Hi Apple, the Genius Bar knows, so… 3.0.1 Update soon?

  • June 24th, 2009

Design Commission iPhone stencil

The iPhone 3GS is a great upgrade from the original iPhone 3G. The processor bump, memory boost, and 3.2 megapixel camera with tap-to-zoom & video recording have made me fall in love with the iPhone all over again. If you’re contemplating or have made the jump from the iPhone 2G, the comparison between the two shows a definite performance difference. However, a bug has slipped by undetected by the quality inspection…

The sound bytes you might hear

Your handset is screaming for attention, albeit at a frequency you may not ever hear. It’s been a few days since I took home my shiny iPhone 3GS and had it not been for an early post over on Boy Genius Report, I would have continued thinking that Apple had outdone the last iPhone – problem free. Unfortunately, a flaw was found. A flaw that neither sight or touch could detect.

Lock your screen using the sleep button, send an SMS message, send a email, receive a calendar alert, or hear any OS related sounds. Depending on ambient noise levels or how well your ears can hear, your delicate eardrums may detect a high frequency note lasting roughly 3-4 seconds at the tail end of system sound file(s).

High frequency sound

During the day, this high frequency isn’t an issue. At night while I lay in bed sending off a few emails or text messages, the sound is much more noticeable. It’s one of those things that if you weren’t aware of it to begin with, you would never notice. But now that you know it exists, you’re always listening for it. Or at least that’s the problem I have now.

Genius Bar associate(s) acknowledge sloppy sound files

Based on the discussion on the Apple Support boards and a handful of other posts on the net, I had a small sliver of hope that the issue was hardware related. Thinking this, I dropped my info into the Apple Concierge station locking in some time with the geniuses behind the Genius Bar.

After explaining the audio conundrum, my phone was taken to the back for a little “quiet” alone time – away from the hoardes of people snatching up MacBook Pro’s or iMac’s. What economy woes? Five minutes later: “Yes I hear it. I tested a few other 3GS phones back there and they all do the same”.

So no handset replacement. Not a big deal. At least the Genius Bar representative tested [multiple phones] and confirmed that 3GS handsets have a problem. The conclusion – sloppy audio files. Hopefully Apple will release an update in the near future or announce that the first production batch of phones are a little sour. I was told the solution was to keep the phone on vibrate (which works) or ignore it. Decisions decisions. Keep the phone on silent? Or live with a tiny little voice screaming?