Though the problem doesn’t appear to be affecting all iPhone 3G owners, a number of people have reported that since upgrading to iOS4, their phones can no longer connect to their carrier via 3G or EDGE. Other are saying that MMS capability has been knocked offline.
Apple has acknowledged these issues and has offered advice on how to fix the problems. But even after trying these recommendations, our video editor, Steve F. found himself with a phone that refused to connect.
Steve was among the first in Canada to upgrade his 2-year old iPhone 3G to Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS4. After completing the upgrade, he provided us with some of his thoughts on the process. To say he wasn’t impressed is an understatement. “If I could go back in time and make the decision to upgrade over again, I’d probably decide to keep my OS 3,” he lamented. But he chose to stick with iOS4 to see if the few improvements it offered him were worth the compromises.
Two weeks later, it happened. His iPhone wouldn’t connect to his carrier, Rogers Wireless.
“At first I though it was something I had done”, he said. Steve, who is very familiar with the inner workings of the iPhone, might have been more freaked out by the incident, but as luck would have it, a friend of his had experienced the same problem a few days before hand. He called Steve to see if his problem was unique. “Turns out [he] wasn’t alone,” said Steve.
Frustrated by the fact that Apple’s remedies weren’t correcting the issue, Steve reached out to the web and found a possible fix on appletoolbox.com. Unfortunately, this option is of the thermonuclear variety: Doing a full restore of your iPhone using the “setup as a new phone” choice. Such a drastic measure results in all of the data being wiped clean, with no way to bring it back. Your downloaded apps are still available within iTunes to re-sync to your phone, but any data those apps might have saved locally including contacts, high-scores, or favourites are gone forever. It turns out that in these cases, simply doing a routine restore procedure doesn’t purge the bad data that causes the connectivity issue in the first place.
Ultimately, Steve did perform the full restore and found that doing so brought back his 3G connection as promised. And though he did lose all of his data, there was a silver lining: His iPhone 3G now runs iOS4 very quickly – much faster than it did after performing the original upgrade.
Has this made Steve a fan of Apple’s iOS4?
“No. I’m still frustrated,” he responds. Despite the improved speed of his now-squeaky-clean iPhone, he feels let down by the lack of advantages offered by the OS for iPhone 3G owners.
“I just don’t see the point.”
Readers: have you been caught unawares by a recent iPhone upgrade? If not, has this cautionary tale persuaded you to stick with your current OS? Let us know.