Apple confirms iPhone Firmware 2.0.2 Update Includes Changes to Fix some iPhone 3G Reception Issues

iPhone 3G

There have been a lot of speculations over the 3G reception issues that some iPhone 3G users are facing since its launch.

Some analysts have reported that the problem is with the Infineon chip that Apple has used in iPhone 3G, while there are others who believe that the issue is with the carriers such as AT&T who has a relatively young 3G network, while some folks think that reports of iPhone 3G problems may be overblown.

We have seen quite a few complaints reported here at iPhone Hacks and a many more in Apple’s discussion board.

What these frustrated iPhone 3G users are looking for is not speculations but for either Apple or its carriers to come out and confirm that there is indeed an issue and that they are working together to get the issue resolved. We finally seem to be getting some information from them.

Two carriers had recently spoken out claiming that the issue was with iPhone 3G and not their networks. Vodafone Australia had stated:

"The iPhone 3G issues were device-specific and nothing to do with the carriers’ networks."

We also had T-Mobile NL posting on their official blog that:

"We suspect therefore that it is a hardware/software specific issue of the iPhone itself."

Apple issued a brief statement today to confirm that iPhone firmware 2.0.2 update includes changes to fix some issues related to 3G reception. Apple’s spokesperson Jennifer Bowcock confirmed:

"The software update improves communication with 3G networks."

Apple Insider notes that the statement does not mean the issue is with iPhone 3G, they explain:

"The 2.0.2 update apparently addresses complex issues that control how
quickly the iPhone 3G will drop a weak 3G signal in order to use a
stronger EDGE signal when it is available. In the US, much of
AT&T’s cellular network is built out using cell towers optimized to
deliver "2.75 G" GSM/EDGE service. Sources familiar with the matter say
3G networks require closer tower spacing to provide the same level of
coverage with the more modern 3G UMTS.

There is nothing Apple can do in software to fill in spotty coverage in
AT&T’s 3G network, but software updates can adjust how the phone
hardware works to allow it find and maintain a link with a less than
optimal 3G signal. Independent tests have suggested that at least some
versions of the iPhone 3G are too quick to drop a marginal 3G signal
that other UMTS phones can use without problems."

Unfortunately, iPhone firmware 2.0.2 doesn’t seem to have fixed all the 3G reception problems as I am still seeing complaints (here) from iPhone 3G customers saying that the update has not helped and in some cases made things worse post update.

Were you facing the 3G reception problem on your iPhone 3G? Has iPhone firmware 2.0.2 update helped in fixing your problem or made things worse?

[via Apple Insider]



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