Help me prove an ex-AT&T Wireless guy wrong

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by WannaSwitch, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. WannaSwitch macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2008
    Ok, this is to settle a bet and get an extra beer at a Spring Training game tomorrow. There's a guy in our office who used to work with Cingular/AT&T Wireless, and we were all talking iPhone today and I mentioned I'm waiting for the 3G version before I jump in. He said to buy one now, even one of the $249 refurbs, and that Apple would be turning on 3G through a firmware upgrade. I called him on BS, that it's a completely different radio and that Apple wouldn't put the radio in there and leave it dormant for the last year only to now magically turn it on. He said his "inside knowledge" when he was at AT&T Wireless said that's how it would be done, people wouldn't have to buy a new phone to get 3G data.

    Now, after that discussion, I've searched the web, this forum, some other Apple forums, and I see that was discussed as a possibility before the iPhone came out last year, as no one knew what was going to be physically inside the device. But I hadn't found any discussion since, really. I remember seeing some of the dissection articles after it was released, and I certainly don't remember seeing mention of a 3G radio tucked in there anywhere. And if there was, I'm sure the hacking community would have found a way to access it and people would be running Jailbroken and unlocked iPhones with 3G data.

    I call BS on this guy, and really want that extra beer at the game. What say you, community?
  2. brinycbri macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2007
    I agree with what you said. 3g must be hardware, and it's highly unlikely apple sneaked 3g in there, there would be no added benefit to turn it on later.
  3. RevolutionOne macrumors member


    Feb 5, 2008
    Essex, UK
  4. Mindflux macrumors 68000


    Oct 20, 2007
    I'd say no way, but the macbooks (both mb and mbp) had the 802.11'n' radio in them and it lay dormant for some time too.

    Only the ability to charge X dollars like the "N" updater. That's 'benefit', right there.
  5. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    It's complete BS because if this was the case, Apple would let this be widely known. "Software-upgradable to 3G!" would be EVERYWHERE and I can also guarantee it would've already been an option ("for a nominal fee").

    Ask that same dude to take an older 802.11g wireless card and upgrade it to 802.11n. Capture the stumped look on his face.
  6. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    The chip used in the antenna only supports EDGE/GPRS. There is no way to reconfigure that chip to get 3G data speeds, but there may be an upgrade at the same time to the existing EDGE to its maximum speed.

  7. waterskier2007 macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2007
    Novi, MI
    what do you mean an upgrade to EDGE, are you saying that EDGE is actually faster than what were getting and that we could upgrade, or that they would have to change the EDGE network to make it faster?
  8. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    EDGE has a current maximum speed of 236.8kbps with a theoretical maximum of 473.6kbps. However, only in major cities is the current EDGE implementation even breaking 100kbps (the same cities with UTMS/HDPA installed). It is likely that as they upgrade existing EDGE systems to UTMS/HDPA they may also upgrade EDGE to the maximum speeds.

  9. specops macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2007
    Im no pro on the subject but i think hes is saying that ATT could just update the radio towers/hardware of the network and we would get better EDGE signal/data speeds. They did it once, but im not what the max is for edge? i know i get about 200bits a second atm.
  10. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    I actually disagree with this statment that it would be advertised...while I see the benefit to apple, it would be selling a car saying it runs, can hit 55 but takes a while. But in a year or so we will sell you the turbo kit for a "nominal fee" that is just odd if you ask me.

    I think they would sell more as a result because people would be more apt to dive in now rather than wait, but still a werid way to market something. however, right now they have many with non 3G phones who will replace them in June (or whenever!)

    But I do agree that is is not possible or probable!
  11. macbookhamburg macrumors regular

    Jan 3, 2007
    i heard my macbook was actually a macbook pro with a bigger harddrive and a faster processor and the software upgrade is coming out next month...
    and with the software update after that, i can make it change colours too...
  12. krye macrumors 68000


    Aug 21, 2007
    Just like everyone else at AT&T, your guy is clueless. 3G is a hardware change.
  13. DaffyDuck macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2007

    One thing:

    The Infineon PMB8876 radio only includes support for EDGE.

    For 3G it would need a different chip like the PMB8878.

    Notice that the PMB8878 supports both HSDPA and EDGE. The current iPhone would not have one chip for edge and one for 3G, it would have a single chip that supports both. It doesn't have this chip and it doesn't support 3G.

    Now, it's possible that Apple has upgraded the electronics since the photo at the top was taken but that is HIGHLY unlikely. That would require re-approval by the FCC which is a time consuming (and probably costly) affair. It would be pointless for them to go to this effort and not take credit for it right away. Also, it would have been reported on by engadget.

    Enjoy your free beer.
  14. iStefmac macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2008
    The answer is no, definitively.

    Different chipsets. Different technology. Its like saying Apple is going to release a firmware update to change the back from silver aluminum to black plastic.
  15. iStefmac macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2008
    Thank you...this is accurately on par with absurdity of the topic in question.

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