Apple: iPhone 2.0.2 update targets 3G issues

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple confirmed that the iPhone 2.0.2 update does indeed include changes to address issues related to 3G reception. USAToday cited company spokesperson Jennifer Bowcock as saying, "The software update improves communication with 3G networks."



The newspaper referenced reports of complaints from iPhone users and cited speculation about possible hardware issues with Infineon chips used in the iPhone, a possibility Infineon itself earlier discounted as unlikely, noting that other phone makers use the same components without any issues.



The report also cited Jupitermedia's vice president for mobile strategy Michael Gartenberg, who said the reports of iPhone 3G problems may be overblown. "We've seen these isolated reports about people having connectivity issues with 3G and Edge, and frankly I have those issues on a variety of phones. Cellphone coverage is tricky."



The 2.0.2 update apparently addresses complex issues that control how quickly the iPhone 3G will drop a weak 3G signal in order to use a stronger EDGE signal when it is available. In the US, much of AT&T's cellular network is built out using cell towers optimized to deliver "2.75 G" GSM/EDGE service. Sources familiar with the matter say 3G networks require closer tower spacing to provide the same level of coverage with the more modern 3G UMTS.



There is nothing Apple can do in software to fill in spotty coverage in AT&T's 3G network, but software updates can adjust how the phone hardware works to allow it find and maintain a link with a less than optimal 3G signal. Independent tests have suggested that at least some versions of the iPhone 3G are too quick to drop a marginal 3G signal that other UMTS phones can use without problems.



A CNet report on iPhone 3G issues cited Andrew Seybold, an independent industry analyst, as saying, "My belief is that because AT&T's network is not built out to every cell site, people are getting frustrated because they're finding places where the 3G signal isn't available or is weak."



The dizzying array of complexity exposed in the iPhone's Field Test mode (below), entered by dialing *3001#12345#* and exited by hitting the home key, illustrates that signal reception is not a simple matter.







Change you can retrieve 3G in



For some users, adjustments in how the iPhone 3G's low level radios are configured may provide a usable improvement in 3G reception, while for users in other areas with more signal problems, it may result in futile attempts to cling to a terrible 3G signal that reduces the overall call quality and may be more likely to result in a dropped call.



In Japan and parts of Europe, EDGE network upgrades were skipped entirely and providers simply jumped from 2G to full 3G networks. This may impact how much improvement iPhone 3G users see there, as the challenges of finding a strong 3G signal and the firmware's decisions on when to drop down to a 2G signal will simply be different. In the US, AT&T users' experiences with the update may also fluctuate due to the quality and coverage of the 3G network in their area.



Steve Jobs separately emailed one user with a tersely worded intent to fix unrelated problems in the iPhone's higher level software that concern instability and crashing in third party apps, writing, "This is a known iPhone bug that is being fixed in the next software update in September."

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple confirmed that the iPhone 2.0.2 update does indeed include changes to address issues related to 3G reception. USAToday cited company spokesperson Jennifer Bowcock as saying, "The software update improves communication with 3G networks."



    The newspaper referenced reports of complaints from iPhone users and cited speculation about possible hardware issues with Infineon chips used in the iPhone, a possibility Infineon itself earlier discounted as unlikely, noting that other phone makers use the same components without any issues.



    The report also cited Jupitermedia's vice president for mobile strategy Michael Gartenberg, who said the reports of iPhone 3G problems may be overblown. "We've seen these isolated reports about people having connectivity issues with 3G and Edge, and frankly I have those issues on a variety of phones. Cellphone coverage is tricky."



    The 2.0.2 update apparently addresses complex issues that control how quickly the iPhone 3G will drop a weak 3G signal in order to use a stronger EDGE signal when it is available. In the US, much of AT&T's cellular network is built out using cell towers optimized to deliver "2.75 G" GSM/EDGE service. Sources familiar with the matter say 3G networks require closer tower spacing to provide the same level of coverage with the more modern 3G UMTS.



    There is nothing Apple can do in software to fill in spotty coverage in AT&T's 3G network, but software updates can adjust how the phone hardware works to allow it find and maintain a link with a less than optimal 3G signal. Independent tests have suggested that at least some versions of the iPhone 3G are too quick to drop a marginal 3G signal that other UMTS phones can use without problems.



    A CNet report on iPhone 3G issues cited Andrew Seybold, an independent industry analyst, as saying, "My belief is that because AT&T's network is not built out to every cell site, people are getting frustrated because they're finding places where the 3G signal isn't available or is weak."



    The dizzying array of complexity exposed in the iPhone's Field Test mode (below), entered by dialing *3001#12355#* and exited by hitting the home key, illustrates that signal reception is not a simple matter.







    Change you can retrieve 3G in



    For some users, adjustments in how the iPhone 3G's low level radios are configured may provide a usable improvement in 3G reception, while for users in other areas with more signal problems, it may result in futile attempts to cling to a terrible 3G signal that reduces the overall call quality and may be more likely to result in a dropped call.



    In Japan and parts of Europe, EDGE network upgrades were skipped entirely and providers simply jumped from 2G to full 3G networks. This may impact how much improvement iPhone 3G users see there, as the challenges of finding a strong 3G signal and the firmware's decisions on when to drop down to a 2G signal will simply be different. In the US, AT&T users' experiences with the update may also fluctuate due to the quality and coverage of the 3G network in their area.



    Steve Jobs separately emailed one user with a tersely worded intent to fix unrelated problems in the iPhone's higher level software that concern instability and crashing in third party apps, writing, "This is a known iPhone bug that is being fixed in the next software update in September."







    so when this doesn't work they'll announce a recall then?



    When is 3g not 3g..??



    when its Iphone
  • Reply 2 of 102
    abster2coreabster2core Posts: 2,501member
    I would hope that there is a modicum of civility maintained here.



    Obvious Apple has recognized that there are issues and are doing their best to resolve such. Now is not the time to rehash the same concerns and negative perceptions over and over again.



    For those that don't have an iPhone, perhaps just let go. Let those of us that have invested heavily in such report our findings without prejudice and submit the feedback that Apple needs to do its best.
  • Reply 3 of 102
    princeprince Posts: 88member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Archipellago View Post


    so when this doesn't work they'll announce a recall then?



    When is 3g not 3g..??



    when its Iphone



    Hi "Archipellago," please don't quote the entire article when making a comment.



    And also, how many 3G phone models are currently outselling the iPhone 3G? That should provide you with a point of reference on things.
  • Reply 4 of 102
    why does Apple continue to roll out monolithic worldwide updates to their software when, as the article states, each nation or continent more than likely requires a tailored software fix?



    Similarly, when will the spell checker stop correcting organise to organize?



    There is a world outside the USA, Apple...
  • Reply 5 of 102
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    I would hope that there is a modicum of civility maintained here.



    Obvious Apple has recognized that there are issues and are doing their best to resolve such. Now is not the time to rehash the same concerns and negative perceptions over and over again.



    For those that don't have an iPhone, perhaps just let go. Let those of us that have invested heavily in such report our findings without prejudice and submit the feedback that Apple needs to do its best.



    You live in a dream world bud. Those of us Apple fans that have never had any desire for an AT&T smart phone that plays music will not be quiet. We have endured months and months of threads here regarding the iPhone while Leopard, .Mac, new laptops, iMacs, AppleTvs, etc , etc have been compromised because Apple has been stretched thin. While I feel sorry for all you guys with phone problems, forget it if you're so selfish to think you're the only who has a heavy investment here.
  • Reply 6 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NanoAkron




    Similarly, when will the spell checker stop correcting organise to organize?




    When you learn to spell.
  • Reply 7 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prince View Post


    Hi "Archipellago," please don't quote the entire article when making a comment.



    And also, how many 3G phone models are currently outselling the iPhone 3G? That should provide you with a point of reference on things.



    by that logic Mcdonalds are the best restauarant in the world!!



    sales do not necessarily equal quality.
  • Reply 8 of 102
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    Jennifer Bowcock??? Wow! I could have lots of fun with that one - but will abstain this time.
  • Reply 9 of 102
    abster2coreabster2core Posts: 2,501member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NanoAkron View Post


    why does Apple continue to roll out monolithic worldwide updates to their software when, as the article states, each nation or continent more than likely requires a tailored software fix?



    Similarly, when will the spell checker stop correcting organise to organize?



    There is a world outside the USA, Apple...



    Perhaps when you learn to read.



    Click on the Edit List... button and add British English if it is not already shown. Then, make sure you have dragged British English to the top of the list. And follow the directions.



    By the way, it's in the Help menu. Suggest you go there first before mouthing off.
  • Reply 10 of 102
    embeeembee Posts: 18member
    Cue the legions of users whining that this doesn't "fix" their iPhone's problems--even though they live in a lead-lined basement in a rural area with a mountain range between them and the nearest cell.



    And just after that starts, I'm sure the first class action suit vs. Apple will be filed tomorrow morning.
  • Reply 11 of 102
    I know that I've had more failures than successes with the new iPhone 3G where as my first gen was pretty rock solid. I and my readers would tell you that there doesn't really appear to be any fixes for some and others are having great success. Personally, my iPhone lost quite a bit 3G reception with the new update. I compared my work location and home location before and after the update, and can verify that there's definitely worse 3G reception at least for my iPhone. Take a look at the overall experience here:



    Cocoa Touch Apps
  • Reply 12 of 102
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NanoAkron View Post


    why does Apple continue to roll out monolithic worldwide updates to their software when, as the article states, each nation or continent more than likely requires a tailored software fix?



    Because it's the same basic HW so any SW updates can contain specific fixes for different countries and/or carriers. The IPSWs contain the data for every carrier they support. Should Apple really have 90 different version of the OS for each carrier in each country around the world they will be partnered with? The nice thing about Apple products is that I can switch localisation without having to use an entirely new software installer.



    Quote:

    Similarly, when will the spell checker stop correcting organise to organize?



    When Apple includes British English language support. I'm surprised this isn't isn't discussed more often.
  • Reply 13 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by embee View Post


    Cue the legions of users whining that this doesn't "fix" their iPhone's problems--even though they live in a lead-lined basement in a rural area with a mountain range between them and the nearest cell.



    And just after that starts, I'm sure the first class action suit vs. Apple will be filed tomorrow morning.



    Having had experience - i would warn you to not even evoke "class action" jeffDM and others will jump all over you....
  • Reply 14 of 102
    bytorbytor Posts: 20member
    I would have to agree. My 3G reception has degraded as a result of the update and I have dropped a few calls since then. I usually leave the 3G setting off to save battery. It really doesnt improve call performance and is only a benefit when surfing the web or using an app relying on an online connection. I can selectively turn it on when I need it.



    On a brighter note, the keyboard and my contacts app seem more snappy after the update. Hopefully with the rummored 2.1 update, all of the problems will be fixed (Im an optimist) and they will even be able to eek better power managment for greater battery life.



    G-
  • Reply 15 of 102
    sapporobabysapporobaby Posts: 1,079member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prince View Post


    Hi "Archipellago," please don't quote the entire article when making a comment.



    And also, how many 3G phone models are currently outselling the iPhone 3G? That should provide you with a point of reference on things.



    Is it only news worthy if AI reports it first?
  • Reply 16 of 102
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    If the 2.0.2 update was supposed to help 3G then it didn't work on my phone. I'm in DFW where there's plenty of 3G cels and I've been at 1 bar since I got the phone a month ago. I rarely hit 5 bars when driving around.



    If this problem is hardware based, you can guarantee there's going to be a class-action lawsuit. I'm not saying that to be mean. It's just fact.
  • Reply 17 of 102
    embeeembee Posts: 18member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onceuponamac View Post


    Having had experience - i would warn you to not even evoke "class action" jeffDM and others will jump all over you....



    Yikes. Thanks for the heads up.



    jeffDM, et al, I'm just stating the obvious lunacy to follow--not that I think it ought to happen.
  • Reply 18 of 102
    sapporobabysapporobaby Posts: 1,079member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Archipellago View Post


    by that logic Mcdonalds are the best restauarant in the world!!



    sales do not necessarily equal quality.



    Thank God for a realistic non cheerleading answer. I would like to see the sales figures when Nokia releases the N96 next month. Right now, it is one the most anticipated phones out there.
  • Reply 19 of 102
    abster2coreabster2core Posts: 2,501member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    When Apple includes British English language support. I'm surprised this isn't isn't discussed more often.



    It does already. There are nearly 140 language settings to chose from. Cripes you even have a choice of English, British English, Australian English, Canadian English and U.S. English.



    Obvious what's missing is Idiot's English.
  • Reply 20 of 102
    sapporobabysapporobaby Posts: 1,079member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onceuponamac View Post


    Having had experience - i would warn you to not even evoke "class action" jeffDM and others will jump all over you....



    Maybe a "class action" is what is needed in this case. Many of these problems are because Apple though its "veil of secrecy" has not full tested the iPhone in multiple real world conditions. If they had, this GSM 101 radio issue would have been recognized and possibly corrected. It seems that Apple has fallen victim to its own hype.
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