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Thutch510 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have an iPhone 4 with 4.0.1 iOS and have had a problem with signal strength in general. Specifically though, if I lose the signal totally, the phone starts Searching and once it finds a signal again, the phone will have no bars. So it looks like this:

_ _ _ _ _ AT&T

It will stay just like this until I reboot the phone. I can drive around to locations I know I would ordinarily get 5 bars, but it always stays at 0. Changing the phone to Airplane Mode doesn't resolve the situation. A reboot is the only remedy.

Has anyone else seen this or have any suggestions?

iPhone 4, iOS 4
  • DixPix Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I had a somewhat similar problem when I used it as an iPod for about 8 hrs. After a reboot it was ok, but I haven't had a chance to use it as an iPod for a long session since then so I don't know if that was a factor.

    Dick
  • Orion S. Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    My wife and I are both having this same problem (on an iPhone 4 and a 3GS). We have both missed calls/voicemails because of it. It is incredibly frustrating. Did you ever find a fix?
  • Solarya Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    I had the same issue with my iPhone 4. I ended up sending it back after only owning it for 1 week. I just ordered a new one, and it should ship within the next few days.
    I do know that some people suggested restoring your iPhone completely.
    If you are still within your 30 days, I would return/exchange it for a brand new one.
  • Russhel Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Had the same issue with my iPhone4. Try "Settings" "General" "Reset" "Reset Network Settings". Seemed to work with mine. Apple store employee suggested doing that once in a while.
  • Gary Cox1 Level 2 Level 2 (420 points)
    I had the same problem too but oddly in just a particular area. If I went into this area of low AT&T signal strength (other non iphones showing the same signal issue) where it might drop the signal completely on an intermittent basis it seemed to confuse the iphone4. When I got back to a full signal strength area the iphone4 would be stuck in "searching" mode.

    I'm wondering if it is a sofware problem where it's trying to find another network other than AT&T when it looses AT&T and then gets caught in some sort of mode where it doesn't look for AT&T again?

    I've also fixed it by turning off the phone and back on and get a full power signal it's not a signal strength problem. It's the fact the phone is getting lost in a search mode.
  • netadmin2010 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm so puzzled! My wife and I both got the new iPhone 4. It worked great for a while except for all the reception/antennae issues. We have the bumpers and that seems to work fine. Then we both started getting no bars. Not "Searching" or "No Service" but no bars "_ _ _ _ _ AT&T 3G". I had upgraded to new OS 4.0.1 but did not on my wife's phone but both are experiencing this drop. We can get the bars back by Rebooting, Reseting Network Settings, popping out sim and reinserting, hard reset and the airplane mode would probably work too. But it will drop again. I had to do this 7 times in one day. I can still send and receive emails (not on wifi either) but no calls can come in or out until reset, I left it for 4 hours driving around in great signal coverage, they never came back.
    Troublshooting with Apple: I worked with 3 people each with my same case number each time I had to replay the whole story to them and what I had already tried which was frustrating. So Apple had me do all the resets previously mentioned. Those did not resolve it. Remember this is happening on both phones. They had me also Restore as new, swap out the sim cards through ATT, finally they said these are your options: 1) Pay (can you belive it PAY!??) 29.95 for shipping to send it to them and they will advance me another phone 7-10 days no reimbursement. 2) Send it in and have them try to repair the phone 7-10 days. 3)Try your luck at the getting a replacement at one of the local retail stores if in stock. OK so I go with option 3. Go to the store requiring Genius appointment. I go through the whole replay from start to finish because with all their technology they don't seem connected at all on the so called case number. The whole time I feel like I have to prove myself in each instance, like I'm making this up. Even though I brought the phone in, in its locked up state with no bars. He quickly reset it and they all came back like "why didn't you try this, see its fine now..." I said yes but I have to do this 4-8 times a day and they said if I come here I can get a replacement. So after instructing me to be careful of the tiny amount of pocket lint that built up in the connection port at the base (oh brother!!!) he said well if we have them in stock we'll replace it. After checking his device for 5 minutes he said the "good news is we have it in stock". He brought out one that was in a plastic case kind of looking like a refurb, the phone looks brand new but who knows. Peels off my $20 invisible shield like nothing, takes the old phone swaps the sim card says initial, sign here, date here. Gives me the new phone and says all set, have a nice day. I felt like I had been such an inconvenience to him yet I was having such problems with a device I paid for through and produced by his "bread and butter". I am a NetAdmin and support a small company with 15 servers, 120 desktops, myriad of manufacturing/inventory devices and technology, 15 remote users over the world, and 15 other iPhone users, all by myself. I hope this qualifies me enough to say "I'm not dumb". Yet I didn't feel like that walking out with my shiny "new" iPhone 4 replacement. End of the story...woke up this morning with no bars "_ _ _ _ _ AT&T", reboot. Maybe a lowercase i in iPhone is symbolic.

    Message was edited by: netadmin2010
  • Gary Cox1 Level 2 Level 2 (420 points)
    I understand your frustation, I don't see how you got a genious appointment! At the local store it's days to get one and they won't help you unless you do get an appointment.

    I'm a netadmin myself for a larger company. I had an experience with an Apple employee a few years ago where the dvd/cd burner on my laptop was scratching CD's, he told me not to put my hands on the laptop when burning as it was causing pressure and scratching it! He is no longer employeed there.

    At any rate, "I" think the problem is a software glitch in the phone software. I'm guessing it's getting confused on the network if it looses AT&T and it finds another signal perhaps it's searching for something it can talk too and it gets lost. Resetting the phone works but that's not the answer. I'm hoping Apple engineers read this forum and will investigate the issue.

    I can't reproduce the issue all the time, in fact, it's one particular area that I go into that it does this but not others. That's why I'm thinking it's getting confused on the signal and then it gets lost.
  • Solarya Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Gary, you might be on to something there.

    I received my first iPhone 4 in mid July. The town I live in has great 3G coverage, but just 20 miles away at my place of employment, it's Edge only.
    I activated my phone that night after getting home (what a long 12 hours that was, phone was delivered at 9:30 am and meany husband even unboxed it gasp to send pictures), synced it, life was good.

    Get to work the next day and played with it most of the day. No signal issues as of yet. However, once I updated to iOS 4.0.1, my issues started.

    As soon as I got out of the 3G coverage area, I noticed that at most I had 2-3 bars. No big deal really, as I use my laptop for most of my browsing. BUT, it's a new phone, so yeah, you tend to play with it a lot.
    First day after updating to the new iOS, I received 4 voicemails. Phone never rang. Odd, I thought, wonder why it's doing that. So over the course of the day, I would periodically press the home key to check my signal strength.
    Imagine my surprise when pretty much every single time I did I would either get a 'No Signal' or 'Searching' and zero bars.

    I restarted, did several hard reboots, even wiped the phone completely.
    I turned off Wifi, notification services, even turned off 3G. I played with the Airplane mode, anything you could think of. Nothing worked.
    My iPhone finally went back to Apple, and I waited a while before ordering a new one. It's on the truck for delivery as we speak, and I'm hoping this one doesn't have the same issues my first one had.
    If so, I will have to make the sad choice of reactivating my old 3G yet again, and this time there will be no going back. Guess I'll just wait until Christmas to treat myself to the new Windows 7 phone.

    Editing to add.. in the meantime, I tried out the new Samsung Captivate. Guess what. Zero signal issues. 5 bars on Edge the entire day at work, zero dropped calls (nevermind the fact that Steve and his phones have spoiled me so much that Android made me wanna pull my hair out. That phone went back after only having it for one week.)

    So yes, Husband and my old iPhone 3G.. 5 bars on edge at work, great 3G at home.
    Co-Workers Android phone.. 5 bars at work on Edge.
    Samsung Captivate.. 5 bars on Edge.
    Previous iPhone 4? Um....

    Message was edited by: Solarya
  • netadmin2010 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    This could be something connected to the Edge network. I go between or more appropriately I enter into areas where 3G is not available as Edge is almost always available. This could be an issue within the Edge network not reconnecting after a switch between towers. I will watch and see if it only happens within the Edge areas and report back. I do get frustrated when the Apple support techs all say, "huh that's strange, i've never heard/seen this". I'm not in their industry, I'm a consumer for all intents and purposes and you can find this issue posted in many places, even with old 3G phones from back in 08, might not be the exact same issue, but walks and talks like a duck. I don't like the feel of cover-up. But I digress, I love Apple, their standards and their products and integrity. It will be a huge disapointment and tremdendous failure if they can't come through on this. I don't want to rant, just provide information that may aid in discovery and resolution to "No Bars". Competition is tough and if I jump ship you bet I'm bringing all my users (and recommendations) with me, my integrity is not an optional thing. Keep any pertinent observations posted to narrow our search. This is not a "death grip", signal droping issue or a data droping issue, but a problem disconnecting and reconnecting with voice services like incoming and outgoing calls. Thanks for the feedback.
  • VibrantRedGT Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    I have the same exact problem. Sucky part is it's at home and in most places I really need to use the phone (grocery store, Walmart, etc.).

    Even worse is I had Sprint before this iPhone and missed maybe 5 calls in 5 years. I'm well over 30 missed calls in about 46 days now. I'm on my 3rd iPhone4. This issue is real!
  • Gary Cox1 Level 2 Level 2 (420 points)
    Actually we might be onto something. The area I was in when I experienced the problems several times I did notice my phone went from 3G to Edge and back and forth several times. I didn't think anything of it until you mentioned it.

    Like you said it isn't a signal strength issue or death grip problem, it's a cell phone network identification issue it would seem. If the phone didn't get any signal at all it would say "no service". The fact that it is "searching..." would seem to indicate to me it found a signal but it's searching for a carrier it is compatible with. The same happens with a non iphone when I was overseas and it took it a little time to find a compatible network and link up with it but meanwhile it would say "searching...".

    So it would seem to be a software problem. The pattern a couple of us have reported now is in and out of coverage and connection with the Edge network instead of 3G. In my case 3G was available in the area but the signal strength was so low it was dropping out of service and in and in and out of
    3G and Edge. The phone didn't get stuck in "searching..." when I was stationary. I was on the edge of coverage so if I walked outdoors I would get 1 bar and sometimes 3g and sometimes Edge but it never got stuck in a "searching..." mode. But it was when I was in the car traveling back into a strong coverage area that when I reached the strong coverage area I found my phone in a mode that said "searching...".

    If the phone is "searching..." it has to be detecting some sort of signal otherwise it would say "no coverage". Turning it off and back on I got a full power signal.

    It's got to be a phone software problem potentially connected to Edge network or perhaps another carrier connection got it stuck, it had to be trying to link up with something when it was caught in "searching...".

    I wish the iphones had a debug mode where you could see logs of what it is doing or where it is getting stuck.
  • chris2k2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    i had this issue with mine, my bruv had been playing a game on it for half hour or so....gave it back to me and had searching in the display, so i walked around for a few minutes and it still didnt lock on to a signal...so i got his 3gs and put it next to mine, my bruvs had 3 bars , mine was still on searching....so i turned off the phone and back on , and this restored normal operation.....both ip4 and 3gs on the same network (o2) and both using 4.01......i also had 3g and data turned off, as im on pay and go and was eating my credit fast......

    Message was edited by: chris2k2
  • Gary Cox1 Level 2 Level 2 (420 points)
    Well I decided to try an experiment. Where I work has a basement and you get little or no reception down there. So I took my iphone4 down there, it dropped to 1 bar and then dropped the 3G and went to Edge. It then went into "searching..." several times, it went into a "no service" as I walked around and then I went back upstairs and it didn't lock up on "searching..." it worked fine.

    Of course, there might be some sequence to the problem or it may be a mix of it trying to connect to another non AT&T carrier and Edge and it gets stuck. While I was in the basement I wouldn't be able to get signals from any carrier whereas where I had the problem before I was at ground level in a low signal strength area for AT&T, I don't know if any other carrier had a good signal or not.

    The place where it was consistantly reproducable is about 3 hours away so I can't try it there very easily not that it would do that much good for Apple to diagnose it from what I have... I really need a debug application to log what is going on and an engineer look at it.

    Hopfully Apple engineers read these threads and we are giving them some idea about the problem.
  • netadmin2010 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm going to experiment and leave my iPhone 4 with 3G off and only on Edge networks and see if I experience the no bars ("_ _ _ _ _ AT&T") lockup issue. I too wish there was a log I could look at to see connections and collect packet info. i'll look for an App that may provide that. Ethereal for iPhone? I also hope someone with brains and influence sees this very real issue. I have a feeling it has to do with behind the scenes signaling equipment and carrier equipment upgrades as it just appeared out of no where for me. AT&T may have changed something on their end software, firmware. Maybe I will be lucky and have a friend come with his 3Gs w/old OS for testing. I just don't know enough behind the scenes to speak to it intelligently.
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