Users report SIM card issues with Apple's iPhone 4S and iOS 5.0.1

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Some owners of Apple's new iPhone 4S have been hit with SIM card error messages, even if they are connected to a CDMA carrier that does not use SIM cards.



One reader contacted AppleInsider on Thursday to share their frustrations with error messages that read "Invalid SIM" and "SIM Failure" on their iPhone 4S. This person said the errors began occurring after they updated to iOS 5.0.1, though other users posting on Apple's official Support Communities website, in a thread with more than 30,000 views to date, have experienced similar problems since the iPhone 4S first went on sale in October.



"This problem can only be solved when you reboot your iPhone," the person, who is an AT&T customer, wrote in an e-mail. "Everything else fails -- restore, removal of the SIM, etc."



When users experience a SIM-card-related error, basic functions including making phone calls, sending text messages, and using mobile data become unavailable, as the handset cannot make a connection with the wireless data provider.



The iPhone 4S is a "world phone," which means its redesigned antenna and internal components are compatible with both CDMA and GSM carriers. Micro SIM cards placed in the iPhone 4S are only used by GSM carriers to identify a subscriber and grant them access to a carrier's wireless network.



But while only GSM carriers, like AT&T in the U.S., use the micro SIM slot on the iPhone 4S, users on CDMA carriers, like Verizon and Sprint, have also reported experiencing SIM-card-related errors. iPhone 4S units sold through CDMA carriers come with a "roaming SIM" installed, which allows CDMA customers to roam worldwide on GSM networks.



"No service on my white 32 GB 4S on Verizon," user 'racyb' wrote in October. "Did a shutdown and reboot....it went into searching mode and finally found Verizon again after 1 minute. What is going on?"



Since the release of iOS 5.0.1 earlier this month, another thread at the Apple Support Communities website features more users who say the problems began occurring after they updated their iPhone 4S. Some say their iPhone displays full signal reception, yet error messages like "Call Failed" and "Invalid SIM" continue to display.







"Same problem here in Brazil," user 'GuiMedrado' wrote on Wednesday. "Bought my 4S - 32GB unlocked in Switzerland and couldnt' make it work after upgrading to 5.0.1. Any solution?"



The iOS 5.0.1 update was released earlier this month in an attempt to address battery life issues reported by some users. But some battery-related problems have remained, and Apple has publicly said it is still working to fix those issues.



One rumor this week claimed that Apple will issue a new update, iOS 5.0.2, no later than next week in a second attempt to improve battery life with iOS 5. There was no mention of any fixes for SIM card issues or error messages.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    I have the iPhone 4s on Verizon and I had the SIM card error the first two days I had the phone. Hasn't happened since.
  • Reply 2 of 31
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    My brother have the same problem with his new iPhone 4S. We did a restore from ipsw downloaded from Apple.com and setup as new iPhone. Everything worked great until he updated to 5.0.1. The error keep showing up every few hours.
  • Reply 3 of 31
    Dodged another bullet! Whew.
  • Reply 4 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    My brother have the same problem with his new iPhone 4S. We did a restore from ipsw downloaded from Apple.com and setup as new iPhone. Everything worked great until he updated to 5.0.1. The error keep showing up every few hours.



    I had the SIM failure error but haven't had it in two weeks. My daughter would get searching at the top of her phone, Apple swapped it out and she hasn't had the problem since. I updated all the phones to 5.0.1.



    The battery issue for me still seems a bit odd. Yesterday I didn't use my iPhone much and 12 hours later I was still at 98%, it was in sleep mode most of the day. This morning I woke up and the batter drained down to 92% with no apps open.
  • Reply 5 of 31
    Boy, the number of issues with the 4S is rapidly approaching absurd levels, especially when you consider the fact that Apple had a longer than usual development cycle for what was essentially a swap of internal components into an existing design. I bought the 4S thinking that with 18 months since the release of the 4, Apple would have ironed out all the issues and the 4S would be rock solid from day 1. I haven't had this sim card issue, though my phone hemorrhages battery so fast I feel like I own a 4G android device.



    The only possible excuse Apple could possibly have for all these issues is that they were indeed planning to release a redesigned iPhone 5, but some design/supply chain issue forced them to abandon that plan at the last minute and slap together the 4S. If Apple has really been developing and testing the 4S over the last 18 months, then they did a terrible job.
  • Reply 6 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Some owners of Apple's new iPhone 4S have been hit with SIM card error messages, even if they are connected to a CDMA carrier that does not use SIM cards.



    One reader contacted AppleInsider on Thursday to share their frustrations with error messages that read "Invalid SIM" and "SIM Failure" on their iPhone 4S. ...



    Interesting.



    I have had this since day one with the iPhone 4s and yes, a reboot is the only thing that works to fix it. Like most people I was blaming the stupid carrier since it's their sim and spotty coverage or connection issues are almost always the carriers fault. Happens to me once every week or so.



    Very scary when it happens. Nice to know there might be a fix for it in the works.
  • Reply 7 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacDevil View Post


    Boy, the number of issues with the 4S is rapidly approaching absurd levels, especially when you consider the fact that Apple had a longer than usual development cycle for what was essentially a swap of internal components into an existing design. I bought the 4S thinking that with 18 months since the release of the 4, Apple would have ironed out all the issues and the 4S would be rock solid from day 1. I haven't had this sim card issue, though my phone hemorrhages battery so fast I feel like I own a 4G android device.



    The only possible excuse Apple could possibly have for all these issues is that they were indeed planning to release a redesigned iPhone 5, but some design/supply chain issue forced them to abandon that plan at the last minute and slap together the 4S. If Apple has really been developing and testing the 4S over the last 18 months, then they did a terrible job.



    You're mixing up hardware with software.



    Almost all of the issues reported so far (and there really aren't that many more than usual), are software related and nothing to do with the hardware design of the 4s (rushed or otherwise).
  • Reply 8 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacDevil View Post


    Boy, the number of issues with the 4S is rapidly approaching absurd levels,



    Not really. Because these are not major design issues. They are issues hitting perhaps 1-2% of users at most for any particular item, some of which have been traced back to corrupt pre iOS 5 backups (fixed by restoring as a new phone), using apps that haven't been updated since iOS 3 and crashed, etc.



    Quote:



    The only possible excuse Apple could possibly have for all these issues is that they were indeed planning to release a redesigned iPhone 5, but some design/supply chain issue forced them to abandon that plan at the last minute and slap together the 4S.




    Again, no. there is nothing to support that they slapped together a 4s because of some issue or that this is the reason for the software issues that are going on.



    Quote:



    If Apple has really been developing and testing the 4S over the last 18 months, then they did a terrible job.



    If the 4s is such shite, how is it that you can take one out of the box, turn it on as a new phone and have zero occurrences of any of these issues. Because tons of folks have done just that.
  • Reply 9 of 31
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    I can't wait until we can finally get rid of this archaic model that has always been the weak point of making a GSM-based device work in favour of vSIM.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacDevil View Post


    The only possible excuse Apple could possibly have for all these issues is that they were indeed planning to release a redesigned iPhone 5, but some design/supply chain issue forced them to abandon that plan at the last minute and slap together the 4S. If Apple has really been developing and testing the 4S over the last 18 months, then they did a terrible job.



    Don't be an idiot.
  • Reply 10 of 31
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post


    I had the SIM failure error but haven't had it in two weeks. My daughter would get searching at the top of her phone, Apple swapped it out and she hasn't had the problem since. I updated all the phones to 5.0.1.



    The battery issue for me still seems a bit odd. Yesterday I didn't use my iPhone much and 12 hours later I was still at 98%, it was in sleep mode most of the day. This morning I woke up and the batter drained down to 92% with no apps open.



    My battery life is much worse. On standby my iPhone battery would go from 100% to 0% in less than 36 hours. My usage time keep counting even though the iPhone is not being used. The last time I recharge it was showing 15% battery life with 31 hours standby and 14hr30min usage. I was calculating my actual usage and it was less than 2 hour (few phone calls, email checking, messages checking). I was trying to minimize my usage time to determine the source of the problem. I am sure a full restore as new iPhone would solve this but I will wait for 5.0.2 first.
  • Reply 11 of 31
    I followed the link, and it looks like this isn't anything special or new.



    The reports in the forum about this symptom with the 4S started on Oct 15th, when they were running 5.0, not 5.0.1. This has happened with iPhones occasionally from the beginning. Eject and re-seat the SIM card. That fixes it the vast majority of the time. If that doesn't work, get the SIM card or the phone swapped out. Saw it the other day with my wife's iPhone 4. Ejected and re-seated the SIM, problem solved.



    The sky is not falling, people. Let's not fan the hype and hysteria.
  • Reply 12 of 31
    same problem on the 64gb Canadian spec unlocked phone...
  • Reply 13 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    Not really. Because these are not major design issues. They are issues hitting perhaps 1-2% of users at most for any particular item, some of which have been traced back to corrupt pre iOS 5 backups (fixed by restoring as a new phone), using apps that haven't been updated since iOS 3 and crashed, etc.







    Again, no. there is nothing to support that they slapped together a 4s because of some issue or that this is the reason for the software issues that are going on.







    If the 4s is such shite, how is it that you can take one out of the box, turn it on as a new phone and have zero occurrences of any of these issues. Because tons of folks have done just that.



    I set up mine as new (I have done that with every iPhone I've had because I know that restoring from the backup of a previous phone usually causes battery issues). Yet, I still have the battery drain.



    Let's accept for a second that it is really just software. That's almost as bad in my opinion. The first beta of iOS 5 was released in June. The software then went through 7 betas and a GM over the course of 4 months before being released to the public. For comparison, iOS 4 went through 4 betas over 3 months and didn't have nearly as many early issues.



    These issues are not confined to 1-2% of users as some are claiming (where did you even come up with that number?). It's not the result of user error. The issues are real and need to be fixed. Apple, to its credit, has acknowledged the battery issue at least and has said it is still working on fixing it. All I am saying is that the 4S and iOS 5 have a surprisingly large number of issues for products that had a longer-than-usual development cycle.
  • Reply 14 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wyseguy View Post


    I followed the link, and it looks like this isn't anything special or new.



    The reports in the forum about this symptom with the 4S started on Oct 15th, when they were running 5.0, not 5.0.1. This has happened with iPhones occasionally from the beginning. Eject and re-seat the SIM card. That fixes it the vast majority of the time. If that doesn't work, get the SIM card or the phone swapped out. Saw it the other day with my wife's iPhone 4. Ejected and re-seated the SIM, problem solved.



    The sky is not falling, people. Let's not fan the hype and hysteria.



    In the interests of accuracy, re-setting the SIM card may not be a fix for this issue. At least it's never worked for me and I've had this happen three or four times so far (5.0 and 5.0.1). Perhaps you have a bad SIM only?



    For me, nothing worked except a reboot of the phone in an area where signal is strong.
  • Reply 15 of 31
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacDevil View Post


    Boy, the number of issues with the 4S is rapidly approaching absurd levels, especially when you consider the fact that Apple had a longer than usual development cycle for what was essentially a swap of internal components into an existing design. I bought the 4S thinking that with 18 months since the release of the 4, Apple would have ironed out all the issues and the 4S would be rock solid from day 1. I haven't had this sim card issue, though my phone hemorrhages battery so fast I feel like I own a 4G android device.



    The only possible excuse Apple could possibly have for all these issues is that they were indeed planning to release a redesigned iPhone 5, but some design/supply chain issue forced them to abandon that plan at the last minute and slap together the 4S. If Apple has really been developing and testing the 4S over the last 18 months, then they did a terrible job.



    the battery issue is a "bug" with location services and is dependent on how you use your phone.



    disabling crap like foursquare radar any anything else that constantly polls for your location will improve battery life
  • Reply 16 of 31
    4S, 5.0.1, new SIM card with the 4S on AT&T. No issues here. As suggested, perhaps it's a bad SIM and not an iPhone issue.



    Like most of these issues, they seem to affect only a small percentage of users. While it's not good for this small percentage, at least Apple is good about doing something about it. I had an issue with my iPhone 4 where the microphone volume was low. Someone else had to tell me (obviously). I took it to the Apple store where they replaced the iPhone without hesitation.
  • Reply 17 of 31
    sipsip Posts: 210member
    No problems in the UK. My one gripe is the missing "Turn OFF 3G" feature in iOS + iPhone4S -- it is still available in iOS5 on 3GS and iPhone4.
  • Reply 18 of 31
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacDevil View Post


    I set up mine as new (I have done that with every iPhone I've had because I know that restoring from the backup of a previous phone usually causes battery issues). Yet, I still have the battery drain.



    Wow! Dozens of million of CE are made and some have some minor issues. Amazing that could actually happen¡



    Let's accept for a second that it is really just software. That's almost as bad in my opinion. The first beta of iOS 5 was released in June. The software then went through 7 betas and a GM over the course of 4 months before being released to the public.[/QUOTE]

    Your point being? Not that Apple (as well as all other consumer vendors) routinely update their SW to address bugs. Why you think that ALL bugs should have been dealt with before the iPhone 4S, yet aren't holding this flame to another CE company or even Apple's past products is ridiculous.



    Quote:

    For comparison, iOS 4 went through 4 betas over 3 months and didn't have nearly as many early issues.



    And your proof of this is because you're hearing about iPhone 4S issues more than iPhone 4 issues. Fucking genius¡



    Quote:

    These issues are not confined to 1-2% of users as some are claiming (where did you even come up with that number?).



    Where is your proof that they are much higher? You really want to go on record that 99% of iPhoen 4S are faulty? How about calling for "battery gate" and filing a class action against Apple for purposely releasing a phone that doesn't live up to its specs.



    Quote:

    It's not the result of user error. The issues are real and need to be fixed. Apple, to its credit, has acknowledged the battery issue at least and has said it is still working on fixing it. All I am saying is that the 4S and iOS 5 have a surprisingly large number of issues for products that had a longer-than-usual development cycle.



    Define large? A bunch of the same people are complaining on internet forums? 50% more complaints over last year's iPhone 4 release when the device is selling 2x as many and has increased market share? At this point you should realize that even a small problem will seem large when you have a dominate mindshare. You should also have realized that even if the percentage of device issues has shrunk that it could seem larger because they are selling more units. Neither of those may be the case but you have even thought of those as possibilities. You just grabbed your torch and pitchfork and made a vain attempt to storm the castle walls.
  • Reply 19 of 31
    On a related note: my 4S on AT&T has frequently gone to "Searching..." but then come back to a 3G connection without rebooting. Haven't noted any of those problems for about 4 days now.



    On an unrelated note: I was streaming Family Guy on Hulu using a 3G connection. Halfway through the episode, the sound cut out (this would sometimes happen when the stream wasn't good enough) but this was different. I noted the handset had gotten warmer than usual and sound was completely off for the entire phone. With mute switch off, I was unable to hear the clicks of buttons (phone keypad), music stored on my phone, or anything. A reboot fixed the issue, I tried Hulu again, and after 5 minutes, the problem resumed.



    I quit everything and let the phone rest. After 2 hours, still no sound. A reboot and now no problem.
  • Reply 20 of 31
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tlevier View Post


    On a related note: my 4S on AT&T has frequently gone to "Searching..." but then come back to a 3G connection without rebooting. Haven't noted any of those problems for about 4 days now.



    On an unrelated note: I was streaming Family Guy on Hulu using a 3G connection. Halfway through the episode, the sound cut out (this would sometimes happen when the stream wasn't good enough) but this was different. I noted the handset had gotten warmer than usual and sound was completely off for the entire phone. With mute switch off, I was unable to hear the clicks of buttons (phone keypad), music stored on my phone, or anything. A reboot fixed the issue, I tried Hulu again, and after 5 minutes, the problem resumed.



    I quit everything and let the phone rest. After 2 hours, still no sound. A reboot and now no problem.



    Sounds like the Hulu app is doing something wonky. Did you try other video players, like Youtube or Netflix? DId you try getting sound from the headphone jack and the internal speaker?
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