updated 09:45 am EDT, Thu August 14, 2008
Fix for iPhone 3G drops
Unusual reception problems with the iPhone 3G are indeed attributable to Infineon's 3G chip, say two anonymous sources. Described as "well-placed," the individuals claim that approximately 2 to 3 percent of iPhone traffic is suffering from connection troubles, which may also include continual shifting between 3G and 2.5G networks. By comparison, the normal rate of dropped calls for AT&T is about 1 percent.
Challenging statements from Nomura Securities, though, the sources say a software fix is not only possible but in development by Apple. The underlying issue is claimed to be how the Infineon chip deals with the handoff between cellular data networks; as with most 3G chips, it is continually gauging whether enough bandwidth exists for 3G to be useful. One source suggests that Apple has programmed the chip to be especially demanding, meaning that network saturation can more easily force iPhone users from HSPA down to EDGE.
As a result the greatest areas of 3G trouble are said to be in urban areas with large numbers of iPhone users, like Boston and San Francisco. The situation may even be worsening in places due to a sharp increase in activations, bringing the oversaturation threshold closer.
It is also noted though that the Infineon chip has generally not been used so intensely or produced in such large numbers, and could be ill-equipped. Others have suggested that AT&T has simply failed to build enough 3G infrastructure, something the carrier denies.