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What to do about broken WiFi on iPhone 4S after iOS 7 update?

23727 Views 48 Replies Latest reply: Apr 17, 2014 5:47 AM by mjc57 RSS Branched to a new discussion.
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Mac OS XP Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
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Sep 25, 2013 2:45 PM

Several iPhone 4S owners have noticed a problem with their WiFi not working after upgrading to iOS 7.

 

It appears to be both a software problem (our phones have been working for nearly two years with WiFi being just fine before the upgrade) and hardware problem (it gets partially better when the iPhone is chilled (physically).

 

My particular symptoms:

 

iPhone boots off spontaneously.

Diagnostics showing several panics with a debugger message of "WDT timeout" or "panic" listing kernel_task as the panicked task.

WiFi switch is disabled and set to "Off", can only be enabled by refridgerating the iPhone and rebooting (possibly needing to reset network settings).

When WiFi can be enabled, it repeatedly drops the signal.

If the iPhone isn't cool, Settings freezes up in the WiFi settings and, to a lesser amount, in the Cellular settings.

Once the iPhone warms up, the problems begin anew.

 

So the question is what can we practically do now? Is there any use calling Apple support (for out of warranty devices), should we take it in to an Apple store (for a not-too-expensive repair), should we take it to a local phone reapir shop (is this the type of thing they can repair and what does that usually cost/how long does it take), is there any reason to expect a software fix, or need we basically resort to exchanging our phones in for new ones?

iPhone 4S, iOS 7, 16 GB
  • BW Wisconsin Calculating status...

    Same problem here, no wifi after update to IOS 7.  Sickening, this will likely be my last Apple purchase if nothing is done about this issue.

  • acesinica Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)

    I've read about someone (on this forum) being able to get their wifi enable/disable button to work again after restoring the phone as new.

     

    This is a very wierd problem. Considering all that has been discussed on this topic, I think the problem may be iOS7 has a wifi chip shutoff temperature setting that is set too low.

     

    If we look at the line of suspects:

    * Faulty chip? as some people on this forum insist, then why did it break after upgrade. The time of failure (right after ios7 upgrade) is just too coincidental for *that* many people.

     

    * The heat treament? This is even harder to comprehend. If the wifi chip is already overheating, then heating it even more, to the point of "reflowing" the solder, ought to be doing more damage. I don't understand how this approach would work. But it does for some people.

     

    * Problem with 4S? I've read about some people's iPad4, iPhone5 having the same wifi disabled problem.

     

    * There was that lady who got 2 replacement iphone4S and they all did the same wifi disable thing!

     

    Now this list isn't comprehensive, but it should fit the majority of the cases.

     

    If it were a software problem, then how come an even greater number of iDevices don't have this problem?

    If it isn't a software problem, then how come it broke right after ios7 upgrade, and how come the freezer and hair dryer or restore as new works for some people, at least initially?

     

    The freezer and hair dryer, and restore as new techniques all put the iphone back into an initial state (freezer and dryer putting the iphone out of normal operational temperature range).

     

     

    So it sounds to me that after we put the iphone back to an initial state, it can become recognized, hence not greyed out anymore. But from here on the problems start to diverge.

     

    Some people can get wifi to work (at least for some initial period), while others can't join their wifi.

     

    I don't know man. I've been following this topic for some time. I've also read about how wifi was not working for new iPhone5 users back when it first came out. Back then the 4S wifi was solid and the 5 had shaky wifi.

     

    Unfortunately the reports of wifi not working on this forum are filed in free text format, so we can't tabulate and try to see if there are any patterns.

  • acesinica Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)

    Another thing: some have said that the iOS7 upgrade heated out the wifi hardware.

    Well, if this were true, then how come people who download games and videos larger than the 700+MB size of the iOS7 installer didn't break their wifi chip?

  • zuark Calculating status...

    Facing the same issues on iPhone 4s, but actually ios 7 (.0.2) worked fine for a few days, before suddently starting to drop connections and completely being grayed out. Can confirm that changes in ambient temperature (to colder or warmer) fixes the problem (albeit for a short time). I really, really hope that Apples will fix this problem ASAP, this is a showstopper to the way I am using the phone.

  • Abhaysprasad Calculating status...

    Hi, Even I'm facing the issue. I purchased my iPhone 4s in UK but now I'm in India & out of warranty. I tried all the tips and tricks as mentioned in the apple website but No resolution at all. I feel why did I update to IOS 7 instead I should have waited for some more reviews . When I spoke to the customer care they said the same which was listed in there website. Lastly, they said if I have to get this repaired at apple store the phone has to be given to the same store where I purchased this is as per the Apple co. policy which I felt is ridiculous. There should be some solution for this issue as it is so difficult to work without wifi. Please help!!!!!

  • Mark Williams1900 Calculating status...

    My two year old iPhone 4S has been working fine on my home wifi up until the last week.  It drops out and I have to switch it off and back on to restart it.

     

    My iPad 3 and March 2011 Macbook Air have no problems with wifi so I will have to contact the Genius bar for info over the weekend.

     

    Must be something in 7.0.2 and definitely 7.0.3 that is doing this.

  • Matteobava Calculating status...

    Have the exact same issue, and after spending over  one hour at the Genius Bar I was told by the store manager that the only way to solve the issue was to buy a replacement phone because it wasn't IOS 7 to caused the issue but it was the wireless chip that was going to break regardless, and the iOS upgrade just accelerated the issue...

    I have even showed her the plenty of threads like this one about the issue and she said they were all coincidences.

    The thing is that the phone was brand new as it was replaced by apple 6 moths ago and super well taken care off...

    I have been an iPhone user since the first hour and never had an issue till the 4s.

    I'm super disappointed with the apple customer serviceman lack of care towards long time customers.

    If you know your old phones won't work with the new iOS do not offer the upgrade.

     

    It seems to me like a poor scheme to sell more new generation iPhones, since you can't even downgrade the iOS 6.

     

    Now I'm stuck with a $600 clunker that can barely make phone calls since the 4g antenna is compromised, and that it's battery drains within 4 hours in plane mode wth no apps running.

     

    I'm sad to say but it is time to get a windows phone or an android.

     

    Shame on you apple...

  • SercanYalciner Calculating status...

    Agree with you folks.... Shame on you apple!!

    I am having the exact same problem. I made an appointment with genius bar for friday but kind of worried whether they will name my iphone dead (coz an iphone without wifi is like a swimming pool with no water in it) or will ask a crazy price that it is just not worth it ....

  • colingoree Level 2 Level 2 (155 points)

    http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1559

     

    If the wifi is greyed out due to the iOS 7 update you should call apple immediately and have them overlook the above article. This should help out a TON with getting the device replaced.

     

    Hope this helped!

  • Mark Williams1900 Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    Update with mine:-

     

    Genius Bar did their checks and everything works with no faults/errors detected.

     

    All networks were reset and since the last one where I added to this thread before has been fine.

     

    I did mention this and I would guess there is some software bug doing this.

  • Donnyyy Calculating status...

    Hi. Unfortunately if your phone is out of warranty then you will probably be asked to pay for a new phone. They could not get my wifi working and as you said without wifi its dead. Sorry

  • SercanYalciner Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I will def give them a call today. Thanks for the link.

  • SercanYalciner Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Do you think a broken wifi never works again or it may work for a few seconds at various times? That what is happening with mine. Sometimes it doesn't allow me even to turn the wifi on or off but sometimes it searches for wifi, and occassionally connects and downloads viber text & emails to my inbox, then losts the connection again. I, desperately, tried to turn off and on the phone but noticed that my iphone immediately turns itself on. All these started to occur on last friday, when I upgraded to IOS 7.0.3.

    Any ideas anyone whether it is completely dead or only a confused iphone?

  • Finjamin Calculating status...

    I spent the morning with Apple in tect and phone support on this issue. They are not accepting any responsibility, and if your phone is out of warranty, they tell you it will cost $199 to replace.

     

    It is clear that thousands of 4s users lost Wifi ability as a direct result of the IOS7 update - but the reps will not admit this. Thousands of faliures cannot be a coincidence, but I got stonewalled by every rep I talked to, every one of whom called the problem a "hardware failure".

     

    This is a techical answer, but it creates a loophole for Apple. They asked all of us to upgrade our 4s phones with software that they sent us, and the software they provided cause the hardware they sold us to stop working. Not ALL of us, but clearly, thousands of us. And Apple refuses to own this problem.

     

    I really like Apple products, and I thought I liked the company culture. But this is such a blatant side-step of responsibility that it makes my head spin. Regrettably, I will not be getting an iPhone next time I upgrade.

     

    Apple, if you want to fix this, send me an email. We could still be friends, but you're losing me on this thing.

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