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  • Kwopau Level 4 Level 4 (1,725 points)
    texasiphone wrote:
    I went to my Apple Store over the weekend to have them look at my proximity sensor not working and the "genius" verified the problem and promptly replaced my unit. However, he did not check it and I later found that it still does not work.
    Not only that but I found that after syncing, I did not recover all the information and much was lost to my bitter disapointment. I guess I am going to have to go back again but next time I was have the so-called "Genius" show me that it actually works.

    What you can do also is when you do get it replaced, before you walk out of the store, do some test calls at the apple store to ensure that it is working. Use the apple store demo iphone and call your phone. Or just call your friend or whatever at the store with your phone and make sure it works.
  • John P. Level 4 Level 4 (1,145 points)

    I took my iPhone 4 to the genius bar on Sunday. The "genius" was less than sympathetic. I explained that I had already restored the iPhone, contacted Apple customer service, and the issue still persists. He said that it sounded like a software issue and that "software...isn't covered under warranty." HUH?!

    He said he would exchange it as a "one time coutesy" -- gee thanks, it's not like I have a warranty on your stupid phone!

    I love the phone but I'm quite frankly tired of their snotty employees.
  • dbk9999 Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
    They claimed a proximity sensor issue was a SOFTWARE issue????

    This is a way too convenient excuse for anything they can't figure out.

    Twice I went to them when none of my third party apps would work (they'd start to launch and then come right back to the home screen). Both times they told me to restore as "new" - which lost all my other stuff like game scores.

    Then one day it happened and I was on a trip, not near an Apple store. In desperation, I tried downloading a new app (a free one) with the phone. When it was done, all the apps worked just fine. No need to lose everything.

    I periodically consider whether to exchange mine. It's a week 37 and does fail my test - but I know how to avoid it. Still, it shouldn't require special effort!

    But everything else seems to be good. When I read about people having problems with bluetooth, camera color issues (the one I have now seems to have less trouble with some artificial lighting), etc, I wonder if changing it is worth the risk.

    Especially if, when they refurbish a phone, they change the serial number so that the year and week represent when it was refurbished. I'd want to at least be sure it is a week 46 or later since all those have passed my sensor test.

    I'll probably keep it. I'll be buying another when ip6 comes out anyway and this will become a backup. Hopefully that will be in another 14-15 months. I always keep my most recent "old" model in case a phone goes bad or gets lost or stolen.
  • John P. Level 4 Level 4 (1,145 points)
    dbk9999 wrote:
    They claimed a proximity sensor issue was a SOFTWARE issue????

    This is a way too convenient excuse for anything they can't figure out.

    Yeah tell me about it. Mine would spontaneously switch to speakerphone or mute/hold the call while I was talking on the phone. The un-genius said that it had to be the proximity sensor but that it was most likely a software issue and software issues aren't covered under warranty but he'd replace it as a "one time courtesy."

    I don't know if it is in Apple's training procedures for the genius bar but there definitely seems to be a repeating pattern of condescending, paternalistic behavior when bringing things in for repair. Same thing when I took my wife's white Macbook in for repair (cracked plastic) and my MBP. They act like they're doing you a favor whereas you would be silly to think they (Apple) would fix your problem under warranty.
  • dbk9999 Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
    I don't think they'd really have a choice about replacing it if you insisted and they didn't want to, for several reasons:

    1. Far too many people have reported this problem for it to be an occasional software issue.

    2. We have actual tests showing, at the very least, that almost every phone prior to a certain week fails (I say "almost" because a few people said they passed my test, but none I've tested have - that WAY too consistent).

    3. They can't SHOW it is software - it's a claim they could make about pretty much anything, thus making any warranty meaningless. Thus it can't apply. Besides, a user could restore as new and not install any software to prove it still happens.

    4. That would only leave Apple's "software" in the OS. I don't think Apple will want to declare that their software doesn't work! That puts them in a box.

    I don't think a genius really learns that much. I know there is a little school Apple runs. Someone told me once how long it takes. Don't recall, but I think it was a few weeks or a month.

    In any case, that doesn't make them really experts. I'd bet that the vast majority of their time is going over common complaints and how to handle them. Not much different than the tech support guy you call in a foreign country who is going down a check list - a list he may not actually understand much himself.

    And I know that sometimes I've pointed out things to genius that they didn't know. Just experience in the real world was sufficient. And don't get me started on things geniuses told me that I found out were just wrong!
  • JustinCredibly Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have just tried going to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset Network Settings and now the sensor seems a lot less sensitive. I tested it just barely holding it to my head, and with it cradled between my head and shoulder (when I would see this issue most often) and it doesn't seem to turn on now until it's at least a couple inches away from your head. Wayyy better now. Just did a quick couple tests but it seems to have fixed it! But we will see how that goes over the next few days....
  • shotsk7 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    in my experience, the proximity sensor only works when you're talking to another iphone, if you're talking to someone who doesn't have an iphone, it doesn't work.
  • dbk9999 Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
    People have done this before - and had the problem come back. Hope you have better luck!
  • dbk9999 Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
    Don't see any logical reason for that - unless you "symptom" is disconnected calls. It is possible that the people you talk to are on a network that has problems. I know in my case, there is one person I can call where almost all my disconnections occur.

    But if the "symptom" is hitting "mute", "speakerphone", etc, it would make no sense.
  • John P. Level 4 Level 4 (1,145 points)

    You offer some very astute observations and I thank you for your empathy. I finally gave up on it and sold it. I liked the phone but the mix of the phone issues and the bad customer service just soured me on the whole thing.
  • dbk9999 Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
    Sorry to hear that. It's actually another reason I'm reluctant to switch mine out because maybe the next one will be worse. At least this one I know how to deal with any limitations so I never actually activate the screen by accident anymore. Wish I didn't have to be careful about it, but the benefits compared to the degree of problems makes it worth it to me. But I am looking forward to #6 when I'm due for an upgrade! This one will make a nice backup, usually using it in airplane mode like an iTouch.
  • ticksg Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Since you have really studied this issue to the point that I can't think of anybody who would know more about this problem I would like your input on my problem again. My situation with the phone is very erratic. I have gone a whole day with 3 hours on the phone and say 15 conversations, some short some very long and not an issue.

    The next day I can have it almost every second call and a few times during each call..

    What is really puzzling me now is that the last few days I have been using Call Guard a lot and I still have yet to have one instance of a face touch being registered on the phone. Essentially, the phone works perfectly when the app is active. This does not make sense to me. No matter what I do - and I often intentionally handle the phone in a way which should trigger the issue, not once when I have finished the call do I see any instance of an "unwanted touch".

    Do you have any ideas on this?

    P.S. Since this is a replacement I think I am not going to go back to the Apple store as, as you and others have mentioned, I am concerned in getting a phone with the same or other problems which may be worse.

    Message was edited by: ticksg
  • dbk9999 Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
    I don't know. I have call guard, but don't use it. I assume you have touched the screen on purpose to make sure call guard is working properly? You can just tap it with your finger.

    But as usual, I have to always ask what is actually happening when you have trouble. If it a call being cut off, it may not be the sensor. If it is activating speaker, mute, or something like that, then it probably is.

    Another thing you can do, though it is a pain, is video yourself on the phone if you are in front of a system with a camera (I have one in my Apple monitor). I turn it on to record while I'm on the phone and, if something happens, I stop it and can go back and watch that part of the video and see if it came on.

    But you'll probably need to have the phone's brightness turned all the way up and, especially if in a bright room, try to keep an angle to the camera that lets it more easily see what happens. That makes it a pain. If the room isn't bright, even if the camera can't see the screen, if the phone comes on, it might be bright enough that you can see it's light showing up on your face. Of course, you can't be one of those people who literally have the screen pressed against their face!
  • ticksg Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    hello again dbk9999,


    I always turn on the speakerphone which is a sensor problem. I use callguard correctly and never a touch. But there is one thing I always do and someone on macrumors has noticed something to do with it. As I mentioned previously,  after starting a call I almost always put the call on speakerphone until the person answers. Then I go off. This person has found this issue and I can duplicate it easily. This represents a good proportion of my sensor problems I know. Here is the post:


  • william_gg_village Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hello Everyone. Like many of you I have sufferred the hastle of a proximity sensor that simply doesn't work. Over the past few weeks I have trialled a number of so-called fixes and attempted to understand the cause and effect relationship of a number of variables. Here is what I have found. There are three contributing variables that stand out above all others they are screen protectors, type of bumper/protector and resetting the device. I am lucky enough to have access to a number of work colleagues and friends with problem phones with a substantial success rate. So far I have proved the performance of 14 phones with only one stubborn unit. Here is what to do. Step one, strip your phone and remove screen protectors and bumpers etc, step two: perform a reset of all settings. Step three: test using voicemail BEFORE you refit any accessories or protectors. In most cases this will work. Now if you choose to refit a screen protector you MUST cut out the section above the earpiece, this especially applies to "matte" finish protectors that cause the most trouble. I'll spare you the technical detail on refraction but this is key. Do not obstruct the sensor with the protective film. Next, avoid glitzy reflective covers such as the anodized aluminum look, again I'll skip the technicalities but these covers, especially the el cheapo two buck models are diabolical and confuse the sensor immensely. I have not had perfect results, but so far so good. I hope this helps you all. William.