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Report: iPhone to blame on 3G issues, not carrier

updated 08:40 pm EDT, Wed September 24, 2008

iPhone blamed for problems

The connectivity problems surrounding the iPhone 3G are likely a result the device itself, not the carrier, according to a Dow Jones report. Since the phone's launch in July, many customers have complained about dropped calls or poor internet connections. AT&T was the first focus of attention, accused of running a network that was overloaded by iPhone users.

The blame is turning back around to Apple, with claims that a faulty Infineon Technologies chip contained in the phone is unable to cope with the task load. Nomura Securities analyst Richard Windsor researched the phone issues and concluded "the device is at fault."

Although Apple should be able to fix the problems in future versions of the phone, it has not been able to avoid negative press. Other carriers and manufacturers have jumped on the chance to smear the iPhone and AT&T. Verizon is claimed to have sent emails to journalists that point out the problems with the phone and network.

Apple has been served at least four lawsuits, with AT&T also a defendant. The outraged customers are crying foul regarding the dropped calls and Apple's advertising campaign that boasts connection speeds twice as fast as EDGE. The plaintiffs allege that, in reality, their phones typically fall back to the slower 2.5G EDGE network instead of staying connected to the faster 3G.

Many customers were frustrated just trying to get phones activated in the beginning. There have been reports of the back panel showing stress fractures. Apple issued software updates that were supposed to fix the problems, but lawsuits and complaints keep coming.

by MacNN Staff




  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Down Jones - now there's a qualified technical source...

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    That's Nice

    Can't hardly wait until iPhone/AT&T come to Vermont to I can complain about how crappy the iPhone it. Yep, I'll be first in line (for the phone that is :)

    So now there one group that tested the iPhone and said it's the network. And another group that says it's the iPhone and not the network. Now I'm sure what's to follow is how one test is accurate and the other flawed. They should just have kept selling the phone for $400 and stayed on EDGE. Apple did point out the problems with 3G when they intro'd the iPhone.

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Dow Jones..

    Come on. Look at all the great facts they came up with.

    However, an AT&T executive, who declined to speak on the record because he isn't authorized to discuss the matter, said the company "can only conclude" the problem lies with the iPhone."

    The chip, made by German semiconductor maker Infineon Technologies, is supposedly unable to handle the load the iPhone puts on it.

    Can only conclude...


    have tarnished Apple's reputation for designing glitch-free, easy-to-use devices and services.

    And since WHEN has Apple made a "glitch-free" product. I love Apple, but NO ONE.. NO ONE makes a glitch free product.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ping Pong

    What an exciting game of ping-pong! First Apple is to blame for iPhone 3G connectivity problems, then AT

  1. gregrochedc

    Joined: Dec 1969


    whose fault? who cares?

    yeah; it still doesn't work no matter who they blame... all i know is that when i try to connect using the 3G connection, I consistently get no signal/no service, so I am forced to leave off the 3G and use the Edge, even though I am forced to pay a higher monthly fee for the "3G" iPhone. Ugh.

  1. broohaha22

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just a single data point

    I realize I'm just a single data point, but I have an iPhone 3G, and I recently got from work an AT&T wireless modem which I hook up to my MBP. The wireless modem utilizes the 3G network.

    Given my experience with 3G on my iPhone, I was initially skeptical just how responsive the wireless modem would be. To my shock, it worked -really- well. Zippy, in fact.

    I have no numbers nor any benchmarks, as I only got this thing last week, and I only use it out of the office away from wi-fi. But so far, I have no complaints. The thing is about 1.5x as fast as my iPhone.

  1. ViktorCode

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I wonder...

    Could it be that some of iPhones 3G have this problem while the others not? That can explain some reports.

    In any way Infineon's chip is not "faulty". iPhone 3G isn't the only handset employing the chip, yet the only one receiving the blame.

  1. lockhartt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    while not suing

    I suspect I'll be returning the two iPhone 3G units I purchased. While I can't conclusively say whether it's the phone or the network, I do know I can just about hit the nearest AT&T tower with a rock from my front door and I still just barely get EDGE connectivity... and 3G is effectively non-existent despite AT&T's coverage showing me well within a 3G area with no gaps. Ok, I don't think I can actually throw a rock about 1/3 mile... but something is clearly rotten in Denmark (no offense to any Danes out there).

    In the end, I'm having a hard time referring to my iPhone as a phone rather than an iPod Touch that sometimes passes as a usable (but far from great) cell phone. I can't justify $650 in phones and $150 a month (1400 minutes) for what could be, or should be a great experience when the reality is something completely different.

    Combining this with the fact that I had to return my last iMac three times before I got a properly functioning unit (and only then when I upgraded to the next model up), I have to admit that I'm starting to Think Different after 16 years of loving Apple and its products. As an IT professional who has always worked to make sure Macs (and other Apple products) had a place in our infrastructure (more than half our servers and 20% of our desktops), this does not bode well.

  1. Athens

    Joined: Dec 1969


    such bullshit

    If it was a problem with the phone then people would have this problem all around the world. It seems to be directly linked to Yanks and AT&T so they can s*** the h*** up.

  1. henryblackman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm in the UK and have had not a single dropped call, and no issues with connecting to 3G - our networks are ubiquitous, and have been around for years - so I'm guessing the issue is a combination with lots of 3G phones all coming online together, ATTs immature network, and too many unpatched 2.0.0 phones still in the system.

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