Are You Having iPhone 3G Connection Problems?

The day after I bought my iPhone 3G I went back to the local Rogers store to see how things were going, and a customer was there complaining that he couldn't get on the 3G network. The customer service rep tried fiddling with his iPhone, but the settings all looked right. Yet there I was, less than 5 feet away, with full, fast 3G speed downloading TiPb's homepage at that very moment. Later that night, I saw some chatter that others thought Rogers was down because they couldn't connect either.

Things had quieted down some for a while, but now more and more reports are spreading of transient 3G connection errors. MacRumors quotes Mark Siegel of AT&T as saying there haven't been an unusual amount of complaints about the iPhone 3G in specific:

How a device performs in individual situations depends on circumstances like where you are in the 3G coverage, how close you are to a cell site. Things like terrain and buildings all come into play. I'm not denying that people are having a less than satisfactory experience, but overall, the phone is doing great.

GigaOm, however, picks up some analyst rumors about potentially flakey 3G chipsets, while iLounge steps it up with T-Mobile and Vodafone laying blame on the same, with the Syndney Morning Herald claiming an unnamed source revealed that Apple only provided 3G test units to carriers the day before launch. Ouch. Any chip experts out there that could help identify what problem would cause reception problems for a fraction of users?

Mine, like I said, is rock-solid so far, only dropping to EDGE in areas where Rogers' coverage is weak to begin with. How about you? Any 3G connection problems?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Are You Having iPhone 3G Connection Problems?

81 Comments

I really can't tell for sure. I live on the Westside of Los Angeles, in a fully 3G-immersed zone. Still, I was warned by friends that AT&T reception wouldn't be as good as the Verizon service I was leaving. Sitting on my sofa talking on my cell phone in my apt is no longer an option, as I have to stand near the front window to talk -- and even then if I move a bit I can hear the voice breaking up. As I walk through my neighborhood surrounded almost exclusively by single-level homes, I frequently lose the 3G signal if I'm on the web -- again, in an area that's supposed to be fully 3G. In some ways I do hope it's a hardware issue. I just don't know how to tell for sure.

Two days ago I couldn't get any reception in areas I always get to. Today every thing's fine again. Don't know if it's the phone or Vodafone but I'm keeping an eye on it.
But I can say that downloads are about 1/3 of the speed of my USD 3G modem from the same company.
I'm an hour north of Sydney, Australia.

i get great 3G reception here in Montreal...but with that new 6gb/30$ data plan the network is sometimes slow as hell...before the launch of the iphone when data was almost unafordable the speed was great because not much people was using it! Expensif=fast Cheap=slow
i guess we costumers will never be happy!!!

I have issues with the 3G in Toronto the odd time. Sometimes it won't connect at all and wont go to any webpage except the One Zone wireless network. It seems to happen once every 2 days. Usually for extended periods as well.

I am in Orlando FL and I used to have a problem with my 3G not staying available and going back to EDGE but now everything seems fine. My 3G is staying and I haven't seen EDGE for a while. The keyboard is still really slow... I am missing the old 1.1.4 firmware.

Las Vegas - very spotty coverage despite the misleading AT&T map. I'm in the center of town at work and get 1 bar and intermittent 3G connection. Half my calls are dropped. I didn't like my old carrier Verizon but I'm ready to throw in the towel on the new one here. I bought the phone for all the cool features which I still love but I can't use them for 80% of my day!

yes I was having connection problems I live on Vancouver island and i get dropped calls 2 to 3 times a day. have to switch back to my Nokia n76 to complete my business calls. but i would still be able to get local wifi single??? The shity part is I only had the iphone for 2 weeks and I dropped it once!! only one time!!! and it busted the screen would only display green now. I have to wate 2 months for a new one from rogers. so im defiantly back to Nokia. apple i love you but your products are haff assed whats with that, you should be able to drop a phone at least 10 times before it breaks .
mad matt

I'm having major issues in the western suburbs of Chicago where I had none with my other two 3G phones.

I seem to have weird issues where I'll only have 1 bar of coverage, but no issues, and where I'll have 3-4 bars, but voice calls are patchy. Web browsing seems pretty consistent regardless of bars

Northern UK here and no problems for me. Mail & web traffic are ok although I haven't yet downloaded an app to tell me what my download & upload speeds actually are. Where I am now, I have only one bar highlighted (and the 3G symbol) but performance is still fine.

In the GTA and I have not had any problems whatsoever with 3G. Pretty much always have 5 bars as well.

8 gig iphone 3g, non jailbroken, running latest updates. no problems in cincinnati, ohio. solid 3g except within some buildings which also affected my samsung blackjack II and my moto razr v3xx in the same places (in fact the iphone still has bars where the other phones didn't) and if i get out into areas where the towers don't have 3g.

No problem in Boston with 3G. Though in my apartment, I often only have 1 bar, but coverage is fine. No dropped calls..

Having 3G problems in Northern New Jersey and NYC which are strong 3G areas. Good friend of mine is having 3G issues in Florida with his new iPhone. Dropped and garbled calls and slow data speeds result. Sometimes a iPhone restarts helps.
I am on my third iPhone 3G, having replaced it twice and have yet another appointment today with more 3G problems, crashing problems, quitting apps, and content disappearing from the iPod app.
They seem to have no fixes in the Apple Store all they do is hand you a new iPhone and within the day you have the same problems.

I had a few dropped calls in the Richmond VA suburbs so I tried turning off 3G. Bars went up but still dropped calls. When I requested my voicemail be turned off at ATT, they apparently turned all data service off. After a couple days of no E or 3G symbols I called AT&T and they turned it back on. But they also said I was provisioned under "an old limited data plan" from the first iPhone. After a few more minutes they said I was ok.
So far it does seem to be better with no dropped calls and faster 3G speeds. Answer: Call AT&T and complain.

I live in Ottawa, ON and on my phone I alway have 2 or more bars on 3G
I have yet to lose 3g Icon on my statusbar. But at least 4-5 times a day I can not
Connect to the Internet for anything, be it the app store, email, website, or weather update.
Does anyone else have this problem?

Today is my second day on the 3G iPhone and experienced more than 20 dropped calls over an afternoon in London, ON. Pulled the SIM card and put it back in my Treo.

ya I am having a 3G connection but my self I thing it good but not at some times because it coverage is very low today is my 6th day i have dropped few calls and it is slow data speeds result I accept from you to give a better service in future
asciisol
mojes

live in toronto. spotty coverage for me at best. wi-fi works great, but can connect to web only 1/5 times. very irritating. why am i paying for the data package if it doesn't work?
funny thing is that the GPS always works...

I live in Pasadena, CA and have experienced more dropped calls ever since the upgrade to firmware 2.0.2. I drop calls at the supermarket, on the freeway, on my ride home. My apartment gets NO 3G service at all even though ATT tells me that I should have excellent service there.
3G download speeds average about 200 Kbps in Pasadena, a far cry from the maximum. I think that Apple and ATT are both to blame, for sure ATT's 3G network is crappy since they bolted 3G antennas onto existing 2G towers. There are lots of gray areas in LA where 3G coverage is spotty or non existent.

I get good reception where I am at and my phone shows that I am connected to the 3G network but at busy times of the day I can't connect to any internet sites. Looks to me like they don't have enough bandwidth either on the 3G or in the backbone connection. I am very upset because I bought the Iphone do do day trading and that won't work unless I can get into my financial web site when I need to. I have lost many thousands of dollar so far because of bad internet connectivity.

San Fernanado Valley of Los Angeles is rough. I switched from Verizon knowing I would take a dip in reception quality. "Dip" is an understatement. 3G service is non-existent. EDGE reception in my house (top floor of a 2 story, 6 unit apartment) is barely happening. As a consumer, I am pretty pissed that an amazing device like the IPhone seems to have been rolled out before not only the new 3G network was ready, but the foundation of it's basic technology (making calls) is not a consistent feature. I mean, this is Los Angeles. Why is the network not up to snuff? I am paying more now for significantly worse service. Period. This is the first time I have chosen hardware (the phone) over software (the network). I'm not regretting it just yet and assume it will be solved, but this whole thing smells of beta test to me.

i love the iphone --except for the phone--it has been causing mucho stress in my life with constant drop calls--i had verizon for years and could actually call and receive calls--i want out of my att contract--i can't handle this anymore!!!!

Can't have the reception with 3g most of the time in Queens , New York. I live on the first floor not a basement.I dont have the reception in my home. I always get no service written on my bars' place, I have to turn off the 3g in order to get couple bars on edge band. Yesterday I had full reception with an edge sign and 3g off, however i tried to call my number from the land line in my business, I get the calling tone for 4 times , phone doesnt ring at all, it goes right to my automated greeting. I dont know whichone to blame ATT or Iphone. Another thing I ride with the subway which goes over the ground in queens , and when I want to use the internet i get 3g reception but page never loads. therefore I happened to witness that in order to get the intenet service you have be stable somewhere standing , not moving. Even if you walk, the internet slows down. I love the iphone, however I started to hate these reception problems. Having a Iphone with lack of reception doesnt worth a penny to pay for it.

My wife and I both have the new iPhone 3G.
She can get on the 3G network at home and in her parents house - I can't.
We live in the UK and are with O2 obviously.
I have had the phone a week and hadn't gotten around to asking her about 3G connectivity on her phone until last night because we have WiFi in the house and I haven't tried to use it anywhere outside the house except in Subway in town where coincidentally she couldn't get 3G either.
Anyhoo - there you go - one iPhone with 3G working and one not working.

  • Toronto, Canada -- I have an iPhone and it iSucks. I have to turn off 3G if I want any calls to go through. With 3G on, every call lasts exactly 5 seconds and only seems to work well for data. I run the latest version and have the 16gig black edition. I do have a lot of apps on it which I heard can cause every app to freeze from time to time. It may be a memory management issue on the phone itself and not the chipset, but I am still puzzled why it's sold so vastly before it's properly tested. Almost seems like a Microsoft move to me.

Anyone having problems downloading from the 3Gs App button, they apps will download,and are present, but will not start. Phone just flashes back to the home screen?

Ottawa, Ontario - 8GB Black - 2.0.2 firmware
I get dropped calls from time to time which is annoying as I never had that issue before with my Treo 650 (on rogers at that) but the thing that drives me nuts is that ever since the 2.0.2 release and when I'm on a 3G connection, my connection get all garbled for about 10 seconds and then clears up again (it can happen anywhere from within the first 10 seconds to the 20 minutes into a call). I always have to tell the person that I cannot hear them (yet they can hear me fine) and pretend I'm doing something else until it clears up. Horrible.
iPhone aesthetics - 10/10
iPhone quality - 5/10
They needed to vet this one more before releasing it to the public because Apple no longer equals top quality in my books.

My IPHONE 3G in the morris Passaic Bergen county areas of NJ is nearly useless. i can't use the phone in my house.
It is a disaster

There are three people in my office with I phones. Usually the phones work with varying degrees of success- today none of them work at all. I drove a distance of about 5 miles on my lunch break (Boston to Somerville) and I lost all my calls. The same is true with everybody else I talk to today ( which would have to be either in person or by landline). One person has the old iphone and his works perfect, and the other ATT phones that are not iphones are working fine. Bad day for the iphone 3G.

Terrible in Toronto --- drops all the time -was trying to call someone 5 feet from me -tried 5 times and each time got dropped. Happens at least 5 times per day --

I am in Bergen in Norway and the 3G reception is awful. One minute the phone has full 3g reception and then NO SERVICE sometimes it will never regain reception unless i power cycle the phone. My 3g Nokia N95 has full 3G reception everywhere. SORT IT OUT APPLe!

3G network in Oklahoma City really is much worse than central Alabama. I was very happy with iPhone 3G service whilst in the SE US for the summer... Very dissapointed in 3G in OKC market. :-(

I started having problems making a call while 3G was active. After a couple seconds, the call would drop. After turning off 3G, the phone was fine. I solved the problem by rebooting the phone. (Holding down the button at the top of the phone.)

I've had my iphone 3G for 2 weeks now and it was great for 10 days. I haven't been able to get a call to last more than 5 seconds in 3 days! I don't know if it's the Vancouver weather or what but i'm definately not as impressed with it as i was. I'm ready to find my old nokia in the box and switch back!

I have had my iphone 3G for about 1 week in the Montreal area on Fido (Rogers) network. It seems to work fine most of the time but then out of the blue, I have no more access to data (over 3G or Edge). No mail, no web, no app store. Basically nothing that needs the internet! I have called Fido and they once resent the activation codes for data and that cleared it up but then it happened again. I have been able to get it back by resetting the iphone or just waiting till it comes back on its own. The 3G indicated is still showing but the connection is not working and it is happening a couple of times a day! Very frustrating! The guy at Fido today told me it can happen and hopefully iphone ver 2.2 will fix these issues! Lame!

Southern UK. My phone drops both normal and 3G signal so many times it is becoming useless. Sitting on a train with my O2 Blackberry right next to it, I can see that the iPhone signal consistently drops below the BB signal, and when it loses the signal completely it takes an age for it to re-acquire. When the BB (infrequently) loses signal it re-acquires it very quickly.
I have changed the Sim card, at O2's suggestion, and it has made no difference.

I am with Gad 100%.
Fido, Toronto. full bars, 3G indicator, zero reception. I am in a building, so it would make sense, but you would think the phone would show no bars of service. I always liked Apple, but it has been a while since they've truly delivered on their marketing hype. 2.1 didn't make a difference at all, unlike Steve-o's presentation.

3G coverage in metro OKC is very good. I consistently get 4-5 bars and YouTube and web pages are loading in 10-12 seconds (EX:ENGADGET.com) so no complaints here

I have both an 8 and 16G Apple 3G Iphone with Rogers in Ottawa. Both phones don't ring at all on the 3G network. Calls go directly to voice-mail if I'm lucky. There are more than 200 users who have this or similar issues with dropped/lost calls. I was told by tech support the problem is well known and is widespread. It's a big headache and may only be resolved with the next edition of firmware whenever 2.2 comes out. Haven't we heard this tune before? I'm thinking of returning both phones and asking for a refund. The only workaround is to disable 3G and go to the Edge network where both phones ring every time. So why am I paying 3G rates and getting 2G service? Apple knows about it too but there hasn't been any public announcements that I know of from either company to describe the real extent of the problem and when it might be resolved.

I was a recent ATT customer ONLY because I wanted to have the cool Iphone. But three weeks into this stupid phone, I am already losing my cool. Lots of dropped calls and dead zones in the house, which was never a problem in the old Tmobile service. Even in the hospital, I have full 5bars but I can't even make the call or send a text! So annoying.

I will start by saying this post is from Toronto.
My wife picked up an iPhone 2 weeks ago on a new Rogers account, and has had constant dropped call problems since day 1. Wherever she is, downtown Toronto, the suburbs, Barrie, Markham, wherever, she constantly loses calls. This is in areas where I never lose calls on my blackberry using the EDGE network.
She wants to return the iPhone and go back to her old Bell phone as she has not cancelled that account yet. All she gets when she tells this to other iPhone users in the same areas is 'well, I never get dropped calls, so it must be the area you are in' very frustrating, as that is not the case. My boss got mad at me yesterday when he offered to buy me an iPhone, and I said no, I would stay with my blackberry. He is a Machead, and said there was no problems with the network, when obviously after reading this forum, and many others, that there IS a problem.

there are problems in Chicago.i get dropped calls,no 3gservice in my apt,no you tube. I am very unhappy!can anyone help?to y

Hi there!
If anyone is experiencing iPhone/service issues and wishes to investigate pursuing a claim against Apple/Rogers Canada they can contact me at the following address:
iphoneinvestigation@hotmail.com
please detail your date of ownership, OS, location and brief description of the problems you've had.
thank you.

I've had my 3g for like 5 months now whenever it came out is how long. I'm in NYC never had any issues with my network connection, that is, until last night. My phone doesn't connect to 3g or wifi at all now. Idk, and ALSOOO, I only get 1 bar, 2 rarely. Something isn't right, guess ima go see a Genius. Anyone else had this issue? I never have had to use E. It's so slow compared.

hi i have an i phone 3g in uae but the service says "no service" why i don't have service where ever i go! ive tired every thin but when it says carriers i press on on automatic but its supposed to show the carriers like at&t or vodaphone but nothin happens it was working fine a few weeks ago but now!!! any ideas!!!!!

i live in shanghai china i have a 3g 16gb new from australia unlocked from apple i am having no signal problems at time i am using china mobile as the carrier i wonder if switching carriers would help anyone

I use an iPhone 3G from T-Mobile Austria AND I VERY OFTEN LOSE MY 3G connection, even outsides! It's switching to EDGE or even worse. I am very dissatisfied and have no cooperation from my provider.
I have used an originally unlocked 3G from before - has been stolen - with Hutchinson 3 in Austria (3G-only network) and with Telekom Austria (mixed network) and have not had any problems with either.
Conclusion: Either my device is crap or the T-Mobile network. Reports from others tell me that it might very well be the network.

I GOT MY IPHONE THROUGH ETISALAT BUT NEVER I HAD THE JOY OF USING 3G I I WILL GO AND HAND IT OVER THERE AFTER SALES SERVICE IS TERRIBEL

Had one client at work today mentioning the 3G bug. Out the zillions we serve.
Nevertheless, needs to be fixed asap imho

Sept 10/09
I live in the GTA (Toronto,Ontario,canada) Last few days it has been worse and worse places I have signal full bars one second i try makeing a call and bamm searching cant lock in several friends with iphone same problem it is getting bad people what are we siposed to do if we spend 4 hourse at least daily we cant go back to normal phones its inhuman hopefully there is someone out that that can get this problem fixed I just dont know how much more i can handle this sometimes its just so lonely :( I am on the rogers provider BTW.

Upgraded to 3.1 on my 13 month old iPhone 3G and now I get "searching" showing up constantly and a tonne of dropped calls. Any ideas???

Toronto, ON
I had 3G when I went to be at midnight, woke up at 6 am and BAM! no 3G. Have tried resetting, turning 3g on and off, airplane mode, full reset, and nothing. Apple and Rogers both said they cannot do anything for me, because my warranty is up. Didn't know they introduced apple care, and am now fucked.

Husband and I both have 3gs in Toronto and his phone has problems with connecting to the network and mine doesn't. I could be sitting in his lap with full bars and 3g and he has 1 bar and no data network.

Bought my 3GS iPhone Friday and am so disappointed. I live in Los Angeles and it seems I have to turn the phone on and off constantly to send text messages, connect to internet, and even make calls. Never had this problem with Verizon or even AT&T Blackberry. Friends swear by it but so far I think it's a piece of crap. No wonder no major employers wiil authorize it for business use. What a waste of money!!

I just got the iphone, and while I love many things about it, I am extremely disappointed with the so-called 3G data connection speed. It is often slow and sometimes I can't even connect. Back in Japan this speed would be considered ancient. I was so used to incredibly fast data connection speed when I was with Docomo. Now with AT&T I feel like I've downgraded from DSL to Dial-up. I will still hang on to my phone, but I hope AT&T improves the connection speed.

In downtown Montreal, I keep losing the network whenever I get into an elevator or in certain areas of the building I work in. I even lose connection on campus at McGill, a very centric area of the city. My friends who are with Fido and Rogers don't have the same problem. I called Bell three times (the last one a couple of hours ago) and they told me it's Apple's fault. I said if it's not solved in a month, I'll take it as a breach of contract and send a registered letter to terminate the contract. I'm paying 80 dollars plus tax per month and I don't have a signal 30% of the time.

I live in Manchester, England. I am currently findinf my 3G isn't working very well. I used to be on the Apple network. I changed my contract with my phone so I am running through their network, ever since that I find my 3G can connect as normal, but when I use the 3G connection is exactly the same place for 5-10mins it decides to disconnect and go to cellular or edge. I keep my phone on my desk at work where it has always worked fine, it is just recently since I changed from Apple to my phone providers connection settings...

Hi,
I am having iphone 3g and firmware is 3.1.2. This days my friends are complaining that whenever they try to call me, my cell shows out of coverage but my cell shows full coverage. Even I am not getting all the sms's sent to me, i get only few.
So what might be the problem? and how to resolve this issue?
Thanks.

I have many troubles with my 3G connection, after make one campain in my facebook page, VIVO (brazilian carrier) give me other cel to test when my 3g connection DOWN. They talk thats iphone is the problem! I dont know yet! i´ll make some tests and soon i´ll have some data to see whats happen!
I change 8 iphones devices in 2 carriers! I see thats works fine per 9 months, 25 days ago my connection stay like a ping pong ball, sometimes works some times no! (in same place and in many places). They told me Change to 2G, i pay to have 3G and to have one device 3g no 2g!

I just got an Iphone and am very disappointed with the poor connectivity. I gave up a Motorola Razor which would give me a full signal even in basements but the iphone gets nothing in the very same locations. I asked an electronics engineer friend if he had any clue and he said it's not the service but the phone. Every phone is slightly different in its construction and the iphone has an inadequate antenna whereas the Razor has a very robust antenna. I'm going back to my Razor because I'd rather do without the whistles and bells and be able to communicate.

My phone starts from 8 pm until morning with a connection to the phone network that is intermittent. It's AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes my 3G connection fails frequently.but the same time my friend phone working fine on 3G at the same location.

I called Verizon (I am in Jersey) and they told me it is an issue - the 3G network will be out until about the 17th.

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