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'Apple's iPhone 4S ate our SIM cards'

Furious fanbois thwarted by phone failure

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The "phone" bit of the new iPhone 4S has stopped working properly for some users who are experiencing repeated SIM card failures, according to customer help forums on the Apple website.

The SIM stutter appears to be affecting customers running the new iOS 5.01 on the iPhone 4S: those affected report frequent error messages detailing "invalid SIM", even while using SIM cards they know have worked with other phones.

It affects their ability to make and receive calls and texts. Jacob293 writes:

I have the same problem guys it says i have full bars. when i call someone it does not connect the call i cannot receive or receive text. Im starting to feel as if i purchased an ipod.

Other customers report the same problem with calls, as well the ongoing issue of battery drain (supposedly fixed with iOS 5.01) and dicky Wi-Fi connections, which seems to be a new problem introduced with the new operating system. Edward Sopanan writes:

So far I have had my iPhone 4S for 2 weeks and it worked flawlessly before the 5.0.1. After the update the signal was unstable, battery drain [an] issue, [it has become] difficult to place call (call failed), and gives me invalid SIM every few hours. I'll be using  my old iPhone 4, fortunately I didn't update it with 5.0.1. I hope Apple come out with a better update fix ASAP.

Even iPhones 4Ses on the supposedly more stable CDMA-based networks are having the same SIM problems as their GSM counterparts.

Restarting the phone seems to fix the problem – but only temporarily. Other solutions suggested included restoring from iTunes, switching off 3G network and just taking the damn thing back to the Genius bar and getting one of them to deal with it.

We've emailed Apple to ask if it is aware of the problem, but we're not holding our breath. ®

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