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Apple tech claims 30 percent drop rate for NYC iPhone calls

updated 12:00 pm EDT, Wed September 30, 2009

Sign of poor AT&T coverage?

Nearly a third of all iPhone calls made in the New York City area are dropped, according to a Genius Bar technician at Apple's SoHo retail store. A person who recently brought his iPhone 3G to the outlet says he complained of being repeatedly disconnected, thinking the issue was related to faulty hardware. On testing, the Genius is noted to have discovered that over 22 percent of the phone's calls had been dropped.

That result is actually better than normal, the technician claims, citing a regional average of 30 percent. The problem is moreover alleged to be with AT&T's network, not iPhones, meaning that no solution may exist for New York City residents short of abandoning the iPhone or pressuring AT&T into increasing its depth of coverage.

Most complaints about AT&T's iPhone service have typically revolved around data, as a large number of 3G users will frequently overwhelm bandwidth and block other people from using a full-speed connection.

by MacNN Staff



  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Because of all the people in the world, a guy at an Apple Genius bar is so in-the-know to be able to tell us the actual failure rates of phone calls.

    And it certainly couldn't be due to the Genius trying to make the guy feel better about "only" 22% drops in calls in the area.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    And can anyone else smell a class-action lawsuit???

  1. Johnny Niles

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yes, AT&T sucks

    And Testudo, if you had actually read this article you would have seen the part where this tech had tested phones to see their exact failure rate. Not just one phone, many phones. It's not too hard to extrapolate a reasonable average from data like that.

    And since the problem appears to be regional, you can pretty much eliminate the possibility that the iPhone is the problem. As always, it's the carrier.

  1. byRyan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Love it

    personally - I love AT&Ts horrible service - gives me an excuse to just hang up on people and blame it on the network ;)

  1. trevj

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re. Oh

    Testudo, wasn't it just two days ago you were in full support of an equally frivolous lawsuit about MMS service? Don't injure yourself hopping back and forth over the fence?

  1. phillymjs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's very possible

    ...that word has been quietly spread to Apple stores in that region, so if people come in complaining about an unreasonable number of dropped calls, the Geniuses at those stores don't do an unneeded hardware replacement (which won't end up fixing the problem anyway).

    What's surprising is that it took this long for word to get out.

    No matter what the FCC does, I don't see any way Apple can continue giving AT&T exclusivity after their current contract is up. Their awful network is making the iPhone less desirable in some places, which will affect Apple's bottom line.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    EACH of my AT&T call is a dropped call

    Instead of advertising for Verizon when I use an AT&T phone (by saying 'can you hear me now'), I announce at the beginning of the conversaion or as the conversation resumes:

    This call may drop, thanks to AT&T.
    The dropped call was brought to you by AT&T.

  1. eliotw

    Joined: Dec 1969


    location location location

    They forgot to mention that this guy lives in a cave beneath the streets of Manhattan. I'd say only 22% dropped calls is pretty darn good.

  1. bearcatrp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Because AT&T really sucks

    I left them for this very reason. Way to many drop calls here in minnesota. But AT&T is not the only one having more customers than it can handle. Until the iPhone is ported to other carriers, I will never own an iPhone because I will NEVER go back to crappy AT&T!

  1. dpicardi

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is getting really bad...

    AT&T has been expanding their network and yet dropped calls are getting more and more frequent. I recently had a whole weekend of dropped calls out here in the Bay Area. Completely unacceptable. Text messages seem to be 60/40 going is truly unbelievable.

    AT&T get your freaking act together or watch the mass exodus to verizon when your exclusivity runs out!

    Verizon will have it's own iPhone growing pains but their service has always been superior to AT& least in the Bay Area.

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