iPhone 3G no cellular service, 4.1, 4.0.1, or 3.1.3

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by number9, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. number9 macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2004
    My fiance and I went to the Apple store this past Friday and had her iPhone 3G replaced with a new one for an unrelated hardware issue. The iPhone 3G that she recieved came with 4.0.1 installed. We live in a suburban area that normally has good service; the 3G service is spotty where her house is, but with my iPhone 4, her old 3G on 3.1.3, and my old iPhone 3G before my upgrade, we would get 3-4 bars of Edge service.

    We noticed the night that her phone was replaced that initially it had 3-4 bars of service with Edge data, but then after about a half hour of standby or a few minuted of actually using the phone, it would display "searching..." then switch to "No Service". I tried making phone calls to and from it, to see if it actually didn't have service or if it was just an issue with they way the software displayed the signal strength: calls going out failed immediately and calls incoming went straight to voicemail, so it definitely had no service. Meanwhile, my iPhone 4 with 4.1 on it had 4 bars of edge service, right next to it. If the network settings were reset or the phone was put through a hard restart, the service would reappear temporarily, but then go to no service.

    Yesterday I upgraded it to 4.1 hoping that it would fix the issue, and at first it helped, but like before, it went to no service. Finally to see if it was an iOS 4 issue, I downgraded the iPhone 3G to 3.1.3, but even with that the phone had no service at all. The wifi works, but no cellular signal was picked up.

    At this point I am led to believe that the problem is one of two things: either a hardware issue with the replacement phone she received on Friday, or more likely, a software issue. Since the issue was present with iOS 4.0.1, 4.1, and 3.1.3, I'm lead to believe that it is an issue with the cellular radio firmware, or the AT&T carrier software that is causing the issues with the iPhone 3G service. In either case, she is left with a useless cellphone at home, and there doesn't seem to be any way that Apple can fix it, other than more software updates that we'll have to wait for, or if we cna somehow get an upgrade to at least a 3GS or 4.

    Very disappointing and frustrating.

    I have seen other reports of people having service issues after the 4.0 or 4.1 upgrade, but wasn't sure if any one was successfully getting it fixed.
  2. cypher23 macrumors member


    Dec 25, 2008

    Quick question. The iPhone 3G that had the unrelated hardware issue, what OS was that running? You mentioned that the replacement had 4.0.1 preinstalled. Did you restore from a backup of your fiance's previous phone? Try restoring as new. It's been my experience that previous version backups don't play well with newer OS versions. Restoring as new will also isolate to see if in fact the issue is software related. If the issue persists, take it back to the Apple Store for another replacement. You have 90 days.

    Hope this helps.
  3. number9 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2004
    The original phone was running 3.1.3 because I didn't want to subject her to the pains of 4.0. Knowing that the Genius would need to upgrade to the latest firmware when I brought it in, I ran a back up under 3.1.3, updated it to 4.1. When they gave me the new phone with 4.0.1 on it, I restored it from a back up of the old one running 4.1. The problem persisted, so I downgraded to 3.1.3, and restored from the back up of the original phone under 3.1.3. The problem persisted again, so we went back to Apple last night. They couldn't do anything or figure out what was wrong, so they upgraded it to 4.1 again, and I went home set it up as a new phone, no restore from back up. It seemed to be fine all last night, but the problem came back today.

    At this point I'm assuming it's hardware since mutiple OS versions with different back ups or no back ups at all had the problem. Looks like we'll be making a third trip to have it replaced again.

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