The iPhone 5: Volume Issues, iOS 6.0.1 & Much More

A question at the commencement- will iOS 6.0.1 be the cure? Early adopters should always expect some type of anomaly with any piece of technology. The iPhone 5 is no exception. When I unboxed mine, there were no scuff marks on it, scratches etc. It was pristine. Upon activation, I imported all of my settings and related information from my iPhone 4. Fifteen minutes later, I was running iOS 6 on a brand new phone- the first time I had ever experienced LTE (I hated to admit that). It took little time for me to find issues abundant. When you’re in a call, and you receive a text message, the “Tri-tone” sound is so faint, one can barely hear it. The same applies to call waiting sounds, as well as the 20% and 10% battery warnings. They sound so distant, it’s as though they are coming from the other person’s phone. A point I argued to an Apple representative, named Eric, was that adjusting the volume of the iPhone media player to zero would now silence all alert sounds. He stated that every iteration of the iOS has always worked that way. Really? Then why does my wife’s iPhone 4 on iOS 5 not do this, as well as every iPhone I’ve ever owned? Obviously someone forged Eric’s transcript.

I immediately addressed these concerns to Apple, who had me run the phone through a gauntlet of ineffective tests. I performed resets, restores, soft-boots, cold-boots, Siri’s hidden volume, maximizing all volumes, changing text tones and many more. Eventually they gave up and told me that it would be addressed in the next iOS 6 update. This answer was not the one I wanted to hear, but it was the only one which made any sense. Why return and or exchange a working piece of hardware when you can narrow the problems to the new OS? After exhausting my time on Apple’s own discussion boards, which would be better allocated to my studies and my family, I found droves of people who claimed the same issues, and many more, on the iPhones 5, 4s, 4 and 3Gs, immediately after an update to iOS 6.

If you shake the phone, only a little, you will hear some internal artifact. This artifact we are hearing is the mechanism responsible for vibration. It has been suggested by sites like TNW and Examiner that Apple opted to use an older vibrating device from the iPhone 4. Do you have good hearing? Try shutting the vibrate on text off, and listen as someone sends you an in-call text. You’ll hear a small click. That sound is the motor firing prematurely. There are a number of other issues that I could discuss, but at $400, you expect to get what you paid for, within reason.

Last night, I had the privilege to spend time with a friend and his iPhone 5. Sadly, he has all of the same problems I do, albeit a little less bothered by them. I have personally written Tim Cook, and wait for a resolution. Wow! With all of those volume-related issues, how could I possibly write anything positive about the phone? The EarPods are loud as an earthquake, and that pleases me. However, I give credit to those who adopted other phones instead of staying with what they know. I went from an old Verizon RAZR to the second generation iPhone 16GB. The only thing I cared about is the one thing it excels at- it is simply the fastest handheld device I have ever owned. With that one positive attribute, I can wait for a fix for the other problems.

End of line.

-T

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