What could be going on with my 3GS?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by pw1981, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. pw1981 macrumors member

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    #1
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    I just picked up a used iPhone 3GS on eBay. It's like new and still in the original warranty period. I am experiencing a weird phenomena with it that I cannot explain. Well, actually two weird issues. I had an iPhone before but left for anothe phone but now I'm back.

    This phone (running 4.1) shows almost no signal anywhere. I'm looking at my phone showing me 1 bar of signal. My old phone in this same location had a full signal as did my old iPhone 3GS. My wife has an iPhone 3GS, also running 4.1, and it shows all 5 bars. The phones are literally inches from one another.

    Also, I'm getting crap for battery life. I unplugged my phone at 11am after charging all night. I made one phone call (about 30 minutes) and browsed the web and checked email for about 15 minutes. The battery was at 74% after just that little bit of use. Now it's only been unplugged for 5 hours and, in addition to the a I've only made one other call and played Angry Birds for 10 minutes and I'm down to 61%. This seems like it may be related more the the weak signal than an actual battery problem but in not sure.

    Any tips? Would a full restore help? If I can't figure something out, I'm going to try the Genius Bar over the weekend.
     
  2. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    Battery sounds right.
    Long phone calls will eat up battery quick, also angry birds sucks down the battery fast.
    Not sure about the singal display but apple has adjusted the way the bars are displayed but if you can make calls and pull data with no probs I wouldnt worry so much about how many bars are displayed up there.
    But try a restore anyway to see if you see any improvements.
     
  3. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

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    #3
    But not that much battery life. At that rate he'd only get 2 hours of calling and be dead.

    I think the battery is getting killed by the low signal, since it could be searching for signal a lot. Signal is one of the most forgotten causes of poor battery life. Push and screen brightness will also run down the battery, as well as other high intensive usages (but the OP didn't mention anything like that).

    So, it's either the crap signal or a bad battery. I'd restore and setup as new to make sure nothing is interfering with anything. Also, a calibration of the battery may be in order.
     
  4. pw1981 thread starter macrumors member

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    Thanks for the quick input. I use Exchange but I have Push turned off and it's on a 15 minute cycle. I use it more for the cross-platform/device sync ability.

    I wouldn't worry about the signal if it wasn't inconsistent with other devices on the same software.

    I guess I will try a restore tonight and go from there.
     
  5. pw1981 thread starter macrumors member

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    So I just finished the restore of the iPhone software and it still shows a very low signal (1 bar) where my wife's iPhone shows all 5 bars. Both phones are running the same iOS 4.1 software and are in the same room in the same building.

    I really think the battery issue is related to the weak signal. If the phone thinks there is little or no signal, then its going to waste a lot of juice looking for a stronger signal.

    Does the Genius Bar have some sort of battery/signal diagnostic tool? Do you think they will swap it out for a different unit since its under warranty?
     
  6. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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  7. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

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    Yep, I'd bring it in. They swapped mine out from a faulty home button.

    I wonder if they would be kind enough to switch colors of one's phone. I wish I had a white 3GS instead, but I didn't even think about asking. lol
     
  8. pw1981 thread starter macrumors member

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    I set an appointment for the Genius Bar tomorrow morning. My only concern is that I am not the original purchaser. Will they do anything other than check the serial number? I'm willing to buy AppleCare if necessary.
     
  9. pw1981 thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    I just left the Genius Bar at the Apple Store in Tampa. Very nice guy there listened to my issue and said something was definitely wrong. Entered my serial number into the system, made a few notes, and off I went with a shiny new iPhone 3GS.

    That was the good news. The bad news is that the new unit is experiencing the same signal abnormality as the old one - at least so far. I'm going to wait to pass judgement until I get it next to my wife's phone for a comparison. The battery will take a while to determine if it's better but I'm sure it will be an improvement.
     
  10. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #10
    If still the same go to AT&T and replace your sim.
     

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