Users split over iPhone 2.1's impact on 3G dropped calls

Some say they're happy, others say connection problems have worsened

A day after Apple released its iPhone 2.1 update, users were split on whether the new software improves 3G reception and cuts the number of dropped calls, a major goal of the release that CEO Steve Jobs promised earlier in the week.

Jobs' pledge that the Friday update would mean "fewer dropped calls" was aimed at iPhone 3G owners who have complained since its July launch of trouble keeping a connection with mobile carriers' faster networks. On Friday, iPhone 2.1's release notes echoed Jobs' promise, saying that the update would result in a "decrease in call set-up failures and dropped calls."

Reaction to iPhone 2.1, however, was mixed on Apple's own support forum. Unlike the response after the release of iPhone 2.0.2 last month -- most users reported that the update did not fix 3G reception issues -- by Saturday it was apparent users were divided over 2.1.

Some reported improved 3G reception -- a few said the difference was dramatic -- while others said they were still experiencing significant problems making calls.

"I have better signal in my home than usual [and] I have had no failed calls so far. Great update," said "tsmithband", one of many on Apple's iPhone support forum who said they were happy with the update.

Another user, "boston_turtle," seconded that on Saturday. "I just updated and then got a call. Usually, any walking around in my apartment would drop the call. This time it stayed on and had good quality."

But others were remain frustrated.

"Just loaded 2.1 and made a phone call," said a user with the alias "Victor98109" on Friday morning, just hours after the update was posted for download. "Call dropped three times. I don't know how the other 'fixes' work, but the main one of dropped calls does not work with this update."

Others said they encountered even more dropped calls than before. "Ever since I updated to 2.1 my calls are dropping more often than not," a user identified as "Mike295855" said Saturday morning. "I am really upset because I thought this was going to be fixed." Computerworld readers also could not agree on iPhone 2.1. In comments posted to a story published Friday, readers were almost evenly split on the subject.

"[iPhone] 2.1 did NOT fix the 3G reception problems for me," said "Mike" on Saturday. "In fact I think it's worse now since [it] frequently displays 'No Signal.' This phone needs to be recalled and replaced."

Tags iPhone

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Gregg Keizer

Computerworld

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