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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

There are a number of reports of iPhone 3G users having problems with inconsistent cellular connections with their new phones. CNet points to a growing discussion thread at Apple's forums detailing the problems.

Specifically, some users have having problems with frequent dropped calls on 3G networks. One customer describes his experience:
"I was driving down Folsom Street in San Francisco, and I got a dropped call 10 times. I get dropped calls just standing in one place," said Yarbrough, a 34-year-old accountant. "I'm extremely annoyed, but I'm hopeful a software update will fix it."
Mark Siegel, a spokesman for AT&T, has said that they are looking into individual cases, but claims that the iPhone 3G has not generated an unusual number of complaints:
"How a device performs in individual situations depends on circumstances like where you are in the 3G coverage, how close you are to a cell site. Things like terrain and buildings all come into play," Siegel said. "I'm not denying that people are having a less than satisfactory experience, but overall, the phone is doing great."
CNet points out that it can be difficult to determine the scope of a problem based on online complaints alone. Some reports have claimed simply replacing the SIM card has corrected the problems, while one analyst has claimed that the problems could be related to the 3G chipset that Apple used.

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macrumors 6502a
Nov 13, 2005
Dang, glad my iPhone isn't one of them. I seem to get pretty good reception and no dropped calls so far. But, this is in Canada with Rogers, not AT&T.


Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
Falls Church, VA
I'd just use EDGE unless have a need to use 3G (i.e. web browsing). 2.5G call quality isn't that much worse than 3G and is in general much more reliable. Plus, you don't drain your battery nearly as much.

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
Washington DC
I'm sure these complaints are all true, but I'm willing to bet they're the same percentage as any other cell phone.

It's just that people don't blog about their other phones. I know I never made a pos on the Internet about my old phone.


macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2006
My friend's 3G iPhone has very sporadic # of reception bars, almost never more than 4, usually only 1 in his chicago apartment while my trusty ROKR gets 4-5 everywhere in his apartment. His phone drops out when talking to me. I will probably get the 3G iPhone soon so I hope I don't get one of the crappy ones. I'll tell him to get his checked out at the apple or AT&T store.


macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2004
My wife has had this problem, including the total lack of any cell service. She took it back to AT&T and they "did something" to it, and it's worked better, but she still gets only 1-2 bars even in town.


macrumors regular
Apr 10, 2004
i'm finding the reception issue somewhat annoying. i've been switching to edge and it does much better, at least i get the reception in places where 3g craps out or drops calls. it's embarassing and odd for such an otherwise nice piece of technology to work so much less well as a phone than i expected.

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
Washington DC
here's an idea. Use EDGE unless have a need to use 3G (i.e. web browsing). 2.5G call quality isn't that much worse than 3G and is in general much more reliable. Plus, you don't drain your battery nearly as much.

My G4 Powermac was pretty good too.

But if something goes wrong with my new iMac I'd consider "just use the G4" to be some really poor advice.


macrumors 6502
Feb 21, 2008
here's an idea. Use EDGE unless have a need to use 3G (i.e. web browsing). 2.5G call quality isn't that much worse than 3G and is in general much more reliable. Plus, you don't drain your battery nearly as much.

that doesn't matter though. i use EDGE too for most of my calls but the point is, if you're in a 3G area you shouldn't have a ton of dropped calls especially if you're not roaming between EDGE and 3G.

i agree with SmallWhiteCar in that the % of users having problems is prob the same for all service providers. it will be interesting to see if it is a truly a faulty hardware though.


macrumors 6502
Dec 31, 2001
Also on Rogers in Vancouver Canada - have had a few issues, about the same as any cell phone.
3G seems pretty fast, and the dropped call areas are the same as they always were, and thats going back 3 or more years.

For those in Vancouver I find that these are bad spots:

Traffic lights at Terminal and Main
Corner where McGill turns left and becomes Nanaimo

Cant think of any other obvious ones.

I do however, find that the speaker volume seems quieter, not louder than the old iPhone (I had it unlocked on Rogers from September last year) and the ring tones are no louder.

Other than that, all pretty good, but then I am not a new user, so the honeymoon period is over a long time ago.

Its not perfect, just WAY better than ALL the other phones out there!


macrumors member
Jan 5, 2004
Pittsburgh, PA
LA 3G Signals?

I live in LA, specifically Studio City, but I'm always in Hollywood and the Downtown area. I notice my 3G signal continuously goes in and out and it's frustrating! Is anyone else having the same problem? I mean this is LA! We should have pretty good 3G signals everywhere right?


macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2005
here's an idea. Use EDGE unless have a need to use 3G (i.e. web browsing). 2.5G call quality isn't that much worse than 3G and is in general much more reliable. Plus, you don't drain your battery nearly as much.

This is the truth and at least what I have found. In spite of living in central London where 3G is generally very strong I keep it off unless I need to browse the web, otherwise I get too many dropped calls.


macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2003
Madison, WI
For what it's worth, my wife and I have had our iPhone 3Gs since launch day, and neither of us have had any problems with dropped calls on 3G, with the exception of one issue where my wife couldn't make or receive calls longer than a few seconds. Power cycling the phone fixed it, and it hasn't happened before or since.

(Madison, WI)


macrumors newbie
Nov 13, 2007
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419.3)

haha, I'm glad I stuck with the first gen iPhone. Only one year left on the contract, not made out of plastic, therefore no chipping, and no dropped calls. I also like the look of it better. Seems like the new one is bringing more problems then solutions. Hard to improve on the first iPhone. Why fix something that ain't broke?


macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2007
My 3g reception is horrible in chicago. i just use Edge all the time. I think that certain regions have horrible 3G distribution despite what ATT says on their website.


macrumors 6502
Dec 7, 2007
When i am at home I get terrible 3G signal, at work I get great 3G and it never drops out, not a big deal since I have wi-fi at both locations. 90% of the time I run the phone with 3G disabled, because if I leave it on at home, the call connects but immediately drops. This is due the poor 3G coverage surrounding my house. However with EDGE i always have a full signal. Hopefully AT&T will get their 3G network running the way it should be.

Oh yeah 3G also drains the battery alot faster.


macrumors 68030
Jun 24, 2004
Isn't it supposed to fall back onto Edge automatically if the 3G signal isn't strong enough? This doesn't seem to happen very well. Using 3G has not been great, particularly if calling from a train where the signal strength is constantly shifting.


macrumors 6502
Nov 15, 2006
Mine is awful. I want to have 3G enabled at times for the fast browsing and if I get a call while I have it enabled instead of EDGE I can almost guarantee it'll drop.

Then I race to try to disable 3G before they call me back, which of course I can almost never do on time.

Given the fact that 3G is so unreliable and also doesn't hand off well to EDGE, Apple needs to put a 3G on/off icon on the main screen instead of burying it inside the setup menu 2 x deep.


macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2005

People can defend this phone to their deaths, but it's true. The 3G's dropped calls (and service when not on the phone) for me and my girlfriend constantly (in large metropolitan areas)... Two days ago, I had finally had enough. I took them back to the Apple store and they looked at us in disgust (there was still a line to get the new phone). But, whatever. For the $400+ that we paid and a new phone contract, the most advanced phone call in the world should be able to keep a damn call going for a few minutes at a time. Additionally, for those who proclaim that restoring it several times is just swell, I think I shouldn't have to troubleshoot it for hours or use 2.5G (still unreliable) because iPhone's inherent 3G design failure. Oh, but wait, for those who blame AT&T, then Apple should get the phone on a reliable network!!! Apple: Deliver a phone that works, or hold off until it's designed correctly.


macrumors member
Jan 17, 2006
new york, ny
My 3G [16gb white] is AWFUL with call quality and dropped calls. I live in NYC with 4 bars of 3G most of the time. I've yet to report it, but I'll have to take it in soon. Very frustrating.


macrumors 68000
Aug 1, 2000
I use edge because coverage on 3g is kinda crappy and 3G uses up the battery crazy fast.

i am very disappointed in the ATT 3G network which is spotty coverage at best.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2006
Chesapeake, VA
Verizon coverage > AT&T

plain and simple.

I love my iPhone 3G but the coverage is just not as good, at least in Hampton Roads, VA.


macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2008
seriously i don't think this topic is worth to be in the front page. like no other phones don't get dropped calls every so often, dropped internet connections? its only something to blab about.
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