An article by Peter Burrows for BusinessWeek analyzes the recent problems with iPhone 3G reception, stating that "two well-placed sources tell BusinessWeek.com the glitches are related to a chip inside Apple's music-playing cell phone." This corroborates previous reports that the handset's Infineon 3G chip is the culprit. BusinessWeek adds that Apple "plans to remedy the problems through a software upgrade."
One source says the problem lies squarely with Infineon's technology, which is fairly new and untested in high volumes outside a lab setting. Not only is the iPhone shipping in much higher volumes than other handsets, it's also gobbling up far more 3G minutes as owners use it to surf the Web, watch YouTube (GOOG) videos, and utilize other bandwidth-hogging services.
To date I've had no problems with 3G coverage on my iPhone but I haven't used it extensively due to lack of coverage in my area. I am, however, happy to report that a brand-spankin-new AT&T 3G cell site just went live about two miles from my house and it's helped greatly with coverage in and around my house.