I've the same issue. Since the first call at january I thought about replacement, but had never go ahead. Well, as many people are reporting that problem, it couldn't be a simple malfunction or something randomized between millions.
It's in fact an engineering problem. It depends as I noticed on the the signal strength, that will require an equivalent power to send cell-antenna signals. It could vary on each carrier by the frequency used at the net. That may affect more or less the onboard speaker due to the power density inside the device.
Any apple engineer to des argue me?
I'm from Brazil too and since the first time I made a call on my first iPhone 4S I noticed this annoying noise. Since then, Apple replaced the phone 3 times too, until I wasn't convinced anymore that this phone was a good choice and that Apple wouldn't do nothing about this issue. So I just made a last call to Apple support and ask for my money back, what they promptly did. Considering the amout of complaints about iPhone 5, I think that it isn't a good choice too, what makes me believe in a dramatic step down in quality patterns in Apple's engineering. Unfortunately, I'm looking for another cellphone, and Samsung's seems to be a considerable choice. Steve Jobs was Apple's quality certificate, without him this is not guaranteed.
After reading a lot of topics about this issue, it seems to me that most people don't notice the noise, which doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. In fact, if you make calls on noisy places, it becomes more tolerable and some people are not so attached to these details. In the last days with my iPhone, I was using the earphones all the time. It was the only way not get crazy. I don't know, but coincidence or not, my 3 iPhones were assembled in Brazil.
Well, at this point i've a different position.
I hardly can stand and keep using the phone. As I've no hope to find a noiseless phone and give up from it is not an option...I should handle that.
I just wonder about an feedback from Apple, and an "Sorry, you guys are right to complain about this!"
Maybe one day...
I keep coming back to this thread every few weeks hoping for some SUPPORT from Apple...And so it seems it will never come. I don't talk on the phone so much so the static isn't constantly drilling in my head so I can tolerate it for the time being. My phone is an AT&T model. I called European customer support since I am living in Denmark at the moment and I can't walk into a physical retail store. Since my phone was not bought directly through Apple the rep said she could not help me. That really ****** me off. My phone is under warranty until April 9, 2013, and since I bought it through AT&T they couldn't help me? What is going on here? Your phones have a wide spread problem wake the F up Apple, man up and fix this problem instead of hiding from it!
My experience is: I take my iPhone from Sonera Finland. From the beggining I got an "OCNA" issue - no audio on outgoing calls. Being in London I went to the Apple Store (Regent Street) and my iPhone was replaced without any problem. Stuff even asked me "where you bought it" and I tell him that "in Finland"...
But my iPhone was unlocked by my request. So mey be that's why genius at Regent street had no doubts.
If you have Apple Store nearby, try to exchange.
As per static, I have the sam but very VERY small... To reproduce it I must start downloading some file and immidiatelly dial some number to have in silence of waiting dialtones some static...
Actually all my 5 iPhones which I exchange by different reasons (OCNA, vibro buzzing, battery drain and the last with earpiece defect) had no obvious static issues... May be the SIM card is the reason? Try to insert another one.
Here is my experience:
1. static sound is present only on 3G when transferring data
2. static sound comes from inside the phone, not speaker!
3. static sound only exists when signal is low
How to test:
1. disable wireless and make sure you have 3G and cellular data enabled)
2. open field test mode (on iOS 6.0.1 dial *3001#12345#* then UMTS Cell environment > UMTS RR Info)
3. wait until some of the missing fields are updated (RRC State for example, usually to CELL_FACH value)
3. long press home to start siri but then touch the screen to cancel it (RRC State updates to CELL_DCH value)
4. listen to iPhone body (back side is a good choice to be convinced that the noise is not from earpiece)
CELL_DCH is the highest power state of the 3G module. The static sound comes from the 3G module when signal is low and it needs power. In the following picture, in the upper left corner, the negative value of "-65" is the signal level (full bars). A value lower than -100 means bad signal, and I have read that -113 is close to the limit.
So right now I have full signal ("-65") and I've just transferred data (CELL_DCH state). At "-65" I did not hear any static, but at "-105" I've heard lots of it. The second the 3G module goes to CELL_FACH state, for me the static noise stops. Why you hear it during a call? A call is data transfer and when you press your ear to the body of the phone you get the impression the static comes from the earpiece.
That's it. Now you have a way to test it for sure, without the influence of the call factors.
Excellent notes for this issue, but the static isn't only in 3G data mode on.
My Carrier "TIM" still have a big share on the network only on EDGE, and at that with cell data turned off, that sound continues going on.
When the values above are shown as low (weak signal expressed on dBmw probably) the phone uses more transmission power, as you said. At this point, higher the transmition power, higher the interference.
Most part of the speakers are made using copper espirals to produce sound by vibration, as you certainly know.
At high transmit. powers it may suffer electromagnetic induction by cell transmition, generating the "bee like" interference.
A well done eletromagnectic shield must keep this away! The question is : How are the iPhone e.m. shield?!