Disappointing call performance in the 3G version of the iPhone could be down to the Infineon chip used in its manufacturer academics have claimed.
Poor signal sensitivity is the cause of problems with the iPhone’s 3G connection, according to research by the Claes Beckman, professor of microwave technology at the University of Gälve. Measurements show that the iPhone’s sensitivity to the 3G network signal is well below the value specified in the 3G standard, specified by ETSI.
As users have complained of dropped calls, poor internet service and low battery life, industry experts claim that substandard parts could be to blame. Richard Windsor, an analyst with Nomura, believes the problem involves a 3G communications chip made by the German company Infineon.
Wilson wrote: “We believe that these issues are typical of an immature chipset and radio protocol stack where we are almost certain that Infineon is the 3G supplier. There are too many instances on iPhone blogs and Apple's own website for it to be coincidence.”
A report by BusinessWeek claimed that the problem was with the Infineon technology, which it described as “fairly new and untested in high volumes outside a lab setting.”
Infineon spokesman Guenter Gaugler declined to comment on the iPhone, but noted that it had been supplying 3G chipsets to phone makers such as Samsung without any problems reported.
Apple has declined to comment on the reports; however spokesperson Natalie Kerris recommended that users regularly update their devices via iTunes to take advantage of any new software updates for the iPhone that might be released.