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iPhone 3G Reception Problems? You're Not Alone

96087 Views 964 Replies Latest reply: Jul 26, 2008 10:52 AM by Nubz N. RSS
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Doug Clements Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jul 13, 2008 10:02 AM
I have the same problem with 3G coverage. I am suppose to be in a strong 3G coverage area at home. I only have 1 bar. Traveling around town (Sacramento area) my 3G coverage changes dramatically. From 1 bar to full bars? Not sure if its working properly or not??? Anyhow, this was posted on Engadget. After they exchanged their iPhone the problem went away? Could it be true? Is it the netork or our iPhones? Lets all hope nothing is wrong with our iPhones!!!!

iPhone 3G Reception Problems? You're Not Alone

One of the more disturbing things coming out of the iPhone 3G launch is reports of suspiciously poor 3G reception and speeds. Specifically, I've seen several people report one bar - specifically, one bar - of 3G reception in areas where other devices report strong reception. (More complaints at Engadget.)

This may be a problem with a batch of iPhones, or with something in AT&T's network, though I've also seen someone reporting the problem on O2 in the UK. The first review iPhone we got had this problem - it would mysteriously drop from four bars of 3G to one for no apparent reason, while our Motorola RAZR2 V9 reported better reception. Then it would shoot back up to four bars for no apparent reason a few minutes later. That unit would also occasionally throw up an "invalid SIM" error, requiring a reboot. That phone also had hideously slow 3G data speeds in the 50 kbps-150 kbps range, so the missing bars weren't just a display issue; there was something wrong with the way the phone was hitting the network.

We exchanged that iPhone for a different unit and no longer had the problem. We took the new iPhone and carried it around comparing it to a Motorola V9, and the two phones connected roughly the same number of calls on the 3G network. The new unit also had much higher data speeds in the same locations - still not great, in the 300-400 kbps range, but at least reflecting 3G.
  • Thomas Colontonio Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 13, 2008 10:16 AM (in response to Doug Clements)
    I am experiencing this as well. Im gonna wait a few days and do a return to apple.
    3.0 Intel, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Shystie Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 13, 2008 7:53 PM (in response to Doug Clements)
    I have a 16gb, white iphone and am having a similar issue. Seems the recepiton is really unsteady (even in Manhattan) and today the signal disappeared entirely, stating "no network" for over an hour (I was walking around during this time in an area where I know I always get reception). When I finally got home I restarted the phone and when it booted back up I had reception. Also, it seems my data connection, although it says 3G, seems to be running at edge speeds

    Side question: does the itunes music store app always require a wifi connection?
    3G iphone (white, 16gb)
  • Shystie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 14, 2008 12:13 PM (in response to Doug Clements)
    Any news on this?
    16gb 3G iPhone
  • amaisonneuve22 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 14, 2008 12:29 PM (in response to Doug Clements)
    So i was experiencing no connectivity to the 3G network here in toronto on Rogers. So i gave my 3G iPhone a reboot and now i have connectivity..

    What seems to be happening is that the phone is having issues with switching from wifi back to 3G..

    Again just a theory..
    Macbook and IPhone3G
  • Shanty Calculating status...
    Same here. 3G is **** in the entire Los Angeles area. Although ATT shows pretty good coverage around LA, I have never gotten above 3 bars and average 1 bar in 3G. I just leave it in 2g now.
    MacBookPro Penryn 2.4, 4G ram, 250G HDD, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • nosidam Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 14, 2008 1:46 PM (in response to Shystie)
    I'm having a similar problem in Manhattan. I'm always getting 5 bars, but the best speed I've seen from 3G is 66kbps and the best from Edge is 13kbps. I'm dropping calls or can't make calls at all. I'm hoping that AT&T is just overloaded at the moment and will fix things shortly.

    Yes, the music store always requires a wifi connection.
    MacBook Pro 15" 2.5GHz | 200GB HDD | 4GB RAM | OS X 10.5.4 • iPhone 3G
  • tbochner Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 14, 2008 1:46 PM (in response to Shanty)
    I have the same problem here in los angeles. very low 3g signal going to no service sometimes then service a minute or two later. is this isolated to certain iphone, 8gb or 16gb, firmware or at&t. i would love to find out. anyone try another phone to see if it hardware?
    Mac, Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • Marlos Marques Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 14, 2008 5:02 PM (in response to Doug Clements)
    I live in Porto/Portugal and purchased my iPhone on Vodafone. I have had low signal strength also, in fact the signal is very unstable ranging 1-4 bars constantly. In the same place, my old E61 shows full signal. As many people said the same thing in other countries, I think these issues with intermittent reception on the SOME new iPhone 3G models has nothing to do with the carriers, it is the phone itself.

    I hope Apple figures out that this is a problem and releases a software update to fix it.

    []s,
    Marlos.
  • tbochner Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    yeah. still wonder if its all iphones or just some? hopefully a software thing
    Mac, Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • iphoneseth Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 14, 2008 5:22 PM (in response to Doug Clements)
    my white iphone does the same thing. I will drop down to one bar on 3g but full strength when i turn 3g off. Some people have tried to say that it is because 3g had more difficulty going through walls. Mine will not switch between 3g and edge on it's own so i find that when at home i just have to turn off the 3g. I have also heard rumors of a bad batch of iphones. I tried to take it into the store today but they were so busy i just had to make an appointment for thursday, although i was able to replicate the problem in front of the apple geek, which was a little surprising becuase while in line outside the store i had full bars of 3g. It might just be an issue that occurs when indoors? I also have a problem with lag. I'm hoping to get it resolved thurdays, whether they give me a new phone or just tell me to eff off and deal with it. probably the latter.
  • tbochner Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 14, 2008 5:41 PM (in response to iphoneseth)
    i want to hear if it affects all phones. i have a 16gb black. Any 8gb's affected?
    Mac, Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • nycboy Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 14, 2008 6:17 PM (in response to Doug Clements)
    I'm also in Manhattan and where my v1 use to get 5 bars I'm getting 1 or 2 now with the 3G. I read that you have to TURN OFF your 3G in your "network settings". You notice if you disable the 3G, you almost always have full bars. I know it defeats the purpose of having a 3G iphone but atleast you will have more bars until the software issue can get fixed (or if it's at&t's coverage it will get fixed) Don't know if it's on all the iphones but it helps mine.
    Gateway, Windows Vista, iPhone
  • Steve Werner Level 2 Level 2 (325 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 14, 2008 6:23 PM (in response to nycboy)
    I wouldn't pay so much attention to the number of bars.

    I'm in San Francisco where I get good coverage. On Edge, I see five bars, but when I run the test on www.inetworktest.com, I only measure 50 - 100 kbps. On 3G, I only see 2 - 3 bars, but I can measure 300 - 400 kbps.

    Better to run a test like the one at inetworktest.com.
    iMac G5, MacBook Pro, iPhone 3G, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • J. Christopher Edwards Level 2 Level 2 (215 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 14, 2008 6:39 PM (in response to Steve Werner)
    Yep...same here. I get maybe 1-2 bars on 3G but if I cut it off I get 4-5 bars. I dropped 3 consecutive calls to my dad today...cut off 3G and got full signal.

    Why is this. I don't recall seeing a mention that "3G may reduce reception" in anything Apple produced. This needs to be fixed. I thought my reception would be better! Is it the phone or the network?
    MacBook Pro 1.8 gHz, Mac OS X (10.4.8)
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