Page last updated at 03:45 GMT, Tuesday, 19 August 2008 04:45 UK

Apple launches iPhone bug fix

By Maggie Shiels
Technology reporter, BBC News, Silicon Valley

Apple store in Hong Kong, AP
The 3G iPhone was an instant hit when it was released on 11 July

Apple has released a software update aimed at fixing bugs in its new 3G iPhone, which will hopefully improve 3G reception and end dropped calls.

Apple has not specified which bugs are being targeted. Calls seeking clarification were not returned.

"The information Apple gives is vague," said Josh Pigford, of the Apple Blog. "We're guessing it will sort problems like 3G glitches and lost calls."

Some users have complained of problems with 3G access and connectivity.

Chris Neher, of MacDailyNews.com, said there was nothing new in Apple's lack of comment on the subject. He added: "This is the way Apple handles these issues."

Testing

There have been claims on blogs that Apple chief executive Steve Jobs had said the problems affected just 2% of 3G iPhone users, which one analyst estimated at about 60,000 people, based on sales.

Mr Neher said his site had not been inundated with complaints about the phone and that he believed the fuss would all blow over in a few weeks.

iPhone customer with new phone in Palo Alto, CA
The new 3G iPhone hit one million in sales three days after launch

"This is a big to-do at the moment but in a few weeks people will have forgotten what the issue was all about. It's because users expect more from Apple. There are many more users saying their iPhones work than not."

The blogosphere rushed to test how well the new release worked and came up with some mixed results.

The Wired blog network reported that lag issues in the address book were fixed, text messaging was snappier and that back-up had sped up.

Some bloggers on CNET said that since downloading the update they had a better 3G signal than before, while others said there was no difference.

Meanwhile engadget.com joked: "We've got the new firmware up and running, and it's true - those bugs have been fixed.

"Which bugs? Well, it's hard to say, but our voice suddenly sounds deeper, and we've noticed improved grammar during calls."

The iPhone 2.0.2 firmware is available through iTunes and takes about six minutes to complete.

This is the second fix for the 3G device, for which the launch day was less than illustrious when customers around the world had problems activating or upgrading the earlier version of the iPhone.

Android or Dream?

As Apple deals with the fallout from its iPhone problems, it also has to consider future competition from Google with its Android platform.

T-Mobile, the fourth biggest operator in the US, has said it plans to launch a mobile phone powered by Android software, making it the first operator to do so. A release date in November has been hinted at.

android
Android's touch screen, shown earlier this year, is reminiscent of the iPhone

The new device will have a touch screen like the iPhone and other smart phones and use software to allow users to surf the internet.

The Federal Communications Commission has just approved the device for use in the United States and documents confirm the name of the new phone will be "Dream".

The phone is being seen as an important step in Google's plans to move into the mobile market because the new Dream will use Google's advertising platform to serve up ads based on the interests of the user and their location.

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said recently: "The mobile device is more targeted [than the desktop device].

"Think about it: You carry your phone with you everywhere. It knows all about you. We can use that to do a very, very targeted ad. Over time, Google will make more money from mobile advertising."


SEE ALSO
Getting at Apple's core problems
05 Aug 08 |  Technology
Apple sees profits beat forecast
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29 Jul 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Software glitch hits iPhone fans
11 Jul 08 |  Technology

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