Shouldn't Reception be #1?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by fletch33, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. fletch33 macrumors regular


    Dec 11, 2008
    Under a Rug
    i have every iPhone so far on release date and i have never had an increase in reception or dropped calls. i am currently using the 3GS.

    i have been a phone geek for many years and have had a ton of phones and still today i buy new stuff to try it. i was mainly a Moto fan before the iPhone but did not limit myself to them its just that they were such a great phone company at one time (sad now).

    i see a lot of threads as we all do about missing features like MMS or a better camera or flash or etc.....however before we get to all of that where is the demand for a better radio in these things? seriously the main thing i do on my iPhone is talk on it and it by FAR the weakest link. as much as it would kill me i am getting closer and closer to just getting a phone that has great reception, gets my emails properly with function like "mark all as read" and leaving the iPhone behind.

    just so it is clear i want nothing more than to use my iPhone but i have about had it:


    1. my wife and i are both on ATT and she is using a 4 year old Pantech Duo cheapy phone and has dropped ZERO calls in the last couple months and i drop at minimum 35% of my calls. how can this be?

    answer = its the radio they use because if it was the service my wife would experience the same problems i do.

    2. i travel for work so this allows me to be sure it is just not my area which by the way is Cincinnati, OH so it is not something in the middle of nowhere. however when i am in the middle of nowhere taking back road short cuts to get a across the state of OH or MI i will no doubt get "no service" on my iphone. when i get "no service" i immediately take my sim card out of the iPhone and put it in my Moto Q global and have 3 bars. this is not a one time test i do it all the time.

    answer = its the radio they use because the Q picks up the signal just fine

    3. my wife and i travel the same stretch of highway to and from work. she can talk to me the entire trip there and back with no problems but i know a spot on the highway where i am going to loose my call every time and i alert my caller that i will call them back because i am going to drop the call.

    anyway i needed to vent because i have tested the iPhone from St. Louis to Florida and up to New York by putting my sim in other phones and i almost never have dropped a call unless i am on my iPhone and then again 35% is a light number.

    reception should be first and everything else second on the iPhone and it clearly isn't. i rarely read this anywhere but instead read about what is missing in various apps or functions other than reception.

    when i first switched from 5 years of Verizon to ATT i thought my dropped calls were ATT's fault because although i had several GSM phones in my collection that i used to hack and play around with i had never put my sim in one because i was addicted to my iPhone. it is clear now that the problem is not ATT but Apple hardware or possible the design.

    i know that design can play a part in reception as i had seen it in real life with various phones with the same radio get different reception quality.

    in order to be sure i wasn't crazy i have polled all the people i know with iPhones and its funny that although they all agree that their iPhone drops more calls than they had ever dropped in the past it doesn't seem to be an issue with them and we usually quickly move the subject to some new app or JB feature and its like the reception is just part of it.

    i played the reception is part of it game now for a long time and i am not sure if i can do it much longer. i was on the phone with ATT customer support for an hour yesterday where i had them look at my call logs and see how many numbers where redialed right after they called or i called them to show that i wasn't crazy but that i had a lot of redials. after my call with ATT they sent me to Apple support where they offered me a new iPhone like it was a gift but its not i have one and really dont care about a new one i just want it to work.

    well there i said it and if anyone decided to read through this rant then congrats :)

    hopefully this new iPhone today will somehow magically improve my reception issues.
  2. twisted-pixel macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2009
    San Jose, CA
    good point...I have also noticed that the wonderous iPHONE (note the capitals) does not function as well as a number of previous phones I've had. the signal is regularly dropping out completely, and as a business user who travels about a bit, I find this annoying too
  3. lavinci macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2009
    I think reception is only best in urban areas or where AT&T towers are numerous. I live in Boston and the reception is amazing inside and outside of buildings. I think you probably should try another carrier and see how that goes because you do have 30 days to try them out.
  4. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    I don't disagree with you. But as crazy as this might seem - I would bet that the majority of use an iPhone get has nothing to do with making calls. Which, I believe could very well be the reason Apple isn't making improvements in this area.

    And I'm not an engineer either - but part of the reason for dropped calls increasing on an iphone vs a flip phone or cheaper phone is that there are a lot more ways "interference" can take place with what is basically a small computer with a radio tucked inside vs one of those cheaper phones which essentially all it is IS a phone. Less shielding/better antennae/etc

    This reminds me of when CD players were relatively new. My dad had bought a TOP of the line cd player. I had bought the very first Sony portable a year or so later. Much cheaper than his tabletop unit from abroad. The sam CD which would skip in his player would play fine in mine.

    We came to the conclusion that the cheaper player had more "forgiveness" as it wasn't meant to be state-of-the-art while his CD player was a finely tuned instrument and allowed for less margin of error.

    Who really knows.

    But yes - since it's called the iPHONE (caps on purpose) - surely the phone should be the best it can be.
  5. fletch33 thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 11, 2008
    Under a Rug

    as i mentioned above i had Verizon for years and also traveled then. i drop more calls every month on my iPhone than i did in 5 years with Verizon.

    i am not saying that to say Verizon is better because i think my testing and research show its not ATT or Verizon its the iPhone.

    i also should mention that i also get full bars and 3G signal when these calls drop. we have great ATT coverage in Cincinnati but i also tested this in many other cities.

    i loose client calls all the time and that just can't happen.
  6. mikejfrd macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2009
    so are you trying to say that the iphone will perform this way if it were on Verizon too????????????????
  7. fletch33 thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 11, 2008
    Under a Rug
    what about the fact that my 3G Moto Q gets 3 bars where my iPhone doesnt even get reception? although no where near the design or OS of the iPhone it is a smartphone running windows and full of apps and technology.

    not arguing either just that they should be comparable.
  8. fletch33 thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 11, 2008
    Under a Rug
    that would be tough to say. it would be an entirely new radio for verizon since it would need to be CDMA. it would depend on what they put in it. i also experienced phones that had better reception on Verizon than other phones did.
  9. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    People complained a lot about the iPhone and iPhone 3G reception, too. Apple ended up tweaking the the radio over the course of a few different updates. Maybe they will do the same with the 3GS?
  10. jayenh macrumors 6502a

    Nov 13, 2008
    i don't know if there is a difference between the uk and us, but in the uk on o2 i've had no reason to believe there is a problem with the handset. i've never had a dropped call and only lose service in areas that are known to have no o2 signal (like a village about 5 miles from where i live). i get pretty much the same signal and service i have always had on o2 and i have always been with that network.
  11. Opie macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2008
    I am willing to sacrifice reception for all the other things I can do on the iphone. I hate talking on the phone anyway. I had an ipod touch but didnt like carrying around 2 devices so I got an iphone and love it. If I drop or miss a few calls so be it.
  12. SpaceKitty macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2008
    Fort Collins Colorado
    I think that applies to allot of people. I bought mine for the iPod and other features first and the phone last. As long as it makes calls, I am happy.
  13. strike1555 macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2009
    OP, I agree with you 100%. We have two iPhones and two dumbphones and the difference in signal quality is *huge*. I hope they improve it in the next rev.
  14. geekmommy4 macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2008
    I've had lots of phones also and lived in lots of areas. This is, by far, the best PHONE that I've ever had. I've never once had people complain that they couldn't hear me or me have a problem not hearing them. I almost never drop calls unless I am driving across the country and am in a rural, hilly location.

    User experiences are different. I'm sorry that yours isn't as great!
  15. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I guess it comes down to personal experience. I too have had all three iPhones and have used all three of them in vastly different settings (rural Southern Illinois and the greater Los Angeles area). I have never had significant call issues with them. Ever.
  16. mackmgg macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2007
    Nope, I have an iPhone on AT&T in New York, about 40mi from the city, and I haven't dropped a single call since I got it in early July. The only call I missed was when I forgot to turn off airplane mode:D
  17. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    Well I know the iPhone has trouble with handoffs so that might be it. Additionally I know from other electronics that you can modify recieve sensitivity/output power of the radio with custom firmware. Hint hint.....
  18. lollicup macrumors regular

    Aug 20, 2009
    dropped calls or a crappy cell phone

    I can always call the person back if my call drops, but i would be stuck with the crappy phone

    reception here in Los Angeles has been ok recently
  19. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    my iPhone offers great reception on the EDGE network here.

    i rarely have no service, and while on tour i use it as a GPS with tower triangulation and have been directed the right way a million times.

    i never really have a problem with reception... weird
  20. 762-MM macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2008
    I hear ya Fletch33

    I have enjoyed all that the iPhone has to offer since making the switch in July 2008, minus the actual phone service. I'm a prior Motorola user stemming from VZW, via PrimeCo. Sum up all the lost calls from when I began initial mobile service (1997) and it would likely be less than my lost calls via iPhone/ATT during my first 4 months.

    I travel domestically a couple times a month and have noticed about the same consistency within my travel range. My friends with non-iPhone/ATT service do not report anywhere near my dropped call rate.

    On a positive note, I have noticed gradual improvement with few and fewer dropped calls. I have also noticed data speeds getting better. I have noticed these positive signs in my travel range as well, including home base Houston, TX.

    Even with the reception issues, I wouldn't go back at this point in time. Things will continue to improve, albeit never quite fast enough.
  21. spacemnspiff macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2009
    I am in DC area, I havent had any dropped calls ever since I got it in June 09.

    I agree that first and foremost its a phone and then 'smart'. But to do what it does, I guess there is some compromise.

    Speakerphone is another gripe I have, a phone should have a good speakerphone for basics.
  22. fletch33 thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 11, 2008
    Under a Rug

    ok so i was late for my "Genius" appointment but they said no big deal they would get right with me. i had a work appointment in the area that ran late so it wasn't something i could control.

    when the Apple dude approached i explained that i was there only to switch to a new phone that i had already worked out the details with Apple support and i should be in their system all ready to go. he acknowledged that he understood why i was there and told me he would be right with me.

    45 minutes later they called my name. i was not so upset about the 45 minutes as it was my fault for being late. BUT then after waiting 45 minutes they take my iPhone in the back to make the switch and about 10 minutes later they come back out and inform me that they are out of stock on the iPhone LOL LOL LOL

    the solution they offered was to call me when one comes in and i could come back. the store is about 40 minutes away through downtown Cincinnati so that's not happening. make me wait 45 minutes to tell me they are out of stock. thats one to remember. however i remained polite as hard as it was.

    it is even harder to accept when there is an ATT corporate store across the street from work with the replacement phone i need in stock hahaha

    MAN what a day

    anyway after 37 minutes on a call with Apple again (driving back home) they are overnighting me a new one tomorrow but i had to lay out my credit card for $700 hold until they receive my current iPhone back.

    i own a lot of Apple stuff and i can not think of another product line that i would continue to stick with after all of this. with my Apple computers it has been flawless for many years but this iPhone is getting hard to swallow.

    hopefully it is a flaw with my 3GS and the new one arriving tomorrow is then end of my problems.
  23. tha5150 macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2008
  24. Daniel L macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2009
    Turn off the 3G when you're in areas without full 3G coverage, it will fix your problems.
  25. fletch33 thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 11, 2008
    Under a Rug
    my entire home region is 3G i always have 3G and full bars anywhere within 30 minutes from my home. the status of the bars or 3G plays no part on my dropped calls. i tried running on Edge and although it did help a little i push my mac mail and check my work every 15 etc.. etc.. so i need 3G

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