Bought iPhone, but 3G is very slow and unstable

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by AnalyzeThis, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. AnalyzeThis macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2007
    I bought iPhone 3G today. First thing I checked was GPS, it seems to be working ok, but map update was lagging. Then tired to go to Google in Safary, after 3 minutes of waiting - "Could not connect. Server ended connection". YouTube - the indexes takes forever to display, movies either "cannon play this movie" or the icing on the cake - "could not connect to youtube" followed with blank screen. Occasionally it would play movie, but it is so low quality - just blocks. Stocks would fail to display chart, Weather would fail to update.
    When on WiFi - it is flying fast. Phone itself is also works fine.

    After first hard power off (reset) 3G seems to be working ok, but later after consecutive power off(s) - it remained consistently slow.

    Not a pleasant first experience. Does anyone experienced anything like it. I have 5 bars signal. Does it takes some time for 3G to get up to speed after activation?

    Looks like a lemon to me. I will ask for replacement tomorrow.
  2. aross99 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2006
    East Lansing, MI
    Sounds like you don't have a good GSM connection.

    Are you in an area with 3G coverage (you will see a 3G at the top of your screen)? If you only get Edge (little "E" at the top of the screen), then your browsing speed will be much lower.

    Just because you have a 3G phone, doesn't mean you will always get 3G speeds. You have to be in an area that supports 3G.

    As far as instability, the 2.0/2.0.1 release is kind of buggy. Lets hope that 2.1 comes out soon and makes things more stable. I have noticed that GPS seems to make things worse...
  3. profetto macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2008
    You sure you had 3G connection where you were?

    Needless to say, even with EDGE it shouldn't be slow to the point it cannot open. Sorry to hear it, hopefully they let you exchange.
  4. AnalyzeThis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2007
    I am in very good 3G coverage area (5 bars all around)

    I am in very strong 3G area. My iPhone displays 3G icon all the time with 4-5 bars.

    By stability, I meant that sometimes it would render some data and very next attempt it will chock over.
    I also have a friend with 2G and it is just a bit slower vs. working 3G, but it would never timeout. Also, the store demo iPhones I have tried were way more speedy and somewhat acceptable on internet connections.

    Probably, just a bad luck. After all I got it on 13th. Eehh...

    Thanks. I will post my results after I exchange it tomorrow...
  5. aross99 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2006
    East Lansing, MI
    Did you try turning the phone off/on (hold sleep and then slide the red slider, then hold sleep again...).

    You might also try a restore...

    Just two easy things to try before you return it...
  6. AnalyzeThis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2007
    I did thie trick, but...

    Yes, I did it quite a few times. The issue was since the very beginning when it was on FW 2.0 and also after update to FW 2.0.1. It is only used for 5 hours.
  7. Megalobyte macrumors 6502a

    Dec 30, 2007

    This may seem odd, but try a speed test late at night, when most people in your area aren't using 3G, I find the speeds get slow several times a day, then get pretty fast late at night, worth a shot, if its true, then ATT needs to beef up their bandwidth.
  8. AnalyzeThis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2007
    I wish to be concerned with speed, but it just fails

    I would not mind some slowness, but the unit just fails even on a tiny pages like, stock quotes and weather widgets. Youtube is inaccessible, the only reason I could see the index is because of it cached some of the data when it was on wifi network, same for other sites.
  9. AnalyzeThis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2007
    It is working now!!!


    It is cooking now. The phone was set to 3G by default. For some reason it was very slow. This morning I disabled 3G and switched to Edge - the timeouts stopped immediately. then I switched back to 3G and it is working perfectly since. It looks like the phone had some issue with pure 3G activation, but bouncing it possibly completed "network registration".

    For new activations with timeouts on 3G - just disable 3G, let phone to register with Edge and once it is done, do a little test and then switch back to 3G, You should be set now. The only catch - you need to do it after every power off. So, maybe exchanging phone is more convenient if you just bought it.

    Good luck. I hope this struggle would help some one else...
  10. AnalyzeThis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2007
    Really wierd stuff happend today...

    I went to Apple store with intent to replace my 1 day old iPhone. They could not do it, because of I applied a corporate employee discount for the iPhone. As a result they could not activate the new replacement iPhone. First you need to remove the discount, so it is a regular consumer account. I called ATT and they removed it, but it takes 2-72 hours to update Apple activation system database. So I went to ATT store, they tried to troubleshoot it unsuccessfully, but I noticed, after replacing a sim card my iPhone would completely refuse to access internet. I asked technician to swap the sim card - the phone was able to access internet and was very fast. So it seemed as the sim card is an issue, but at the same time ATT system updated my account as a regular consumer (takes about an hour). So everything was working with transfer rates upto 1mbs with latency ~ 250ms . So I called ATT and asked them to re-apply the discount. An hour later it became a dog again. After an hour of struggle, I decided to exchange the phone, so I called ATT again and asked them to remove the discount. An hour later my phone regained full speed again. Figures...

    It might be a crazy conspiracy theory: ATT intentionally messing up with business customers as they usually use more and pay less.
    It would be interesting to speculate on this topic to figure out if anyone else has some 3G related issue with business discount applied to their iPhone. 3G would drop down to 20kbs, latency would go up to 15secs

    I would keep it as a regular account for a while, so I am ready to replace it at will. But I may end up forfeiting employee discount as such little saving does not justify a crippled 3G internet access.

    EDGE is not affected, I am getting around 200kbs with .5-1.0 sec latency, consistently.

    Also I found a good iPhone test site:

    What do you think?
  11. volvoben macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2007
    nowhere fast
    This describes my problem 3G worked well for a week or so, but now it shows 4-5 bars and 3G at home and work, was the same with 2.0, 2.01 and 2.02, yet will not connect to anything about 50% of the time. EDGE works fine, thankfully, and I've had to switch to it on numerous occasions when trying to get a map to load etc.

    I let someone borrow it to decide if they want an iphone, and i just set it to edge because it already wasn't opening google on 3G when i handed it to her (she didn't care about edge vs. 3g in the end, but the lack of sms sent her straight back to verizon).

    very annoying, resetting restoring etc. does not help. I think i'll give this whole chipset/3G service/hardware/software thing a while to work out, maybe wait for 2.1 or something, but if nothing changes i'll just bring it to apple, show them that it shows 3G and good signal but does NOTHING, and hope for pity and a functional replacement that doesn't start doing the same thing...

    I hope a firmware update or ATT upgrades will solve this, but really i get the feeling it's the 3G chipset dying or otherwise malfunctioning...

    EDIT: I'd also like to note that 3G service, when working, is quite good, ~950-1500 kbps both at work and home, so it's all or nothing. I'd be extremely pleased with everything, even ATT's service, if not for this issue. Keyboard slowing down in SMS, lack of offline maps, all tiny little things compared to this crap.

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