Report: Apple 3G iPhone Fixes On The Way?

3G software

"We have had complaints about connectivity in the Netherlands but have not had more complaints than usual for a 3G phone in Germany," a T-Mobile spokesman told Reuters. "Our technicians said today Apple has issued a software update but it is too early to tell if the problems are solved."

Meanwhile, iPhone's sole U.S. network operator ATandT Inc. said it Apple has provided a software update but would not further elaborate. An ATandT spokesperson said the carrier had few complaints from customers.

"This is not something that's high on our radar screen, ATandT spokesman Mark Siegel said a few weeks ago. "It's not something we've had a lot of complaints about."

The 3G, launched in early July, was met with enthusiasm since it featured a lot more bells and whistles than its predecessor, and operated on a third-generation network, a major upgrade from other networks the iPhone operates on and an even bigger advance over the older Edge network. However, the cheering ended when users started experiencing dropped calls and unreliable Internet speeds, as the phone sometimes reverted to Edge.

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One analyst believes the perpetrator of the problem is an Infineon chip.

The iPhone 3G sold more than 1 million units in its first weekend, based largely on the selling point of a faster network. But like the lines anxious consumers encountered at the Apple store, using the phone is taking longer than expected.

Nomura analyst Richard Windsor believes the complaints that have been cropping up on blogs and Apple's own Web site point to something more than an isolated incident.

"There are too many instances on iPhone blogs and Apple's own Web site for it to be coincidence," he wrote in a report on Aug. 12.

"Furthermore, it is not just the U.S. but other countries as well," he said.

Windsor believes the problem may be traced to Infineon, a German chip manufacturer that provides the majority of chips to Apple for the iPhone 3G.

"We believe that these issues are typical of an immature chipset and radio protocol stack where we are almost certain that Infineon is the 3G supplier," he said.

--Additional reporting by Brian Kraemer