Nov 21

iPhone 4S Issues
Last month Apple released their latest must-have smartphone, the iPhone 4S. Initial sales have been as strong as one might expect from the consumer electronics giant, but Apples support forums have been buzzing with news of a gloomier kind: there are several niggling issues that are affecting a number of users who have taken out a new iPhone 4S contract. Here is a quick round up of some of the issues that certain customers have faced and what Apple are proposing to do about them:

Muting Outgoing Calls

A number of users across the USA (and more recently the UK) have been finding that outgoing calls were muted on their iPhone 4S. This is a problem that is reminiscent of the call dropouts that many iPhone 4 users experienced. In the iPhone 4 this was a hardware issue; Apple solved the problem by offering users free bumpers which increased reception. The call muting issue with the iPhone 4S seems to be software-led. Apple are calling it a driver issue and state that the recent software update (from iOS 5 to iOS 5.01) should fix this.


Battery Drain

A significant number of iPhone 4S users have been disappointed with the battery life on the new smartphone. Some customers were complaining that they were losing upwards of 15% of their battery every hour, even when the phone was not being used. This is a far cry from the eight hours of 3G talk time that the specifications boasted of. Apple were quick to admit that there were a few software bugs that were causing the drain, but assured users that the iOS 5.01 update should solve it. Since this update, many users are stating that the problem has in fact worsened. Apple are investigating this further.


Siri

There have been a number of issues with Apples much-touted voice recognition software. Some accents (Australian and Scottish) in particular seem to be very hard for it to recognise. Security experts Sophos also pointed out that Siri poses a security threat, as it can be accessed from the lock screen without the need for a pass code. Since Siri responds to any voice, anyone who picked up the phone would be able to access contacts, calendar information and send texts and emails. It is possible to turn this feature off for more security, but it is left on by default,


IOS 5.01

On November 10th Apple released iOS 5.01, an update that was meant to address these issues. It has been a mixed bag; security issues have been resolved, Siri can recognise Australian diction and bugs around Apples iCloud service have been fixed. Some users feel that their battery drain problems have gotten a lot worse since the update and some people who use other devices (iPad, iPhone 4) who have upgraded to iOS 5.01 are having similar issues.


In this consumer-led age, with a strict adherence to release cycles and launch dates, it is pretty unusual to see a new product unleashed without a few bugs and niggling issues. It is unfortunate that companies are not able to take the time to fully finish and test systems before they see release their mobile phone deals. However, a proactive approach when it comes to resolving these issues is what makes the better manufacturers stand out. Previous iPhone models have faced similar issues on release and Apple have always distinguished themselves by taking a tenacious approach to solving these problems. Here is hoping they get their act together with the iPhone 4S before the firm’s fine reputation is irreparably damaged.

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