Apple Probes iPhone iOS 4 Complaints

Still stinging from "antennagate," the company is now looking into reports its new mobile operating system is buggy.
Apple is investigating complaints that the latest firmware upgrade for the iPhone is causing numerous problems for users, a company spokesperson said.

Image Gallery: Apple iPhone 4, A True Teardown
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Apple released iOS 4 in late June as an upgrade for iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G. It also ships natively with iPhone 4. Within hours of its release, users who downloaded the software reported glitches ranging from slow performance to lost files. Some said their iPhones wouldn't even turn on after the upgrade.

"After updating to iOS 4 almost nothing works," reported a user who identified himself as Esnupe, on a support forum maintained by Apple, shortly after the upgrade was released. "I've lost my music, all my apps, and the gmail push ability. This is a complete disaster," said Esnupe.

Another user, M3G4UK, said the upgrade to iOS 4 "bricked" his device. "First download failed with a 'Firmware Corrupt' error, so it downloaded again," wrote M3G4UK. "Now my iPhone is stuck in recovery mode," the user added.

Numerous others said the upgrade caused archived photos to appear blurry.

Apple, having been stung by "Antennagate," is apparently taking the complaints seriously. It has formally assigned technicians to investigate the issues, a company spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. The spokesperson did not say how long the probe might take or if Apple is taking other measures to stabilize the software.

It's not uncommon for a major new software release to cause device problems—either due to bugs or user error. Vendors generally manage to sort out most glitches by clarifying installation instructions or issuing a patch.

iOS 4 is designed to improve iPhone's overall performance while adding new features like multitasking. The feature lets users engage in a number of tasks or activities simultaneously. For instance, they could listen to a Pandora music stream while using other third-party apps. iOS 4, when it's working properly, also eases application organization through a feature that lets users create new folders simply by dragging one app icon on top of another of the same category, such as Games.

All told, iOS 4 offers more than 100 new features or enhancements. It can be downloaded from Apple's Web site or iTunes store. Apple said it plans to release a version of the software for the iPad tablet computer later this year.