As Apple tackles complaints made against battery life for the new iPhone 4S, they could have another problem to solve – SIM Cards. And the two issues could be linked.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, when launching the iPhone 4S, placed a lot of emphasis on an improved battery to cope with the faster processing speed in the new device. A better phone, he claimed, did not mean a reduced battery life. Despite his assurances some users complained on Apple forums of the device’s battery running down in under a day. Others claimed the battery would drop while the phone was inert. Apple posted suggestions and tips online for reducing battery drainage, including switching off location services and data usage when without signal. Now Apple has promised an iOS update, iOS 5.0.1 will solve the issue. But the battery problem may have created another.
Some users have taken to forums suggesting when they have received their iOS update their smartphone no longer recognises their SIM card. One user wrote that they re-inserted the card to be met with a note reading “SIM Failure”, another “Invalid SIM”. Without a SIM card users are unable to make calls or send texts making their iPhone 4S largely useless. Others have reported on the Apple help forums that while the SIM appears to have been recognised they have not been able to connect calls or receive texts. Others have complained that after the iOS 5.0.1 update they have still had a battery issue and even found it difficult to connect to Wi-Fi.
For Apple, the on-going issue of battery life and user complaints will have uncomfortable memories of what the press and bloggers dubbed “Antenna-gate”. When the iPhone 4 launched users quickly spotted a design flaw. When held in the left hand to make a call the user covered a sensor which meant the signal dropped off, making it difficult to make and receive calls. It was, they claimed, the fault of the antenna which was in the wrong place. When designing the iPhone 4S Apple took this issue seriously and wanted no repeat of the same issue. Two antennae were fitted to the new device. Yet while one problem is solved, another crops up.
The new iOS 5 has been rolled out on all compatible devices but so far the issues with the update only seem to be affecting iPhone 4S users, some of whom claim they are going back to using their iPhone 4. Form responses claim re-starting the phone can solve the problem temporarily or restoring from iTunes. Others claim it works if they switch off the 3G network. But none of these are solutions with any real longevity.
The success of the iPhone 4S, its status as the fastest selling smartphone despite its not so cheap mobile phone deals, have made this a bumper quarter for Apple who must have been hoping this would close the door on the marred launch of the iPhone 4. However, while one iOS update does not appear to have solved the battery issues on the new device, another will have to be forthcoming before a second software issue affects another new smartphone launch. Apple has so far made no comment about the SIM problems reported.