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Bob Krugmire Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

I just replaced my old iPhone 3Gs with one of the new spiffy iPhone 4s (32gig).  I immediately noticed that my call quality was horrible as compared to the 3Gs.  The bars vary wildly, even though I do not move (bouncing around between no bars to a max of 4 bars).  I drop about 70 percent of my calls and even have trouble making calls (nothing but dead air while the phone indicates it is trying to call).  For those calls where I do manage to actually connect, the party on the other end cannot hear me or the call quality is such that we need to hang up and attempt to reconnect.  Initial calls to AT&T (my current carrier) resulted in the customer service representative telling me that "many of the new 4s phones sold for AT&T were programmed incorrectly, directly impacting call quality."  The service rep supposedly tweaked some settings that "correctly programmed my phone."  However, the call quality has not improved and I now drop 100% of my calls, with the signal strength continuing to fluctuate between no bars and 3 bars.  I do love the camera, but not having a usable phone seems to be a huge problem.  Any one else encountering this issue or is there some fix that I am unaware of?  Thanks in advance for your help.

  • 1. Re: Cannot Make/Receive Calls iPhone 4s
    Bob Krugmire Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    It would appear that I am the only person on the entire planet who has this issue.  Whatever.  We've tried swapping out phones (I'm on my fourth iPhone 4s now), we've swapped out the sim card twice and now we are having speaker issues on the phone (where folks I call cannot hear me because of horrible static).  Just in case anyone else encounters similar problems, I thought I would update this issue.  At the present moment, we've determined that the area I live/work unfortunately has a very low signal strength in the 3G AT&T band.  From what I am told, the iPhone 4s cannot use the Edge network.  I am not sure why the speaker has decided to go out.  Sort of bummed that no one has offered any help.  But hey, whatever.

  • 2. Re: Cannot Make/Receive Calls iPhone 4s
    AppleFanFromTexas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have had the same issues.  Both my iP4S and my wife's are having this issue.  We both have AT&T.  Apple support had me restore the phone, toggle airplane mode, restore the phone as new device, reset, hard reset etc etc.  I also went and got a new SIM card from AT&T since Apple support suggested a SIM card error.  Nothing worked.  Apple has since replaced my phone and the new one still has the same issue.

     

    1. Call Fail

    2. Other user can't hear me

    3. I can't hear other user (most often)

    4. Static during call

    5. Echo (hear myself in ear piece)

     

    iPhone 4 (and previous models) never had this issue...even after upgrading iP4 to iOS 5.  I have no solution but wanted to share my issues so hopefully it will be addressed via software update.

  • 3. Re: Cannot Make/Receive Calls iPhone 4s
    Ted Pruitt Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)

    +1 - Same issues here on the iPhone 4S. Getting ready to talk to AT&T, but not terrible hopeful. I haven't had calls failing, but definitely problems as follows:

     

    1. Appears to place call, but can only hear myself echoing back - caller later confirms that they received a call, but I couldn't hear them.

     

    2. Call never completes.

     

    3. Can't hear end call (this seems to happen most often with calls from the 4s to landlines.

     

    I'll check back here if there is some resolution, but I agree with AppleFan - this is probably going to be a software fix.

  • 4. Re: Cannot Make/Receive Calls iPhone 4s
    AppleFanFromTexas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I just got off the phone with AT&T, and they said they are getting a large volume of calls on this topic.  He said they are very aware of the issue with the 4S.  He said they think it is due to all the activations in a short time.  Doesn't sound right to me, but I am trying it.  They said they are resolving some of the issues by re-establishing the connection and re-registering the phone.  They reset both of our phones and are calling back in three days to see if it worked.

  • 5. Re: Cannot Make/Receive Calls iPhone 4s
    Ted Pruitt Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)

    Interesting. I went the AT&T route to start with (figuring Apple would just send me there anyway) and the tech I talked to put out 'request for input'  - apparently like an instant message for AT&T techs. Noone had heard of the problem, but he verified that the network quality in my area was fine and that there were no outages and then he connected me to Apple tech - this was yesterday.

     

    Apple tech #1 gave me the same song and dance as above, reset your settings, reset all settings, restore phone as new... and every time within a short period of time, the problem cropped up. And then I had an 'ah-ha' moment and was able to duplicate the problem (along with a work-around.) It seems that whenever you use Siri, the iPhone 4s gets confused as to where to output audio. So, if you make a phone call. Then use Siri, then go back and try to make a phone call, you will most likely get the 'no audio' / echo problem. --The work around? Right after dialing the phone number, hit Speaker (to turn on the speaker) and then hit it again (to put the audio back in the handset) - this seems to reroute the audio back to the handset and 'unconfuses' the iPhone.

     

    So fast forward to today - Apple tech #2 - I give him the full description as above and he confirms that they are aware of the problem and that it will likely be fixed in a 'future update'.

     

    So there you have it. The best you can do for now is my 'speaker on/off' workaround. They offered to change the phone, but I figure if it's a software bug, what's the point. All we can do is wait and hope they churn something out fairly quickly. The fact that in less than a day both AT&T and Apple have gone from denial to admitting that there is a problem, makes me hopeful that they are working on something.

     

    Hope this helps - regards - Ted

  • 6. Re: Cannot Make/Receive Calls iPhone 4s
    boss302beav Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)

    Hello Bob -

     

    You are not alone - I had an iphone 4 and went to get the 4s only due to Siri - since I dont take a lot of pics the camera isnt a big pull for me - day one of the 4s I thought call quality was bad / dropping due to all the new folks activating their phones on the AT&T network. By day 3 it got worse - finally yesterday I went in to the local apple store - the genius said it might be the ambient noise opening that is at the top of the phone near the headphone jack - if it is covered or uncovered during  a call it can impact the audio - my issue is that I can hear the caller - but they cannot hear me - exactly as Apple Fan from Texas states in this thread - so I told the genius i guess that would make sense if i was holding the unit while on calls - but I use a bluetooth plantronics headset and never hold my phone near me during calls - then he tested it further and got it to duplicate - he swapped out my phone for a new one and I walked out with everything working - then it started up again this morning - I thought there is no way ( what are the odds ) of getting an inital bum unit and then swapping for another bum unit - glad to know its not just me & that it seems like the powers that be are taking notice of it - I agree what's the point of having the phone with all the great features if you cant make calls on it - I use my iphone for my work and am always on it so its been frustrating to say the least having to switch to land lines or not pick up at all when im not near a land line. - I hope they update soon or ill have to argue with them and go back to my 4 - it worked great - so it must be a software or some type of issue specific to the 4s as my wife and others I know who have 3gs and 4's arent having this problem - PLEASE APPLE help!!!

  • 7. Re: Cannot Make/Receive Calls iPhone 4s
    Ted Pruitt Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)

    Well, sadly, what the tech specifically said to me was, "well, you know, Siri IS in beta, so..." and I thought - yeah, but the PHONE isn't supposed to be! I haven't tried the phone with siri turned off. Maybe I'll turn off Siri, do a reboot and see how long it goes without problems...

     

    I'll report back here - but "boss" is right- they need to get on this - especially for those of us that were attracted by the promise of Siri.

     

    --Ted

  • 8. Re: Cannot Make/Receive Calls iPhone 4s
    Adville Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I have an iPhone 4S on AT&T (I'm located in Denver). In a variety of locations, with moderate to low coverage, seemingly more often with calls that I receive than that I place, I answer the phone, and I can hear the caller absolutely perfectly--the signal seems very strong. But they cannot hear me at all. No intermittent in-and-out: they hear nothing at all from me.

     

    I just upgraded from an iPhone 3G on AT&T and never had this issue. But I can't say whether it's related to the iPhone 4S, or iOS 5, or an interaction of one of them with AT&T's network.

     

    OIther than this, I have found sound and call quality pretty good--big improvement over my 3G, but that may not be saying anything. I would say this happens with between a quarter and a half of all my incoming calls. I'm not sure whether I've ever had it happen on a call from a landline, but that could be just coincidence. I don't think I've noticed any of the other issues complained of (except maybe a slight echo where I hear myself, but that happens when I can hear the other side... not when I can't hear them).

  • 9. Re: Cannot Make/Receive Calls iPhone 4s
    Ted Pruitt Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)

    This really appears to be a software issue. If it were AT&T, then the 'speakerphone toggle' fix shouldn't work. The tech I spoke to at Apple all but confirmed my suspicions, but gave no clue as to when to expect a fix (as they never do.) As much as I'm reading about these problems here, I don't seem to be seeing any media coverage. And my guess is, with iTunes Match being their next big unveiling (read: nightmare) they are going to be up to their necks.

     

    Too many product launches at once (new iTunes, new iPhone, new iOS, new interface [Siri], new services [iCloud, iTunes Match] - I think they've just bitten off more than they can chew. Let's just hope that the big increase in Apple's employee population will help to get a resolution out the door.

     

    I would think that AT&T is already getting tired of fielding calls and taking blame for something that appears at this point to not be their fault. However, on the other side of the coin, I haven't ready anywhere that Verizon/Sprint users are seeing this same issue (unless there is some difference in the software?)

     

    Who knows - it's all guessing until a resolution is put forward. - Ted

  • 10. Re: Cannot Make/Receive Calls iPhone 4s
    boss302beav Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)

    UPDATE - I went in to the apple store genius bar - they said that they have realized a bad batch of 4s had come out - and they swapped my bad unit out for a new out of box ( not a refurb ) unit and i havent had a problem since - at least they are admitting it now - and doing the right thing to fix it - hope you all can get the same good result as I know how frustrating it can be

  • 11. Re: Cannot Make/Receive Calls iPhone 4s
    Bob Krugmire Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    Thanks everyone for the replies!  I am getting about the same results/responses as everyone else here.  The AT&T reps are blaming the iPhone for the issues and (at least here in Colorado) the Apple gang at the Genius Bar are hinting that AT&T is to blame.  In the area where I live/work (Westminster Colorado) I have very poor 3G service.  We have since learned that there is no way to force the 4s into the Edge network for AT&T.  I even looked into the potential of buying AT&T's 3G MicroCell thingy.  However, reading through posts over at AT&T, this unit (which uses your own internet router to make/receive calls) does not play well with the 4s.

     

    During your very kind discussion here, we swapped out phones 3 times and the current phone, while not perfect, is way better than the previous units.  We have tried the speaker phone work around, but this seems to have limited success, not to mention hints of the "yer holding it wrong" philosophy (with all due respect to those who have passed).

     

    The good news is that I am apparently not alone.  Hopefully the continued calls and complaints will get Apple/AT&T to respond in some fashion.  Friends of mine are planning on getting the identical phone but on the Verizon system so I will have a chance to test if their units behave in similar fashion.  The other good news is that I am absolutely in love with the camera!  Honestly, it is the one thing that is keeping me attached to the 4s and AT&T.  However, if Verizon users are not seeing similar issues...it might be time to try them out.

     

    Thanks again all!

     

    Quick note to Ted...the frustrating thing with AT&T is that depending upon who you talk to in Customer Support, they seem to fluctuate on their evaluation of your signal strength in whatever calling area you might be located.  Some days I am told that I have hundreds of towers in my backyard (exagerating here) and other days I am told that the signal is moderate at best with poor call quality inside any buildings.  So between the two giant superpowers...what's a poor Apple user to do?  Back to the camera fun, I guess! 

  • 12. Re: Cannot Make/Receive Calls iPhone 4s
    Alan8908 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm having the same issue in the UK on the Orange network - iPhone 4S 16gb Black

     

    • When calling others, the recipient can not hear me nor can I hear them
    • Feedback through the handset, I can hear myself speaking
    • Placing the phone upto my ear causes it to activate speaker phone
    • Interference during phone calls
    • Disconnects after 30 seconds or so
    • Numerous diagnostic logs are produced on the phone

     

    I phoned AppleCare and the agent couldn't troubleshoot the issue on the phone (Very hard to call AppleCare when the phone keeps disconnecting, took 5 attempts and when it did work, it went silent for a minute with the agent just going "Hello, anyone there?!"!).

     

    I'm just wondering if anyone has had any luck at the Apple retail stores with getting a replacement handset / is it a common issue?

  • 13. Re: Cannot Make/Receive Calls iPhone 4s
    byjnieves Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

      ITS THE PHONE MIC. TAKE IT BACK TO APPLE FOR A NEW ONE. BAD MIC! TAKE IN ASAP TO SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM. APPLE HAS BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE IN STORE. SETUP GENIUS APPT ONLINE FOR NEAREST STORE TO YOU AND TAKE IT IN THEY WILL SWAP OUT. BACK UP YOUR PHONE THOUGH. ICLOUD RESTORED MINE IN STORE WAS AWESOME!   TAKE CARE

  • 14. Re: Cannot Make/Receive Calls iPhone 4s
    byjnieves Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

      ITS THE PHONE MIC. TAKE IT BACK TO APPLE FOR A NEW ONE. BAD MIC! TAKE IN ASAP TO SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM. APPLE HAS BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE IN STORE. SETUP GENIUS APPT ONLINE FOR NEAREST STORE TO YOU AND TAKE IT IN THEY WILL SWAP OUT. BACK UP YOUR PHONE THOUGH. ICLOUD RESTORED MINE IN STORE WAS AWESOME!   TAKE CARE

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