Firmware upgrade to awaken 3G in iPhone?

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thedwp

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Jun 24, 2007
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#1
Could it be?

In his weekly column, I, Cringely, Robert Cringely suspects that Apple has already built 3G technology into today's shipping iPhone. It is very likely that a firmware upgrade will awaken the 3G capabilities within all of today's iPhones.
AT&T's 3G uses a technology called HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access), which is a combination of GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) and EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution). It provides average mobile data download connections between 400 kilobits per second (kbps) and 700 kbps. Not as fast as any of us would like, of course, but the new service will be 3-5 times faster than the current EDGE network alone, making your iPhone suddenly 3-5 times faster than it was before.
Jobs expects sales of the iPhone to EXPLODE this Holiday shopping season. Introducing an entirely new phone with 3G capabilities might not be the solution. A simple firmware upgrade would unlock the feature of the already proven successful phone, leaving no hesitation in the buyers' minds.
 
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Crazieukfan

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Jun 25, 2007
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#2
does that mean the phones we have right now are capable of having 3G just they haven't turned it on int the phones?
 

Heckler

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Jul 1, 2007
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#5
But didn't Steve Jobs explicitely state that 3G hardware/chips were not installed in the iPhone due to size and battery/power issues? If what Steve stated was actually true, than there is nothing to wake up with software.
 

damstr

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Jul 2, 2007
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#6
If there was something official from Apple or AT&T I would get an iPhone the first chance I had. Hopefully something will happen before then concerning 3G.I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
 

applefreak

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Jun 24, 2007
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#7
This wouldn't surprise me and has been speculated on before, simply because it didn't make much sense to leave 3G out. 3G is backwards compatible and would have allowed the phone to be compatible with cingular's Edge as well as ATT's 3G. But many folks have already disemboweled the iPhone and if there were a 3G chip somebody would have found it already.

Still, it was pretty stupid to leave 3G out. I would have paid another $100 for that feature.
 

kidapollo

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Jul 1, 2007
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#8
Engadget had a post this morning titled "Debunk: No Viginia, there won't be a 3G iPhone," which stated that Apple hadn't sought FCC approval for 3G in the iPhone and that the iPhone didn't have the guts to operate 3G.

Funny thing ... they've removed the post from their site. You can still search for it in Google News, but following the link to it brings up a blank page. Strange. I wonder why they pulled it?
 

jbaraga

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Jun 26, 2007
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#10
Engadget had a post this morning titled "Debunk: No Viginia, there won't be a 3G iPhone," which stated that Apple hadn't sought FCC approval for 3G in the iPhone and that the iPhone didn't have the guts to operate 3G.
If that's the case, then there's no way our phones have a 3G chip. People hack phones all the time. If Apple hasn't gotten govt. approval for a 3G iPhone, but embedded 3G technology into the devices anyway, the government would chew them up & spit them out as soon as people figured out how to hack the device and turn on 3G functionality.
 

Iwantmymtv35

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Jul 2, 2007
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#13
I personally believe there is no way there is 3G in this device, and they didn't report it to the FCC. Like jbaraga said, the government would be all over them. I just can't see Apple taking such a risky chance.
 

EJW2202

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Jun 27, 2007
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#14
Personaly I don't think there is 3g in iPhone. But there is no harm in wishing that this guy is right.
 

prolix21

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Jun 29, 2007
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#15
I believe these are the actual FCC docs (found the link via an article about the FCC approval). I haven't read them and honestly I wouldn't know what most of it meant anyway, but if anyone here wants to kill some time...

http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/oetcf/eas/...ame=N&application_id=268052&fcc_id='BCGA1203'

I guess my question would be if the FCC's approval would care if its Edge or 3g? Based on other stuff I read it was approved the tests said

"The Apple Inc. A1203 GSM Cellular Telephone with Bluetooth and Wifi, FCC ID: BCGA1203, is in compliance with the limits for general population uncontrolled exposure specified in FCC 2.1093. The device was tested according to the measurement standards and procedures specified in FCC OET Bulletin 65, Supplement C (Edition 01-01) and IEEE p1528/D1.2, April 21, 2003."

With all the people already taking the thing apart, you'd think it would have either been confirmed by now whether there is in fact a 3g chip in there. On another forum I frequent someone posted that their brother works @ MIT and a student there had disassembled one and said a chip is in there that can handle 3g, but this is info that's being relayed through a few people...

Personally I'd love to find out the phone does 3g, but I'm also not crossing my fingers. Either way I am happy with the phone, 3g or not. Edge does what I need, and the WIFI is awsome
 

applefreak

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Jun 24, 2007
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#17
Actually, considering how much criticism Apple took for the phone not having 3G over the last 6 months, I would think they'd have reassured everyone that it will have it eventually if it was only a matter of activation. Just doesn't make sense to hide a huge selling point.
 

Heckler

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Jul 1, 2007
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#18
With all the people already taking the thing apart, you'd think it would have either been confirmed by now whether there is in fact a 3g chip in there. On another forum I frequent someone posted that their brother works @ MIT and a student there had disassembled one and said a chip is in there that can handle 3g, but this is info that's being relayed through a few people...

They may have confused the SIM card with the chip set. It has been posted here that the SIM card says 3G on it, but this only means the SIM is 3G capable. Also, supposedly all AT&T phones come with a 3G SIM card. But this does not mean the phone is 3G capable. I have read read several interviews where Steve Jobs specifically stated there is no 3G chipset in the phone. It would definitely be a big screwup for him to say this if it was not true.
 

tadrewcook

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Jun 22, 2007
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#19
I'm not buying it. Unless they covertly disguised the 3G chip as some other kind of chip (maybe tortilla?), then I can't imagine that as many people as there have been who've cracked open their iPhones wouldn't have said, "there's no 3G chip". Unless they are all foolish nerds who need a 3G logo smack dab on top of the chip to tell them it's 3G.

So that leads me to my next question....does anyone here know what a 3G chip that would work for an iPhone actually look like? All the ones I've seen just look like regular old chips that have random letters and numbers on 'em. How the heck do you tell the difference? (Sorry, I'm just a paramedic)
 

ps49556n

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Jun 21, 2007
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#20
As much as I would love this too be true, I doubt current iPhones are 3G enabled. Jobs already stated that they didn't use 3g because of the power consumption as the main issue but also because of the lack of chips available. Besides that, if you look at any of the various iPhone disassembly photos ou can see that there is no 3g chipse, unless it is disguissed in some way.