Tests clear iPhone 3G antenna as cause of reception problems

Swedish tech publication GP tests the iPhone 3G's antenna to see if that part is to blame for the phone's reception issues, and finds no obvious problems.

Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
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Tom Krazit
The iPhone 3G's antenna does not appear to be the cause of its reception problems, according to new tests. Josh Lowensohn/CNET

A new series of tests coming out of Sweden appears to absolve the iPhone 3G's antenna from blame over the phone's reception issues.

A Swedish tech publication known as GP conducted a series of tests this week on the antennas of iPhone 3Gs belonging to users reporting reception issues, as a follow-up to an earlier test on an iPhone 3G that was connecting to 3G networks as designed. In both cases, the iPhone 3G antenna was functioning normally and emitting a strong signal, leading GP to conclude that the iPhone's hardware is not the culprit.

The GP report does not address whether a software issue is to blame for the problems, which appears to be Apple's stance. The company has admitted that the 2.0.2 software release was designed in part to address the reception problems that iPhone 3G users have been reporting since the device went on sale in July. While some have reported that the 2.0.2 update was just the trick for their problems, others are still seeing problems connecting to 3G networks in areas that supposedly offer coverage.

While Apple has been working on its end to fix the 3G reception problems, perhaps it isn't the only company that has some work to do. Citigroup analyst Jim Sura released a research note this week reporting that the U.S. debut of Research in Motion's BlackBerry Bold has been held up by similar reception problems. The common thread? AT&T's 3G network.