Apple Silent on Customers' iPhone Problems

The problems aren't affecting every iPhone user. Several customers sent e-mails to to discuss their devotion to their phone and the positive experiences they've had with it.

"Mine works great with no problems," wrote Tim Staley of Fort Pierce, Fla. "I wonder what all the fuss is about."

Mike Emery in Fort Worth, Texas, wrote: "Purchased my iPhone first weekend! Have had zero problems. Best phone I have ever owned."

'Comes Down to Where You Are'

Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg characterized the problem as a minor one.

"Any product is going to exhibit a certain amount of problems. Well, I have reception problems with a variety of [carriers]. Reception in terms of cell phone really comes down to where you are," he said. "I'm not seeing anything that indicates that this [is] widespread. … If the Internet tends to magnify smaller problems, then the fact that it's an Apple product tends to magnify it even more."

On Thursday, Business Week cited anonymous sources as saying that the problem was with the iPhone, specifically a 3G chip manufactured by Infineon.

Infineon spokesman Mitch Ahiers declined to comment to about the iPhone. "However, when it comes to Infineon's 3G chips, Infineon is not aware of any problems. Our 3G chips, for example, are used in Samsung handsets and we are not aware of such problems there," he wrote in an e-mail.

iPhone 3G Recall?

If there is a problem with a chip, an iPhone recall could be possible, according to Rob Enderle, an independent Silicon Valley analyst.

"If it's a chip problem, those are going to need to come back," he said. "I don't think they'll be able to fix the problem" with a software update.

According to Enderle, the problems are indicative of a phone that was rushed to production.

"It has the feel of a product that was rushed to market and went through testing too quickly," he said. "They were very concerned about the number of competitive products coming to market so they rushed the phone out. And the end result was it wasn't done, it wasn't cooked."

"Cooked" or not, some loyal Apple fans and current iPhone owners seemed frustrated and bewildered. Will it damage the Apple brand?

"This is Apple's first 3G phone and it is a very, very high profile. … It is a product that is sold as much on its design appeal as its data communications capability," said NPD Group analyst Ross Rubin. "The greatest risk is likely among people who are new to Apple ecosystem, and this may be their first product, [people] who were drawn by [a] lower price and this is what they have to go on."

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