. 5000 posts bashing Apple for anything and everything doesn't prove a reception issue.

That said, its probably a combination of all the options. There probably is not a single problem but a number of issues.

It is likely that some phones have manufacturing defects. Any product does.

It is a certainty that improvements can be made to the software.

AT&T is certainly the cause for many of the problems. AT&T just shows 3G coverage, but they don't show how strong the signal is supposed to be. They're trying to make it sound better than it is. Its just plain bad coverage. Our v9 also jumps from 5 bars to no service and exhibits lots of bad behavior including dropped calls.
post #10 of 87
It is interesting that the article ends with a discussion on the improvements we might expect in the 2.1 iPhone software upgrade and that it might fix some of the issues....

How many times on these forums have we all made fun of M$ releasing under-tested/buggy products and letting their customers do the beta testing for them then fixing it after the fact... is it coincidence or irony that Apple appears to be doing the same? (or at least we are giving them the benefit that they can)
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20" Intel iMac - Airport eXtream N - 16gb Black iPhone - Apple TV
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post #11 of 87
Letting you guys know... the dropped calls have been fixed in the latest beta 2.1. A friend of mine showed me as he updated his iPhone and in the same location the bars went from 1 bar of 3G to 5 bars of 3G. He says he was shocked how in areas it would struggle to find 3G before, now its consistently strong.
post #12 of 87
Thank you Prince McLean for this article. Well balanced and informative.
just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
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just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
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post #13 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The good news is that Apple is selling millions of iPhone 3G units all of the same design; other manufacturers, such as Motorola, Samsung, HTC, and others not only sell fewer smartphones than Apple but also offer a range of different models, ensuring that each model gets less focus. All of Apple's attention is going into optimizing the iPhone 3G. RIM, which sold twice as many smartphones as Apple last fall, and Nokia, which sold just over 8 times as many, similarly split their development resources across a wide number of different models.

Well duh!!! Apple only sells one phone. Such rocket science. How many resources would you say RIM, Nokia, et al dedicate to each respective model?
post #14 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quake97 View Post

Sure, there may be problems with the iPhone, but they're getting blown way out of proportion.

It's not "way out of proportion" if you're one of the ones who's experiencing problems. I've experienced the dropped calls myself, in an area AT&T maps show as fully 3G-saturated. And it wasn't just one drop, it was four during a single 20-minute conversation. And I wasn't walking into an elevator, I was sitting in my living room. So this problem very much is real, no matter how much you don't want to believe it is.
post #15 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

It's not "way out of proportion" if you're one of the ones who's experiencing problems. I've experienced the dropped calls myself, in an area AT&T maps show as fully 3G-saturated. And it wasn't just one drop, it was four during a single 20-minute conversation. And I wasn't walking into an elevator, I was sitting in my living room. So this problem very much is real, no matter how much you don't want to believe it is.

Didn't you hear:
Quote:
The good news is that Apple is selling millions of iPhone 3G units



Don't worry. Be happy.
post #16 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

Letting you guys know... the dropped calls have been fixed in the latest beta 2.1. A friend of mine showed me as he updated his iPhone and in the same location the bars went from 1 bar of 3G to 5 bars of 3G. He says he was shocked how in areas it would struggle to find 3G before, now its consistently strong.

Man I hope you are telling the truth! That would just be off the hook awesome.
post #17 of 87
Although this report is fairly well thought out I have two concerns:

1) The dropped call report cited was referring to calls made in the first half of 2006, not on 3G networks, and more than 2 years ago, before many 3G networks were firmly in place and may actually have little or no application here.

2) I have a 1st gen phone and my reception has become worse since the 2.x software release. I am experiencing the same behaviors I saw prior to release 1.1.4. Therefore I agree that the issue is likely software. Unfortunately, there has been little discussion of the reception issues of 1st gen iPhones which may mean it affects only a few users.

--Chris
post #18 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mutant View Post

Man I hope you are telling the truth! That would just be off the hook awesome.

I am telling the truth, and I am currently holding my iPhone in that very same location, my lounge room.

It used to drop to GPRS depending where i was in my room. I now currently cannot lose 5 bars of 3G (i am in australia, so I don't have edge access) and I was shocked.

I had a trip around the city on the sunday, (my friend installed it on my phone after his) and wow... in places where it dropped to gprs continuously, it wouldn't go below 3 bars 3G.

The connection is unbelievably strong with this beta.
post #19 of 87
I haven't had any dropped calls, though my calls tend to be short and there probably isn't much to the 3G network in my area.

I am having significant problems with the Mail application. It seems to get into a state where for POP mail, it will no longer attempt to get mail (even if I manually request it, I assume that's what the circular arrow at the lower left is for) unless I fully power off the iPhone and restart.
post #20 of 87
Quote:
While nobody has formally studied the problem

Quote:
The [Univesity of Calcutta] performed its own testing on an iPhone 3G and found results for nominal sensitivity of 3G radio signals that were below the minimums set by the ETSI standards body.

Sounds like someone has formally studied the problem and found the answer. I wonder if Apple ramped down the power at the last minute in order to conserve battery life?
post #21 of 87
Quote:
'Studies on dropped calls are difficult because users don't report their dropped calls, and providers would be challenged to know whether phones on their networks ended a call on purpose or not.'

Network's do know when calls are 'dropped' and not the user or third party ending the call. in the UK Orange credits one minute of call time back if you call the third party back

Its part of their 'network performance promise' LINK

'This means we can commit to our Network Performance Promise*: if we do drop a call, we’ll credit up to one minute back to your account if it’s redialled within five minutes. Here are the finer details;
call the same number back within five minutes, and before calling anyone else, and we'll credit your account
redialled calls must last longer than three seconds for credit to be added
calls to fixed charge numbers, like Directory Enquiries, will be credited as a call at your standard rate
calls lost by a third party don't qualify for credit
* Our network promise doesn't apply to international calls, calls made whilst abroad or free phone 0800 numbers'

Maybe At&t should adopt this policy?
post #22 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Restalot View Post

How many times on these forums have we all made fun of M$ releasing under-tested/buggy products and letting their customers do the beta testing for them then fixing it after the fact... is it coincidence or irony that Apple appears to be doing the same? (or at least we are giving them the benefit that they can)

The problem with MS is that they spend years beta testing their products and when they release them they spend years patching their bugs. Also, MS only admit that they screw up when they are about to release a newer version.
post #23 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobaby View Post

Well duh!!! Apple only sells one phone. Such rocket science. How many resources would you say RIM, Nokia, et al dedicate to each respective model?

Uh, between you and I, do you actually believe it doesn't make a difference?

You think having 12 teams working on 12 phones isn't much different from having 1 team working on 1 phone?
post #24 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

I am telling the truth, and I am currently holding my iPhone in that very same location, my lounge room.

It used to drop to GPRS depending where i was in my room. I now currently cannot lose 5 bars of 3G (i am in australia, so I don't have edge access) and I was shocked.

I had a trip around the city on the sunday, (my friend installed it on my phone after his) and wow... in places where it dropped to gprs continuously, it wouldn't go below 3 bars 3G.

The connection is unbelievably strong with this beta.

judging by "number of bars" is a bad way to determine signal strength. that's just a software solution that determines a threshold of db's of signals and transforms then into a "bar"

for all we know we could be receiving the same strength, but Apple the threshold to make it appear that better signal strength is being achieved.
post #25 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by pk22901 View Post

Uh, between you and I, do you actually believe it doesn't make a difference?

You think having 12 teams working on 12 phones isn't much different from having 1 team working on 1 phone?

It's not really like that though. Nokia for instance shares the same phone inards across different models packaged in a slightly different way. I'd be surprised if they've more than 3 different hardware platforms in the 72+ million smartphones they shipped last year.

Apple also haven't just one model - they've still got the original iPhone to support and the iPod Touch.
post #26 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by pk22901 View Post

Uh, between you and I, do you actually believe it doesn't make a difference?

You think having 12 teams working on 12 phones isn't much different from having 1 team working on 1 phone?

Exactly. My point is: how does the "author" of this story know what Nokia, RIM, and the others do. More speculation based on a guess, wrapped in conjecture.
post #27 of 87
It's rather peripheral, but I'm curious to know who sponsored the mindWireless study and what is the margin of error on each reported frequency of dropped calls?
post #28 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by pk22901 View Post

Uh, between you and I, do you actually believe it doesn't make a difference?

You think having 12 teams working on 12 phones isn't much different from having 1 team working on 1 phone?

That leaves out just about everything. How big are the teams? How much experience does each team have in making a handheld device?
post #29 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

It's not "way out of proportion" if you're one of the ones who's experiencing problems. I've experienced the dropped calls myself, in an area AT&T maps show as fully 3G-saturated. And it wasn't just one drop, it was four during a single 20-minute conversation. And I wasn't walking into an elevator, I was sitting in my living room. So this problem very much is real, no matter how much you don't want to believe it is.

This is the same for me. I am sitting in the living room in rockland county New York and the phone drops from 3 bars to 0 even if I don't move. And anywhere in New York City, Manhatten, Bronx, Brooklyn... dropped call after dropped call it sucks so much. The most annoying thing of all is when I have 1 bar of 3g it will drop my call and switch to 1 bar of edge which also drops my call.... UGH!!!
post #30 of 87
I guess Apple want to get 2.1 out ASAP, and if the push-notification-system isn't ready then it's been removed to allow 2.1 to be released in the next week or two. 2.1.1 or 2.2 will come in a month with the push feature once it is ready.

Or it just got removed to allow a new beta to be released whilst the push software was going through a broken build. However I'd rather that Apple waited and got it correct from the start for this necessary feature.

I wish that Apple would not leave final release candidate testing to end users at the point of sale. I know it is hard to catch all errors however, and that some issues will always arise afterwards, but Apple has been having just a few too many recently to be comfortable. Still, once the issues are worked out, the stuff's good.
post #31 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

I haven't had any dropped calls, though my calls tend to be short and there probably isn't much to the 3G network in my area.

I am having significant problems with the Mail application. It seems to get into a state where for POP mail, it will no longer attempt to get mail (even if I manually request it, I assume that's what the circular arrow at the lower left is for) unless I fully power off the iPhone and restart.

Mail I can see on my phone even after trying manually update it or setting the push to every 15 minutes is still not showing me everything I really have. I use gmail. I will push update and 2 new messages come. I go to gmail.com and log in and I see two more unread messages sent prior to the ones I have received on my phone. Why Can't I get these messages on my phone!? Also You Tube likes to tell me that "This video is not formatted properly to be viewed here" even thought I just watched the video a day ago or a few hours before. What is that about? Also right now I downloaded updates for my Applications on my computer and then I plugged my phone in to sync. I started at 9:56and the stupid back up took until 11:53 and now its still syncing. It has been syncing from 11:54 till now still and its only 60% done. WTF!!!
post #32 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel0418 View Post

This is the same for me. I am sitting in the living room in rockland county New York and the phone drops from 3 bars to 0 even if I don't move. And anywhere in New York City, Manhatten, Bronx, Brooklyn... dropped call after dropped call it sucks so much. The most annoying thing of all is when I have 1 bar of 3g it will drop my call and switch to 1 bar of edge which also drops my call.... UGH!!!

Funny. I live in Jersey City and traveled to Rockland last Sat.. I used the 3g GPS to track our route. Never lost a signal and found us in seconds when recalculating our position. I was worried that the iPhone wasn't going to work, but it did without a hitch.
post #33 of 87
I see parrallels with the iPhone 3G and the first HD TV's.

I can remember the shops being inundated with chants of "i want my money back" when discovering their shiny new HD TV's wouldn't play Blue Ray movies and that their HD Ready TV's weren't really proper HD TV's after all.

I have an iPhone 3G and live in a UK town which is supposedly a HOT SPOT haven for 3G coverage. And it is if you believe the providers map which paints its streets and roads in a deep shade of Blue, meaning you'll experience the very best in 3G coverage.

I've never had a dropped call or a problem with a text. Even emails are swiftly delivered with the sound of the iPhones 'whoosh' ringing in my ears. No the problems start to happen when i try do what the iPhone supposedly does best like loading up Google map, or use GPS tracking even reading image rich websites. That's when the iPhone 3G becomes a brick.

I have called O2 who now tell me i need HSDPA to get the best out of the iPhone. HSDPA??? never heard of it until now and so a quick WikiPedia search reveals it stands for High-Speed Downlink Packet Access which allows Universal Mobile Telecommunications System to have higher data transfer speeds and capacity.

And no 02 don't have HSDPA network coverage in my area and so the town's map is now painted a washed out purple meaning nothing to report as of yet.

So i'm not feeling duped, just a little embarrased with myself for not researching this a little more before buying what i now consider to be the Smartphone with the most potential.

So while my iPhone 3G's future still looks bright, the same can't be said for those poor buggers who first sat down to watch 1080p movies on their 720P TV's.
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #34 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

Letting you guys know... the dropped calls have been fixed in the latest beta 2.1. A friend of mine showed me as he updated his iPhone and in the same location the bars went from 1 bar of 3G to 5 bars of 3G. He says he was shocked how in areas it would struggle to find 3G before, now its consistently strong.

Regarding "fixed in the next (baseband modem) firmware update", if developers
know about this, and generally good sources like P. Burrows of Business Week
and the Wall St. Journal were tipped to this, shouldn't Apple at least whisper
to the Genius Bar techs that they should mumble about the fix, rather than needlessly
swapping out "bad units" for new ones? I'm amazed at the number of posters
to the Apple discussion fora (generally from big cities with a patchwork
of 3G and EDGE and network congestion) who rant about being on their
second or third replacement iPhone, and complain about it acting the
same. Perhaps those are all Nokia reps fanning the flames...
post #35 of 87
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...2/ai_n21282307
"* A typical business hears from only 4 percent of its dissatisfied customers; the other 96 percent just go quietly away, and 91 percent of them will never come back."
I've read that figure now on several sites. Where did AI get 10% ? Also, how many called their carrier instead of writing on a msg board? How many called Apple? How many simply returned it? How many read msg board but don't write? The only people trying to play this down are share holders. It's not in the best interest of any consumer to marginalize those with a problem.
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post #36 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Underhill View Post

I see parrallels with the iPhone 3G and the first HD TV's.

I can remember the shops being inundated with chants of "i want my money back" when discovering their shiny new HD TV's wouldn't play Blue Ray movies and that their HD Ready TV's weren't really proper HD TV's after all.

I have an iPhone 3G and live in a UK town which is supposedly a HOT SPOT haven for 3G coverage. And it is if you believe the providers map which paints its streets and roads in a deep shade of Blue, meaning you'll experience the very best in 3G coverage.

I've never had a dropped call or a problem with a text. Even emails are swiftly delivered with the sound of the iPhones 'whoosh' ringing in my ears. No the problems start to happen when i try do what the iPhone supposedly does best like loading up Google map, or use GPS tracking even reading image rich websites. That's when the iPhone 3G becomes a brick.

I have called O2 who now tell me i need HSDPA to get the best out of the iPhone. HSDPA??? never heard of it until now and so a quick WikiPedia search reveals it stands for High-Speed Downlink Packet Access which allows Universal Mobile Telecommunications System to have higher data transfer speeds and capacity.

And no 02 don't have HSDPA network coverage in my area and so the town's map is now painted a washed out purple meaning nothing to report as of yet.

So i'm not feeling duped, just a little embarrased with myself for not researching this a little more before buying what i now consider to be the Smartphone with the most potential.

So while my iPhone 3G's future still looks bright, the same can't be said for those poor buggers who first sat down to watch 1080p movies on their 720P TV's.

Or, for the enjoyment of all the conspiracy theorists... "It's a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma!"
Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
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Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
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post #37 of 87
i also have some concerns regarding mindWireless's dropped call "analysis."

i spent 8 years for a national wireless provider mentioned in the "study" and was very close to the business case around the marketing of credits to customers for dropped calls.

i have a hard time digesting those numbers as even ball park for ANY of the providers...even %s half those size would be large enough to spike churn at levels that would be debilitating from a cash flow standpoint.

most carriers are managing their networks to < 2% blocks and <2% drops. at the time we were running use cases on the subscriber base, we were seeing consistent averages of 1.6% to 1.8% (depending on the geography).

i doubt seriously the veracity of the quoted third party analysis and am concerned that it's not even directionally useful or descriptive of network performance on a relative basis.

80MM calls is NOTHING from an interconnect standpoint...especially in 2/07 that doesn't even represent a day's worth of traffic on one of the top 3 carriers. as a result, there's definitely a risk to under-sizing the sample from a statistical standpoint.
post #38 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

The dropped calls are not accidental. Apple has developed advanced heuristic, AI algorithms that determine when your calls have become tiresome, boring, tedious, redundant, repetitive, redundant and repetitive, and puts these calls out of their misery.

It's not a bug -- it's a feature!



Quote:
Originally Posted by zenwaves View Post

I was in Manhattan yesterday, and the drops in data accessibility were quite annoying.

I hope for everyone's sake that this is an issue which can be fixed by a software/firmware patch.

NYC seems to be the most prolific area with dropped calls and wonky 3G reception for the iPhone 3G.
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post #39 of 87
Quote:
providers would be challenged to know whether phones on their networks ended a call on purpose or not

I coulda sworn that my AT&T statements occasionally contain credits for dropped calls, so I thought they had someway of recognizing it, although it wasn't accurate enough. But now I can't find anything in my statements, so maybe I am crazy.
post #40 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Underhill View Post

I have called O2 who now tell me i need HSDPA to get the best out of the iPhone. HSDPA??? never heard of it until now and so a quick WikiPedia search reveals it stands for High-Speed Downlink Packet Access which allows Universal Mobile Telecommunications System to have higher data transfer speeds and capacity.

At least they used that terminology instead of the loose 3G terminology. The image below is a bit outdated with some terms and speeds on the future high end, but it will help you understand the differences in 3G.
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