Dow Jones blows it: says ‘blame Apple iPhone 3G not carrier,’ ignores iPhone 2.1 update

“Connectivity issues with Apple Inc.’s popular iPhone 3G likely stem from the device, not the wireless carriers that support it, a problem that blemishes a product that has won rave reviews since it made its debut two months ago,” Ben Charny reports for Dow Jones Newswires in an article dated September 24, 2008: 08:15 AM EST.

MacDailyNews Take: This is irresponsible “journalism” that recycles old, outdated, speculation that has been discounted and rendered moot by iPhone Software 2.1, which, amazingly, Charny totally neglects to mention. It’s as if the article was dredged up from a month ago and reprinted today. iPhone Software was released on September 12, 2008.

Related articles:
• Report: Apple’s iPhone 2.1 Software fixes pretty much everything – September 16, 2008
Apple’s iPhone, iPod touch 2.1 Software looks and feels like a winner – September 13, 2008
Hands on: Apple iPhone 2.1 Software Update – September 12, 2008
• Apple releases iPhone 2.1 Software Update – September 12, 2008

Charney continues, “As soon as Apple began selling its latest smart phone two months ago, owners started complaining about dropped calls and vexingly slow Internet connections. Initially, the blame was placed on phone carriers, whose systems were believed to have been overwhelmed by the number of iPhones. Now, the blame has shifted to the iPhone itself. On Sept. 6, a unit of German phone operator T Mobile, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG (DT), noted on a blog that it had asked Apple to address problems with the device that were causing its customers to complain. Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of U.S. operator Verizon Communications (VZ) and the U.K.’s Vodafone PLC, quickly followed, telling its sales people to advise potential customers about the iPhone’s technical problems.”

MacDailyNews Take: Again, old, discounted info and what seems to be a sly attempt to spread FUD: Verizon in the U.S., and Vodafone in the U.K. are not iPhone carriers – of course they jumped on any potential issue, true or not, and told their sales vermin to spread the news, true or not. Charny does his readers a major disservice. Charny and Dow Jones must think their readers are stupid.

Charny continues, “While the glitch, which has been documented by independent analysts, is unlikely to derail Apple’s target of selling 10 million iPhones before the end of the year, it adds to a growing number of product issues that have tarnished Apple’s reputation for designing glitch-free, easy-to-use devices and services. In addition to the iPhone 3G troubles, Apple’s MobileMe online services debut was such a dud that Apple had to apologize twice and later provide free months of service. Meanwhile, Apple is investigating episodes of overheating iPods in Japan and this week, had to recall iPhone 3G power adapters.”

MacDailyNews Take: Long-discontinued 1st-gen iPod nanos. 14 of them. And, yes, MobileMe had teething problems. Now, the “recall iPhone 3G power adapters” line tells us that the article is indeed new, but ignores iPhone Software 2.1 for some unknown reason. And, hey, Ben, you forgot to mention that Steve Jobs looks thin, you slime bucket.

Related articles:
Apple grants additional 60-day MobileMe subscription extension – August 18, 2008
• Former Apple employee: Eddy Cue will fix MobileMe – August 07, 2008
Full text of Steve Jobs’ memo to MobileMe team – August 06, 2008
Steve Jobs says MobileMe launched too early, not up to Apple’s standards; puts Eddy Cue in charge – August 05, 2008
Apple’s MobileMe Team apologizes to customers, gives users free 30-day extension – July 16, 2008
• Apple: Battery problem caused very rare overheating in discontinued, first-gen iPod nano – August 19, 2008
• Japan warns of fire risk for discontinued first-gen iPod nano – August 19, 2008
Apple announces Ultracompact USB Adapter Exchange Program – September 19, 2008

Charny continues, “Apple tacitly acknowledged the iPhone was responsible for the problems a week ago, when it released software to improve communications with 3G networks.”

MacDailyNews Take: Again, Charny seems to be referencing iPhone Software 2.0.2 while ignoring or not knowing about iPhone 2.1. Related, but old, pre-iPhone Software 2.1 articles:
Why the iPhone 3G sometimes dropped calls and what Apple’s iPhone 2.0.2 fixed – August 28, 2008
• Additional testing of Apple iPhone’s 3G antenna again shows completely normal results – August 27, 2008
• Apple iPhone 3G antenna test verdict: completely normal – August 25, 2008
• Apple: iPhone 2.0.2 Software Update ‘improves communication with 3G networks’ – August 20, 2008

Charney continues, “Richard Windsor, an analyst at Nomura Securities who has a track record of correctly analyzing issues with the iPhone, said the problem lies with a chip inside the iPhone that directs the phone’s operations. The chip, made by German semiconductor maker Infineon Technologies AG, is supposedly unable to handle the load the iPhone puts on it. ‘The device is at fault,’ said Windsor.”

MacDailyNews Take: Is Charny serious? Is Dow Jones serious? Richard Windsor’s track record of analyzing issues with the iPhone is horrific. Please see this related article:
• Nomura analyst Richard Windsor and his extraordinary knack for sniffing out Apple iPhone ‘issues’ – August 14, 2008

Charny continues, “Apple appears to be taking the situation seriously. On Aug. 19, Apple launched an iPhone software upgrade that it said would cut the number of dropped calls and improve the performance of text messages and emails. Many analysts interpreted the fact that the upgrade came from Apple, rather than the phone carriers, as a tacit indication that the company realizes the device is causing the problems.”

MacDailyNews Take: Again, referencing an old update, iPhone Software 2.0.2, without mention of iPhone Software 2.1, which does seem to have fixed the issues according to reports. Is this just a shockingly major mistake or a deliberate attempt to spread FUD about the iPhone or something else? What exactly is going on here? This article appeares on Dow Jones NewsPlus on both 9/23/08 at 4:07 p.m. and 9/24/08 at 8:00 a.m.

Charny continues, “Even with the fix, the iPhone 3G’s Web connectivity has continued to lag behind competitors. Nomura’s Windsor says the Apple won’t be able to solve the problems with software alone, suggesting the company will have to rebuild the phone.”

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, by the way: AT&T CTO admits carrier unprepared for Apple iPhone 3G success – September 22, 2008

Full article – Think Before You Click™here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is egregiously bad “journalism.” This thing should be immediately pulled by Dow Jones Newswires and an apology to Apple should be prominently displayed. This one is one of the worst we’ve ever seen – and that’s really saying something. Apple might wish to consider legal action against those responsible for this hideously inaccurate and outdated mess.

We urge our readers to contact Charny and/or Dow Jones and demand an explanation:

• Ben Charny, Dow Jones Newswires, Phone: 415-765-8230, Email:
• Dow Jones Comments and Feedback:


  1. Someone once asked: “How do you make a line small without erasing it.” Answer: “Just draw a bigger line next to it.”

    That’s exactly what Android did yesterday. Till yesterday, people were blaming Apple & AT&T;for all the problems (rightly so). But, once Android and T-Mobile got released, it actually shows how high a bar Apple has set and even AT&T;cannot match that bar by providing sufficient bandwidth.

    I think the above article was under works for the past two weeks (not sure what was substantive that it took two weeks to prepare), but they just released it as they already paid the writer.

  2. Charny has been responsible for a slew of such articles over the last 3 years. As soon as I see his byline, I know it is junk.

    Just as with analysts, it sometimes seems like a hopeless quest to get rid of incompetent journalists. Letter-writing just doesn’t seem to make any difference.

    Thanks MDN for being vigilant to debunk these idiots’ FUD. But one is not enough…

  3. I have to say, as much as I agree with the general MDN view about articles shuch as this one, that don’t do their homework properly, I still have to say there is some logic in the article’s original premise.

    When iPhone 3G came out, a significant number (representing still rather small percentage) of people were having 3G connectivity problems. Software update 2.1 seems to have resolved these problems for vast majority of those affected. If we were to scrutinise this fix extremely carefully, we could possibly argue that Apple ended up delivering a work-around for a problem with AT&T and their network capacity, by tweaking the 3G signal on the phone. One could say that the problem is still with AT&T’s networks, but Apple figured out how to circumvent it.

    However, a quick look at things is very diffecult to avoid: iPhone had serious connectivity problems; Apple delivered an update; problems were gone. Therefore, the problem was in the iPhone all along, not AT&T’s network.

    We can scream and argue ’till the cows come home, but this simple logic is extremely easy to defend and very difficult and complicated to deconstruct.

    In the end, fortunately, this whole story will have no discernible impact on Apple’s sales figures.

  4. OMG!

    Yes, it is very interesting how it comes on the heels of the Android release. Cellular is a cut-throat business for sure, but this… Wow!

    Still, we’ll see who’s left standing by this time next year. In spite of years of FUD about how Apple computers and other products are high priced, and the implications that Apple products are pretty without substance, actual end users continue to demonstrate how erroneous this kind of negative speculation has been. I think time will only continue to tell the same true story about Apple and its products. It’s not perfect, but in the realm of personal computing (including hand held computing) it really is about the best thing we’ve got going – real world. So far we’ve got over 20 years of evidence to back it up. The Charny report gleefully overlooks this fact, but no matter, time really will tell.

  5. We start using “IUSACEL” 3G modules for mobile connection in Mexico and we had exactly the same issues as iPhone users in the USA. Apple made the 2.1 setting the “wait” latency a little bit longer before the phone chip declares “lost connection”. But the phones does not have any issue with the signal, this is a carrier problem, once it is fixed, the iPhone will have way better reception that any other phone because of the 2.1 upgrade.

  6. Despite the iPhone 2.1 upgrade, I’ve found 3G totally useless on my iPhone when using it at both Boston and Newark airports. The phone rarely holds the 3G signal for more than a minute. I’ve taken to turning off 3G altogether, since it does little more than drain the battery.

  7. They forgot to throw in the iPhone causes cancer and that the steve may not live another day. This is called market manipulation and they will get away with it because there is so much more to worry about right now. The short sellers/hedge funds are pissed that they cannot short the financials so they turn their efforts elsewhere. On top of all that, Apple is up against serious backlash from not only MSFT, but ALL of the Motorolas, Nokias, Rimms, (all the hand set makers) AND all of the carriers that ATT are putting a whooping on because of the iPhone. There is HUGE money here that is outraged by Apple boot stomping their business models. They are banding together to fight the Apple innovation machine creating as much bullshit and nonsense as they can. In other news, Apple to launch ‘useless’ iPhone in 29 MORE countries by the end of 2008.

  8. Also AT&T;CEO admitted they were not ready for the demand at all! The iPhone did have some software issues but that has been corrected with update 2.1. Now Apple can move on to add more polish to the next update and maybe more features.

  9. “In the past two weeks a Verizon corporate communications executive, Jeffrey Nelson, has sent almost daily missives to analysts pointing out blog posts and news articles that take aim at AT&T;, Apple and the iPhone. “I get almost one a day,” said Mr. Marshall. “It’s almost like, hey, quit spamming me.” Verizon executives are not apologizing.”

    Competition are hurting – really, really hurting…

    Ha ha ha.

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