Updated: iPhone 3G Connection Issues: Can Apple Software Fix Infineon Hardware Problem?
Update: Daring Fireball points out that: "The 3G networking glitches may well be real, but it’s worth pointing out that Richard Windsor is the same jackass who issued a report a year ago about the supposedly faulty “film” on the iPhone touchscreen, when in fact there was no such film."
So add that to the "grain of salt" heap...
Yesterday we asked you if you were having any iPhone 3G network connection problems, and while some of you were fine, many of you were suffering. Well, MacRumors has jumped on the story, providing an interesting perspective (via MSNBC -- and yes, the MS stands for Microsoft) on what might be going wrong:
The report said the most likely cause of the 3G problems is defective adjustments between the antenna and an amplifier that captures very weak signals from the antenna.
Hardware would be bad news for Apple and for chipset supplier Infineon whose 3G chipset is now getting a real-world pounding beyond anything they could have given it in the lab. It's also bad news, of course, for users who'll be considerably more inconvenienced even if some type of fix is eventually offered. However, Business Week has others sources sticking with the software angle for now:
Apple programmed the Infineon chip to demand a more powerful 3G signal than the iPhone really requires. So if too many people try to make a call or go on the Internet in a given area, some of the devices will decide there's insufficient power and switch to the slower network.
They go on to say Apple and Infineon are already testing a firmware fix that should be rolled up into a larger update sometime in September (sounds like 2.1 to us). But here's the question, can 2.1 patches fix flaky chipsets? Can good software overcome bad hardware?