I fixed the disabled Wifi problem (at least for now) by heating the handset until the temperature warning sign came on. Then rebooted iphone. Wifi was enabled and I can connect.
1. I had a 4S handset fail recently - speaker went and Wifi + Bluetooth became disabled. It was 90 days out of warranty but Apple Genius bar replaced it for free as this was "a known issue". Note wifi failed BEFORE I installed 6.1.3. Wifi was not working to find any networks - 6.1.3 simply disabled the wifi on off toggle.
2. New refurb handset would not charge properly and speakers cut out intermitantly - this was after only 3 weeks of use. Took it back and Genius bar identified it as a coroded dock connector. After some pursuasion they replaced it again.
3. Third handset is a refurbed iphone 4S with 6.1.3. Within 7 DAYS the wifi and Bluetooth failed on this phone too. Equally the battery drain was horrendous - 4 hrs on standby took the phone from 100% to dead. I'm overseas at the moment so cant go back to apple - so time for a quick fix.
4. I tried the usual resets etc - nothing. Thought I'd try the heating trick so propped the phone up infront of an electric fire for a few minutes until the temperature warning screen came on. CAUTION HERE: the phone was too hot to pick up by then - oops!
5. Rebooted the phone and Wifi + Bluetooth are back. Wifi finds and connects fine, Bluetooth finds devices to pair with OK.
No idea how long this will lst but clearly has worked for now. What does this tell me? Contrary to the general theme of this being a permanent hardward fault generated by 6.1.3 upgrade it does seem to be reversable (if not exactly stable). So hopefully if a patch is released we may be able to avoid handset replacements to fix the problem.
I took my phone to an Apple repairs shop. They told me it is a flaw it production which is common in 4S sets and it can be repaired easily. They just had to open the set and resolder the wifi chip. Then it was good as new. It cost me about 30$.
I prefered trusted repairing although I am still under warranty and could replace my phone. Anyway, it is working fine now.
The hair dryer solution is now explained. It only melts down the paste and the thin pins on the wifi chip which makes it to get a better grip on the board after cooling down. but it is only temporary and will not solve the problem for good.
And by the way IT IS NOT AT ALL related to iOS 6.1.3
If you have faced this problem after installing the iOS it can only be because your phone has heated more than your normal use or even just coincidence !!
Actually, now you're no longer under warranty. That wasn't an Apple store that did that. It was an unauthorized third-party. Apple doesn't open up devices in store and resolder connections.
The flaw is not common. That was a sales line.
I hope you repair lasts for a while, because your iPhone 4S now has a voided and unusable warranty.
I don't care about the warranty. I couldn't easily use it anyway. And also I don't want to end up like others who wish they hadn't replaced their phones with a refurb device.
Trust me, many users have this problem with their 4S as you can see in this topic and many others. The wifi chip has poor soldering. If you are unlucky, it will malfunction eventually.
This is the reason the apple stores replace the phones without any argument.
And by the way, the apple repair shops have far better services than the apple stores
You're right; you can't use the warranty, because you've voided it, so it's good that you didn't care about it.
And it's a remanufactured device, not refurbished. Very significant difference.
The percentage of 4S users with a wi-fi issue (ANY wi-fi issue, not just possible hardware ones) is less than 0.5%. One out of two-hundred isn't common at all.
The fix you paid $30 is also a temporary solution. But of course, the guy selling you the service didn't say that, lol.
Apple stores replace any hardware-defect iOS device without argument, within the hardware warranty. Not just this issue. Just like if you have AppleCare Plus, they replace any damaged iOS device without an argument. And if you've never used the warranty, then how would you know how the process goes at an Apple store, lol?
What kind of warranty did your repair service have, and is it in writing?
EDIT: I reread what you wrote. You couldn't 'easily' use your warranty? Why? Where did you buy the iPhone, and where are you now? The free shipping option from Apple for warranty service wasn't 'easy' enough for you?
Mate - your comments aren't helping anyone. There have been 126,000+ views of this thread so I'd say a disabled wifi option is a pretty common problem. Some people cant get to an Apple store (there are no apple stores in my country for instance) so they are taking alternative measures.
I dont see your point in trying to differentiate between refurbed or remanufatured iPhones handed out by Apple. I was actually initially impressed by Apple replacing my handset - it felt prompt and efficient but then after BOTH of the handsets they provided me have had problems within days of receiving them it does make you start to ask questions...
There have been 126,000+ views of this thread so I'd say a disabled wifi option is a pretty common problem.
Not really true. Only 459 replies, and many of them are from the same few individuals. Here was an example of a REAL common problem, with over 2 MILLION views and almost 13,000 replies before the thread was locked: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3391947. And even that problem affected a relatively small number of users.
The unresponsive WiFi problem is real, but it doesn't affect that many phones. And it is a hardware problem, and needs a hardware solution.
I'm a bit lost as to the value you think your comment adds here. There's a 100,000+ views of this, quite specific, thread so there's a fair number of people out there with this issue. Lets guess maybe one in a hundred actually posts a reply and you start to get a feel for the issue. Pointing at another "REAL common thread" which is bigger is completely irrelevant, makes no sense and is just going to annoy the people who actually have this problem.
Looking at your posts you seem to be a pretty active guy on the forums so maybe channel your efforts into helping find a solution.
Sure, one answer is to simply declare defeat and simply swap the handset but as I've found out it is possible to reverse the disabled wifi function - seemingly just by tripping the overheating cutout and letting the handset reboot. So rather than just dismissing it as an "irrevesable" hardware failure, what other ideas are there to explore this issue and fix it.
We have some questions to answer:
1. Why are some handsets failing but not others.
2. Why now - ie from about March onwards - is it an age of device issue or has something else happened.
3. Why (in my own experience) have two handsets failed with the same issue in a matter of days - what connects them [eg my wifi at home is an Airport Express - is that the connection?]
4. What is happening when the overheating cutout trips - is it resetting something on the device. Can we replicate this across a number of handsets.
The services the repair shop offered is a receipt where I can take back the phone if the problem reccured and they will fix it free of charge. This is just to reassure me that the problem is solved permanently.
I purchased the phone from US but I live in Iran so I can't 'easily' replace it. I either have to travel abroad or give the phone to a someone who is going abroad to have it replaced.
An no, the free shipping option is not an option for me because of the sanctions.
I still think it was my best solution. The phone is working perfectly. And I have the gurantee from the third party repair shop. Everything is cool now.
P.S. Apple does not give away 'new' phones as replacement. They have been used before by users like you and me who have had problems with them so they have replaced it. Well, they will fix the faulty phones and give it to another unsatisfied customer with a 90-day warranty! This is not what I would go for.
Where do you quote your stats from? How do you know that only 0.5% of people are affected? Moreover how do you know how many phones actually have this defect that has not materialised yet but is a problem waiting to appear at some point because of the defective manufacture. And who makes you a judge to say a problem, which even if it were to affect 'only' one in 200 people, is insignificant? The product ceases to function as it was sold to. You may not use WIFI. I assure you that the vast majority of owners do and do so heavily for many reasons, and it is also likely that a lot of affected people have not stumbled upon this thread.
Solder pads perishing (either poor assembly, poor materials, being made to operating outside of the intended design limits) being repaired in this way is ABSOLUTELY a permanent solution TO THAT PROBLEM if done properly and professionally. The ideal would be to re-screen the pads and bake the board - I can't imagine that many people having access to those kinds of facilities.
I have always suspected that something like this is the cause. It would make perfect sense. I don't know under what authority or knowledge you come here and claim anything else to be the case or to state that this is not true, but quite frankly I find reading your ranting posts wearing and they are condescending, patronising and sometimes borderline insulting. People are being forced to take alternative action because of Apple not even acknowledging a widespread issue warranty in existence or not.
Ok, we go by your own figures. 1 out of 200 is 5000ppm (parts per million) which is an EXTREMELY HUGE defect rate !
High quality manufacturing should not exceed more than 50 ppm of defect rate.
I work in Schneider Electric and the defect rate for 2012 was 5.7 ppm. Now THAT'S what I call quality. And still the company wants to improve the quality level of products.
I really didn't expect an Apple product to have such high number of complaints.