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back to article Deadfish iPhones send users into deep freeze

Some iPhone and iPod Touch users who've upgraded to the latest 2.2.1 firmware are reporting problems connecting to WiFi, though in some instances, going outside or sticking the handset in a freezer is providing relief. Quite what's going on isn't clear, despite numerous suggestions and discussions on the support forums - Apple …

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Ahhhh right

that may accont for the issues which I have been having with my iPod touch for the last few weeks.

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Jobs Horns

No Comment

Unfortunately this is the norm for Apple. I like their products, I just hate the way the go quiet whenever there is an issue (like the AEBS disk sharing issue they had for a long time, or the keyboard freezing with MacBook Pro's).

Still wouldn't want to go back to using any other OS as my main machine though, when it works (which to be fair is most of the time) it's far better Windows (by a long shot), and it's less hassle than Linux to maintain with newer hardware (I've had too much hassle running linux on brand new kit and discovering what's supported, and what's not :( ).

Just wish they'd be more open when they are issues... is the litigation culture really that bad?

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Anonymous Coward

ZX what?

Ooh, ooh - ZX81 and a pint of frozen milk!

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Silver badge

Bit crazy...

Considering the iPhone is one of the few phones on the market that has a huge lump of metal as the back of the case, you would have thought they would have had a easy way to dispose of heat (and warm your pocket). Most other phones have to use the amazing conductive properties of plastic!

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Jobs Horns

@Grant

Of course there is no hardware issues with a Mac, because you get the hardware they tell you to get rather than making an informed decision about what hardware *you* want and building your system around it. For the rest of us non sheeple, we have choice in hardware and OS.

This stinks of typical Apple quality control, ie, none.

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Jobs Halo

Being quiet? Perhaps Apple are being cautious

Hmm... perhaps they're *investigating* the issue? Before releasing an ill-advised comment?

It's not so hard to imagine that Apple would see if the problem is reproducible before advising on a fix??

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Apple killed my ipod touch

This happened to my ipod touch. Updated to 2.2.1 and immediately wi-fi was completely disabled. Tried everything (didn't think to put it in the fridge), and in the end took it to Apple Store. Thought that as it was their firmware update that caused it they should replace it even though it was out of warranty. They denied it could have been caused by the firmware,.and preceded to waste about 40 mins doing a full restire and other diagnostics.

In the end the best they offered me was a replacement for a charge of £59 if I said that it was a battery issue.

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News?

The "latest" iPhone firmware was released in January - am I the only one missing what the news is here?!

Looking at the Apple support forum - there are a handful of people that are experiencing issues - but surely this is practically inevitable no matter what the platform or what the update is for.

I'm no fanboy but would someone mind explaining to me where the major news is here or is this just a bit of Apple-bashing?!

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Off topic, sorry.

Thanks for the sensible Windows/Mac/Linux comment, Grant. I prefer Linux, myself, but it's horses for courses and I realise that while I find the config part of the fun and freedom, others don't.

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Stu
Alert

Jailbreak / Yellowsn0w

Are we sure these people simply haven't applied the 2.2.1 Jailbreak, then tried unlocking their phones to any mobile network via the infamous Yellowsn0w patch.

Apparently it caused WiFi problems according to the iPhone Dev Team.

So by the sounds of things there's no way to say if the problem lies with Apple or the iPDT.

Then again this doesn't explain iPod Touch users - unless perhaps some idiot users tried putting Yellowsn0w on their iPod!

.

Well I own an iPod Touch 2G on v2.2.1, its been jailbreaked, and I've seen perfectly reliable WiFi access for hours now.

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Stop

Latest Firmware eh?

I would have waited at least a month before doing that :)

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Anonymous Coward

A manufacturing issue?

"if replacements are solving the problem then it's a manufacturing issue, not a design one."

Not true! Proper heat dissipation is always a design issue. While a replacement will solve the problem for an individual customer, the real issue is poor design that did not properly deal with heat. Look at the Xbox 360, where overheating GPU's are literally melting motherboards, causing the dreaded Red Ring of Death. Supposedly the newer Jasper Xboxes have a redesigned motherboard that better deals with heat.

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Stop

Don't do it

iPhone and iPod touch users have made many reports that their iPhones or iPod Touch are unduly affected by moisture or condensation. People leaving their iPods in cars on sub-zero nights, people using their phones in the rain are amongst the huge number of complaints on Apple and other forums. Some of them are even claiming condensation not only activated the sensor, but was also the cause of the device's failure. That seems a bit far fetched, the claims the sensor has been activated and it failed for other reasons seem more likely.

Whether condensation or rain really is enough to trigger the water sensor (designed to change colour if you drop your Jobsian device in a toilet or swimming pool) I can't say for sure. But I wouldn't take the chance of losing your warranty by freezing your phone or iPod. If that sensor is activated it doesn't matter what causes your device to fail, you won't get a replacement.

Seems to me your best option is as the article suggests. Take it back and demand a replacement, water sensor intact. Because believe me, that's the first thing they check.

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Jobs Horns

Sounds like the parts are trying to run too fast or hot

Silicon setup and hold timing issues manifest at higher temperatures. If the phones are not out of spec for the devices, perhaps the firmware is overclocking the silicon... Regardless, it looks like Apple are running their devices on the very edge....

Mine's the one that just makes calls.

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jai
Silver badge

strange

2.2.1 has been out for ages though - you'd have thought the problem would have been more widely reported if it was the heat issue. it can't just be such a tiny proportion of the units were somehow built less heat-efficient than all the others, can it?

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Jobs Horns

Happy to see this getting attention

It seems like the only thing that ever prods Apple into resolving issues is bad press. Thanks for the article :)

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Si
Flame

Wifi is rock solid for me...

... but I find GPRS always craps out after about 5-10 minutes of usage without fail. The only way to fix it is to leave the device alone for a while. I don't know what the problem is, it could be some sort of subtle technique by O2 to prevent people from using their crappy data network or it could be a flaw or bug in the device.

Anyone else have the same problem?

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Silver badge

Rubbish

Plus side: flashy design, some good features

Minus side: poor reliability, restrictive practices, missing common features, dodgy engineering, doubtful functionality, evassive customer relations (did they learn that of Nvidia?).

Sounds to me like an iphone stands a good chance of being a glitzy and expensive brick. To me its a pointless phone, even when it works, because of the downsides. I've never had a problem of any sort with all the nokias, sony-ericssons and irivers I've ever had, apart from when I put them in the washing machine.

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Jobs Horns

Not jailbroken

I have this problem with my 1st gen iPhone and I've never installed an unapproved patch or application on it.

The issue *might* be isolated to WPA, since the only networks I connect to often are all WPA or WPA2.

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Stop

@anon 17:05

Yes, so I can _use_ my computer, rather than spend all my time keeping it running. I'm not knocking Linux, I still run it, but there comes a time when you just want something that will work out of the box (I still like playing, but I have work to do as well!). Of course that makes me a "sheeple" (aren't you following the heard by saying that ;) ?).

What does the fact that at home I run XP, Linux (Ubuntu and Lineo), OSX, Solaris, Irix and NeXTStep, does that make me a someone following the herd too? You might notice that with the exception of Linux and XP, most of the other systems I run are manufactured by people who make the hardware and the OS (Sun, SGI, Apple and NeXT). I really don't see this as a bad thing. Again, not knocking Linux, but most of the real computers I end up using at work that don't run windows or linux generally run on a hardware and OS from a single vendor. It's how the big boys do things ;), and it's not necessarily a bad thing.

I have a choice of hardware as well, cause believe it or not, other people make hardware for Apple systems, at anyrate, this is straying off topic, I use a multitude of OS's, for fun and profit, so despite your "trendy, cool to slag off Apple" post, I feel it's likely I have used considerably more OS's than most (many that most people wouldn't have heard of), and I make my choice on other metrics than following the herd thanks.

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Unhappy

Grrr...

Took you guys long enough to get around to reporting this, given that I notified you of it about a month ago.

Speaking as one of those whose phones have been affected, it is a royal pain in the butt. It's blindingly obvious that the problem has been caused by 2.2.1 (or possibly it already existed in 2.2, but just affected less people for some reason). Apple *appear* to be investigating it (since they requested me to send them some files from my phone), but it would be nice if they would actually come out and say so on the forums.

And no, the problem was not caused by yellowsn0w, since many 2G iPhones have been affected by it, and also many un-jailbroken phones. (of course, I couldn't comment on which category mine falls under ;-) ).

The Apple Store replaced mine, no questions asked. Now my only problem is that DHL have apparently lost the replacement whilst delivering it to me...

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Anonymous Coward

My 3G gets hotter since upgrade to 2.2.1

Since the upgrade it sometimes gets to hot to hold comfortably. I only upgraded it about three weeks ago and my pattern of use is essentially the same as before the upgrade.

WiFi is involved; no problem when using the 3G net My laptop internal wireless will get very hot if I misconfigure/screwup some of its settings, so I immediately focused on the iPhone WiFi as the cause of the heating.

Rapid browsing among image-heavy pages or applications like Google Earth (lots of network, computation, and graphics all at once) really get it going. If the "network awareness" and other crap that are needed for iTunes (which is required for the iPhone) are present on the wireless net, it seems to make the problem much worse for me. It also screws up the host XP system and its networking.

I have the iTunes and related software restricted to a dedicated user account on my laptop and nowhere else and after great effort prevented them from running at startup. If the laptop is running and using that account and the apple software, the heat problems seems worse of the iPhone.

The iPhone has also started prompting that the password is invalid for wireless net that it is already using.

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Black Helicopters

It happens

I have had this problem. Took it into the apple store, explained the steps I had taken to try and resolve it (all the resets in including to factory defaults etc) and they replaced it on the spot. Working fine with my restored settings since (about 2-3 weeks now). Interestingly it cropped up *before* I'd installed 2.2.1, so naturally I updated to this more recent firmware to see if that would solve the problem - it didn't of course.

@Chort - You might be right there. I run a WPA2 secured wlan at home, although it stopped connecting to the WEP one in the office at the same time too. It continued to connect and allow use of non-key'd networks such as the cloud.

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Anonymous Coward

So, iTard, you want to go online, do you?

GET IN THAT WALK-IN FRIDGE THEN!!!

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Flame

External Silicon the problem?

I've noticed the iPod Touch get warm depending on what I'm playing but I don't have a wrapper on mine. I wonder if there is any correlation between external case design and the problems?

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Hate to make sweeping generalisations...

... but the first major firmware update murdered my ipod touch. Fortunately it was still within warranty and the Apple store replaced it without question (great service by the way), but denied it had anything to do with the firmware. Said update also had exactly the same effect on the ipods of several friends and colleagues.

I was contemplating selling my touch so upgraded to the latest firmware to make it a more attractive to potential buyers and guess what happened to the replacement unit after nine months of faultless use?! Exactly as described in the article within 15 minutes of the reboot after updating it. A colleague has just come into work too swearing and moaning about his doing it last night too after the update.

Really, this is too much of a coincidence.

I'm going back to the old style HDD ipods that run free without the need for constant patching!

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@bazza

"poor reliability, restrictive practices, missing common features, dodgy engineering, doubtful functionality, evassive customer relations "

I've never encountered any of those issues with my iPhone but did encounter a lot of them when a I had a Nokia. You sure your talking about the right phone?

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Anonymous Coward

errr.

"Looking at the Apple support forum - there are a handful of people that are experiencing issues - but surely this is practically inevitable no matter what the platform or what the update is for."

You don't really expect it when using software that ONLY works on a specific subset of hardware, i would accept your comment if it was a standard pc, but what you say is bs cause the phone is locked down.

Also a simple "we are looking at it " press release is all they need.

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Ry
Paris Hilton

tap tap

The only crashing I get on my iphone is tap tap revenge 2, cant play more than 3 songs in a row without having to restart - but I guess thats tapulous' fault for not debugging. Facebook crashed in the passed, no worries regarding WIFI though, ive downloaded a 150mb+ podcast direct to the phone in under 5 minutes which I thought was amazingly quick, did get very hot tho!

Paris - she makes me hot

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bit of a sweeping statement there

"if replacements are solving the problem then it's a manufacturing issue, not a design one"

Were you involved in the design?

No?

Then how do you *know* it's not a design issue?

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Silver badge

@AC 25th March 17:25

You've got an iPhone, haven't you? ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 26th March 2009 00:26 GMT

"GET IN THAT WALK-IN FRIDGE THEN!!!"

Being inside large metal box is unlikely to improve WiFi TxRx, hateTard

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Jobs Horns

Same Issue Here - No Wifi in iPhone

I am having a similar problem. After 2.2.1 there were higher download and upload speed on my iPhone 2G, and the phone ran hot with wifi radio. Soon after, the phone could not detect wifi, switch between Edge and wifi every 5 seconds, or find wifi networks but list the signals as weak.

Engineers from Apple have contacted me about this problem, but have since stopped after I told them I was having an independent 3rd party complete an analysis.

Took it to Apple store, asked them to replace it because I was in my 13 month with no Apple Care, and they said that it was a hardware problem, but that they would not replace the phone, and suggested I buy a 3G. Way to go Apple.

I left my phone by a window one night, and wifi worked. It was a cold window. Stuck the iPhone in a sealed bag on a paper plate in the freezer for half and hour, and wifi works for a day or two.

Clearly, this is the main issue. If your wifi only works when you freeze the phone, here is what I find to be the only scenarios:

1. You did something to your phone and broke it, somehow only breaking the wifi.

2. Apple designed something wrong and wifi broke.

3. Apple designed something wrong and 2.2.1 caused a set of events that led to wifi breaking.

So, my guess is that Apple is ignoring us because it is like when a car company makes a car that kills X amount of people, and they figure that settling out of court for X amount of people is cheaper than fixing the problem or doing right by their customers.

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Stick to what they are good at

Making MP3 players.

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iPhone v HTC Touch Cruise

I know some of you guys don't always like comparisons, but I run both of the above phones (2 employers/clients) and have had the following experience in the past 4 weeks.

iPhone 3G (2 months old) - after upgrade to latest firmware, WiFi "collapse" and occasional total loss of "sync" with the phone network. The phone was never jailbroken, yet the O2 store where it was bought wriggled and wriggled to the point where they actually told me I was lying. On bringing it up with Apple, they did the same, until I threatened to go to the trade press. Result - new phone. All taking 4 weeks.

HTC (6 months old) - One Monday, camera failed, followed by intermittent WiFi and GPS failure. 10am phoned the HTC Customer Service line, 2pm the phone was collected by UPS. Tuesday 10am - UPS delivered a shiny new phone. Wednesday 10am, HTC technician phoned and gave me a full account of the fault, which he later followed up with an email report. Thursday 10am - UPS delivered an "apologies" goodies kit for the phone.

In my job I am responsible for advising clients on their mobile strategy. Even accounting for the bad press that M$ get for their OS, the advice won't be O2/Apple, also because I want to get the best deal from an operator for my client and not having him tied to one only.

Be my judge guys.

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