Feeds

iPhone's Wi-Fi problems cause heated speculation

Apple recommends turning back the clock

Boost IT visibility and business value

iPhone users who found their Wi-Fi failing after the last firmware upgrade are starting to identify what went wrong, while some have managed to get Apple to replace iPhones with handsets that have never seen 2.2.1.

The damage caused by the upgrade is irreversible, rolling back to a previous version does not fix the problem, while a spell in the freezer or using an almost-dead battery does get Wi-Fi working again temporarily - confirming that the problem is heat related.

Not that everyone is seeing the issue, which only seems to be affecting older 2G and 3G iPhones. The hypotheses is that the Wi-Fi chip has been throttled back until now, but the firmware version 2.2.1 removes the restriction and causes overheating in older units. Sticking the iPhone in a fridge gets things working again, for a while, but rolling back the firmware does not.

One poster to the Apple forum even reports being told to get a replacement handset under warranty, but to specifically ask for one that had not been upgraded to 2.2.1.

"Just got off the phone with an Apple representative who didn't hesitate at all to make an appointment for me at my local Apple Store for a replacement iPhone with the note to NOT have the 2.2.1 OS installed."

The problem has been obfuscated by users having unrelated wi-fi problems, such as those who need to configure their router properly, to the point where the discussion forum has been forked. The focus of the new discussion is whether the damage is physical in nature, or if the new firmware contained an upgrade to the Wi-Fi driver that isn't being rolled back with the firmware: Apple is being as unresponsive as ever.

If it's a firmware issue then perhaps a patch could be issued to re-throttle the Wi-Fi and get things working again, but it hardly seems fair to leave customers guessing if a problem is fixable. As Reg reader Scott Wilson, who's been working on the problem since it started, put it:

"I'm OK with apple telling us we've fried them and giving us at least some diag help, but just hoiking another £400 from us [for a new iPhone] is a tad brutal. My worry as a returning customer is that in 13 months I have the same problem again which is why the matter is not closed."

Not that Scott is considering an alternative handset. Despite the problems, the utility of the iPhone means that fans will put up with an awful lot of silence from the boys in Cupertino. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
NVIDIA claims first 64-bit ARMv8 SoC for Androids
Mile-High 'Denver' Tegra K1 successor said to rival PC performance
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Giving your old Tesco Hudl to Auntie June? READ THIS FIRST
You can never wipe supermarket slab clean enough
Intel admits: Broadwell Core M chip looking a bit thin, no fans found at all
Chipzilla's 'cool' 14nm part to hit market this year
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.