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Apple Smells Fishy Chips As Cause Of iPhone Woes

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BusinessWeek has reported on its website that the iPhone is suffering from faulty software on an Infineon chip, and that “Apple plans to fix the problem with a software update”.

The latest iPhone, which went on sale in July and has sold 3 million globally, has been copping some flak recently—both here and abroad.

Local provider Optus has been forced into giving its iPhone customers “goodwill credits” to customers suffering reception problems and slow data speeds and Vodafone Australia has been reported as saying the iPhone 3G issues were “device-specific and the carrier was working with Apple to provide a solution”.

The BusinessWeek’s online report cited an unidentified source as saying the problem lay with Infineon technology, which it described as “fairly new and untested in high volumes outside a lab setting”, and adding that “Apple had set up the Infineon chip to demand a more powerful 3G signal than it needed, resulting in a switch back to the slower network if there are too many people in the same area trying to use their iPhone at the same time”.

The problem apparently affects about 2 per cent to 3 per cent of iPhone users, the BusinessWeek said, citing two “well-placed” sources.

For its part, Infineon declined to comment on the iPhone, but noted that the German chipmaker has been supplying 3G chipsets to other phone makers such as Samsung Electronics without any problems.

However, Apple is working on a software update to fix the problem, and is expected to be finished and sent out in “the next few weeks:, according to a number of reports.

“It’s not about whether you have problems or don’t have them,” Ken Dulaney, a mobile analyst at research firm Gartner told the Wall Street Journal.

“It’s how quickly you address them that matters. If Apple addresses them, people will cut them slack”, added Dulaney.