14 Replies Latest reply: Apr 3, 2010 11:10 PM by bobahl
fasheezy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I upgraded to a 3GS a month ago. I noticed on a trip with my family that my GPS wasn't working properly. The GPS wouldn't find my position accurately, there was no pulsating blue ring around the blue dot, and the GPS wouldn't track when we were driving. My brother and sister-in-law's GPS was working perfectly on their iPhones. Just mine wasn't tracking.

So I went to the AT&T store and they replaced my iPhone 3GS with another brand new one. The GPS still isn't working properly.

So I went to the Apple Store in SoHo and found that none of the iPhones on display would get an accurate coordinate either. All of them were about a block off with to the west or north and none of them had the pulsating blue ring around the blue dot.

My brother and sis-in-law purchased and use their iPhones in a different city and their GPS works fine. My iPhone (purchased and used in NYC) and the SoHo store (in NYC) iPhones all did not work.

Do NYC used/purchased iPhones only have this issue? It really bothers me that on my 3G the GPS worked fine in the city, but after I upgraded to the 3GS and 3.1.3 the GPS no longer works. Also, the compass app ALWAYS needs to be reset whenever I use the app.

Any other NYC users having this problem?

Message was edited by: fasheezy

Message was edited by: fasheezy

iPhone 3GS, iPhone OS 3.1.3
  • Tamara Level 6 Level 6 (13,730 points)
    A phone inside a building is not going to get a terribly accurate GPS reading since it is relying on wifi routers to figure out where it is.
  • fasheezy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Untrue. My 3G worked perfectly fine indoors in my apartment, restaurants, offices throughout NYC no matter what floor I was on. It CLEARLY has nothing to do with being indoors or outdoors.
  • Tamara Level 6 Level 6 (13,730 points)
    If you believe your phone has an issue, make an appointment at the Genius Bar - http://apple.com/retail/geniusbar
  • fasheezy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I've already gotten a brand new replacement, which is what the Genius Bar advised I do. So I've had 2 brand new 3GS iPhones that have had the GPS problems. So I'm going to assume it's not a hardware issue. More of a software and location issue.

    Any other NYC people having this issue?
  • shirokage Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I had the same problem for nearly 2 months, i have googled and tried just about everything until a small little print somewhere gave me a solution. Try to ensure that your region is set correctly. My 3GS immediately show my GPS location correctly. It is in your settings, general, international, region. Try it, it may work for you. Seems that starting with a wrong region will make the GPS have a harder time to fix your location.
  • fasheezy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I went to the Apple Store last night and they confirmed that my GPS problem was a hardware issue. They gave me a replacement and it works perfectly now.

    Indoors it works sometimes. Outdoors it works perfectly.

    The genius bar guy said that if the replacement didn't work properly then there might be an issue with the SIM card. So for those of you having GPS issues, I would say to go to your closes AT&T store and get a replacement SIM card.
  • Beckyo61 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am having the same GPS problems and I am living in Dallas. This is my second 3GS iphone in the last month and it is also not working. I am going to try a new SIM card as you suggested prior to replacing this phone. However, I do not understand how a SIM card would effect the GPS hardware and it's ability to function. But who knows. My husband's and daughter's 3G phones/gps all work wonderfully, indoors and outdoors. Very frustrating. I want to thank you for posting this bcs there has to be more of us out there. It certainly isn't a "fluke" that 2 phones have behaved the same way for each of us.
  • MikeLosAngeles Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    There's a lot of discussion about receiving the GPS signal indoors. As the USAF Frequency Manager, who licenses the GPS Satellites, I'd like to weigh in on this subject.

    The GPS signal is extremely weak, too weak to be received indoors more than 5-10 feet from a window.

    A GPS receiver must receive at least 3 GPS satellite signals to get a fix.

    For those who believe you're receiving the GPS signal indoors, what you're receiving is the triangulation of the cell phone towers, which is why it's not accurate.

    For those in NYC or other highrise building areas, your GPS signal will not be accurate, if even received, because of the reflection of the GPS signals bouncing off of the highrise buildings. As the GPS signals bounce around among the buildings, they're delayed, and therefore not accurate when the GPS receiver finally locks onto them.

    Since upgrading to OS 3.1.3, my iPhone 3G GPS has been having fits as well. I'm in Los Angeles, but when it gets cold (sitting in front of the A/C vent in it's holder) it stops working and shows that it's in Boulder, Colorado. It becomes accurate again after letting it warm back up, or turning off 3G. Go figure.

  • SoCalVacation Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I've been having the same problem with my iPhone GPS saying I'm in Boulder, Colorado, while I'm actually in Los Angeles, California, and other areas in Southern California. I called Tech support twice about it and neither call resulted in a solution (one had me reset the phone and network settings and the second one had me turn off GPS and turn it back on again). In reading the discussions here, the one I found helpful (that seems to have fixed my problem) was the one about the "region" in settings. While my phone was correctly on United States region, I clicked on a different region, then changed it back to US, and then tried the GPS again which finally correctly showed my actual location in the Los Angeles area. Thank Goodness!!!! Hope this helps others........
  • Hilmar Gudmundsson Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    I live in Los Angeles, CA and it has been showing me in Colorado for a week at least.
    When I called ATT they blamed it on Apple, a very helpful and knowledgeable person at Apple helped me troubleshoot and he narrowed it down that it happens on 3GS only. Not wifi or Edge. When I called ATT back they blamed it on Apple again. Then I explained in detail to the person and she said tech support would maybe get to it in 3 to 5 days.
    Today may be a little better in that it is locating me about 8 miles away.
    But this is not good when the other day I needed to find out my location.
    I tried your suggestion and it did not work. Other things I have tried work for about a few minutes and then it defaults back to wrong location.
    Question: Where are you changing the region? Want to make sure I went to the right place
  • ScruffOhio Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I too have been having GPS issues. The GPS gives an unusually large circle and is about a mile or so from the actual location, and doesn't track my position while moving.

    So I went to the Genius Bar, and they pointed out that resetting network settings fixes the problem. But later that day, the problem reappeared. So I did some experimentation.

    Apparently, the problem reappears reproducibly whenever I turn off wifi and go to 3G. Either restoring wifi or resetting network settings fixes the problem. Is this software or hardware?

    The phone is a 3GS running 3.1.3, new bootrom, and never jailbroken, so that can't be causing the issue.
  • Joel Heflin Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I tried the suggestion of changing the region settings to another country and then changing it back to United States. This worked for me. I wonder what is causing this problem as my wife & mother are having the same issues with their iPhones.
  • bobahl Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    had same problem using tomtom app, GPS signal fadeing in and out, showing wrong location just a lot of problems finally did a hard reset of the Iphone and everything works fine haven't had a problem for 2 months now it's worth a try you won't loose any info on your phone, press the power button and the home button at the same time and hold untill the apple logo shows then release the buttons you will see a drastic change with the GPS apps
  • bobahl Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    sorry nit's been 2 weeks not 2 months also i can pickup GPS signal in a hotel room