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  1.    #1  
    The article does not state this, but I have heard from other sources that Apple uses a radio receiver produced by Infineon -- a receiver originally intended for the European market. European cell towers are significantly closer to each other than they are in the US -- this would do much to explain the iPhones wretched phone performance (irrespective of how its being held ....


    iPhone: Great Device, Lousy Telephone?
    We tried placing calls in poor coverage areas with four AT&T phones. The worst results consistently came from Apple iPhones.

    Mark Sullivan, PC World
    Aug 24, 2010

    ... iPhones I tested had lower rates of connecting successfully and had poorer voice quality in AT&T low-signal areas than did two non-Apple AT&T phones that I tested under the same conditions.

    I tested four phones on AT&T service in two cities over three days. I drove around San Francisco and Los Angeles comparing the performance of the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS against the performance of the RIM BlackBerry Bold 9000 and the Pantech Impact in voice calls placed at roughly the same time from areas where coverage from the AT&T network is less than optimal.

    What I found was surprising. Calls on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS failed to connect or dropped in midcall far more often than did calls on the other two phones, and the iPhone calls that connected successfully sounded marginally worse than calls placed with the BlackBerry and Pantech phones.

    ...Is the iPhone a great personal computing device but a bad phone? ...

    The Dropped-Call Champions

    The data point that sticks out in my results is the number of dropped or failed calls placed by iPhones during my tests, especially in the San Francisco tests. In total, the iPhone 4 dumped or couldn't connect in half of test calls -- 14 out of 28 -- in low-signal areas. The iPhone 3GS did even worse, connecting only 12 calls in 30 attempts, for a success rate of 40 percent.

    Meanwhile the iPhones' competition in our tests proved far more reliable in dealing with less-than-ideal signal strength. The least expensive phone in our tests--the Pantech Impact--had zero failed or dropped calls in the 19 test calls I placed on it, despite poor cell conditions. The BlackBerry Bold 9000 was also far more reliable than the iPhones, connecting on 18 out of 21 test calls in Los Angeles and San Francisco...

    On average, the iPhone 3GS scored the worst of the four phones in call quality. The 12 calls (out of 30 total) that the 3GS managed to connect and hold received an average MOS score of 3.16 (out of a possible 5). The iPhone 4, with its improved antenna (provided you hold it just so), fared a little better than its predecessor did in my call quality tests. The 14 (out of 28) successful test calls placed on the iPhone 4 averaged a mark of 3.27, also between "annoying" and "fair" on the MOS scale, though again, like the iPhone 3GS's score, closer to "annoying."

    The BlackBerry Bold 9000 produced the highest-quality voice calls overall in my tests. Calls made with the Bold 9000 had an average MOS score of 3.77 across 18 test calls, putting it near the upper end of the range between “annoying” and “fair." The Pantech Impact also outperformed the iPhones in call quality, with an average MOS score of 3.61 for its 19 test calls.

    The BlackBerry Bold 9000 proved the best phone in our tests for placing calls from low-signal areas...

    While we don't have the resources to do our testing nationwide, the data I collected in San Francisco and Los Angeles, combined with the anecdotal evidence, is enough to indicate that iPhones may well have more difficulty than other phones placing calls in areas of less-than-optimal wireless service.

    If you're going to be buying a smartphone, and phone calls are important to you, it's wise to take the time to test the phone for as long as laws in your state allow to understand how well the device works in the low-signal areas you frequent.

    Last edited by BARYE; 08/24/2010 at 10:29 PM.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  2. #2  
    I have heard this same, never experienced it, but still some of my friends are facing this kind of signal problem. I think apple has to do so much work on this signal problem.
    With the help of Online Quran Classes, we can promote the teachings of Islam in all over the world.
  3.    #3  
    this article from Wired discussed Apple's use of the Infineon receiver intended for Europe, and how its lead to the iPhone having dreadful reception.

    The PCWorld article confirms this


    ...One of the iPhone’s problems was that Apple had chosen to source the radio from Infineon, whose hardware was used widely in Europe but rarely in the US, where cell towers are placed farther apart and reception was therefore less forgiving. AT&T would say “Let’s resolve these issues together” and Apple would say “No, you resolve them. They’re not our problem. They’re your problem.”...

    Tales%20of%20the%20Apple%20/%20AT&T%20Meltdown]Tales of the Apple / AT&T Meltdown
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  4. #4  
    Isn't it because people aren't holding it right?
    My device history:

    - Jim J.

    (On Sprint for many years)
  5. #5  
    For the six months I endured an iPhone, I felt similarly - it was a great device and an unreliable phone.

    Of course, I felt the same way with the Tilt, Blackjack and the Blackjack 2. Which convinced me the phone problem was more a symptom of AT&T that it was the actual devices.
  6.    #6  
    maybe from a year ago I'd heard rumours about Apple's AT&T reception "problem" was actually because of Steve's design and choice of components.

    Like most I unconsciously dismissed such chatter -- it was easy to believe that the idiots at AT&T were too dumb and cheap to build enough towers and backhaul to handle Steve's perfect phone. That poor Apple was shackled to a 2nd rate carrier.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but before this non-scientific PCWorld test I have never seen anyone else compare phones of the same network under identically adverse conditions.

    This article is DEVASTATING -- I'm astonished that it hasn't gotten more attention at least here.

    It gives the lie to Job's pretense that AT&T lame network was the issue -- and not his wonder phone.

    If Apple ultimately goes with Verizon, they will likely use an entirely different receiver -- ironically one that presumably has been tuned explicitly for Verizon's network specs.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    If Apple ultimately goes with Verizon, they will likely use an entirely different receiver -- ironically one that presumably has been tuned explicitly for Verizon's network specs.
    I have no doubt that Verizon would keep a poorly performing iPhone off its network. Verizon has already proven: 1. They don't need the iPhone and 2. they're willing to cancel a phone before putting it on their network.

    If the article's premise is true (it's the phone, not the network), then clearly AT&T has sub-par standards in their testing and AT&T's network is not up to the same standards of the rest of the GSM world. If the iPhone's radio is truly the problem, then shame on AT&T for hiding it (or worse, being ignorant of it) for over 3 years while they milked & bilked their customers. AT&T is probably not above using a publisher like PCW to support their sob story (like when they were Cingular with their 'fewest dropped calls' fiction) by providing them massaged data.

    In my professional experience (I test phones for my corporation as a 'fun' job), AT&T's network is simply sparse and anemic. They have the highest in-network dropped call rate of the big four, followed closely by Sprint. The dropped call rate I experienced with the iPhone was comparable to what I still experience with the Jack and the Bold on AT&T. I haven't tried the Pantech listed in the PCW tests.
  8.    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    I have no doubt that Verizon would keep a poorly performing iPhone off its network. Verizon has already proven: 1. They don't need the iPhone and 2. they're willing to cancel a phone before putting it on their network.

    If the article's premise is true (it's the phone, not the network), then clearly AT&T has sub-par standards in their testing and AT&T's network is not up to the same standards of the rest of the GSM world. If the iPhone's radio is truly the problem, then shame on AT&T for hiding it (or worse, being ignorant of it) for over 3 years while they milked & bilked their customers. AT&T is probably not above using a publisher like PCW to support their sob story (like when they were Cingular with their 'fewest dropped calls' fiction) by providing them massaged data.

    In my professional experience (I test phones for my corporation as a 'fun' job), AT&T's network is simply sparse and anemic. They have the highest in-network dropped call rate of the big four, followed closely by Sprint. The dropped call rate I experienced with the iPhone was comparable to what I still experience with the Jack and the Bold on AT&T. I haven't tried the Pantech listed in the PCW tests.
    you must read the full (lengthy) Wired story -- the behind the scenes revelations of the relationship between AT&T and Steve is priceless.

    AT&T both HATES and FEARS Steve.

    He is for them the prodigal golden genius child who brings them gold -- but who they can't control and fear to displease.

    They wanted Steve to take some of the blame for the iPhone's problems on AT&T, but he wouldn't do it -- and they feared making him angry.

    BTW -- though PCWorld (and all media companies) prostrate themselves often times to Steve, AT&T is not Steve.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    you must read the full (lengthy) Wired story -- the behind the scenes revelations of the relationship between AT&T and Steve is priceless.
    I agree - that's a great read. It exposes AT&T as the unimaginative, spineless, ineffective company they really are. There are no new revelations about Mr. Jobs. What makes me chuckle about this is how Verizon must feel - they avoided having to deal with abusive-Steve, got AT&T exposed at the charlatans they really are, and still surpassed AT&T in subscribers, network data throughput volume, 3G coverage area, and (perhaps) phone popularity. This has also put Verizon in the catbird seat for the inevitable (perhaps imminent) arrival of the iPhone on their network.
  10.    #10  
    everyone should really read the full, (lengthy) Wired article, but here's an excerpt:


    Bad Connection: Inside the iPhone Network Meltdown
    By Fred Vogelstein July 19, 2010

    ...in meetings with Apple engineers and marketers over the subsequent year, Rinne and other AT&T executives discovered that Apple wasn’t playing by traditional wireless rules. It wasn’t interested in cooperating, especially if it meant hobbling what had quickly become its marquee product. For Apple, the idea of restricting the iPhone was akin to asking Steve Jobs to ditch the black turtleneck. “They tried to have that conversation with us a number of times,” says someone from Apple who was in the meetings. “We consistently said ‘No, we are not going to mess up the consumer experience on the iPhone to make your network tenable.’ They’d always end up saying, ‘We’re going to have to escalate this to senior AT&T executives,’ and we always said, ‘Fine, we’ll escalate it to Steve and see who wins.’ I think history has demonstrated how that turned out.”

    Indeed it has. Just as Rinne and her colleagues predicted, AT&T’s network proved unable to cope with the deluge of data traffic generated by the iPhone, particularly in cities like San Francisco and New York. Even as the #attfail meme burned up Twitter, AT&T accelerated its network upgrades — it has spent nearly $37 billion on new equipment and capacity since the iPhone launch and expects to invest around $13.5 billion in 2010. The effort may have already boosted performance, with at least some independent studies showing that the carrier’s network has improved. And yet AT&T’s image remains deeply damaged, and the body slams keep coming — including insults from mischievous blogger Fake Steve Jobs, The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.

    Meanwhile, the groundbreaking alliance has deteriorated into a loveless celebrity marriage. Each company has publicly described the other as the ideal partner (and neither would comment for this story beyond reiterating that talking point), but behind the scenes both have jockeyed for position while consumers have lashed out, looking for someone to blame...

    The two corporations have argued about almost everything. Jobs has been apoplectic about the state of AT&T’s network and what he views as its slow-footed upgrade efforts almost since launch day three years ago. One Apple source says that Jobs has discussed dropping AT&T at least half a dozen times.

    AT&T executives aren’t so crazy about Jobs, either. They complain that Apple hasn’t accepted its fair share of the blame. They say — and Apple sources confirm — that the software running the iPhone’s main radio, known as the baseband, was full of bugs and contributed to the much-decried dropped calls. What’s more, Apple had chosen to source the radio from Infineon, whose hardware was used widely in Europe but rarely in the US, where cell towers are placed farther apart and reception is therefore less forgiving.

    Even more irksome to AT&T, though, has been Apple’s relative silence in the face of thousands of frustrated customers. “AT&T went in thinking the deal was a true partnership: ‘We’re in this together, and we defend each other throughout.’ That wasn’t the way Apple did things at all,” says someone who worked on the project for AT&T. “We’d say, ‘Let’s resolve these issues together,’ and they’d say, ‘No, you resolve them. They’re not our problem. They’re your problem.’”

    The true cost to AT&T of this exhausting relationship will be debated for years. If the short-term bottom line is the only yardstick, it will be deemed one of the most lucrative business partnerships ever conceived. For its part, Apple has seen the iPhone become its largest and most profitable business generator almost overnight. It now represents more than $13 billion in annual revenue and has been a huge factor in Apple’s recent success. The company’s profit has doubled since 2007, and its stock price has nearly tripled since the end of 2006. (Indeed, Apple surpassed Microsoft in May to become the world’s most valuable technology company.) The iPhone has also been very, very good for AT&T’s wireless division — helping to generate record revenue, customer growth, and profit — despite the unprecedented amount of control it surrendered in exchange for the exclusive right to sell the device. Since early 2007, AT&T’s wireless revenue is up 43 percent, profit has risen roughly 200 percent, and the number of subscribers has grown 40 percent.

    But for AT&T, the question is whether participating in such a spectacularly successful partnership outweighs the damage to its reputation and the aggravation it has suffered at the hands of Apple. Much of AT&T’s growth can be attributed to its exclusive arrangement with Apple — if customers want an iPhone, they have no choice but to sign up with AT&T. But someday, when that agreement ends, iPhone customers will have the opportunity to jump to a rival network. If a significant number defect, it will be hard for AT&T to argue that its iPhone experiment was worth it.

    Even if the iPhone continues to be a lucrative business for AT&T, some executives will be disappointed forever with how the relationship evolved. Back in 2007, when AT&T (then Cingular) and Apple executives disclosed the deal publicly, they spoke of a radical collaboration — one based on trust and respect as opposed to the usual dynamics of control and fear — that could serve as a new model for the wireless industry. And it succeeded, to an extent, leading companies like Google to exercise greater control over phone and software design and other carriers to allow new products like the Droid and the ill-fated Palm Pre...

    The two companies were simply unable to overlook their differences, even when banding together would have helped both of them. In fall 2009, Verizon was pummeling AT&T with a series of “map” ads, claiming that AT&T’s spotty 3G network was to blame for poor service. But rather than respond with advertisements trumpeting the iPhone — AT&T’s key strategic asset — the company sued Verizon, a move that made it look petty and defensive while seeming to concede the overall argument. Even if AT&T had wanted to respond with iPhone ads, Apple would have refused. “Put yourself in Apple’s shoes,” says an Apple executive involved in those conversations. “The reason the Verizon ads were so effective wasn’t because of the iPhone. It was because of AT&T’s network. We would have been letting them use the iPhone to put lipstick on a pig.”...

    Meanwhile, no matter how frustrated AT&T got with Jobs, it had little choice but to stand by him. It would have been devastating to lose the iPhone after investing billions of dollars and endless reputational capital. And so the relationship carried on, dysfunctional and loveless though it was. Divorce, at least for the time being, was not an option.

    For a while, it looked like Apple and AT&T, resigned to their codependency, had learned to live with each other. AT&T’s multibillion-dollar revamp of its wireless network was difficult and time-consuming. It involved adding or upgrading cell-tower radios and increasing the capacity of the wires that connect those towers to the Internet. As recently as May, AT&T’s De la Vega acknowledged that he was still not satisfied with the network’s performance in San Francisco. But Apple has publicly supported its partner, with COO Tim Cook going out of his way to praise the company and its aggressive network improvements shortly before AT&T was announced as the carrier for the iPad...


    Bad Connection: Inside the iPhone Network Meltdown | Magazine
    Last edited by BARYE; 08/26/2010 at 12:04 PM.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  11.    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    I agree - that's a great read. It exposes AT&T as the unimaginative, spineless, ineffective company they really are. There are no new revelations about Mr. Jobs. What makes me chuckle about this is how Verizon must feel - they avoided having to deal with abusive-Steve, got AT&T exposed at the charlatans they really are, and still surpassed AT&T in subscribers, network data throughput volume, 3G coverage area, and (perhaps) phone popularity. This has also put Verizon in the catbird seat for the inevitable (perhaps imminent) arrival of the iPhone on their network.
    we cross posted.

    I don't know if you've read my previous statements re: a Verizon iPhone -- but in brief, I don't think its inevitable
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    we cross posted.

    I don't know if you've read my previous statements re: a Verizon iPhone -- but in brief, I don't think its inevitable
    I have - and I think it is... unless Apple can't raise the iPhone up to Verizon's network standards. Then there's no way.
  13. #13  
    Man I love my webOS but you could say the same about the Pre. Great OS, lousy hardware/phone.... really .... we already know this.... not to be a hater, its just so easy to be when your phone literally makes a call sometimes and other times you cant hear the callee but the callee can hear you, or the best, when the radio just hisses crackly static in your ear upon placing a call. I am on ONLY my second pre since October, so I am one of the "lucky" ones. When its working, I love this damn thing..... when its not, it is very irritating...... I know this was not the place for this (well I was kind of on tpic to start), but I posted anyway. Vent/Rant Over ..... I ain't going anywhere so you all will have to keep putting up with me ;-)

    PS. I know all pre's DON'T have bad radios or bad phones.... my 1st pre did not have this issue.... its overall commentary on the well documented and various hardware issues that have plagued the pre. fini
    Last edited by UncleKeg; 08/26/2010 at 01:32 PM. Reason: correction - added info
  14. catappr's Avatar
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    #14  
    Well, if the "imported software from Europe" thing is the problem, I believe it can be fixed quite easily. I think 2011 will be a better year for iPhone

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