IPhone Reception Problems

Having access to over 200,000 apps doesn’t do you very much good if you experience frequent iPhone reception problems. What can you do to get better reception on your iPhone so that you stop dropping calls and failing to send e-mail messages while on the go?

National Network Coverage

Interestingly enough, it is quite possible that any reception issues experienced by iPhone users may have very little to do with the iPhone itself. Instead, it could have to do with the somewhat related issue of network coverage and the kinds of technologies used for this coverage.

This remains an issue that is constantly in debate, but several users have reported that the AT&T network coverage is not as good as it could be. As a result, they may experience dropped calls, lack of reception, data network timeout errors, and other such problems. Consistent to this claim is the relatively lower rate of dropped calls that users experience in Canada when they use the same Apple iPhone with Rogers Wireless.

The iPhone reception problems are among the most common iPhone complaints, but it is quite possible that this problem is not really the “fault” of Apple at all. Again, this issue is highly debatable and you will likely find lots of people on both sides of the argument. At the same time, this is partly why so many enthusiasts are anxious to see a Verizon iPhone in the near future. Verizon Wireless customers, in general, are happy with the network coverage offered by their chosen wireless carrier, but as of Summer 2010, the iPhone is not yet available on the Verizon network.

The Rise of iPhone Reception Problems

The complaints about poor reception and dropped calls has been around since the first-generation iPhone and it has carried through to the 3G and 3GS versions as well. That said, the iPhone reception problems quickly rose to the forefront with the arrival of the iPhone 4 in Summer 2010.

Several reports found that when iPhone 4 users held the device a certain way, they would immediately lose a few bars of signal strength. It was not immediately clear why this was the case and it was certainly disheartening for the owners of the newest, hottest smartphone to discover that they would only have two bars of network coverage where they would normally enjoy much better coverage.

As the issue became more widespread and better known, people started to discover that this may be due to a design flaw in the iPhone 4. The wireless antenna, which is used to connect to the cellular network, is right where a person’s hand or fingers may be when they are holding the device. Because of this, the materials used, and other design elements, the signal strength was being obscured. As such, people were told to hold the iPhone a particular way.

Enraged, more and more people confronted Apple about the reception problem until an official press release was issued. In it, the “fix” for the dropped bars was not described as a new iPhone design or any change in the hardware itself. Instead, Apple stated that this was a software issue that could be rectified with a simple update. The update, however, was not meant to address a loss in signal strength; it was meant to address the issue of displaying a loss in signal strength.

According to Apple, the iPhone 4 was not displaying the correct number of bars and that when users held the phone a certain way and perceived a loss in signal strength, the phone actually only had the two or three bars of network coverage in the first place.

Raising the Bar?

To this end, many enthusiasts and pundits are positing that, once again, the issue lies with AT&T and not with Apple. This is supported by the lack of complaints from international owners of the iPhone 4 using the device on wireless networks other than AT&T.

Can you overcome the reception problems related to the iPhone? There are signal boosting accessories that may help, but short of switching networks or switching handsets, you are largely left with whatever coverage you can get.

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Posted in Technology.

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