August 13th, 2008
Yes. It is all true. The numerous reports you were able to read on the web:
- iPhone 3G signal and reception complaints pour in
- iPhone 3G: What’s the frequency?
- Some Customers with iPhone 3G Connection Issues
- iPhone 3G Reception Problems? You’re Not Alone – Continued
- 3G iPhone Signal Problems…Post Here!
- or just do a Google search.
I really TRIED to like my white 16GB iPhone 3G, but I just couldn’t. The phone is completely incapable of doing a 3G->2G handover, resulting in 1 to 0 bar coverage and subsequent call drops or ‘No Service’ notifiers. Never in my life had I seen more ‘Call failed’ or ‘No Service’ notifications on any phone (even back in the day on my Ericsson T28 nearly a decade ago).
At home? No possibility to hold or make a call reliably. 0-1 bars reception. No 2G fallback.
At work? No reception.
On the 5 mile stretch to work? Reception, but 2-3 times the call is dropped.
Essentially I had a phone with ‘no bars in more places‘.
Also when the phone was on 3G it barely even lasted till the afternoon, let alone a full day. If there ever was reception, download speeds were barely twice that of EDGE. Most of the time they were pretty much the same.
So I ended up having 3G deactivated the lasts two weeks. Now that I was nearing my 30-day return window, I did the only sensible thing I could do and returned my 3G. This in itself was a horrible multi-hour experience at The Grove Apple store in LA and subsequently the at&t store on Beverly and things are still not worked out right (e.g. they haven’t reverted my 2-year contract extension, even though they should). AT&T says I need proof I returned the phone to Apple. Apple says there is nothing they can do. Their system should automatically do it. So now I’m on a 2-year extension without getting a cheaper or free phone. Just to show my love to ma’bell at&t.
Speculation is running wild on whether it is at&t’s bad network (though other 3G devices allegedly work well), Apple’s secrecy behind developing the phone and thus limited testing or Infineon’s 3G chipset.
Update September 27: With firmware 2.1 a lot of those problems went away. I now have a black 16GB iPhone 3G from work (I have returned my personal one last month) and while I still have reception issues, it’s not ‘as bad’ as it was before. Sadly in my apartment reception still jumps from 0-1 bar of 3G to 5 bars of 2G which still results in call drops from time to time.