back to article 'Apple's iPhone 4S ate our SIM cards'

The "phone" bit of the new iPhone 4S has stopped working properly for some users who are experiencing repeated SIM card failures, according to customer help forums on the Apple website. The SIM stutter appears to be affecting customers running the new iOS 5.01 on the iPhone 4S: those affected report frequent error messages …


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  1. Andrew Moore

    Shock!!! Horror!!!

    An iPhone that doesn't work properly as a phone!!! I think Apple call that an iPod Touch.

    1. Steve Knox


      I think you'll find the official Apple designation for an iPhone that doesn't work well as a phone to be "iPhone".

  2. hplasm

    iPhone. It just...

    Oh.... It just *about *works.

  3. King Jack


    Surely this is just a fix for the battery drain problem. If you cannot make or recieve calls, then you save a ton of battery life. I cannot see what the iFans are complaining about. It's new its Apple, rejoyce.

    1. Ru

      Just don't make phonecalls with it. Not that big of a deal.

  4. Jim Coleman

    Blimey, Apple are becoming rather Android-OEM-like.

  5. JoshOvki

    User problem

    It must be something the user is doing, because Apple products "just work" and never go wrong!

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      Maybe they are holding it the wrong way?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    have to say, even I notice that after the 5.0.1 "update" my phones battery drains rather quickly about half a day faster with just audio and light browsing, and about twice as quick for heavy use.

    I want 5.0.0 back :( oh well, no great chore for me.

  7. Chris 171


    So that just leaves fanbois with an 'i' then? what can you do with one of those?

    iDoorstop & iPaperweight spring to mind in my admittedly provocative mood.

    Sent from my Nokia phone

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More ammo...

    ... for the hate filled Fandroids in 3,2,1

    It's a bit of a balls up though, but as a percentage of users?

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      I don't get it

      Why is anyone who dares criticise the holy iPhone suddenly a 'Fandroid'.

      The world isn't split between people who worship Apple and evil Android fans you know. The vast majority of us are known as normal people, and many of us are able to critically appraise a piece of technology based upon its merits, and the merits of the company producing it and make an informed decision.

      FWIW, I own no Apple products, because I don't like the attitude of the company towards its customers, the products appear to be overpriced and a large portion of the customer base are repellent. I own an Android phone because it does what I want it to do and isn't hugely overpriced or needlessly restrictive. Other mobile operating systems are available and no doubt provide the functionality that others want.

      1. Prag Fest

        I don't get it

        "The world isn't split between people who worship Apple and evil Android fans you know"

        Erm, have you spent much time on this site lately? If only we could have educated, critical appraisals of issues with Apple products. Instead we just get an onslaught of ill-informed name calling. And as for the comments sections...

        1. J P

          Prag Fest, you owe me a new keyboard. Shame today was the day I got my shiny (well, not so shiny any more) new Win7 laptop...

    2. Haku

      I am an equal opportunitist - I hate ALL mobile phones.

      It's just that you get better reactions poking fun at the Apple users.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I think you'll find it's as enjoyable poking fun at the Android users, they just don't have a sense of humour and will downvote you

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unsurprisingly when you ship millions of phones over a period of days you may get a very small percentage that have or develop faults. Unfortunately a few people can make a lot of noise when 99.99% of people probably have no problems.

    New phone hardware and software - it's likely to have a few teething issues but I also trust Apple will sort it out better than other manufacturers. HTC and most Android makers should take note.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      talking bollox!

    2. JoshOvki

      As they use the same hardware, and the same software should this really be happening, didn't they test it first?.

      The android developers have to make their software work on a HUGE range of phone, unlike Apple.

    3. phlashbios


      @ AC who said " Unfortunately a few people can make a lot of noise when 99.99% of people probably have no problems."

      Did you know that 84% of statistics are 74.3% made up ?

    4. phlashbios


      @ AC who said " Unfortunately a few people can make a lot of noise when 99.99% of people probably have no problems."

      Did you know that 84% of statistics are 74.3% made up ?

  10. Nixon

    CDMA = no SIM. Phone Knowledge 101.

    1. Chad H.

      Thats my understanding too

      But as the CDMA phone has a SIM slot to allow for GSM roaming suggets something wierd is going on.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Book an appointment and take it into an Apple store - sure would have been better to not have a problem but with millions of phones sold you will get a few that fail. Even 99.95% is 5 in 10,000 so for every 1m phones sold that would be 500 faulty ones or 99.99% would be 100 faulty ones per 1m sold.

  12. Mystic Megabyte

    The Sim card is the wrong colour

  13. Barry Tabrah

    It's not just the 4S

    I'm getting the same issue on my previously mostly reliable plain ol' 4, so it looks like it's most likely a software issue. And shoving tape all over the SIM card doesn't make a blind bit of difference.

  14. ElNumbre

    Fix Coming Soon...

    A fix will be coming soon, you just need to buy the iPhone 5 which won't use a physical sim card (maybe).

  15. WideEyedFox

    Cracks in the walled garden

    I have had a 4S since launch. IOS 5 came preloaded and had terrible battery life compared to my iP4 running IOS5. I upgraded to IOS5.0.1 - battery life still terrible, data connectivity is intermittent (i.e. no 3G 70% of the time) and the WiFi needs restarting every day to get it to connect either at work or home.

    On top of that, the camera is still cr*p (compared to my old Nokia N95!), and Siri a 5 minute gimmick, especially when it relies on a data connection which the phone cannot keep hold of. Siri (Stupid Idea, Really Iritating) is now turned off due to it being useless on handsfree in the car. Standard voice activated dialling works much better!

    My iPhone 4 could easily manage a complete working day (0700 -> 2300) on a full charge, which included calls, a few photos, twitter, email, and the odd game etc. My 4S just abaout gets me to 1800hrs before I start thinking of my nearest charger.

    Location services, wifi and bluetooth are all turned off now. Which almost makes it an expensive iPod.

    The iPhone suited my needs for a phone, sat nav, browser, email checker and casual game player with the odd bit of work remote desktop thrown in. Walled garden or not - it just works and suited me.

    Apple have a problem - and they need to fix it pronto before people start to see daylight through the cracks in the walled garden and wonder if there is anything better on the other side.

  16. Simon B

    Same old same old

    Same old same old, basic phone that does basic well, sold for stupid money (ooooh shiny I want it!) yet utterly crap. Don't expect a fix soon, you're on the wrong phone network, it will likely work fine on Apple's own GSM network ... which they haven't built yet ;)

  17. fixit_f

    It's all very well bashing Apple...

    But these problems apply to the first production batches of pretty much any new piece of technology. My Missis' HTC Desire Z (apparently one of the first off the line, now back in the shop for something like the fifth time) is a case in point. Never be an early adopter!!

  18. CaptainBlue


    I have had this happen a few times since mine arrived last week.

    "Have you tried turning it off and on again" does indeed temporarily restore connectivity.

  19. ravenviz Silver badge

    "make and receive calls and texts"

    Er, didn't know iPhone could do that as well!

    1. Darryl

      It can't. Didn't you read the article?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bet they didn't patent that!

  21. Chris 211

    and people mock nokia...

    My SYMBIAN Noka e6-00 does everything the iphone does without an idiots interface, has mammoth battery performance and I can use as a mobile phone rather well. Holding it anyway I want to! Why people are still buying iPhones is a mystery to me. I guess its pandering to the lowest capable user.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Iphone 4 IOS5

    Not exactly on topic but 2 of my senior management have iphone 4 and upgraded to IOS5 and the later updates.

    Now they both refuse to recognize email content on our exchange server 'this message has no content' and ' the message was not downloaded from the server'.

    Spent hours with our provider, still not working.

    Good isn't it. Afraid 'The Boss' is a fan but I wouldn't have one as a gift.

  23. tonysmith

    I don't own any iProducts nor I'm a big iFan but these things happen - not much on the market if anything, is flawless.

    However the Apple fans bring it on themselves by being the way they are. They or their attitude is Apples biggest problem - as well as it's biggest asset.

    Most people here don't hate Apple or their products as such but the attitude of iProduct users.

    I, for one, maybe inclined to buy an Apple product but this attitude is a bit off putting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Never noticed that iProduct users had a common attitude. Could you expand on that? Thanks.

      1. tonysmith

        I'm sorry, but if you've not noticed it then I can't really help you on this one. I think it quite obvious to everyone else.

        Though I will add that I'm talking about netcitizen iProduct users - never had an issue with real world ones.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amateur hour at El Reg?

    "just taking the damn thing back"?

    CDMA phones (which use no SIM) having "SIM failures"?

    I really wish this site would go for more constructive criticism instead of just inflaming the iOS/Android wartards.

  25. Saoir

    It's a bit pathetic to continuously refer to all Apple users as "fanbois".

    Also if iPhones are so bad ... perhaps those idiots above can explain how come the iPhone leads every Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Survey by a mile ......

    Oh dear .. how inconvenient.

    1. Tchou

      Because people rarely think by themselves maybe?

      1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

        crApple iPhoney iFanboi iSatisfaction iSurvey

        Please rate your level of iSatisfaction (tm) 1 to 5 with you iPhoney

        1 - Very satisfied

        2 - Very satisfied

        3 - Very satisfied

        4 - Very satisfied

        5 - Very satisfied

    2. Chris 211

      if iPhones are so bad ...

      come the iPhone leads every Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Survey..

      1. Never equate popularity with quality or capability. In the case of the iPhone it simply means a lot of people like shiny objects and a pretty interface, the lowest common denominator.

      2. Does it really? Its not market forces at work here to achieve a fixed end result. So they asked people likely to have an iPhone leading questions and got the result they wanted.

      3. Market forces are also being applied (annoyingly) to the choice of company's to deploy 'APPS' when really a clever web page template would cover all common smartphone formats.

      Each week I read conflicting news that apple have the biggest share, no android, no nokia...

    3. Peter 48


      It's called the reality distortion field. A friend of mine always raves about her macbook pro for example and how it is the best thing since sliced bread and how happy she is with it, but always seems to forget it's almost weekly crashing and numerous trips to the apple store to get it to work. Every iphone user I know has numerous problems with their phones, not to mention the constant necessity of finding work-arounds to get them to do something as basic as attach a file to an email, but when asked they declare their undying love for them.

      This endemic issue of selective memory is part of Apple's philosophy and marketing technique. Quash any negative comments and never admit to any faults to perpetuate the myth of infallibility. Apple employees are forbidden to say anything remotely negative about apple or their products, even in private. Promote the myth that everybody is happy and if you aren't then the fault lies with you, not the device (Job's famous line "you are holding it wrong"). This is textbook cult building.

  26. DJ Smiley

    Physical fault...

    My collegue has this problem - if he pushes on both sides of the phone the sim becomes "disconnected". No more calls until he pokes it again...... i.e. takes it out of his pocket.

  27. Rick Brasche

    no worries here

    of course, still running my old 3GS. It's survived drops (while in a case, natch) been dropped in the bog (displayed a "device not compatible" message!) and subjected to eight hours or more of freezing temperatures while stashed in a motorcycle bag on a long winter ride.

    But it took quite awhile for Apple to pull it's head out and address a number of issues. It was definitely *not* a reliable device right out of the box. I expect the same "we'll fix it later" philosophy that we also saw in the 4G will also be part of the 4GS and the mythical 5 in turn as well.

    I'll probably still be using the 3GS until there's no more iOS support for it (I'm surprised iOS 5 didn't already cause serious performance issues). Then it'll be time to turn it into an iPod and see what's available outside of the Walled Garden...if it didn't mean losing my grandfathered "unlimited data" plan from AT&T I'd have already jumped ship to a shiny new android device.

    1. Steve Knox

      Typical Apple

      "been dropped in the bog (displayed a "device not compatible" message!)"

      suppose you had to upgrade to the iLoo to get past that message, then?

  28. zb

    I did not know they could make phone calls.

  29. Daniel Barnes

    I love these topics, people take their selected choice of phone way too seriously. Most people on here are fairly intelligent (at least as far as tech goes), yet it always deteriorates into childish, schoolyard-type name-calling.

    I have an iPhone 4 and have never had any problems with it, neither do I know anyone who has.

    However I know that that doesn't mean other people aren't experiencing problems with theirs, it's the same as any mass-produced product, there will always be some bad ones slip through the net.

    We all know it's the same for Android phones as well, and with the added fragmentation the platform has also, it's not surprising that lots of phones go without updates from operators, luckily the sterling work that Android communities do supporting these 'forgotten phones' negates a lot of this, but only for people like us who are tech savvy, you try talking your Nan through a custom rom install, you might as well teach her how to to program her VCR while you're at it.

    On the flip side Apple's 'walled garden', while preventing non Apple-sanctioned apps, rogue apps and virus's to spread is a closed system, which has it's positive and negative issues that can also be negated by tech savvy people like ourselves in the form of jailbreaking.

    I've been an Apple fan since the mid 90's, but I've also been a Windows user for many years and have supported a few Windows networks in my time. I've tried to like Linux (I really have!) But I think it's fragmentation issues have hindered it being adopted more widely and I don't think it will start gaining ground until there is just one linux or at least a reduced amount of distro's with the same underpinnings (package manager formats especially).

    So in summary: Stop bitching at each other about the choices each other makes. Every platform has it's positive and negative points, just be happy with the choices you make for yourself.

    1. Bob. Hitchen

      Only idiots buy phones that cost a fortune.

      My mobile which annoyingly runs out of charge after 10 days cost a tenner with ten quid free calls. It has no apps and my granddaughter thinks its crap but it works.

  30. DJ Particle

    What I want to know is...

    Why every time someone reports a "widespread" problem with an Apple device (at least since MacOS 10.0 - everyone knows Classic was a crash whore), I never see it?

    I have owned 5 Macs, 3 iPods, and 2 iPhones since MacOS X first came out in 2001, and every time I hear about a "widespread" problem, it never materializes on any of my equipment over these last 10 years. The only problem I ever ran into was a bad RAM stick in my 2007 Mini, and it was an isolated incident easily fixed.

    Every time I hear about a software update going sour, no problems.

    Antennagate? Nope

    Battery woes? Not a one, not even on my current 2007 model iPod Classic.

    You'd think I'd have run into at least ONE of these issues? Nope.

    So what gives?

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