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Quick Hits: iPhone One Dropped Call Away From Perfection?


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines.

Behold! The Apple iPhone may not be the wireless device of the gods after all.

Apple (AAPL) is fiddling with a software fix it hopes will solve the problem of dropped calls on the new iPhone 3G, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Users have been wailing online about the unusually high number of calls that are dropped mid-sentence.

Apple declined to comment on the problem, but AT&T (T), Apple's wireless partner, says closeness to a cell phone tower and interference from adjacent buildings or even trees can affect phone service.

Developing reliable software is a challenge for all wireless companies. The speed and effectiveness of the planned fix could be a factor in determining the long-term success of the iPhone, a key market for Apple.

New software intended to fix the problem of dropped calls is expected to be available in a few weeks. Users of the new iPhone 3G will be able to download and install it on their devices by clicking to Apple's iTunes Store.

Apple introduced the iPhone 3G on July 11th to the usual fanfare and flapdoodle. The new device offers faster Internet access than the initial version of the phone introduced in January 2007.

Apple says the problem appears to be related to a chip made by Infineon Technologies (IFX). Analysts say Apple appears to be using the custom-made chip as the "baseband processor" or the component that handles the connections between the iPhone and cellular networks.

For more on Apple and it's fearless leader, Steve Jobs, check out Hoofy & Boo's always astute report.

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