Survey Claims Fewer Dropped Calls for iPhone 4 Than iPhone 3GS

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Research firm ChangeWave today released the results of a recent survey assessing customer satisfaction with the new iPhone 4. While the report reveals strong satisfaction with the device, users are somewhat less impressed with the new device than they were with the iPhone 3GS at its launch last year.
The emerging pattern is that while the iPhone 4 has been very well received by new owners, the survey findings aren't quite at the nosebleed levels seen at a similar point in time for the 3GS launch.
Far and away, users report that the iPhone 4's high-resolution "Retina" display is their favorite feature of the device, with nearly half of the survey respondents including it in their list of top features. Other top features include the 5-megapixel camera and the touch screen functionality. When it comes to downsides, AT&T exclusivity and network performance continue to be the biggest drag, although antenna issues and dropped calls also rank highly.




Interestingly, the July ChangeWave survey found that iPhone 4 customers experienced fewer dropped calls (5.2%) than iPhone 3GS customers surveyed just one month prior (6.3%). The result conflicts with statements made by Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the company's press conference last month admitting that the iPhone 4 drops slightly more calls than the iPhone 3GS, although the company is unsure of the reason for the real-world performance as its testing shows significantly better overall antenna performance for the iPhone 4.




ChangeWave's overall dropped call numbers for July 2010 (5.8% for AT&T vs. 2% for Verizon) are also consistently higher than those cited by AT&T, which claimed a 1.44% dropped call rate across its network in May 2010. An interesting post yesterday could shed some light on that discrepancy, however, claiming that AT&T systems only register a call as dropped once its network automatically terminates a call due to loss of the connection, a process than can take over a minute. In doing so, AT&T misses counting as dropped those calls manually ended by one of the calling parties after voice transmission has been lost but before the network terminates the call. Any ordinary consumer would consider such a manually canceled call dropped, but it may not register as such on AT&T's systems.
My theory is that AT&T lets the dead connection continue for over one minute before terminating the call. This allows both users enough time to give up on the connection and hang up themselves, thus "no dropped call."

The moral of the story is that if you want AT&T to register your call as having been officially "dropped," you must wait for over one minute with no signal for the call to cut off and register the call has having been dropped in the system.
Overall, the ChangeWave survey finds over 20% of iPhone 4 customers calling the antenna issue either "somewhat of a problem" or a "very big problem". Despite the issues, however, the iPhone 4 continues to receive higher satisfaction ratings than other smartphones and Apple's efforts to address the issue and portray it as a universal smartphone hurdle could ultimately result in an effective defusing of tensions over the antenna problems.

Article Link: Survey Claims Fewer Dropped Calls for iPhone 4 Than iPhone 3GS
 

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,322
4,778
Canada
Why is drop calls even an issue?

I can't remember the last drop call I had. but then, I'm not suffering on AT&T's third world network.
 

johnhmeyer123

macrumors member
Jan 12, 2006
52
0
Great to hear. These antenna issues are completely overrated. In REAL WORLD situations, I never get dropped calls or data drops, even while holding the iPhone 4 in my left hand.
 

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,322
4,778
Canada
Great to hear. These antenna issues are completely overrated. In REAL WORLD situations, I never get dropped calls or data drops, even while holding the iPhone 4 in my left hand.
Really, then why would, if rumours are correct Apple be:
"iPhone: The fifth-generation iPhone may be set to launch as early as January in order to address antenna issues with the iPhone 4. "

If there are no issues then Apple won't be doing this. We shall see.
 

Burnsey

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2007
572
65
Canada
Goes to show the loudest people aren't always those who represent the majority of people, no matter how loudly they claim they do.
 

Master Chief

macrumors 6502a
Mar 5, 2009
901
0
Asking people about dropped calls is ludicrous. Hugely influenced by the human fantasy. Let's stick to the facts shall we.
 

Digital Skunk

macrumors 604
Dec 23, 2006
7,836
409
In my imagination
WHOA!

People still make phone calls?

I honestly think the number is that low because (as usual with skewed statistics) most people just aren't making phone calls with a device that doesn't get any reception depending on how you hold it. :rolleyes:
 

tempusfugit

macrumors 65816
May 21, 2009
1,112
1
Chicago
Why is drop calls even an issue?

I can't remember the last drop call I had. but then, I'm not suffering on AT&T's third world network.
I can't remember either, and I'm on AT&T.

But I guess that puts me in the 72%, excuse me "VAST MAJORITY" of people who are completely satisfied.

WHOA!

People still make phone calls?

I honestly think the number is that low because (as usual with skewed statistics) most people just aren't making phone calls with a device that doesn't get any reception depending on how you hold it. :rolleyes:
I tend to make calls on my phone. I don't know how you arrived at your conclusion, but know that it is completely asinine.
 

mainstreetmark

macrumors 68020
May 7, 2003
2,228
293
Saint Augustine, FL
Retina Display is the favorite? I can't even tell the difference, unless I'm up close, and then it's not really all that useful to have "slightly crisper" icons.

My favorite feature is the fact that the camera doesn't take 10 seconds to load, and another 5 to take a picture (on the 3G). I sure wish the camera supported Pinch to Zoom tho.
 

RMXO

macrumors 6502a
Sep 1, 2009
875
41
I have yet to experience a drop call (knocks on wood) after moving back to Cali. However, I did have a few at my apartment in VA but i didn't have great signal begin with while living there.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
10,617
14,191
Central U.S.
I've been having a lot more problems this week now that I'm back at home in KC. Places like my grandparents house is especially terrible now, and it never was before. Calls don't even come through, just the occasional voicemail. My parents house also has some problems. My problem is when I take it out of my pocket, it drops to EDGE or no service and then comes back to life 3g. Should I return it? Seems kinda severe?

Also, does this study include dropped calls from proximity sensor failing? I don't use the phone as much when I'm at school, but when I'm home I'm always talking to my wife and trying to get in touch with my boss or my friends that all live here. I've had a lot more proximity sensor issue problems now with my cheek hanging up. At night in a dark room I can see the screen flickering on next to my cheek consistently. Sometimes it will like go through a spurt of activity?
 

longofest

Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
2,817
1,304
Falls Church, VA
Great to hear. These antenna issues are completely overrated. In REAL WORLD situations, I never get dropped calls or data drops, even while holding the iPhone 4 in my left hand.
I actually had the issue just yesterday when I was at the Apple Store exchanging my iPhone4 due to a speakerphone issue. When testing the new iPhone4 without my case, it wouldn't place the call (the signal was really low). It was then I noticed that I was "holding it the wrong way" and was accidentally touching the bottom left of the device. I gripped it a different way and was able to place the call to test the new phone's speakerphone.

It's a real issue... an issue that my case typically solves. That being said, I'm one of the people that loves the iPhone4.
 

dkgross

macrumors newbie
Mar 28, 2004
7
0
seattle
I'm thrilled my iPhone 4 as long as I don't try to USE IT AS A PHONE. The PacNW has the WORST rate of dropped calls I've ever seen. I'd say EASILY 3 out of 4 calls drop within the first 2 minutes of my conversations, especially if I'm driving and using the bluetooth/handsfree. Just awful :(
 

griz

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2003
580
219
New London, NH
I can't help but wonder if AT&T's numbers for dropped calls is actually indicating higher than it really is. Think about all the people out there who just have to try and get their phone to disconnect by deathgripping it or by touching the lower corner. Sure, signal attenuation is real, but the true number of dropped calls may be lower if everyone who just STOP making their phone drop them just to make another YouTube video.
 

Iphtashu Fitz

macrumors regular
May 5, 2008
114
116
outside Boston
Really, then why would, if rumours are correct Apple be:
"iPhone: The fifth-generation iPhone may be set to launch as early as January in order to address antenna issues with the iPhone 4. "

If there are no issues then Apple won't be doing this. We shall see.
It's a rumor. Come back in six months and ask the same question if the rumor actually pans out. Until then take it on face value - an unsubstantiated rumor.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,899
1,125
Washington DC
Also, does this study include dropped calls from proximity sensor failing?
If they're just asking people for their opinion then I'm sure it does. I'm betting that most people have never heard of "faulty proximity sensors." A call stopping is a dropped call to them. They don't care how it happened.
 

dernhelm

macrumors 68000
May 20, 2002
1,636
113
middle earth
Oh boy, another round of "he said", "she said".

BTW - I love the way that the dropped call numbers are explained. So is AT&T recognizing the iPhone 4 and employing the "wait for over a minute" logic only in that case? Or is it that iPhone 3GS customers are more universally willing to sit on a dead line for a minute before hanging up?

Speaking of that, who are these people that wait on a dead line for over a minute before hanging up?

"bzzzht... Joe, you there? Joe? bzzzzhsht.... Uh hello, I can't tell if you're there or not, so I'll just hang out here for another 45 seconds..."

Sit there on a dead line with a phone to your ear for 60 seconds and tell me that it's a normal thing to do.
 

blizaine

macrumors 6502
Sep 17, 2003
334
118
I rarely have dropped calls but the few that I've had I couldn't wait a minute with dead air, even if I wanted to. The call drops and the phone is hung up within seconds. How do you wait a minute?
 

quagmire

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2004
6,304
1,091
Probably because customers expect the bar to be raised each and every release?
The thing is, the iPhone 4 did raise the bar compared to the 3GS, IMHO. As a former 3G owner, the 3GS sucked. Overall, the update was ho hum. Faster CPU and compass was the only real update to the iPhone. Any original owners probably were happy with the upgrade, but overall going from a 3G to 3GS, IMHO was entirely useless as it was a relatively boring update.

The jump from 3GS to 4 is bigger. As Jobs put it, it is the biggest leap since the original. Not only is the 4 faster then the 3GS, you get a far superior screen, redesigned case, better battery life, gyroscope, and more ram. The iPhone 4 brought a lot more to the table then the 3GS did.
 

Gasu E.

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2004
4,460
2,316
Not far from Boston, MA.
Sure. A survey is more accurate than actual measured numbers from the source.

Right.
It depends on where the "actual measured numbers" are being measured. ATT does not make their measurements across everything perceived by the customer-- they are only measuring part of the transaction.