Jumat, 15 Agustus 2008

The arrival of Apples 3G iPhone was breathlessly awaited by the devices many fans, but now that its here, many of those fans are reporting spotty 3G reception.

Comments on various blogs complain about difficulties in getting or staying connected, and there are reports that the Apple and AT&T switchboards are receiving many calls about these issues. In the U.S., the connectivity problem appears to be only for iPhones on the AT&T network, and not for any other 3G products on that network. There are also complaints from 3G iPhone customers in the United Kingdom, Australia and other countries, where other networks are used.


Apple and AT&T are telling users that the problem lies with the other company. AT&T spokesperson Mark Siegel told news media that, while he wouldnt deny there were issues, they could be resolved on a case-by-case basis.

But there could be many cases to solve. On Apples own forum, a thread called "iPhone 3G Reception Problems? Youre Not Alone" has hundreds of postings.

A 3G iPhone user named "FloridaFlash" posted on the forum that, while "in Washington, D.C., all calls were dropped after a second or two." But when 3G was turned off, FloridaFlash said, there were "no problems."

A user called "local branch" wrote that in Los Angeles, 3G coverage is "unreliable." In Australia, "iMacRich" said 3G network coverage is generally "excellent" and that the problem lies with Apple. "Pecos Bill" in Denver says both companies share the blame, since his signal strength ranges from zero to five bars around the city.

A Syracuse, N.Y., user named "gerard143" similarly reported problems with 3G reception, in that he cannot get his device to automatically connect to 3G. It only connects when he manually turns the 3G off and on, he wrote.


Denvers Pecos Bill noted that he had a call dropped while in a moving vehicle, and some other users have also reported problems when they are not stationary. The Associated Press reports that many users can switch between 3G and EDGE when standing still, and some observers have speculated the problem could be both the hand off and, in the U.S., AT&T coverage.

AT&Ts growing 3G network currently offers service in only 300 major metropolitan areas in the U.S., while its EDGE network is available throughout the AT&T network. The reports of reception problems, though, are coming in from areas that should have AT&T 3G coverage, like Denver, San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

Avi Greengart, an analyst with industry research firm Current Analysis, said he has neither had 3G problems with his newest iPhone, nor has he heard complaints about 3G connectivity.


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