Nursing the iPhone along

I’ve been having trouble with my phone for the last week or so. Last Sunday, I had no cellular reception at all with it, and I’ve been noticing for the last month or so that reception on it seems weak, but that often resetting it will seem to help. It seems particularly prone to losing strength when I hold it– and it’s a 3GS, not an iPhone 4.

When I took it to the Apple store in Providence, they had me replace the SIM card, to no avail. When I went back, they took the SIM card out, tinkered a bit, then said there was probably a problem with the antenna, which would cost $199 to address, and of course, if you’re going to do that, you might as well just get a new one. Only problem with that is that there are new models due out probably within the next six weeks and possibly as soon as three. So I took it home, and did a complete reset and restore. It still said “Searching” after the reset, so I said a few bad words and resigned myself to buying a new iPhone and let it complete the restore. Amazingly, though, when it came back up, I had 3 bars.

Still, it continues to be flakey, especially when I’m at home. I lost reception again Friday, I restarted it an it came back. Then I lost reception again Sunday, so I restarted it again. This time’ it was quite reluctant to even come back up. It was tax free weekend, so I decided to bite the bullet and headed to the Dedham Apple Store. The woman dealing with the line strongly suggested I talk to the Genius Bar again, because if they recommended a replacement it, it would be a replacement and not an upgrade, and wouldn’t require a new contract.

The tech there– I think his name was Jason– was quite helpful. He opened up the case, reseated the antenna cable and re-flashed the ROM.

It seemed to be OK during the day, but I lost signal again when I got home and went downstairs. I restarted it again, and at first it was having trouble getting 1 bar then came back up to 3 bars (the iPad is showing 3 bars). But I was able to make a call, without it dropping, so who knows. I do think this phone’s days are numbered, but hopefully, I can limp along with it until the new ones come out.