Apple Ignores iPhone 4S Audio Problem, Faces Backlash

Apple Ignores iPhone 4S Audio Problem, Faces Backlash

Summary: iPhone 4S audio problem remains unaddressed on Apple's Support forum since its release; customers are furious.

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An ongoing and widespread audio problem with Apple's iPhone 4S has its customers growing angry. The issue has gone unacknowledged since just after the phone's release in October 2011.

Owners of a new iPhone 4S are finding that some outgoing calls have no audio. The person they call can hear them, but the caller can't hear the recipient - no ringing, nothing. The issue seems to compound around use of Apple's included hands-free setup.

Right now, 108 pages of customer complaints sit ignored on the Apple Support Communities forum. The page has been viewed over 150,000 times.

The iPhone owners are clearly surprised and in some cases enraged that an Apple issue can have so many pages - and continue to grow - without a response of any kind from Apple.

After languishing for three months, customers on Apple's Support forum are starting to call their situation "Audiogate."

October 17 was the first post for the issue - three days after the phone hit stores.

You can see the whole mess at iPhone 4S - Outgoing call no audio on the Apple Support boards. Astonishingly the issue has never been addressed, with new complaints being added daily from customers around the world - and over 1,500 people have posted with the issue.

Today an exasperated customer writes,

Three of us in my family have a brand new iPhone 4S from Sprint and ALL have the same issue -- no audio and microphone does not work when using the included earphones/hands-free setup.

This seems to be a VERY common problem on the 4S judging from this thread and the three brand new phones we have. It's a MAJOR problem given that the law requires hands free use of mobile phones in several states including California and New York!

APPLE, PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE AND FIX THIS ISSUE.

Why isn't Apple taking their calls?

People in the support forum have tried everything they can to fix the issue, becoming their own audiogate support group. Many have returned their iPhones. A significant number of customers report they still have the same outgoing audio problem with the new iPhone 4S they receive as a replacement.

On average the problem is that some outgoing calls have no audio - some claim one in ten calls, others claim infrequency as little as one in fifty.

The problem is being reported on networks around the globe, including Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, and even Vodafone UK, Vodafone Spain, T-Mobile Poland, Sonera Finland, Comcel Colombia and Fido Canada.

Another poster explains,

I've been playing around with the problem a bit. It seems as though plugging headphones into the phone and THEN trying to make a phone call injects chaos into the system.

When I do such, my speakerphone button apparently thinks it's on, then off, then on, then off and then repeats the process until the phone app freezes.

The large group has been comparing notes on fixes for months; the general opinion is that the problem is software related. Many of them believe that Siri is to blame.

One user reports being able to reproduce the issue with the following:

1) Use Siri.  Raise to speak or home button press.  Doesn't seem to matter. When Siri is done answering you, press the home button.

2) Make a call. If its acting up, you will have no audio from the handset until you toggle the speaker phone button. Then the audio from the handset comes back.

I can get a failure about 1 out of every 7 calls after a Siri activation. Once it fails it usually fails for 2 or 3 calls in a row.

Handing out a new iPhone 4S can't be a cost effective solution, and customers are becoming suspicious. A recent comment from today explains,

Update - I took it to the Genius Bar in San Francisco, and the first time around was told that it was likely a software issue or possible an earphone issue, so they wiped my phone and gave me new headphones, and handed me back the phone.

As soon as that was done, I tried again and had the same exact issue. I immediately demonstrated it for them, they took it back, and then said that they don't know how to resolve it so they gave me a new phone.

Interesting that the first time they seemed to say they couldn't replicate the issue and that the software refresh should fix things, but immediately when I replicated it for them they were pretty quick about just handing me a new phone, no questions asked.

Let's hope they address and solve audiogate before the Apple Support Communities thread page count climbs any higher.

I also hope they get around to addressing Safari's serious - and currently unanswered - IOS 5 caching issue...

Via Reddit/r/technology.

Topics: Hardware, Apple, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones, Wi-Fi

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168 comments
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  • RE: Apple Ignores iPhone 4S Audio Problem, Faces Backlash

    This is just one of many problems with Apple products that go ignored or denied. Not saying any other company is better, but if I am paying a premium (as you do with Apple products) I want to have answers and solutions quickly.
    tgschmidt
    • RE: Apple Ignores iPhone 4S Audio Problem, Faces Backlash

      @tgschmidt Yeah good luck with that!
      slickjim
    • RE: Apple Ignores iPhone 4S Audio Problem, Faces Backlash

      @tgschmidt

      $200 (w/ contract) is the going rate for a smartphone these days no matter what the manufacturer is so what is this "premium" you speak of?
      jmiller1978
      • RE: Apple Ignores iPhone 4S Audio Problem, Faces Backlash

        @jmiller1978

        This "premium" is the label that Apple applies to itself with it's condescending TV adverts about "just working". And "if you don't have an iPhone, well, you don't have an iPhone".

        Are you claiming you've never actually watched or read Apple marketing? Please go away.
        Bozzer
      • RE: Apple Ignores iPhone 4S Audio Problem, Faces Backlash

        @jmiller1978 - $300 if you want the extra 16GB of memory we Android users pay $20 for. But really..It's an iPhone. Nobody expects to make an actual call on it.
        NotMSUser
      • RE: Apple Ignores iPhone 4S Audio Problem, Faces Backlash

        @jmiller1978 The premium is the forced extra money you spend when your contract expires. I am still paying the inflated AT&T price now that I was paying when my phone was being subsidized. When the contract is up the subsidized portion of your payment should disappear.
        xStatiCa
      • RE: Apple Ignores iPhone 4S Audio Problem, Faces Backlash

        @xStatiCa I agree 100% but if you are going to claim it's an Apple issue then you need to point out what phone you can get on the same carrier that is any different.
        non-biased
    • RE: Apple Ignores iPhone 4S Audio Problem, Faces Backlash

      @tgschmidt do you own an iPhone 4S that is having this problem?
      CowLauncher
      • RE: Apple Ignores iPhone 4S Audio Problem, Faces Backlash

        @CowLauncher from the looks of it, all of them have this issue but many likely don't use the feature.
        slickjim
      • RE: Apple Ignores iPhone 4S Audio Problem, Faces Backlash

        @CowLauncher
        I use handsfree most of the time, and no problem here.
        root12
      • RE: Apple Ignores iPhone 4S Audio Problem, Faces Backlash

        @Peter Perry From the looks of it all of them? Based on what other than your hatred for Apple? I hope you are basing it on the FUD of a story Violet wrote. It does appear there is an issue and Apple does need to address it but that's where she stopped using facts. To try to blow it out of proportion in her usual fashion when it comes to anything Apple she claims that over 1,500 people have posted that they have this issue. As of today there are 1,692 post total, not individual posters. If you look at just the first page of the 15 posts almost 2/3s are from 3 posters alone. She present it as if 1,500 individual have posted they have the issue but if you take out all but the initial post of anybody with the issue and posts by individuals that don't have the issue but are just commenting I would bet the number is well below 500. Of course using real numbers doesn't help Violet or you bash Apple so why let them get in your way now.
        non-biased
    • RE: Apple Ignores iPhone 4S Audio Problem, Faces Backlash

      @tgschmidt
      I have had no problems and I use handsfree most of the time. Also I am not in the US. Since its affecting maybe a small percentage of people, don't you think it would take time find, time to get enough data? You may want answers quickly, but problem solving in the real world takes longer.
      root12
      • RE: Apple Ignores iPhone 4S Audio Problem, Faces Backlash

        @root12 How do you turn on the handsfree? Does it require a Bluetooth adapter?
        slickjim
      • RE: Apple Ignores iPhone 4S Audio Problem, Faces Backlash

        @root12

        They seem to have enough time to sue other companies. Perhaps they should hire more engineers instead of lawyers and things might get fixed quicker eh.
        Bozzer
      • RE: Apple Ignores iPhone 4S Audio Problem, Faces Backlash

        @root12 It's not problem-solving that's the issue. It's making control of image the #1 priority. Here's how it works: the longer the time between acknowledging the problem exists and the solution, the longer the blemish remains in the public eye and damages the brand. Therefore, the SOP for brand-focused companies in this situation is to simply ignore the problem and/or fail to acknowledge its existence unless and until a solution is found. Even then, the ideal scenario would be to release an update claiming to add features and sneak the fix in as well so that the problem never has to be acknowledged. THAT'S the issue here. People have been left hanging with no response from Apple since the release of the phone, no official workarounds (the boards have had to figure them out themselves), and no ETA on a possible solution or even official confirmation if it's software, hardware or both that's the problem (in theory it might not even be fixable depending on the cause). Users shouldn't be left hanging like that for months with no help or response from any company.
        jgm@...
    • What's the premium on an iPhone?

      They sell for less than many other smart phones.
      @tgschmidt
      GoPower
    • As long as others don't know of the issue

      @tgschmidt
      and continue to buy and buy the new iPhone, then Apple won't say a word.

      Why should they, it's about overall profits, the loss of a few million vs the earning of a few billion kind of makes this a non issue to Apple.
      William Farrel
    • RE: Apple Ignores iPhone 4S Audio Problem, Faces Backlash

      @tgschmidt

      You expect support from Apple? Ha!
      You're obviously using it wrong.
      R220
      • RE: Apple Ignores iPhone 4S Audio Problem, Faces Backlash

        @luckyducky7@... Apple has been great for me in the support dept. no problems with my machine...great with help for q's. Cannot say the same for Motorola Droid.
        reslyn
    • RE: Apple Ignores iPhone 4S Audio Problem, Faces Backlash

      @tgschmidt,<br>" I want to have answers and solutions quickly."<br>Hows this: "Mr. Schmidt 100% of all iPhone 4s ever sold are currently under warranty. If you go to an Apple store we will replace your phone in less than 10 minutes. Your wireless carrier will also replace your phone."<br><br>What you really want is Apple to fully detail the defect so you can rub their nose in it.
      YaBaby