I see a pattern here: you keep trying to minimize the problem so it doesn't look like a big deal. Wi-fi, who needs wi-fi? People buy iPhones to talk... blah blah blah. Either that, or you really believe people spend a boatload of money on iPhones so they can make phone calls. That's hilarious!
Add this to your "research":
The vast majority of smartphone users spend just a quarter of their time-on-device talking. The main use of an iPhone for most users is obviously Internet-based communication, and the lack of wi-fi is *extremely* crippling for a regular user. For a teenager who may not have enough money to pay AT&T for more data, for example, it *is* indeed catastrophic as you put it.
Besides, even for people who can afford a better data plan, the connection will never be as fast as wi-fi (remember, in this particular case the affected phones are 4S which do not support the faster LTE). Do you believe for a second that Apple would be able to compete in the smartphone market without a wi-fi feature?
And... again, I never demanded a recall. I tried (unsuccessfully so far) to demand a solution from Apple--my original thought was to downgrade back to a previous version of iOS that worked, and it didn't even cross my mind getting a replacement device until I started reading these posts.
Last, you seem to know *for sure* what the problem is and what it is not. However, the posts in this forum seem to contradict your hypothesis that everyone's phones "were broken since day one". Mine certainly wasn't. It was fully functional and was damaged by the iOS update like so many others. You can say whatever you want to defend your beloved Apple, but that will not change the reality of the users who were affected by this update.
By the way, your "perfect analogy" is still as flawed as your plastic bottles. :-)
I never said it wasn't a big deal to those that are experiencing the issue. But the vast majority of iPhone users are NOT experiencing this issue. It's like a traffic jam in the next state over from you. It doesn't affect you, so no big deal to you. But to those stuck in it, it's a big deal.
I never said people didn't need Wi-Fi, but that's actually true. Wi-Fi is a luxury. In fact, Wi-Fi is simply the inexpensive alternative to your cellular data. That's it. You don't need it for virtually anything, but it is a feature that you should have access to, because you paid for it. I never said people should just 'get over' not having Wi-Fi. I said that Wi-FI being disabled doesn't cripple the phone. It doesn't make it useless. It simply limits your options.
That article you linked doesn't show anything that requires wi-fi. In fact, other than streaming videos/music, most of those features don't use a lot of data. And as far as a 'teenager' that can't afford the $10 for a 1 GB overage? They shouldn't have an iPhone in the first place. I rarely go above 50% of my data plan, and I use my iPhone a lot, every day.
These are LUXURY devices. Yes, it may [be inconvenient] when your luxury device has issues. But it's not the end of the world. And your Wi-FI speed is dependant on your internet service provider. It may or may not be faster. That's not even really relevant to the point.
And I do know what the problem is, at least in a general sense. In most of the instances where the Wi-Fi fails, the newer iOS pushed more power to the defective Wi-Fi chip than it could handle. The Wi-Fi chip should have been able to handle that amount of power, but because it was defective, it did not.
Non-defective Wi-Fi chips had no issue, because they could properly handle the power.
As far as posts that 'contradict' mine? Those individuals that understand the basics of how technology work are not contradicting me. Only those that say "My phone was fine until the new iOS broke it" are 'contradicting' me. I'm only being contradicted by those that are ignorant of how electronics work. Nothing inherently wrong with that, until they try to argue a point in that area with someone that is knowledgable. It's like arguing with your doctor about what medicine to take, when you don't even know the difference between aspirin and acetylsalicylic acid.
They don't understand how electronics work, just like you don't understand analogies. Simply because you don't understand 'liquid is to power as bottle is to Wi-Fi chip', doesn't make it a bad analogy. It just proves you have a limited understand of how electronics work. Heck, water pressure and flow rate are common analogies when teaching the fundamentals of voltage and current to new students. So, there's actually a precedent for my analogy. Oh, and precedent means 'any act, decision, or case that serves as a guide or justification for subsequent situations.' Just in case you needed that explained to you as well.
I noticed you never answered my questions, about when your device failed.
This is very simple. Either it failed within the warranty period, or it did not.
If it failed within the warranty period, then Apple will gladly replace the device for free.
If it failed outside of the warranty period, then Apple will gladly replace the device at a highly discounted price.
Did you experience something different from that situation? Did Apple refuse to replace the device for free within warranty? Did they refuse to replace it at a discount outside of warranty? Did Apple deny you nay service whatsoever?
I find it interesting that you refuse to answer that very direct and clearly understandable question.
How long after your purchase date did your Wi-Fi fail?
I'm not sure what else I can say to you. I disagree with almost everything you say. For example, I think wi-fi being disabled DOES cripple the iPhone. I think teenagers should have these devices just as much as they have school textbooks, and if wi-fi makes the devices cheaper to use, then I say it's an essential feature NOT a luxury. I also think that Apple has some responsibility for the release of the update that crippled a lot of devices out there.
By the way, your explanation for the cause of the problem is just one among many. You may know more than the average user of this forum, technically, but unless you have inside sources at Apple who are telling you things we have no access to, other alternative explanations are still on the table. I disagree with you that the hardware has been bad all along, sorry. My phone worked fine until the update, there's no way to accept the update didn't cause the damage.
Let me put it this way: the engineers who designed the software knew of the physical limitations of the hardware. If they knew that a percentage of chips would fail when the software pushed more power to it, and allowed the release anyway, that's a despicable act. If they didn't know, now is the chance to make right.
Put it in perspective: if someday Apple releases an update that messes up the sensors and allows the unit to overheat and fail, you can't say that the units have always been "defective", can you? At that point, would it be right to just tell users to pay to fix their phones? Legally they're probably covered, but again... this is about doing the right thing, not what's legal.
To answer your question again: my device failed immediately upon booting up the first time after I applied the iOS update. 6 months out of warranty if you must know. It doesn't matter, because the failure was preventable (not updating it would be just fine) and Apple itself contributed to the failure. I know you'll take a bullet for Apple, but I won't and I think actions like these will guide the future purchase choices of the customers affected and others. I for one will not buy Apple products again anytime soon. Other people here have said as much.
They are making it right. They are replacing devices within warranty period for free, and replacing those outside of warranty at a huge discount.
Your device worked as promised for 18+ months, yes? Then Apple fulfilled their promise they made to you upon purchase of the device. Or do you expect your automobile manufacturer to fix your car after you've passed the 10year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty? I'd guess not. You'd accept the fact that your vehicle performed as advertised & promised during the warranty period. Why is your phone any different?
Did you purchase the extended warranty? Did you purchase any insurance from your carrier? My guess is that you did not.
You claim that Apple KNEW the update would cause problems. Prove it.
Tell me how software, in and of itself, can CREATE a hardware failure? Because greyed out Wi-Fi, if it persists after the troubleshooting steps listed, IS hardware failure. If you cannot explain how software CREATES a hardware failure, then you're not qualified to offer an opinion on this subject. No offense, but your particular training & background do not lend themselves to this situation. Just like I wouldn't try to diagnose someone's health issues (other than emergency first aid), you shouldn't try to diagnose (or even understand) the fundamentals of this technology.
Take a bullet for Apple? Hardly. There's a very short list of who I'd take a bullet for, and most of them I spent months in the sand with. I'm sure there's a field that you're qualified in that I wouldn't understand without firsthand experience and training.
In any event, I'm done for the night. I've given reasonable and logical explanations to you, and you seem to want Apple to provide you with a phone that always works perfectly, forever & ever & EVER! Like some kind of digital fairy tale. Not happening. No company offers that.
You're about due for an upgrade anyways. Talk to your carrier. And next time, buy the extended warranty.
<Edited by Host>
The argument TJBUSMC1973 makes saying Apple is being reasonable or that doing without wifi is acceptable is ridiculous.
My car manual states I should have it regularly serviced (firmware updates).
I take it into the garage and they do the service (6.1.3) but either immediately or a while later I find my car can't go above 50 as it used to any more.
There was a hidden manufacturing tolerance issue in some engines such that only the new service oil (part of the maintenance) they're using has brought to light and that has caused irreparable damage limiting my top speed.
'You either make do without going faster or you can buy a new engine' they say. Going back to the old oil is no longer possible either.
You buy an iPhone for the spec which includes wifi. It is a consumer device. In the wifi there is failure introduced by the firmware upgrade in some units that causes issues when the manufacturer's almost forced and irreversible maintenance steps are followed. Whether that is down tp a defective batch of components, operating tolerances being breached, or defective assembly, it is CLEARLY Apple's issue irrespective of warranty. This exact problem, I firmly believe, did not exist under 6.1.2. if the component is failing within operating tolerances then they have a claim up their supply chain.
TJBUSMC1973 wrote "You claim that Apple KNEW the update would cause problems"
No, I didn't. As I didn't ask for a recall, and I also didn't ask Apple for a new phone like you wrote previously. I think you're reading too fast and not paying attention, or you're too eager to defend your beloved corporation.
In fact, if you read my previous posts more carefully, my position has been that there can only be one of the two: either 1) Apple knew about the issue and acted irresponsibly (their fault), or 2) it didn't know and should do something to fix the phones it broke with the bad FW update (their fault too).
TJBUSMC1973 also asked: "Tell me how software, in and of itself, can CREATE a hardware failure?"
Are you kidding me? ANY piece of software that controls hardware has the potential to damage it by inputting wrong parameters, either on purpose or by accident. Have you ever heard of Stuxnet?
There are a few posts in this forum that discussed this with specific examples, but I guess you didn't read those either. You even mentioned one possible scenario when you wrote that "the newer iOS pushed more power to the Wi-Fi chip than it could handle". You *did* write that, right?
And finally, TJBUSMC1973 also stated: "You seem to want Apple to provide you with a phone that always works perfectly, forever & ever & EVER"
Nope. Not even close. There's a concept you don't seem to grasp called "being reasonable". I wouldn't have a problem at all if my phone had died on its own after the warranty period expired. I would not blame Apple if I had broken the phone somehow. I would not even call them if I had attempted to hack my phone and eventually bricked it...
But this is very different: it was an official Apple update that broke my phone. Not a beta update, not a third-party software. If you still can't see the issue, or at least have empathy for the users who lost their wi-fi connectivity because of the update, or if you think this is somehow acceptable because they're Apple and you love them unconditionally... well, then I guess there's nothing else I can say here.
Try reading carefully what Sid Harper wrote above (he made my car analogy even better; BTW, how are your water bottles doing?)
Just to join the fray: We bought two iPhone 4S's in December. Both are kept in OtterBoxes. My husband has had no problems whatsoever with his and wifi or BlueTooth. However, in July, I suddenly noted that my wifi was grayed out. I got online with Apple support and, after some length of time, it was determined that I needed to see a Genius and an appointment was made. The Genius inspected the phone and then ran some diagnostic tests and came back to tell me that they would be giving me a new phone. Great! He told me that some of the apps I was running MAY have been culprits, but that most likely, the fault lay with Apple apps that run in the background and that cannot be removed. He also warned me never to let the phone sit charging in the OtterBox for an extended length of time, saying that the heat generated may have zapped the wifi connection.I told him that I never did that, only charging it for the time necessary (usually less than half an hour). He just shrugged and said, "Well, good." I find this pronouncement interesting in light of the many postings that suggest applying heat to get things working again.I take my new phone and merrily go on my way. Not a week later, the same thing happened. I find THIS interesting in light of the post by someone on this thread about the replacement phones being more carefully inspected than original manufacture phones. Perhaps not so?
I've been ruminating about this and lurking here on the forums trying to figure out what to do. Reopen my case and go back to the Geniuses and get another new phone? It's not far away, but it's a pain and I somehow resent that I should have to do this.
Weirdly and parenthetically, yesterday afternoon, while waiting in a restaurant for a take-out order, I sat noodling with my phone and looked, just for grins, at the wifi display. Lo and behold, it was no longer grayed out!? When I got home, I tried to log on to our network and it just kept spinning and said something like "unable to connect to a wifi network," or something like that. It was LOOKING, but wasn't finding our network. At least it was alive!! Also parenthetically, a few weeks ago, I purchased an iPad. It's running 6.1.3 and (knock wood) has had no issues whatsoever. My laptop is running on OS X 10.8.4, also without issue (knock wood again). So, back to the phone: I did a Reset Network Settings, hoping that that would job it back to finding our wifi network. Guess what? Wifi is once again grayed out.
Lawrence Finch wrote:
What specifically is the issue you are having? This thread is so long that several different, unrelated problems have been described.
I was using nomally my 4s and suddenly I was without wifi. I switched the phone off and the grey button appered.
Then I tryed to restore the phone to factory sett and it was working for a couple of hours. When I realised that its working then I restored the backup that I had on ITunes. It was woking for 5 min and then stopped again. Yesterday it was working for 5 min adn that 's it. Right now I reset the network settings and the grey button is there again. I think that the error could be in the previously made backup.
@Sid: Is Apple replacing devices for free if they are under warranty? Yes.
Is Apple replacing devices at an extreme discount if they are NOT under warranty? Yes.
How is that an unreasonable response from a company?
I said that Wi-Fi is a luxury, and that's absolutely true. Name me one instance in which you MUST have Wi-Fi, or else it creates an unbearable situation.
Let's use your car analogy. If it's under warranty, do they replace the entire car for free? No. They simply do the repair for free. If it's not under warranty anymore, do they offer to replace the car at a discount? No, they MIGHT simply do the repair at a reduced rate.
You don't get a free replacement car, under warranty, unless the entire vehicle is out of commission. Apple is doing far more than they are required to do in this situation. Would I prefer that the Wi-Fi problem never occurred? Of course. But defects happen, and Apple's response to the defective hardware is ABOVE the industry standards. Name a company that regularly replaces out-of-warranty electronic devices at greater than 66% discount?
Here's how the conversation goes when you buy an iPhone:
Apple: "Mr. Customer, here is an iPhone for sale for $549. We promise that it will work as designed, with no faults, for a period of one year. If you'd like to add one more year to that guarantee, it's only $99."
Mr. Customer: "Okay, Apple, I agree to those terms."
That's it. Nothing more. No promise that it will NEVER have a problem, regardless of the cause. Just a promise that, for the duration of the warranty, it will be free from faults.
And most people didn't even pay full retail price for their phones in the first place. ****, my iPhone 4 was $1. With the APP+, it was $100. So, for the next two years, I'm covered. And, then after the two years, I'll just upgrade for another $100, and be worry free. Choosing not to purchase the extended warranty is a gamble. Some people lose that bet. I'm literally paying less than $1 per week to guarantee that I will always have a working iPhone. Sorry for those that don't know how to use the system to their advantage.
Also, Apple has not yet made an official statement that the out-of-warranty replacement is the ONLY option they will offer. That's just their standard, blanket coverage for any & all situations that come up. As far as specific options for this situation? No official word yet if they'll go above and beyond what they already offer.
For example, did you know that if you 'accidentally' purchased a counterfeit USB charger, Apple will swap out that counterfeit charger for a new, Apple brand USB charger at half price? And they will dispose of the counterfeit charger free of charge. Why? Because they don't want someone to accidentally damage their phone with a faulty, counterfeit charger. They are basically selling the replacement at cost. Were they required to do that? Not at all. But they try to do right by their customers.
Sid, let me ask you this: How long after the warranty expires is it okay for a device to fail? If this problem occurred 5 years after purchase, would that be reasonable? Who gets to decide how long after the date of purchase the device is guaranteed to work? Oh, right... the manufacturer/seller does. And it is the customer that decides if that's a fair deal. When you bought your iPhone, you AGREED that one (or two years if you extended the warranty) was a fair amount of time for the device to operate without failure. Where is the customer's responsibility in this situation?
I'd love to see Apple offer to replace even out-of-warranty devices that had a faulty Wi-Fi chip that got damaged after the iOS upgrade. Does the fact they haven't done so yet mean I think they're cheating anyone? Absolutely not. They've honored the warranty, as written at time of purchase, that both seller & buyer agreed upon.
Of course, there are other things that can cause the Wi-Fi chip to fail. And before Apple gave a free replacement, they would have the right to inspect the device for other causes besides the iOS upgrade. Otherwise, what's to stop someone from intentionally damaging the Wi-Fi chip right before their warranty expires, to get a replacement device?
In any event, Apple's current position is acceptable within the agreed upon warranty. And they may (or may not) expand upon that position.
@Marcio: You stated 'perfectly good devices were damaged by an untested software release'. I've asked you to prove that the software is untested. You've failed to do so. That's an implication that Apple allowed the problem to occur intentionally. Failure to properly test software is negligence. Yet, you've failed to offer any proof that the software was not tested properly. You've yet to even offer any research that shows what the percentages are of devices affected by this.
Software doesn't CREATE a hardware problem. The hardware's responses to the software is what can cause a hardware problem, and that's only if A) the software is trying to do something beyond the tolerances of the hardware or B) the hardware is not up to tolerances. The only way that the software could possible create a hardware failure is if it was not properly tested, or if it was intentionally designed to do so. Neither one of those theories has any supporting evidence whatsoever. Therefore, we are left with hardware defect. The fact that the 'heat gun' trick helps to repair the issue is a telling factor. A heat gun won't rewrite software. So what must it be fixing? The hardware, specifically the solder connections.
You also say that you'd have had no problem if your iPhone had just 'died' on it's own after the warranty expired. How do you know it did not? Have you had a technician inspect the phone? Or are you operating solely under 'circumstantial evidence'? While I agree that a hardware defect is the most likely cause, that's far from conclusive. Have you given Apple (or any authorized technician opportunity to inspect the device?
You say that it is the update that broke your phone. Have you had it diagnosed as such yet, or are you just assuming?
And as far as Sid's analogy? I liked it for the most part, except the glossing over about the warranty coverage period. But I liked it when he said: "So if chip x is rated to operate at between 2.7 and 3.3v but if you pump 3.3 into it it generates more heat, that could cause a failure of solder joints due to the dissipation of the heat where it is fitted. That's one example. If the software is making a component generate more heat... Not all units will be affected."
That's basically the 'bottle' analogy I used. I just... toned it down so some people could understand it.
If you put too much power into the chip, then it does not perform as expected.
If you put too much water into the bottle, then it does not perform as expected.
Does that help you out, Marcio? Maybe I can use 'air' and 'balloon' instead?
If you put too much power into the chip, then it breaks.
If you put too much air into the balloon, then it breaks.
Not sure how these analogies are going over your head.
The balloon was supposed to be able to handle up to 100 PSI, but was defective and could only handle 90 PSI. When it reached 91 PSI, it broke.
The bottle was supposed to be able to handle up to 1000 mL, but was defective and could only handle 950 mL. When it reached 951 mL, it overflowed.
The Wi-Fi chip was supposed to be able to handle up to 3.3 volts, but was defective and could only handle 3.1 volts. When it reached 3.2 volts, it broke.
To sum up? Apple's current position on this issue is well within the law, and well within their standards and expectations, and follows the warranty that they AND the customers agreed to. However, they have not yet made an official statement about whether or not additional options will be available.
Wi-Fi being 'off' doesn't cripple the phone. We all got along just fine for DECADES without portable Wi-Fi. It's an annoyance, not an emergency. While it needs to be addressed, people like you need to stop panicking and freaking out.
Go get your phone officially diagnosed, Marcio. And buy the extended warranty next time. If your portable Wi-Fi device is so critical to your everyday life, then it's careless for you to not take personal responsibility, and take protective measures to make sure that it works properly, and that if something happens to it, that it is repaired/replaced in a timely manner. That means buying the extended warranty.
If it wasn't important enough for you to spend less than $1 a week to protect the device, then it's failure is not important enough for you to whine & moan about it for days online.
Replacements are inspected to a greater degree than mass-produced. Have you gone back to the store to see if the cause was the same?
As far as heat causing or fixing the problem, think of a welded piece of metal. You add heat to metal to make it malleable. Then you let it cool to make it hard again. While it's malleable, it can be pushed together with other malleable metal, or it can be pulled apart. Therefore, heat can separate metal, or it can join metal.
In the phone, the connections are made by soldering. Soldering is like very small scale welding. When the Wi-Fi chip is greyed out, that can sometimes mean that there is no physical connecton of the metal bits, which means there's no place for the electricity to go. Or, one of the metal bits is pointing the wrong way, connected to someplace it shouldn't go, so the electricty goes to the wrong place.
There are also possible software reasons for the Wi-Fi to be greyed out, but those are more complicated so I won't bore you with details. Suffice to say that this problem can have multiple causes, which is why diagnosing and troubleshooting is important.
Here's my suggestion: Restore the phone as new (after you've backed it up). If the Wi-Fi works again, then use it with minimal 'personalization' for about a week. Don't redownload apps. Don't restore the backup. Use it in a 'bare-bones' mode. If the Wi-Fi stays active for about 5-7 days, then restore the backup to the phone. If the Wi-Fi dies out shortly thereafter, that strongly suggests something in your backup is corrupt, causing the issue.
And of course, talk to the Apple store again if the problem reappears either way.
I take my car in for a service and it develops a fault because of what they did. If I hadn't had it serviced (which is almost forced onto me) it would have been fine. Whose fault is it - mine?
Yes wifi is as important to me as the phone being able to work on a cellular network. It lets me sync and backup my phone on my home network, enjoy rapid unlimited downloads, do Airplay, work on the tube (London's metro), and not pay a fortune for a data plan by using wifi in many places. Interestingly UK law has provisions (Google 'SOGA') for up to 6 years consumer rights but its hassle for me to invoke.
The reason Apple are replacing devices is not because of this problem but because of their policy of not effecting board level repairs. I also have no expectation that replacement devices would be inspected any more closely than previous units in the retail chain but I would expect them to be later manufactured and possibly with revisions to the procedure or component quality used in assembly.
I'm sorry but you don't get it. MarcioV is absolutely right.
And regarding the chip not operating at 3.3v - I didn't change the voltage to the chip or define the spec that it was meant to operate to or take delivery of chips that fail under certain circumstances or assemble the phone.
If it failed of its own accord within the standard MTBF curve, fine, and if I have AppleCare, whoopee. But I put on an update and something killed my phone as a direct result. Worst still it was the manufacturer - if I tried to jailbreak it then on my head be it. But I didn't.
Regarding the chargers - it's a PR exercise that is not costing Apple any significant money. Most of the unofficial chargers they take in will be perfectly adequate and safe. But they manage to shift thousands of official chargers which still carry a handsome margin at half price. At a time when their market share is eroding this kind of PR can only do them good.
It's so very, very simple: Did the device perform as promised during the entire warranty period? If yes, then the agreement has been fulfilled. If not, then the manufacturer needs to remedy the situation. And that's what is happening. I noticed you completely glossed over my point that Apple may be considering additional options, and has not made ANY official statement one way or the other yet.
To use your analogy: if during the service, it was discovered, as part of the service, that the automobile had a defect prior to the service, and the defect was only disovered after the warranty had expired, and the defect had caused no problems during the warranty period, then the manufacturer is not obligated to perform any free service.
If I have a 100,000 mile powertrain warranty, and at 100,001 miles the engine fails, then that's that. The cost of repair is on me. The manufacturer warranty has been fulfilled. Now, if the manufacturer offered a discounted repair? Well, that's good customer service.
This is not a difficult concept. Let's say that you pay your local cable company $500 for a full year of service. They provide that service for one year. After the year expires... do you demand they continue the service?
You paid for a year of service. You got a year of service. Simple.
The only problem here is an incorrect expectation by a customer. You expect the device to have no performance issues after the warranty period. That's not a realistic assumption. When our products do last longer than the warranty, we are happy. We get more than we paid for, more than we expected. The problem is we get used to that, and when something fails before WE think it should, we ignore want the original promise was.
The original promise was fulfilled. Apple is giving additional options beyond that, at reduced cost. That's not 'unfair' at all.
It really doesn't matter it the fault was caused by physical damage, liquid damage, user error, or a hardware/software glitch. If it happened after the warranty period (or after the damage protection plan period), then it's all the same. If I have APP+ on my iPhone, and 1 day after the two years expires I drop it in water, should I expect Apple to replace it for $49? No.
The problem happened (regardless of WHY the problem happened) AFTER the warranty period expired. Unless someone is suggesting that there was premeditated intent on Apple's part to damage the devices, then they aren't at fault. At least, not until there is a judicial ruling.
Whatever happened to a presumption of innocence?
In any event, I've said more than enough. Some customers took additional precautions against the unknown (whether it be liquid or physical damage, or something totally unexpected). Others did not.
Learn from your life lesson. If you rely so heavily on a particular device, take precautions. I have insurance on my automobiles, on my houses, and on my electronics, both for theft or damage.
Expecting something for nothing is... well, not how I do things in my life. Maybe that's how you go through life, but I expect that I'm the one that is ultimately responsible for the events in my life. Personal responsibility.
I took precautions. You did not. I'm sympathetic to your situation, but sympathy doesn't warrant a freebie.