Is the iPhone 4 All It's Cracked Up to Be?
Apple stock is at an all-time high, iPads and iPhone 4's are flying off the shelves. In fact, there were way more iPhone 4 orders than Apple (or AT&T) were prepared for. This should bode well for Apple, right? Yes, as long as the iPhone 4 works as intended. During testing done by various industry professionals and reviewers, the iPhone 4 came out with glowing praise. But now that it's in the hand of millions of users, the verdict is not all that Steve Jobs might have hoped for.
The Author Finally Joins the Apple Bandwagon with the iPhone 4
I had finally decided to suck it up and join the Apple bandwagon. Since my AT&T agreement was up, I was eligible for discount pricing. Combined with the new data plans offered ($15/ month for 200MB/ month, $25 for 2GB/ month) I felt like this would be a good time to finally try out an iPhone. That, and our friends constantly signing in all over the place with four square (a GPS app that lets you track where your friends are), made me want to join in on the fun.
Since I'm not a complete "Appleholic," I didn't think it was necessary to wake up at 12:01am to pre-order on June 15th, or even camp out in line at 5am on June 24th with the hopes of landing the new iPhone 4 a few days or weeks before everyone else. I was perfectly content placing my order online with the Apple store and waiting until my projected July 15 - 19th delivery. That is, until I started hearing about everything that was going wrong with the new iPhone 4. Turns out, the iPhone 4 has more than its share of problems.
iPhone 4: Problems, Problems, and More Problems
I don't know if I'm the only one, but I actually canceled my iPhone 4 order (16GB Black for $199 - my card hadn't even been charged since it hadn't shipped yet) after hearing about the plethora of problems it was experiencing. Sure, they'll probably be ironed out in the near future, but I didn't feel like becoming Apple's free consumer tester, at my own expense. After canceling my iPhone 4 order, I went on to purchase a refurbished 16 GB black iPhone 3GS from the AT&T online store. It should arrive within a week, and from what I hear from friends, family, co-workers, and online reviews, it's a solid phone without any of the problems iPhone 4 is currently experiencing. So, without further ado, here they are.
Problem 1: Lost Signal/ Connection
The first bunch of reports that started pouring in from the first batch of people that could get their hands on a shiny new iPhone 4 revolved around reception problems. According to reports, if you cover the steel antenna that surrounds the iPhone 4 with a finger by holding it in the wrong way (specifically, if you hold your iPhone with your left hand (sorry lefties :( ), or by the bottom left corner), your connection may get killed and your call dropped/ Internet connection severed.
Problem 2: Display Malfunction/ Discoloration - Resolved?
The other problem the iPhone 4 appears to be suffering from is an issue with the display screen. According to reports, yellow discoloration is occurring on parts of the display, particularly the lower left portion of the screen. According to Apple, this is part of an evaporation process that normally takes place before a consumer gets their hands on the device. In this case, this problem might resolve after a few days. Please comment below with your findings.
Problem 3: Rear Camera Malfunction
Another report coming in is that for some users the rear camera is not working. According to complaints, the shutter stays closed, and none of the buttons do anything.
Problem 4: Switched Volume Controls
According to reports, if you increase the volume, it decreases, and vice versa. It seems like a software update should be able to handle this problem.
Problem 5: Case Scratches Easily
According to some users that have only had the iPhone 4 for a couple days, their case is already suffering from some visible scratches. We're not sure if this problem is specific to the iPhone 4 or simply a problem that applies to every smart phone but normally isn't brought into the lime light.
Do You Have an iPhone 4? What's Your Experience?
We want to hear from you! Are you one of the lucky (or unlucky) users to get their hands on a new iPhone 4? Please share your experience below, and make sure to mention specifically from where you received your iPhone, how long you've had it, which model it is (16GB or 32GB), and what color it is, plus anything else you want to share.
Updated on April 23, 2012
Some users have complained that there isn’t a reliable app to track how much battery life applications use on the iPhone. This means that at any given time apps can be draining the iPhone battery. There are a number of ways to help to improve battery life however, including: closing out apps after use to prevent them running in the background, turning off location based services, turning off WiFi, adjusting screen brightness, adjusting background levels and entering Airplane mode. Of course, there is the option of purchasing a case like that offered by Mophie that offers additional battery life.
Rear Camera White Balance Doesn’t Work
In addition to the rear camera malfunctioning, there are also reports that the white balance on the rear camera of the iPhone 4 doesn’t work. According to reports the automatic white balance is resulting in many low lighting photos having a yellow hue.
Signal Bars Glitch
In addition to the signal problems experienced by iPhone 4 users gripping their phone a little too tightly, other users are experiencing a loss in signal due to a software glitch. According to Apple, since the very first edition of the iPhone, an occasional software glitch causes the signal display to show two bars more than it should.
Malfunctioning Proximity Sensor
Each edition of the iPhone has a proximity sensor designed to detect when the user is holding the phone to their ear. The purpose of this sensor is to turn off the iPhone display when the phone is in use to prevent the user from accidentally hitting on screen buttons while taking a call. According to some users however, the iPhone 4 proximity sensor is faulty and is causing many users to dial numbers and drop calls in the middle of talking.
Unresponsive Screen and Crashing
Some iPhone 4 users are complaining that their phones are freezing up or crashing. While this is frustrating for users, it is usually remedied by hard resetting the iPhone. Hard resetting can be done by holding down the home button and the sleep button for fifteen seconds and releasing them. This prompts the appearance of the Apple logo as the phone reboots. There are any number of reasons why the iPhone 4 may freeze and crash including app overload. If a hard reset cannot be performed or if it does not fix the problem users should take their phone in to the Apple store for a consultation.
Many iPhone 4 users have been dismayed with the limited search functionality on their phone. Despite advertisements claiming that the search function will search everything, this is not the case. An example of search limitations is that users can only search their contacts by name and not by location or number.
No SIM Card Installed Error
Some iPhone 4 users have been experiencing a periodic error stating that there is”No SIM Card Installed.” The problem being that when this error pops up, users do have their SIM card in place. It is also suspected that this error is connected with the iTunes error “There is a problem with the SIM card in your iPhone.” Some suggest that this is a problem with the phone itself and users should return their phone for an exchange. Others have suggested that this error resulted from a scratch on the SIM card and a new SIM card fixed the issue.
The voice command feature is an often used perk of the iPhone 4 but some users are complaining that their microphones are faulty. That is that unless they switch their phone to an external microphone or to speakerphone, they can’t be heard.
Face Time Calls Can’t Be Made Using 3G
One of the selling features of the iPhone 4 is the ability to connect with other users through Face Time. According to many users however, Face Time does not function unless they are connected to Wi-Fi. This makes Face Time on the go a little more troublesome. There are currently two solutions to this issue – users can purchase a MiFi device to turn themselves in to a WiFi connection or download the Fring app that enables two way video calling through 3G and WiFi.
SIM Cards Don’t Fit
Another concern that some iPhone 4 users are experiencing is that their SIM card won’t fit in to their iPhone 4. Most often, these users have purchased an unlocked phone online. The iPhone 4 uses a micro SD card which is smaller than the more traditional SD cards. There are two solutions to this problem; the most recommended is simply to visit your cell phone provider to pick up a new micro SD card. The second solution is to cut down the current SIM card to micro SD card size. The problem with cutting down an SD card is that once the card is cut there is no going back so data can easily be lost.
iPhone 4 Catching Fire and Spontaneously Combusting
Although reports of fire related incidents with the iPhone 4 have been minimal (approximately four reports to date,) there are concerns over the safety of this device. In the small handful of incidences owners of iPhone 4 have experienced smoke coming from the back of their device. After allowing the phone to cool, Apple technicians have found a number of damaged components including the battery. At this time it is believed that these incidences are isolated and should not be an overall concern for most iPhone 4 owners.
The Double Glass Screen
The presence of a double glass screen seems to be a gripe more than a problem for many iPhone 4 users. Having double layered glass screens increases the likelihood that screens will shatter when the phone is dropped. Unfortunately for iPhone 4 users, broken glass is not covered under warranty. What is the solution for this problem other than not dropping the phone? Place a thick bumper type phone protector around the phone to prevent glass damage.