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iPhone 3G Connection Issues Caused by Immature Infineon Chipset?

Marketwatch.com is reporting that the ongoing issues many users are experiencing with AT&T’s 3G cellular network, may be due to the inclusion of an immature chipset.

infineon 3G chipset

Many iPhone owners have been reporting very spotty experiences with AT&T’s 3G network while using Apple’s new iPhone 3G. We’ve previously reported about the one bar blues, and the ongoing trouble with AT&T’s network. So it comes as no surprise that the issue is more widespread than initially expected.

It would be less for Apple to deal with, as it would be a clear-cut explanation, if the Infineon chipsets were to blame for the poor cellular reception.

Nomura analyst Richard Windsor explains that “Some iPhone users are having trouble getting a 3G connection and hanging on to it. Hiccups reportedly include a high incidence of dropped calls, switching onto the slower EDGE network while the device is stationary and loss of reception while in good coverage. We believe that these issues are typical of an immature chipset and radio protocol stack where we are almost certain Infineon is the 3G supplier,” MarketWatch reports.

Windsor goes on to explain that if the Infineon chipset is to blame, a firmware update from Apple would likely not help the situation, or fix the issue. He believes that, “…the problems are likely to be embedded in the low-level software and the chipset.”

If true, Apple would surely need to replace many handsets as users will demand new ones, with properly functioning chipsets installed. Many people have been switching off their 3G connection in order to use the slower yet (more reliable?) EDGE network. Sure, Apple has built the option to dynamically switch networks into the iPhone, but it leaves something to be desired when using the crawling EDGE network on the iPhone 3G.

“AT&T’s 3G network is not ubiquitous. Currently, AT&T offers 3G service in only 300 major metropolitan areas. It expects to get to 350 metro areas by the end of the year. By contrast, AT&T’s 2.5G EDGE network, which is what the first-generation iPhone uses, is deployed throughout AT&T’s entire nationwide footprint,” CNET explains.

An AT&T spokesman named Mark Siegel, said that Apple and AT&T are currently working to ensure that all users have an equally great experience with the iPhone 3G. Siegel continues to explain that the iPhone 3G has not been a source of many complaints, (could’ve fooled us). He continues to explain that while Apple and AT&T are working very hard to investigate customer concerns, it is difficult to pinpoint if the issues are widespread, of if they are individual circumstances.

“How a device performs in individual situations depends on circumstances like where you are in the 3G coverage, how close you are to a cell site. Things like terrain and buildings all come into play,” Siegel said. “I’m not denying that people are having a less than satisfactory experience, but overall, the phone is doing great,” via SeattlePi.

On a lighter note, Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently touted Apple’s tremendous success with the iPhone App Store. “I’ve never seen anything like this for software in my career,” Jobs explained. Apple has done an average of $1 million a day in sales from the software store.

[via MacDailyNews]

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