Users, in droves, are reporting signal strength/reception issues with the iPhone 3G when utilizing the 3G network in areas with purportedly strong coverage, per AT&T and other carriers' maps. Most disconcertingly, phones from other manufacturers often deliver excellent 3G signal strength on the same network and in the same location as signal-crippled iPhone 3Gs.
Several users have exchanged their iPhones for replacement units with no improvement.A sampling from this Apple Discussions thread, which currently has 86 responses:
- "Seems the reception is really unsteady (even in Manhattan) and today the signal disappeared entirely, stating "no network" for over an hour (I was walking around during this time in an area where I know I always get reception)."
- "I have the same problem here in Los Angeles. Very low 3g signal going to no service sometimes then service a minute or two later.
- "I actually swapped it out on sunday thinking it was my phone. Its not. Still crummy reception, albeit AT&T showing great 3G service."
- "Same here in Zurich with my 8GB. All my other phones have a good reception."
As previously reported, the iPhone 3G automatically switches between 3G and 2G networks for voice and data connections. In theory, the phone should hop off 3G when signal strength is too low or non-existent, and hop back on when the signal gets better. In our experience, however, the iPhone 3G isn?t aggressive enough regarding the switch from 3G to 2G. In other words, you may find that your phone stays connected to a 3G network when the signal strength is too low to allow incoming or outgoing calls.
The simple solution is to manually turn 3G connectivity, forcing a switch to 2G ? which may take several seconds ? and likely a boost in signal strength.
One user's experience is exemplary:
"Hi there. I live in Philadelphia, PA in the USA and having the exact same problem! It is terrible. THe moment I turn off 3G on the iPhone, my service defaults to EDGE and I get 5 bars like I was used to getting on my 2G iPhone."
A number of users have reported success with other previously mentioned solutions, particularly resetting or restoring the iPhone, resetting network settings and more.