Report: iPhone fix in the works

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Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from the Today@PC World blog at PCWorld.com.

The blogosphere’s been buzzing with frustrations over the new iPhone 3G, from slow data speeds to subpar call reception. Now, for the first time, we’re getting some insight as to what might be driving the disappointing performance and what it could take to turn things around.

The problems have been blamed on everything from bad SIM cards to troublesome towers. Two separate “well-placed sources,” however, now insist the German-made Infineon chips inside the phones are the sole reason for the issues, according to a report released by Business Week Thursday. Perhaps the bigger revelation: A fix, they say, could already be in the works.

Matching stories

The claims echo predictions made by an industry analyst earlier this week. Nomura’s Richard Windsor noted similarities between the current crop of complaints and the problems seen when 3G phones first surfaced in Europe five years ago.

“We believe that these issues are typical of an immature chipset and radio protocol stack where we are almost certain that Infineon is the 3G supplier,” Windsor theorized.

Simple Solution

Chips or not, most iPhone users just want a solution. The good news: The new “inside sources” say Apple’s already working on it—and it may be far easier than initially suspected.

In contrast to theories of hardware replacement or even a full recall, Business Week’s sources suggest a software upgrade will solve the widespread woes. It’s a curious proposal, but a promising one — if it proves to be true.

Apple’s answer

For its part, Apple is continuing to publicly take the “ignore it and it’ll go away approach,” insisting there is no problem and that the phones are working fine. The company even locked down a message board hread filled with angry comments (official reason: the thread was too long and was causing browser crashes). AT&T is following suit: The company went on the record with Business Week saying the iPhones are “performing great.”

Regardless of any corporate public stance by vendors, though, it’s clear customers aren’t happy with the much-hyped product. Let’s hope for the companies’ sake that the simple software fix ends up playing out and putting the problems to rest — and soon. Otherwise, Apple is going to be faced with some bitter customers looking for a better product.

This story, "Report: iPhone fix in the works" was originally published by PCWorld.

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