iPhone 4: Call Failed

The video above is an example of what has happened to every call I’ve received so far on my iPhone 4. From three bars to “call failed” in 20 seconds flat.

Actually, that’s not entire true. I managed to receive one brief call by holding the phone by the tips of my fingers, but nearly dropped the phone in the process. But I can consistently replicate the effect shown in the video above simply by lying the phone on the table and touching the outer rim with my fingertip.

Yet Apple refuses to admit this is a hardware issue. Instead, they’re planning on releasing a ‘software fix’, which will do nothing more than lower the number of bars shown on screen in the first place.

Will it stop the phone from dropping calls? I’m not convinced.

I’ve already tried to get a refund on my iPhone, but Carphone Warehouse have outright refused. They are willing to admit the hardware may be faulty, but simply will not give a refund, as the phone is tied to a non-refundable two year Vodafone contract. So it looks like I’ll be stuck with a phone that doesn’t work as a phone for the next two years.

I could of course spend Ā£25 on a “bumper” case. But that’s not the point. You wouldn’t buy a luxury car, then expect to have to pay extra for a special ‘steering wheel adaptor’ if you don’t want it to automatically drive into walls. The point is that this is a phone that simply does not function as a phone.

Interestingly, in the same press release where Apple offers a software fix ‘within a few weeks’, they also offer to refund the full price for anyone who wants to return their phone. That’s a luxury I’ve been denied.

I may not be able to do anything much to improve things for me, but I can at least offer some useful buying advice:

1. Do not buy an iPhone 4, unless and until Apple releases a fix that’s proven to work and/or recalls the phone.
The problem appears to be a design flaw in the phone and affects pretty much everyone to some extent. People in areas that have particularly good coverage may not notice it, but the problem is still there.

2. Never, ever, ever buy anything from Carphone Warehouse.
Once they have your money, they’re simply not interested in helping you in any way. I learned the hard way.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I’m not some mindless Apple hater. This is my second iPhone, I have three Macs and several iPods. I don’t hate Apple – I just want a phone that works.

10 thoughts on “iPhone 4: Call Failed

  1. The scary thing is that you feel it necessary to declare that you're not a mindless Apple hater, just because you bought some Apple kit and it doesn't work. Like it doesn't work for hundreds of thousands of other people. As if it's verboten to criticise Apple in any way.

    I'm not a mindless Apple hater either, by the way. I have very good, sensible reasons for hating them šŸ™‚

    [posted while drunk, for extra quality!]

  2. I have iphone 3G and upgraded to the software to 4.0. Ever since then, I've been having issues with Call Failed when dialing out and can't get any of my emails. This is even with full bars. So I'm sure it is software related issue.

  3. From what I've experienced and what I've seen it definitely seems to be related to the 3G – have you tried turning that off in the Settings? I've had countless missed calls and failed calls while looking at 5 bars and not touching the iPhone at all. Turned off 3G and suddenly things seem to be working. I have to agree with Innofish that it must be a software issue and I wonder if that's what Apple's press conference tomorrow is about.

  4. I agree on the 3G thing… turn off 3G in settings… doesn't help if you need it for Navigation, Maps or interweb, but does sort out the dropping calls..

  5. I try everything , really, everything and i have exactly the same issue!. no settings changes help me. Im getting courage to go to vodafone shop to tell them…. pufff šŸ™

  6. I agree , its really sad, AT&T points the finger at Apple and visa versa…

    wish someone can just admit it’s their fault and get this over with…..

    keep checking the papers,,,someone will go “postal”

  7. I just started having this same bloody frustrating issue!
    A phone primary function is make and receive calls. No matter how smart it is in other functions it is not usable and defeat its purpose if it cannot perform the most basic task which is to make callssss!!! iPhone 4 sucks ppl!!

    It is iCannotPhone

  8. ^^^ Agreed with the comment above. If a phone cannot make a call then it s useless. It appears to be a common issue among iPhone 4 users because I have 3 friends and that use that phone and are always complaining about dropped calls and what not.

  9. Iphone 4 purchased in Australia unlocked by Vodafone Aus taken to NZ and worked for 2 weeks then all of a suddden “call failed”. I have tried every “fix” i have seen both here and you tube…no luck. I hope Vod aust will help…but reading above, I doube it.

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