Apple’s iPhone 2.1 software: Lipstick on a pig

Among the myriad problems the 2.1 firmware was supposed to solve was poor 3G reception. How did Apple achieve this? Apparently by simply artificially displaying more bars, at least in part: In their release notes for the update, they list “improved accuracy of the 3G signal strength display.” That’s just corporate speak for “we can’t fix these pieces of junk, but we don’t want to pay for a recall, so we’re going to just fool you into thinking your phone is working properly.”

Sure enough, I now get five bars of 3G signal in my office, where I used to get one or two! However, when I try to make a 3G call, the audio is warbled (is if packets are being constantly dropped) and it eventually either drops the call entirely, or switches back to standard GSM. All while showing five bars of 3G signal until it dies! Five bars of lies and deceit.

Update: Using my wife’s 2.0.2 iPhone 3G, I can confirm that Apple has, in fact, done little to nothing to improve the 3G reception beyond the psychological bromide of increasing the number of bars displayed. Holding the phones side by side, she gets one bar and I get five. However, download times for web pages are virtually identical (i.e. slow).

3 responses to “Apple’s iPhone 2.1 software: Lipstick on a pig”

  1. Tell me about it! Apple did replace my iPhone. However, the second one developed cracks in the same area within a month! I never dropped it, and it’s in otherwise perfect condition.

    Everything is disposable these days…

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  3. When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get four emails with the identical comment. Is there any method you possibly can remove me from that service? Thanks!

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