iPhone 3G: never mind “it just works”; have you tried turning it off and back on again?

As I mentioned earlier, O2’s 3G network has gone to crap today in my bit of Scotland – but talking to customer services, they were very keen to send me a checklist for 3G problems anyway. “We’ve sent this to a lot of iPhone customers”, the rep told me. Here’s the checklist exactly as it was emailed (hence the crap formatting).

Turn Airplane Mode on, wait 15 seconds, and then turn Airplane Mode off
again.  This resets all of iPhone’s wireless connections.

2.Try restarting iPhone
To turn it off, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the red
slider appears. Slide your finger across the slider to turn off iPhone.
To turn iPhone on, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the Apple
logo appears.
Does iPhone appear frozen or stuck?  Try pressing and holding the Home
button for 6 seconds to close a frozen application. Then try restarting
iPhone again.

3.Reset the SIM
To remove the SIM card, insert the end of a small paper clip into the
hole on the SIM tray.
Insert the SIM card using the same method.

4.Check APN
Select settings, then general, then network, then cellular data network. Please make sure the following info is there:
APN – mobile.o2.co.uk
Username – vertigo
password – password

5. Try the sim in another handset
Remove sim, put into another handset. If you receive 3G or EDGE coverage while doing this, then the issue is with your handset. If your sim still does not work in another handset then your sim card may be faulty.

6.Try restoring iPhone using iTunes.
Connect iPhone. When it appears in the Source list, click on Restore in
the Summary pane.
Note: This will delete all media and data. All settings will be reset
as well. If possible, sync iPhone with iTunes before restoring to back
up your most recent settings.

If none of the above works, please call 2302 from your iPhone to arrange either a replacement handset or sim

Hmmm. That O2 has a checklist for iPhone customers suggests that they’ve had a lot of queries from iPhone 3G owners whose 3G isn’t behaving. That’s not good, is it? It’s like coffee machine owners whose kit does everything but make coffee, or hairdryer owners whose hairdryers don’t dry hair. And since when was “try rebooting… if that doesn’t work, try wiping it and restoring it” an everyday way of troubleshooting Apple kit?

11 thoughts on “iPhone 3G: never mind “it just works”; have you tried turning it off and back on again?

  1. Stephen says:

    Hmmm. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if O2 were behind this shit; the Edge network has become all but unusable in London at times.

    But I have to admit that I had a problem with my 1G iPhone a couple of weeks ago, shortly after the 2.1 update. It wouldn’t turn off. It would do the spinning gear thing for awhile, turn off, and then immediately turn on again. Only way I could get it to turn off was to enter airplane mode. Since then it’s been fine.

  2. Gary says:

    There definitely seems to be a problem at the margins – I’m in the suburbs, and whenever signal quality is less than perfect the 3G is up and down like a gooseberry in a lift (despite this being, supposedly, a high quality coverage area). No problems in the city centre, where coverage is consistent. So I dunno if the 3G issue is maybe that the radio isn’t powerful enough in some areas.

    Connection aside, I had lots of problems with the 2.0 firmware but 2.1 seems to be better so far.

  3. Gary says:

    I don’t know if it’s coincidence, but yesterday’s firmware update seems to have improved things slightly.

  4. Gary says:

    Hasn’t fixed everything though; “slightly” is the operative word. It’s still desperately slow to move from 3G to Wi-Fi, and silly wee things – like saving a photo from Safari and then viewing it in the photo library – don’t work at first. I saved an image tonight and tried the photo library 12 times; the image I’d saved appeared as a thumbnail on the appropriate album, which listed the number of pics as 100. Go into the album, though, and it says I’ve got 99 images and the one I’ve added didn’t appear until try number 12. It’s all very un-apple.

  5. Stephen says:

    Yeah, I had the photo library problems as well. It is un-apple. Maybe the Mobile-Me fiasco has stretched the bug-fixing resources.

  6. Gary says:

    I don’t think it’s just mobileme. It’s the old cliche: firms screw up just when they’re on the top of the world. I think Apple’s trying to do too many things too quickly, and the basic Apple experience – the you get it, it’s absolutely brilliant and nothing annoys you – is maybe suffering as a result. Purely in iphone terms, I knew the iPhone 1.0 was compromised (no 3G in particular) but loved it anyway. I don’t have the same ownership joy with the 3G.

    That’s partly because of expectations, mind you. My wife has the 3G and thinks it’s absolutely brilliant – but she wasn’t upgrading from an iPhone.

  7. Namo says:

    hey, i’ve got my new iPhone 3G from Germany and i’m in Iraq, and i have iraqi sim car ASIACELL, but it says it’s not compatible sim card. what should i do to make it work right? i want ti unlock it. please help me.

  8. Gary says:

    Hi Namo. You need a program called the pwnage tool – although it’s 100% unsupported by Apple, so if something goes wrong and you knacker the phone Apple won’t fix or replace it.

  9. angel says:

    hi i sync some photo from my pc & when i wanted to delet unnesscery ones from the iphone i could’t!!! can someone help plz
    there is no trash icon in the “photo library” like the one ine the camera roll ???!!!

  10. Gary says:

    Hi Angel. I’m not sure about the PC, but on the Mac you manage the iPhone’s photos in iPhoto. I’d imagine there’s something in iTunes…

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