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back to article Yay for iOS 6.1, grey Wi-Fi iPhone bug is fix- AWW, SNAP

When Apple rolled out iOS 6.1, its first major update to iOS 6, yesterday, it introduced a series of bug fixes, software tweaks for iTunes and Siri and also added LTE support - but none of that was any use to the disconnected and discontented sufferers of a particular iPhone software flaw: greyed-out Wi-Fi. iPhone owners have …

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Anonymous Coward

Well

Well who's the douche for installing it on the first day?

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FAIL

Re: Well

Well who's the prat that can't read? They've rolled out the update to try and fix an OLD issue.

Unless you happen to search 3 months after it's released "Is there an issue if I update my phone to IOS where my wifi gets greyed out?", they may be completely unaware. I know if I update a device months after release I don't spend night after night panicking something might go wrong.

Out of X million sold, seems a few hundred may have this issue.

And I don't even have an iPhone (or any Apple devices), nor am I likely to buy any, so I'm not even slightly biased

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Hmmmm

If heating/cooling part of the phone solves the issue for some, might the problem be a dodgy connection of some kind? Heat the part -> metal expands ever so slightly -> connection gets popped together -> problem solved?

A long shot I know, just thinking out loud.

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g e
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Re: Hmmmm

WTF would anyone downvote that?

Likelihood of a failed connection manifesting its failed-ness via a software upgrade is slim, and would likely have shown up in other software versions, being a physical defect. Not totally impossible I spose, all the same if the software maybe ran something hotter nearby.

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Re: Hmmmm

Doesn't seem likely if it's affecting three different versions of the phone

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmmm

Indeed, quite obviously a manufacturing problem that no amount of OS updates will fix. the phone can't see the Wifi chipset..

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Re: Hmmmm

Probably. The part that's targetted with the hairdryer is where all the various connecters join the mainboard (camera, aerial, screen etc)

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Gimp

Re: Hmmmm

WTF would anyone downvote that?

Because it suggests that the build quality and/or software of an Apple product may be less than utter, utter orgasmic perfection?

I can't say for sure but remember that Apple is a cult, not a company.

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Re: Hmmmm

Not a fanboi reaction I expect.

Unfortunately the angry asshats that live on the Internet have been invading this site fairly heavy over the past couple of years and as I'm sure you know many of them are mean spirited dicks who just like to be negative.

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Holmes

How a software update can "cause" a hard problem

Likelihood of a failed connection manifesting its failed-ness via a software upgrade is slim

Not really. Maybe iOS 6 added some improved error checking/diagnostics before enabling the various hardware subsystems, and phones with a loose connection to the wifi chipset fail the check and are shown greyed out, while under 5.x the test being failed isn't done so it shows up. Depending on what is being tested and how it is failing it might cause wifi problems or maybe it isn't noticeable - if, for instance, the particular failure only affects certain bands/channels/encryption schemes.

I mean, seriously, anything that can be fixed with a hairdryer is clearly not a software problem. Anyone with an iPhone 5 that has this problem would get it replaced for free. If you own an older one and it is out of warranty (good reason to be in the EU with the mandated two year warranty, I guess!) then you're SOL. Presumably in a phone with greyed out wifi the wifi was always a bit dodgy, or maybe the phone just happened to be dropped shortly before getting iOS 6 but since nothing broke externally the owner assumed it was fine.

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Re: mean spirited dicks who just like to be negative.

Welcome to the UK.

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Re: Hmmmm

It doesn't seem completely unreasonable. There are other devices whereby the solder on the board inside was less than perfect and had a tendency to crack causing connections to fail. This was fixed by heating it up at which point the fissures would re-seal. I wish i could remember what device this was but i think it's affected more than a few things. Not sure that is the case here, just thought i'd mention it.

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Re: mean spirited dicks who just like to be negative.

welcome to humanity.

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Re: How a software update can "cause" a hard problem

"Not really. Maybe iOS 6 added some improved error checking/diagnostics before enabling the various hardware subsystems, and phones with a loose connection to the wifi chipset fail the check and are shown greyed out, while under 5.x the test being failed isn't done so it shows up."

Sounds very likely. Sounds like they need to change their 'disable' into a warning notification (either beside the on/off or an icon notification).

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Gimp

Re: Hmmmm

Because some people are Apple-hating morons who despise the suggestion that Apple kit is just another form of stuff affected by the same issues as anyone else's stuff and seize on any tiny flaw, even ones common to all devices, that "prove" that Apple kit is useless overpriced chavvie rubbish.

So let the downvoting begin...

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Gimp

RE: [if it's] out of warranty [...] then you're SOL

Probably not, Apple can be very nice about that kind of thing. I guess if your phone's REALLY old, maybe.

Before we get all shouty, they tend to be less sympathetic towards people who storm into the shop hurling abuse at the staff and screaming that this would never happen with an HTC etc. Such people almost never do well in those situations.

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Pint

Re: Hmmmm

Had the same issue with a graphics chip on an IBM 486 once. Same fix. Got pretty tedious in the end. Should've fitted a graphics card maybe! Good luck trying that with a phone.

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Re: RE: [if it's] out of warranty [...] then you're SOL

Yes, they are very nice. For a.. err. NICE sum of money they will repair the badly manufactured unit.

This is exactly what they did with my mother's in law laptop... its battery was recalled in the us (serial number included) but as she lives in Europe, and no recall was made here.. bad luck, even as it GREW.

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Anonymous Coward

"just thinking out loud."

figures.

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WTF?

Well, I was

just thinking out loud. You should try it some time (the thinking part).

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Stop

What?

No problems with it at all here. Of course if you have an installed base of 200 million devices then some are going to fail/have problems when you upgrade them (and Anna likes to try especially hard to find those examples). If a factory restore (easy and well documented on the web) doesn't fix the problem then back to Apple with them (using hairdryers etc not recommended).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What?

I thought one of Apples USP's was 'It's standardised hardware to reduce support and problems.'

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Re: What?

No such thing as identical devices. There will be manufacturing differences (the WiFi "bug" sounds more like a hardware manufacturing issue) and software configuration issues (3rd party software & OS configuration). Look at what happens when there are firmware upgrades for devices like the Xbox, there are always a small percentage of failures.

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Re: What?

So, Anna has found a problem from 200 million samples. You haven't from... 1.Which is statistically significant?

I would suggest that there are some people with the problem suggests it exists whereas your sample size is probably a little small to be useful.

I'd imagine if the problem was more wide-spread Apple might be working harder to fix it (see Antennagate) doesn't mean it's not an issue, though.

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FAIL

Re: What?

>Which is statistically significant?

2700 out of 200 million, and Anna claims this is a pre-existing bug (that I've never heard of before). I'd say that, near as makes no difference, my experience is just as statistically valid as her thread.

Given there are no iPhone 5's that are out of warranty and Apple will repair or replace defective devices on the spot, we might have heard about mass return rates don't you think?

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Re: What?

> I thought one of Apples USP's was 'It's standardised hardware to reduce support and problems.'

They've succeeded on the "reduce support" line. It no longer supports WiFi.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What?

The 2700 is just the number of replies in the thread.

Some users will never use the WiFi feature but it still might be broken and many will never post to that thread about the problem.

Overall, the 2700 replies indicates that many owners are affected.

I haven't seen any studies on how many people who experience a problem go on to post about it on a thread but I suspect it will be a very tiny minority which means the 2700 could well be several orders of magnitude smaller than the true figure.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What?

2700 replies does not equal 2700 genuine people - i.e. how many non-Apple users jumping on the band wagon and duplicates and out of HOW many iPhones sold?

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Re: What?

Yeah, cos us non Apple users have nothing better to do than hang around Apple support forums replying on threads about iPhone wi-fi not working.

On a related note, I think perhaps the 400k thread views might be the important number.

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Holmes

Re: What?

"I'd imagine if the problem was more wide-spread Apple might be working harder to fix it (see Antennagate) doesn't mean it's not an issue, though."

Regarding Antennagate, Apple's first reaction was not to try to fix the issue. It was to deny it. Their second reaction was to tell users that they were holding the phone incorrectly. Their third reaction was to try to tell the world that if you held competitors' phones certain ways that you might have the same problem, so therefore it was ok. After that, they went with bumpers as opposed to re-engineering their faulty products.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8tXyfjfnB0

So I wouldn't imagine at all that Apple would feel compelled to fix an issue regardless of the sample size. Not having 4g on the iPhone 4 didn't stop the masses flocking, and the utter failure of the iPhone 5 to innovate doesn't seem to have had such a negative impact on sales either. If the consumer will buy the product regardless of the quality and innovation, then there is no incentive for the manufacturer to perfect their model. Just make it shiny and stick the Apple logo on the back, and the cult will buy.

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Childcatcher

Re: What?

So, Anna has found a problem from 200 million samples. You haven't from... 1.Which is statistically significant?

While I agree with the sentiment you express, you should keep in mind that statistical significance is not the only kind that matters. Most users don't care about what is going wrong with someone else's stuff, they only care that it is happening on their own personal kit and what it takes to make it work right. To most of the computer-using world, that is what is regarded as significant.

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Anonymous Coward

Wi-Fi doesn't work, what do you do?

Android User.... Download a different ROM or even fix the code yourself.

Apple User.... Bitch, moan, tell Apple that is the last iPhone you will ever buy (as if they care?), downgrade. No you try and fix the fault with a freezer or a hairdryer.

Is it just me that thinks some people have more money/time than sense to even try this stuff?

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Boffin

> downgrade. No you try and fix the fault with a freezer or a hairdryer.

You cannot downgrade the firmware in a iPhone without a special file that you can't make yourself - Apple have to make it, and generally won't. There are some dodgy solutions for extracting that file from the phone itself, but only if you do that before applying the original update - once you have updated the file is forever destroyed!

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Boffin

lol

the old recompile the kernel malarkey

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rvt
Stop

As a Android user you cannot always fix the code be ause you don't always get the source code of drivers and firmware.

Remember, only the kernel is GPLed, and the mayority of libraries. Anything else is closed sourced and cannot be fixed.

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WTF?

Personally I would have taken it back to shop and said it wasn't good enough. Sale of goods act etc...

I did the same with my Transformer Prime after 6 months.

So many people w**k on about how great Apple service is, I too wonder why these people resorted to the hair-dryer trick instead of just taking it back.

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As an Android user, if it is a hardware problem (as freezers and hairdryers suggest), it is not always straightforward to re-solder an item on a tiny manufactured PCB, even though you can take the phone apart.

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jai
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Headmaster

that was the last iPhone i bought

yep, that's probably very true.

but will it be the last one that you buy?

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Big Brother

Yay! No WiFi

Could this be why iOS6 is considered more secure than Android?

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Thumb Up

I reckon the wifi hairdryer fix is rubbish and it's pure coincidence that the wifi starts working after they try it.

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Alert

Maybe, maybe not

Remember the old Xbox-360-in-a-towel trick that often sorted out the RROD?

Admittedly that was a hardware fault; using heat to fix a software fault does sound rather flaky.

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Anonymous Coward

Probably

"pure coincidence that the wifi starts working after they try it"

So, the same reason homeopathy "works" then.

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Trollface

Re: Maybe, maybe not

That was my thought. Some troll posts that. Other trolls cotton on and post "That worked for me" comments.

Everyone gets kicks and giggles watching the sheep brick their devices en masse.

IIRC everyone who really tried the Xbox in a towel thing found that it fixed the RROD problem via the simple expedient of ensuring that no lights lit up on the damned thing ever again.

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Re: Maybe, maybe not

My boiler kept failing whenever the weather got colder -- but worked once I had heated the room it was in using a fan heater. When British Gas came to fix the unit the engineer changed the circuit board, explaining that my experience with the thermal issue showed it was probably a dry solder joint which shrank in the cold, causing a break in the circuit.

Could be what's ailing the iPhone.

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Joke

Re: Maybe, maybe not

... so... iPhone users should just fan heat every room they go in to?

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Coat

Re: Maybe, maybe not

The towel tricks works by calming the wifi chip by protecting it from the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal.

Mine is the one with the towel

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Holmes

ElReg: "We asked Apple for a comment and have received no reply"

see icon

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