How can consumers live without Wi-Fi? Wireless Fidelity (called Wi-Fi, affectionately) allows consumers the ability to access the Internet and send emails, make purchases, listen to music, watch movies, and so on without impacting a user’s data plan. If you are currently under a two-year contract with a phone carrier, you will understand how significant Wi-Fi is to the overall smartphone experience. Without Wi-Fi, the smartphone experience would be “short and sweet” for many users. I purchased the iPhone 4S recently under T-Mobile’s prepaid monthly plan and seem to be happy with my unlimited data service that includes WiFi hotspot tethering (and unlimited voice and data for only $50 per month).
Apple’s iOS6.0.2 update intended to fix the major Wi-Fi bug that many iPhone 5 users had experienced since the sixth-generation iPhone’s debut in September 2012. Verizon iPhone customers received the worst of the bug, having additional data and voice charges on their phones in the first few weeks after the new phone’s release. When they used their Wi-Fi capability in order to save on their data plans, the Wi-Fi bug consumed their data plan instead and charged them for going over their paid plan. Apparently, it turns out that Verizon was not the only phone carrier reporting the same experience: AT&T customers report having the same problem as Verizon customers. The overall presence of the Wi-Fi problem prompted Apple to submit an update over the air to iPhone users to squash the problem, while carriers promised that their customers would not be forced to pay the extra data fees for something that was beyond the customer’s control. The iOS6.0.2 update, however, was intended for only iPhone 5 and iPad Mini users.
Now, it appears that the iOS6.0.2 update is posing a problem of its own: the quick consumption of battery life. According to ZDNet, iPhone 5 and iPad Mini users are now reporting a faster reduction in battery life, even when their iDevices are not being used. One individual reported having the same experience (a 12% battery reduction while his phone was at rest during a drive) but then placed his phone in airplane mode and reported that there had been no reduction in battery life since. This seems to indicate that Wi-Fi is the root of the problem yet again.
The Wi-Fi problem experienced currently is only one of a list of problems iPhone 5 customers have had with their iPhones. Some of the earliest reports from customers who purchased their iPhones in September were that a clear, white line was present on iPhone 5 screens, blocking out an entire row of keys on the virtual keyboard. Additionally, users complained of a purple haze appearing in their photos (which Apple said was normal), the power connector leaking some small light source, screen flickering, touchscreen response flaws, date and time defects, and loose batteries. Apple never admitted to a flaw with the iPhone 5 “purple haze” photos, but I happen to think the problem had something to do with the hybrid IR filter and the fact that it is made of plastic and does not use Carl Zeiss optics (as does the Nokia Lumia 920).