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iPhone Signal Strength Problems In the UK

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the no-bars-for-us-we're-british dept.

Cellphones 202

An anonymous reader writes "British iPhone users, who bought the Apple phones when they went on sale in England on Nov. 9, are reporting persistent problems with signal strength on O2, the UK's only iPhone service provider. The complaints started only 2 days later. InfoWeek blogger Alex Wolfe says there's a debate as to whether O2 or the iPhone is at fault; it appears to be the handset, which is unusual since US users haven't reported similar problems. Some 02 customers report that getting a replacement phone fixes things; others have had to do a software restore back to version 1.1.2 of the iPhone software."

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Sounds like (0)

KEnderK (1171753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466193)

A problem with the provider. Not a problem with the phone.

Re:Sounds like (1, Funny)

irn_bru (209849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466535)

It'll be the fog... probably.

Re:Sounds like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21466747)

Wayay man, fog on the Tyne. Alreet.

Re:Sounds like (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467007)

bloody geordies

Re:Sounds like (3, Informative)

CrossChris (806549) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467125)

Nope - O2 have good coverage throughout Britain. The iPhone has poor receive sensitivity and low transmit power compared to other models. It's an overpriced piece of junk.

Re:Sounds like (4, Informative)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467423)

I have a O2 phone (XDA Mini S in fact) I have had pretty good coverage everywhere (not yet found an area where I couldn't get a signal) and my phones reception quality isn't that great when compared to most phones (my Orange m500 using a O2 sim card had a much stronger signal in the same areas.) In the UK the big phone operators Orange, Vodaphone and O2 have around 98/99% coverage of the UK for 2.5G phone and 3G coverage is increasing rapidly (I believe its over 70% coverage.)

The issue isn't the operator.

Ok. So? (1, Interesting)

427_ci_505 (1009677) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466207)

A company (don't know which one) has made / is serving a product that has some problems. These problems should be fixed soon, if the company (companies) knows what's good for it (them). In the meantime, nothing too terrible has happened as a result. This is newsworthy why?

It's Apple (0)

paranode (671698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466281)

So they just can't resist throwing it out there so the haters can bash it and the fanboys can defend it. ;)

Re:Ok. So? (-1, Troll)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466583)

A company (don't know which one) has made / is serving a product that has some problems. These problems should be fixed soon, if the company (companies) knows what's good for it (them). In the meantime, nothing too terrible has happened as a result. This is newsworthy why?
If Jobs had not made so many proclamations about the ability of the iPhone to walk in water, then maybe people wouldn't be picking on the reception issues, which all new products might seem to suffer as they enter new markets.

Re:Ok. So? (2, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466867)

If Jobs had not made so many proclamations about the ability of the iPhone to walk in water, then maybe people wouldn't be picking on the reception issues, which all new products might seem to suffer as they enter new markets.
QFT. To be fair, the Apple fanboys were also proclaiming this even louder than Jobs. I was so glad when the iPhone launched, because we could stop hearing about how it was going to revolutionize the whole phone landscape. This story is only newsworthy because of how much ridiculous amounts of hype the damn phone got.

Re:Ok. So? (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467665)

Heh. I post a message that doesn't put Apple down and it gets moderated down. Typical Slashdot. If it doesn't denigrate Microsoft or Apple, it must be modded down! Well, karma was meant to be burned, not saved.

Feh!

signal strength (3, Informative)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466213)

FWIW, my sister has an iPhone and tells me that the reception is noticeably worse than her previous phone (a Razor, I think).

Re:signal strength (4, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466657)

FWIW, my sister has an iPhone and tells me that the reception is noticeably worse than her previous phone (a Razor, I think).

As long as we're going with anecdotal evidence, I switched from a Razor to an iPhone a couple weeks ago and haven't noticed any signal strength issues.

Re:signal strength (2, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466859)

I'm not really sure why you're getting moderated insightful... what was your signal before? There's a huge range of levels that would still show up as full strength. You could easily get a 10db drop in the signal and still show full strength without knowing it.

Did you have spotty reception? Thats where you're going to notice a change is sensitivity.

Re:signal strength (5, Insightful)

HairyCanary (688865) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466925)

I'm not really sure why you're getting moderated insightful...

Because he was pointing out that anecdotal evidence is worthless.

Re:signal strength (5, Insightful)

novakyu (636495) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467529)

Ah, but you see, as a people we rely far more on anecdotal evidences than you might think.

If we agree that anecdotal evidences are entirely worthless, what's Amazon, Newegg, Buy.com, etc, etc. doing putting up "Customer Reviews"? What about "Resellerratings"? Or even reports by Better Business Bureau, or Consumerist, or Consumer reports? Unless it's a designed-to-be-fair poll (which almost all online polls aren't) of statistically significant numbers (I usually go with 1000, because that gives nice 3% margin of error, assuming no other sources (such as sampling bias, wrong question wording, etc.) than random sampling error), it's little better than anecdotal evidences---a couple people lying, a company astroturfing will be enough to skew the results way over to the other side.

But, such quality results are hard to come by (I daresay even in clinical studies, let alone psychology survey, such quality is hard to obtain), so if you've ever listened to anyone you don't know personally (and somehow can trust his/her expertise), you have let an anecdotal evidence influence your judgment. Does that mean you are stupid? Well, not any more than me, the president (of U.S., of Canada, prime minister of U.K., anybody important, really), or the vast majority of rational population.

In fact, anyone dismissing an anecdotal evidence just because it's an anecdotal evidence (rather than, say, it can be shown to be false experimentally, or there is some logical fallacy) is simply repeating the folly of Descartes (of overt doubt). Except of course, unlike Descartes, he has absolutely no originality and a hindsight of several centuries, which should prevent all but utter fools from falling into such mistake.

Re:signal strength (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467959)

Anecdotally, my iPhone does not drop out in places where my other phone (Sony Ericsson T616) did with consistency. However, this is in the U.S. (850 MHz), so this isn't necessarily an indicator of how the 1800 MHz band will behave. That's what makes most of the iPhone's anecdotal evidence worthless---the fact that the majority is from a different country at a very different frequency. :-)

And on the flip side, someone with the very same model of Sony Ericsson phone reports the exact opposite elsewhere in this thread.

Dunno.

MODERATORS!!! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467847)

die

Re:signal strength (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467985)

Because he was pointing out that anecdotal evidence is worthless.


Oh, better tell all the doctors to throw out those "case report" thingies then.

Re:signal strength (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467923)

I'm not really sure why you're getting moderated insightful... what was your signal before? There's a huge range of levels that would still show up as full strength. You could easily get a 10db drop in the signal and still show full strength without knowing it.


Actually, my iPhone gets much better reception than my old phone (SE P900). I can often still get a tiny bit of signal in tunnels and the link, where none existed before (and it manages to still do EDGE/GPRS, slowly, while before, I'd lose all connectivity).

But yeah, you cannot go by the "bars" of signal. Carriers often make demands that "five bars means a signal of at least -100dbm" or something to that extent (I've seen such requirements... the number of bars drops quickly beyond that). Just FYI, most WiFi cards cannot pick up a signal that low (and definitely not a top speed).

Of course, though, the iPhone is Apple's design, so Apple's "bars" may be different than AT&T's "bars". I laughed when I saw the Cingular (now AT&T) ads that said "more bars in more places". The easy way to do that is to just say "5 bars is no longer -70dbm, it's -90dbm" in the carrier certification requirements.

Of course, the flip side is, my old phone could just be generally crappy in reception. I don't know, since I rarely compare it with other phones from the same carrier...

Re:signal strength (1)

desotoix (877726) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466739)

I had a considerable drop in signal strength moving from a RAZR to the iPhone. The typical difference was 2 bars, which was awful at my house since I only got 2 bars there to begin with. The first thing they had me do was get a new SIM card from at&t, but that didn't really help. Later, when part of the touch screen stopped responding, I got a replacement phone from Apple and the new phone got a much stronger signal.

Re:signal strength (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466749)

Same here. My T616 on ATT works poorly, but generally works in my house. My iPhone is unusuable in my house.

I don't think that should be a surprise -- every phone is a little different. iPhone is definitely on the "bad" end of the reception spectrum. Its bad enough that I debated most of the fourteen days I could return it if I actually wanted to return it. I looked long and hard at the Verizon Voyager but nothing else really compares with the iPhone.

I can pull the SIM out of the iPhone (which has no signal in this room) and pop it in the HTC Touch I have sitting here, and get at least one bar.

Re:signal strength (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466869)

The iPhone is great as a music player, but sucks as a phone, why not just get an iPod touch, and get a phone that actually gets good reception. I don't get reception at my house sounds like a pretty bad situation. Unless that's how you like it. If you live way out in the country, I could see that being acceptable. But anybody living in the city or the suburbs should not have to deal with not getting a signal.

Re:signal strength (1)

jarich (733129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467227)

+1 (I have no mod points at the moment.)

My iPhone drops calls and has tons of static in areas my old junk phone did fine in... It's a great enough phone, I'm keeping it :) but it would be very nice to have better (read: decent) reception.

Re:signal strength (1)

OECD (639690) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467333)

FWIW, my sister has an iPhone and tells me that the reception is noticeably worse than her previous phone (a Razor, I think).

FWIW, I moved from an old cheap Motorola on Verizon to an iPhone, and I've noticed that the speaker is worse on the iPhone. On the upside, the mic seems to be better, so I can't hear people as well as I used to, but they can hear me better. I'm wondering if the UK users aren't interpreting that as a signal-strength problem.

different freqs? (1, Interesting)

taniwha (70410) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466219)

GSM in the US runs on a different frequency than most of the rest of the world - could be the phone is optimised for the US freqs ... there may be other stuff - I know when I visit the US my phone's battery lasts about 1/3 as long as elsewhere - don't know whether the US environment is noisier and needs the phones to shout louder or it's just not as efficient at that freq

Re:different freqs? (1)

microcars (708223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466277)

or there are not enough towers in the US.
the further away from a cell tower you are, the more power is required.
Everyone in the US wants better signal strength but they don't want any more "unsightly" cell towers.
There are more cell towers per sq mile in the UK I bet. So you use less power.

last stat is totally made up...

Re:different freqs? (2, Informative)

jargon82 (996613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466335)

I suspect it's not just not wanting unsightly cell towers. Given that the UK pop density is 246 per square km and the US is 31 per square km,(accodring to wikipedia) [wikipedia.org] it seems the folks in the US are just a tad bit more spread out...

Re:different freqs? (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466401)

A better comparison would be the density of cell towers in New York vs. London, for instance. I have no idea what it would be, but I get signal almost everywhere in London (if I have no signal, I'm almost certainly in a basement). Not with an iPhone, I have a Motorola, but anyway... what about other metropoli?

Re:different freqs? (1)

jargon82 (996613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466419)

I've never had signal problems in NYC or the Philadelphia metro area, with the exception of certain large datacenters and as you said, basements. I don't have an iphone though, either, so I don't know how this would fare there.

Re:different freqs? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21466829)

but anyway... what about other metropoli?

Nobody knowi for sure, but it appeari that in many placi the signal tendi to show weaknii.

Re:different freqs? (4, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466765)

That's a "truth with modifications". If you subtract the areas in the US where there's no GSM coverage, i.e. most of the country, you get a GSM population density that's higher.

One difference is that in the US, the market is largely a profit-driven free-for-all, where the actors can choose to only put towers where it will be profitable to do so. That means the big cities, their suburbs, and the highways between them. In most of Europe, there's coverage requirements to get a license to operate (and consumers that historically have bought things based also on quality and not features-for-the-price alone).

Another difference is that in Europe there's not a near 100% lock-in for phones to a certain provider, like in the US. Most people in the US aren't even aware that phones don't have to be locked to a provider. Some have heard of unlocking of phone, but even of those, almost none know that you can get phones that weren't unlocked, but never locked in the first place.
In Europe, if a provider hasn't given a good enough service or coverage, you have historically been able to take your phone elsewhere and get a new plan for your existing phone. The lock-in of the iPhone to a single provider is going to be a lesson in how good the "old" system was, and make European users understand the terrible situation US users have, and why so few Americans have cell phones.

Re:different freqs? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466883)

When did quality cease to be a feature?

Re:different freqs? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466987)

When did quality cease to be a feature?

      It certainly never was a feature in the software world. That was just "luck".

110 million out of 300 million is not "so few" (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467015)

so few Americans have cell phones.

More than 1/3 is not "so few". [networkworld.com]

(Here's how I figured out the 1/3 bit from "110 million".) [google.com]

Re:110 million out of 300 million is not "so few" (1)

gutnor (872759) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467195)

Your numbers are 7 years old, a long long time ago in the mobile world. Now I think that it is closer to 60% - 220 million mobiles

However, in market penetration term, it is pathetic compared to europe. A lot of European countries have above or close to 100% market penetration ( i.e. more than 1 mobile per inhabitant )

See the numbers here: http://www.cellular-news.com/story/21065.php [cellular-news.com]

That said, even with a shitty market penetration, the US is one the biggest market for mobile phone in the world with China ( 400 millions subscribers )

Re:different freqs? (1)

Movi (1005625) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467081)

Another thing that I would think is worthy of pointing out is that the European iPhones have a new version of the baseband radio. What most people concentrate is that this baseband doesn't have the bug that allowed people to unlock their iPhones. But I wonder if this one also differs in reception quality. Does anyone have any knowledge of any change in capabilities in the new baseband module?

Re:different freqs? (1, Informative)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467391)

That's a "truth with modifications". If you subtract the areas in the US where there's no GSM coverage, i.e. most of the country, you get a GSM population density that's higher.
Wow wow, that sounds nuts to me? Where did you get the idea that in "most of the country" there's no GSM coverage? I'd love to see the statistics about that.. I don't suppose you have any? Here's the coverage map for ATT btw http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/ [att.com] . I guess it's possible that including Alaska covered vs uncovered could be CLOSE ... but I'm not sure. If you count any cell coverage, (CDMA, smaller companies, etc) you're dead wrong.

One difference is that in the US, the market is largely a profit-driven free-for-all, where the actors can choose to only put towers where it will be profitable to do so. That means the big cities, their suburbs, and the highways between them. In most of Europe, there's coverage requirements to get a license to operate (and consumers that historically have bought things based also on quality and not features-for-the-price alone).
I'm suddenly forced to realize I've been blinded by the economic prosperity of the US my entire life! You're right, the European way IS best! I--and my fellow Americans--are living in filth and squalor, and even worse--we have subpar cellphone plans! I hope we can get arrogant attitudes along with our conversion to the European way ;-) I apologize for the poor attempt at humor, but your tone is so typical of anti-American arrogance--and of all things about cell phones! (it's always the cell phone conversations that brings it out the most)

Another difference is that in Europe there's not a near 100% lock-in for phones to a certain provider, like in the US. Most people in the US aren't even aware that phones don't have to be locked to a provider. Some have heard of unlocking of phone, but even of those, almost none know that you can get phones that weren't unlocked, but never locked in the first place.
Probably true. At my local mall there's a LARGE kiosk that advertises and sells unlocked phones from around the world...so I'm not sure how true your supposition is overall.

In Europe, if a provider hasn't given a good enough service or coverage, you have historically been able to take your phone elsewhere and get a new plan for your existing phone. The lock-in of the iPhone to a single provider is going to be a lesson in how good the "old" system was, and make European users understand the terrible situation US users have, and why so few Americans have cell phones.
I was able to cancel my AT&T contract ~5 years ago when I had no poor in my house. Can't comment on the practice more generally.

"So few American have cell phones" ... I gotta see your statistics on this, the only people I know that don't have phones are my 85-90 year old grandparents. Do you really believe this bull? Just what do Europeans believe about us?! most of the US doesn't have coverage and most people don't have cellphones? Gotta say, when you're so wrong about the basic facts upon which you make your slander, it really makes me take the rest of your post less seriously. 82% of Americans Own Cell Phones [switched.com]

Changing supplier (1)

BovineSpirit (247170) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467633)

In Britain there's laws covering how long the suppliers have to change a number. If you move to a new supplier and it takes more than a week for them to transfer your old phone number to your new SIM there's some big fines waiting for them. Makes changing supplier a lot less hassle. I would imagine there's similar laws across Europe, not sure about the US...

Re:different freqs? (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466797)

Yes that is an issue, Also why a lot of "This is done in Europe, but not in America" comes into play. A big Infrastructure change in Europe is a Monumental Infrastructure change in the US. Many Laws that work in Europe Do Not work in the United States the same way. While are cultures are similar, The United States and European Countries are actually quite different in a lot of major ways. Just like when you look at the Political Map of the United States Most of the Blue States are in states with higher density and the Red States are states with lower density. Which shows you that population density is a major factor in many aspects. City People need government to survive, because the government needs to manage the resources. Country People need the government to stay away because the government gets in their way because they are self reliant. City Water and Sewer vs. having a well and Sepic system, One you need tight controls to keep safe, The other you need less rules and controls to stay affordable.

Re:different freqs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21466359)

I'd be amazed if your last stat was wrong though ;-)

Cities have buildings which get in the way, so they aren't always better.

Bad example: there's a cell tower on top of the computing building at my university in central London. Signal goes from zero to full every 30cm or something in the computer labs (6 stories below). If you get a call stay very still! (or run very quickly out of the labs, which is what most people do.) This might not be so much because of the building but because of the physics department above the computer labs...

Re:different freqs? (2, Interesting)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466327)

The US is also much bigger, and therefore harder for cellphone operators to provide adequate coverage... One way of doing this is to boost the power.
The UK is much smaller, but quite hilly...
Cellphone coverage in the netherlands is very good because the country is small, densely populated and flat.

Re:different freqs? (1)

djikster (1189729) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466351)

I live in the US, and my phone also works in Europe. I noticed absolutely no difference in battery life when traveling! I believe it may have to do with the region you went to...

Re:different freqs? (1)

taniwha (70410) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466573)

I visit the US a lot (5 times this year) and the issue seems relatively consistant across a wide range of areas on the West Coast (largely the SF Bay Area and Seattle) - my phone lasts 2 days in the US, a week here in NZ - AT&T/Cingular coverage does seem spotty in places

Re:different freqs? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466905)

You probably didn't stay in the cities, or did a lot of travelling. In Canada, between the cities, there's often no digital coverage, just old fashioned analog. This really eats up your battery power when travelling. I imagine the same is true in the US, where there are very large cities, with almost nothing in between.

Re:different freqs? (5, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#21468179)

It is probably caused by some combination of these two things:

1. Transmit power for 1800/1900 (probably what is in use in NZ) is half the wattage allowed for the 850 band in the U.S. The 850 MHz allows for significantly greater tower spacing at a cost in cell phone life. You can't get away with that in the 1900 MHz band because the signal doesn't carry as well. AT&T uses 850 heavily, for obvious reasons, though in California, you will likely find many 850 MHz towers at much closer spacing and at reduced power to minimize the cell's overall coverage footprint to reduce the collisions inherent in high density environments with limited spectrum. You shouldn't see your cell shouting at anywhere near maximum output, though, so I sort of doubt this has that much to do with the difference, though I suppose it might be a factor.

2. GSM phones can use different encodings depending on signal strength, available bandwidth, the preference of the tower, and the intersection of modes supported by both your phone and the tower. It is much more likely that the phone is operating in one of the lower power modes in NZ. Half rate codec draws significantly less power than the other codecs, and EFR draws slightly more. IIRC, in California, AT&T's towers prefer FR if the phone supports it, because the call quality sounds better and they have enough tower density to handle it. In NZ, they may be using HR, which by itself can make a huge difference in talk time because the cell phone is essentially "talking" to the tower during only half as many time slots.

Re:different freqs? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467267)

Quite spotty. I've got a spot about a two-inch cube that gets three to four bars (of five) worth of signal in my house, where the rest of the house is one bar or no signal (likewise for most of outside, except for a small patch at the bottom of the driveway). A couple miles from my house, it's 4-5 bars consistently.

iPhone/AT&T just outside of Nashua, NH, for what it's worth. The situation was the same on Verizon where I last lived (Williston, VT - where, for the record, the iPhone works perfectly).

Re:different freqs? (1)

eharvill (991859) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467829)

visit the US a lot (5 times this year) and the issue seems relatively consistant across a wide range of areas on the West Coast (largely the SF Bay Area and Seattle) - my phone lasts 2 days in the US, a week here in NZ - AT&T/Cingular coverage does seem spotty in places
I wonder if phones/devices charge differently on 110 vs 220?

If you are receiving poor coverage, the fact that the phone is constantly searching for a signal/reconnecting to the network will drain a battery pretty quickly as well. This happens to me a lot when I do work in a data center that has little to no coverage and my phone is constantly reconnecting to the network and kills my battery in less than a day.

Re:different freqs? (1)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466769)

There are quite a wide variety of GSM frequencies [wikipedia.org]

Which network offers you the best quality of signal depends on where you are in each city, and what materials the building you are in is constructed from.

Mobile handsets can adjust the strength of signal they need to transmit, in order for the tower to receive a reliable signal. That might explain the difference in battery lifetime. Perhaps the cell towers are more spread apart. This would depend on population density.

Re:different freqs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467615)

The iPhone is a quadband phone, but if the iPhone uses only one antenna for 900MHz and 950MHz (or 1800MHz and 1900MHz respectively), the antenna can favor the American bands (950 and 1900) or the European bands (900 and 1800) or something in between. Either way, it's not going to get as good reception everywhere as a phone with an antenna which is precisely tuned to the bands of the country where it's going to be used. Battery time and reception quality both depend more strongly on obstacles and the average distance to the cell tower, so any anecdotal information that a particular phone gets longer standby here or there is useless. Nevertheless, the iPhone was probably developed primarily for the American market, so I'd guess that it's antenna is not as well tuned to European frequencies as antennas of phones which are built primarily for the European market.

No problems here... (4, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466273)

I've had an iPhone since they were launched here in the UK and I cannot honestly say I have experienced any signal problems and if anything I get better voice quality on the iPhone than my previous phone (w810i).

I'm not exactly in a major metropolitan area either, out here in a commuter town in the South West, but my signal strength hasn't really been a problem - I'm always able to make calls or connect via GPRS or EDGE, so I'm pretty much happy at the moment. I've travelled a bit as well in the past 2 weeks and I've yet to experience signal loss, even out in the country side.

Re:No problems here... (1)

porneL (674499) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467011)

The "connect via GPRS or EDGE" is a problem for me. I'm not bothered very much that it doesn't have 3G (I've installed ziproxy + privoxy which cut down traffic), but not even having EDGE sucks (slow gets even slower!? and YouTube won't even try opening movies).

That says more about Sony Ericsson (1)

_merlin (160982) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467721)

Just about any phone will get you better call quality than a Sony Ericsson. They're atrocious! The best call quality you can get is from the NECs, but they have poor battery life. I'd be shocked if the iPhone didn't sound better than a Sony Ericsson.

iPhone Signal strength (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21466311)

After iPhone users have forked out nontrivial amounts of cash for the iPhone, I believe there's an appropriate quote applicable from somewhere in Simpsons, if only I could remember.. Ah yes: "Ha ha".

Could we do away with iPhone this and Apple that? (4, Insightful)

siyavash (677724) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466341)

Could we please do away with iPhone this and Apple that?... I'm kind'a tired of it. We got it, it's the hype... but damn, what's next... "IPHONE GETS SCRATCHED"... why is iPhone so important? Tons of other tech products have tons of problems. Can we please have some REAL News?

Re:Could we do away with iPhone this and Apple tha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21466421)

You could a: go outside for a bit or b: disable apple related stories. if theres something really important thats apple related then you'll find out from elsewhere.

Re:Could we do away with iPhone this and Apple tha (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466451)

I'd not noticed before, but the "Slashdot" logo at the top of the page says "Sometimes you have to go outside" for mobile stories (so I think that means this isn't an Apple story).

Re:Could we do away with iPhone this and Apple tha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21466603)

Do you read every story on slashdot, regardless of content? I skip anything that doesn't interest me. It never occurred to me that that might be an innovate strategy unknown to other readers.

iPhone gets scratched! (0, Flamebait)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466661)

I have just received word that an iPhone has been scratched. In depth coverage with Commander Taco to follow...

Honestly, I haven't seen this kind of slashdot fervor since OMG PONIES!!! That was definitely a new low.

Re:Could we do away with iPhone this and Apple tha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21466685)

Only someone who hasn't seen the Itchy and Scratchy movie would say that. Lets get him!

Re:Could we do away with iPhone this and Apple tha (5, Insightful)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466761)

You can block Apple stories in your preferences. Or you can ignore them. These are but two of the many bold strategies for avoiding stories you don't like.

Re:Could we do away with iPhone this and Apple tha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21466889)

Verizon is already planning commercials to take advantage of this.

"Can you hear me now? Bloody hell!"
*puts away iPhone, pulls out 1985-looking monster*
"Can you hear me now? Ace!"
*drinks cup of tea*

One small detail (3, Insightful)

franksands (938435) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466365)

[...]others have had to do a software restore back to version 1.1.2 of the iPhone software.
1.1.2 is the current version of the software. It seems to me that apparently the problem is with british jailbreaken phones, which wouldn't be either Apple's or O2's fault.

Re:One small detail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467329)

In the UK the person who bought the phone has the "right" to use any network on their phone.

defective by design (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21466397)

apple fags

Clarification of the summary (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21466447)

British iPhone users, who bought the Apple phones when they went on sale in England on Nov. 9, are reporting persistent problems with signal strength on O2, the UK's only iPhone service provider
Just so people aren't confused, the iPhone is on sale in the whole of the UK, not just England. Also, it's not just people in Britain that are experiencing the problem, but people in all parts of the UK.

For any Americans reading this that don't know what I'm talking about, let me put this in Slashdot terms:

UK != Britain != England.

Cunts.

Re:Clarification of the summary (1)

G Fab (1142219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466511)

nothing in the summary indicated that England = the UK.

This was like saying "Chevies from Michigan suck. Canadians are complaining about the North American automaker's reliability."

Re:Clarification of the summary (4, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466559)

nothing in the summary indicated that England = the UK.
Nice job. Now you've assigned England == the UK.

"=" is an assignment; "==" is pronounced "is equal to". Say it! Say it and mean it!

Re:Clarification of the summary (1)

leenks (906881) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466687)

Surely this depends on the language you are using. There are languages that use = as "is equal to".

Re:Clarification of the summary (0, Offtopic)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466743)

Aye, but we're using "!=" as "is not equal to", which is a C/C++/Java/C# idiom. The languages that use "=" as both assignment and the equality test generally use "<>" as the "is not equal to" operator.

Re:Clarification of the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21466595)

nothing in the summary indicated that England = the UK.
Perhaps not, but it still didn't make much sense. It was like saying, "American iPhone users, who bought the Apple iPhones when they went on sale in Michigan ..."

Why single out Michigan?

Re:Clarification of the summary (0, Troll)

Compholio (770966) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466523)

For any Americans reading this that don't know what I'm talking about, let me put this in Slashdot terms:
I really shouldn't dignify this with a response but:

US != North America != America

We can be pedantic too.

Re:Clarification of the summary (1)

Attila the Bun (952109) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466997)

US != North America != America

OK, but what should we call you? Unitedstatesians?

Even GWB would balk at that. Living in France, I might feel like suggesting something to do with monkeys, but that would be rude. I like America very much, except for the airports.

With the dollar so low at the moment, does anybody know if US iPhones can be used on European networks?

Re:Clarification of the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467853)

"Yanks". :-)

(American visitors are sometimes confused by the fact that USAians from both sides of the relevant civil war line are referred to as "Yanks" in britain and Ireland. It's loosely related to "yankee", obviously, but used indiscriminately).

Re:Clarification of the summary (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21466639)

Man, you're so much better than we are, because, by a freak of chance, you were born elsewhere in the world.

Kudos!

Re:Clarification of the summary (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466853)

This is why I, for one, call your entire country by the blanket-term "those rotten-toothed limey bastards across the pond"

No worries about making any mistakes there!

Re:Clarification of the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21466897)

Whilst we avidly refer to you as septics.

Re:Clarification of the summary (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466967)

it's not just people in Britain that are experiencing the problem, but people in all parts of the UK.

      OK I'll buy the England != UK bit, but Britain, ie "Great Britain" includes Scotland and Wales. That's why it's "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".

Problem with "smartphones" (1)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466465)

The problem with these "smartphones" is that even though they look like a computer, have the same software of a computer and act like a computer, they are nothing but walled gardens at most (those running Linux aside) then you take Apple who releases "updates" to stop people from freeing their iPhones. Take all these together, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Re:Problem with "smartphones" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21466715)

why linux aside? methinks you're a common fanboi.

Re:Problem with "smartphones" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21468047)

Because several linux phones are open enough that anyone can write programs for them, e.g. OpenMoko [openmoko.com] phones (which you can buy developer models of now) and Nokia Maemo [maemo.org] phones (Look, I don't name these things...).

Re:Problem with "smartphones" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21468009)

The iPhone isn't a smartphone unless you jailbreak it. Almost all of the smartphones in current use run SymbianOS, which is emphatically *not* a walled garden; it's as open as any other commercial OS, and anyone can develop software for it.

Is this really a frontpage story? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21466629)

If it only effects a couple of people, it is not a story.

You would need at least 03 customers before this should make a headline.

Re:Is this really a frontpage story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467363)

Well, in binary, it would be 10. And that would be many people.

Ifon.... Yesterday's News (1)

Digital Components (1057180) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466647)

I'll take a BT/PSP fon over the iFon any day of the week, and twice on Sunday, TYVW.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6683231.stm [bbc.co.uk]

And while we're on the subject of Wi-Fi fones, if anybody's paying attention, T-Mobile can catch the iTards with their pants down:

http://www.theonlyphoneyouneed.com/ [theonlyphoneyouneed.com]

Put that together with the PSP/2 and they'll eat Steve Job's lunch.

Have A Great Day, bitches.

England != UK (5, Informative)

jackster1 (950994) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466777)

" went on sale in England on Nov. 9" Just FYI, the UK isn't just England, it's got Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in it too. Hence 'United Kingdom'.

It's not a bug, it's a feature! (2, Funny)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466791)

OK, listen up guys.
What are you discussing now is actually the designer feature thoughtfully provided by Steve Jobbs himself.
Imagine, just imagine - you're listening to the iTunes music on your iPhone. Do you want to be distracted in such a wonderful moment? No!
*Especially* not by a phone call!

Psst... typo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21466895)

02 --> O2, or vice versa. I'm too lazy to look up the correct version.

iphone is meh from a UK perspective. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21466917)

Seriously, most people have "smartphones" (obnoxious term) that already outclass the iPhone in most areas (and no, not having buttons is not better if your life revolves around texting...). The iphone looks good in the american mobile phone market, but the american mobile phone market is a travesty.

The iphone, while being exceptionally heavily marketed, has already been deemed uncool in the 18-30 age group. Seems to be mainly older people who buy it, more susceptible to the advertising that it's "hip".

Re:iphone is meh from a UK perspective. (2, Informative)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467261)

Being in the 18-30 age group (21) I saw it as a giant flashy waste of money and worried people would buy it and help show the operators that we would pay for the phone and a overpriced contract.

My little sister (18) exact words on the matter were "why would anyone buy an iPhone cause its rubbish and you get all the stuff it does in an iPod anyway" my other little sister (16) hated it because it lacked a keyboard and was really expensive.

Then we have my ex work mates (all aged between 16-20) universally hated it the girls hated the lack of camera, the guys have hated it mainly because it can't do picture messaging (no dodgey photos from the missus.) The main opinion was it was "a giant waste of money". Its not that "we" see it as uncool but when you compare it to any phone on the market feature wise (ignoring the browser) it has less than a £27 Nokia phone I picked up in o2 on pay as you go tariff and the fact you would get all the cool extra features in the new iPod.

So correction not "uncool" but "giant waste of money" and no I wasn't on a crusade to stop people buying this its actually come up in normal conversation last time I went out with my ex work mates one of the girls started talking about how she was going to get a new iPod nano but would never get a iPhone because how expensive it was.

Re:iphone is meh from a UK perspective. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467389)

giant flashy waste of money
Yes, that is to say: uncool. Of course "coolness" varies from peer group to peer group, and if you're from a lower-working-class/welfare background "flashy waste of money" and cool might be closer (think chav gold chains), but conspicuous consumption [wikipedia.org] like some nouveau riche american "gangsta rappa" is generally deeply uncool in the huge (and at-least-1-mobile-phone-per-person) middle class of britain. In short, having an iphone will mean you look like a twat with more money than sense. And that's not generally uncool in britain.
       

Re:iphone is meh from a UK perspective. (2, Insightful)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467687)

I agree with your logic but these same people have said the N95 was far to expsensive and yet when someone (not me) bought one they definitly loved it. My PSP has been described as far too expsensive to ever buy by many people but picked up a disturbing amount of interest from people whenever I dug it out to play in Student Union. No I wasn't posing but generally waiting for a uni mate to arrive. Most sports cars are seen as incredibly cool things but recently a work friend was looking for a new car despite being able to afford a decent sports car he got something more practical instead. Apple Macs are seen as cool and yet most people would never buy one because there so expensive.

"Coolness" doesn't really factor in common sense I have little doubt that if I owned a iPhone and showed it to my mates they'd see it as "cool" and probably steal it off me to play with.

I think the iPhone's in the same vein as the nokia n95 and Apple Mac's far to expensive for 90% of people to ever buy since you can get most of what it does in a much cheaper phone/laptop but still cool. Unlike burberry, gold chains, big gold rings, Speedfight 2 scooters and anything else Chav.

BTW this whole post was brought to you from a person who hates the iPhone, iBooks, iPods. I just think its a testiment to the control Apple has over the media and people that it isn't seen as "uncool" just too expensive and not worth the money.

Re:iphone is meh from a UK perspective. (2, Informative)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#21468085)

The iphone, while being exceptionally heavily marketed, has already been deemed uncool in the 18-30 age group.
Oh REALLY now? I wish you'd come tell the 18-30 age group to quit asking to mess with my iPhone then. I *guess* I'm older, at 37??? but I didn't buy the phone for hype or advertising. I bought the phone because it is the best phone I tried. The phone features are the best, from voice mail to the address book, of any phone I've tried. All the other stuff (email, maps, a really good web browser) are just bonus. The phone is a crappy text-message phone, but then again, texting has been deemed uncool in the 37-50 age group.

Related to unlocking? (2, Interesting)

Durzel (137902) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466961)

"thers have had to do a software restore back to version 1.1.2 of the iPhone software" is a telling statement, UK iPhones come with 1.1.2 out of the box - no one would need to do a software restore BACK to this version unless they had unlocked it (which currently requires downgrading the software to 1.1.1).

Isn't it possible that if UK users are applying patches/firmwares intended for US iPhones (since that's where it would appear the jailbreaks/unlocks originate) then there may well be a difference in GSM configurations?

Also how many of these users bought their phones from the US? Does anyone know for certain whether or not there are NO hardware/software differences between US and UK iPhones?

Is that the UK is more 3g then EDGE and the iphone (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467131)

Is that the UK is more 3g then eage and the iphone is EDGE only?

GSM is the problem (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467459)

GSM is on the way out in the rest of the world. 3G towers are not being setup to provide GSM signal.

There is a good chance there are many 3G only towers out there and the number of 2G(GSM) towers are quite low.

Hence on a GSM only phone, you will get bad coverage

Even in inner city Australia we the carriers with GSM phones with coverage problems are being told to move 3G Phones. As 3G coverage is now superior.

Re:GSM is the problem (1)

MrPerfekt (414248) | more than 6 years ago | (#21468203)

You're a tool. 3G refers to the UMTS/HSDPA (and losely EDGE though it's considered only 2.75G) part of the signal used for data transfer. The part of the signal used for voice is always plain standard GSM. A GSM phone from 10 years ago is just as usable today for voice. The only part that has been evolving is the data services.

Shut up already. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467609)

Yes, I know you think the iPhone is an over-hyped piece of garbage. I don't. I'm quite happy with how absolutely customizable it is (unintentionally, of course) and I'm thrilled it has a giant screen instead of ugly tiny plastic buttons. I haven't had problems with it and yes, I'm sad that Apple has to be so protective of the OS and such also but that doesn't mean that the device doesn't have merits.

And honestly, calling other devices as usable as it is a little ridiculous. Though I'm in complete agreement that it's not as revolutionary as Steve would like it to be.

Different Handsets. (1, Insightful)

drolli (522659) | more than 6 years ago | (#21468019)


> it appears to be the handset, which is unusual since US users haven't reported similar problems. Some 02 customers report that
> getting a replacement phone fixes things; others have had to do a software restore back to version 1.1.2 of the iPhone software."

It is not strange. I personally assume that the UK phones use GSM and the US phones do not, so they transmit over two completely different schemes. It is sad that this point was missed by the author of the article. Althoug I am not an expert, i remember that GSM is more sensitive to certain Problems.

Re:Different Handsets. (2, Informative)

MrPerfekt (414248) | more than 6 years ago | (#21468249)

You are also wrong. All iPhones are GSM with EDGE for data transfer (2.75G). They're quad-band phones which allow them to operate on the varying frequencies from region to region. The 'schemes' are identical, only the frequencies vary.

The next iPhone (which will probably be released 1Q 2008) will likely be 3G, which is to say GSM with UMTS or HSDPA for data transfer. And again, will support enough frequencies to allow them to have one phone sold around the world. This reduces cost by having a unified, simple product line.

I know everyone is just trying to be helpful but if you don't know what the heck you're talking about, avoid spouting purportedly factual information.
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