iPhone 4S Users Around The World Report Frequent Loss of Service For No Apparent Reason



It seems early iPhone 4S adopters the world over have discovered a new issue with Apple’s latest handset. No, it has nothing to do with poor battery life, but rather a complete loss of signal for no apparent reason. To be clear, this isn’t a new “antennagate” — the issue does not occur while holding the device in a certain position — it’s a new problem that causes the device to lose its signal randomly. Users report they can be enjoying a full five-bar signal one minute, then be greeted by that frustrating “No Service” status the next.

One user, who started a lengthy thread reporting the issue over on Apple’s Discussion forums, can’t understand why his signal suddenly vanishes on the device, and there’s little he can do to restore it:

I’ve been using an iPhone 4 on a Vodafone contract for the past 16 months and just bought an iPhone 4S direct from Apple. It arrived on Friday morning and I got it set up correctly as far as I can tell. When I first turn it on, it works lovely and exactly as I would expect, able to make calls, send texts and access the internet via the cellular network. However, at what appears to be random, the network will disappear (no bars of signal) stopping me making calls and texts, but still allowing me to access the internet. Sometimes, the internet goes, but I can still make calls and texts. Other times, everything is gone and I get “No Signal” where it normally says Vodafone UK. So when trying to fix this problem after it’s noticed, I try putting it into Airplane mode and back out. The phone scans for a network and goes back to the same state as before I tried this fix. I have tried resetting network settings, but this doesn’t change anything. The only thing that actually fixes it temporarily is turning the phone right off and back on again.

Razorian Fly reports there is a temporary fix that has worked for some users, which is to turn off the ‘SIM PIN’ feature within the Settings > Phone menu. Because this often fixes the issue, it suggests it is a software bug rather than a hardware fault — as some users have been suspecting:

It’s not a hardware issue, it’s software. For some reason, iOS is cycling the radio on and off, I’m guessing something mixed up with SIM pin permissions. What I had to do was turn on SIM pin, then off, at which point it demanded the PUK code. I was able to get it online through my ATT account. After I entered that PUK, then went back into settings and turned SIM pin off, I haven’t had any problems.

Strengthening this belief is a report from one user, who claims the issue didn’t occur until they installed that latest iOS 5.0.1 software update:

I think I have cracked it. I have read every post and comments and tried and every possible fix. Does not work. I’m using iPhone 4S 16gig bought from Melbourne, use in Cambodia carrier Mobitel. Issue, no signal. 3G come and go. I have to on and off to get back signal sometime aeroplane mode on and off. My iPhone is useless. It was fine on 5.0 problem only exist after I update to 5.0.1.

Whatever the issue may be, it seems Apple needs to address it promptly. The volume of complaints on its forums about the problem suggest it is fairly widespread, affecting a large number of iPhone 4S users. A TUAW reader also claims that European carriers “cannot handle [the] amount of complaints.” While we have no idea what’s causing the issue, it does seem to be affecting iPhone 4S users only. There appear to be no reports from users with earlier devices who are experiencing the same issue. Have you been experiencing this issue on your iPhone 4S?

  • PT

    Oh man… I thought this was just a problem from Rogers….. 

  • Michiel Mac

    Will solving these problems mean that i must wait for my new Mac Pro even longer than i already do ?

  • Sean Branson

    I’ve had this problem since upgrading to 5.0.1. Most often, I will lose the ability to connect to the internet even when I’m connected to 3G or wifi. Earlier today my network disappeared, if only for a minute or two.

  • Knopper

    3G on Verizon goes in and out all day. My android never had this issue.

  • Pat

    this is worse than “anntennagate” far worse, its not just sometimes, no its latterly bricks you new iPhone 4s and prevents you from calling or send an sms. it makes your phone completely unusable and Apple just keeps quiet about it. there are hundreds of iPhone users out there who cannot use their iPhone as a phone at all. No, this is the new “Simcard-gate” and its by far worse. Apple shame on you, this is nowhere near excellence as you claim to be. a once happy customer….

  • Alonso Castro

    I sent you since Sunday my report, glad that you finally make a note about it:

    El 13/11/2011, a las 16:21, Alonso Castro escribió:
    Hi, I am from Costa Rica and just get my iPhone 4S factory unlocked from US. I update to iOS 5.0.1 and after that has been a real nightmare. I keep losing my carrier signal and found out I am not the only one, please check this support thread on apple’s page.


    Also I made a post about it: http://www.iphoneti.co/journal… (spanish)



  • Georg

    same here onT-Mobile NL (Netherlands) had to do a reset of Network settings (Settings – General – Reset – Reset Network Settings) to get it back to work. You will loose all saved Wifi Connection (and thus the passwords). I am still on 5.0.

  • Robert

    Yes have lost all signal at least a dozen times now and to top it off my battery still sucks I was at 100% when I started reading this post am now at 98% in less then 2 minutes

  • Hmmm again…

    Interesting… I’ve noticed my 3GS on the O2 network in the Uk has been doing that recently.
    Perhaps an OS issue after updating?…..

  • CRodBlogs

    Now that you mention it….. I have seen ‘No Service’ at least twice after waking my phone from standby since updating to 5.0.1. Apple surely needs to take a look into this along with the appalling battery issues.

  • David Clark

    I love that I’ve had absolutely no issues with my 4S. 

  • Guest123

    I’ve had this problem twice during the last week. Both during conversations, so it might be that it’s happened when I haven’t paid attention.

    Not really enjoying the new 4S with echo, static etc out of the box, and now this with 5.0.1. It is, after all, an iPHONE.

  • jimmyjame

    Ran into this issue with my iPhone 4 last night it just randomly wouldn’t latch onto the network

  • Hmmm again…

    I also don’t know whether its related to the wireless automatically attempting to link to BTFON in numoerous spots ..

  • Nate

    My iPhone 3GS has been experiencing this problems for the last few months. I have had the phone replaced several times and the issue persists.

  • michaeldurwin

    I haven’t had that problem but the new OS has caused a few crashes, required me to log back into everything that requires credentials, which is seemingly everything, and haven’t seen a positive impact on the battery life, which is less than it was with my 2 year old 3G.

  • Jason Dagle

    I’ve been having this issue with my internet connection on my 4S.  At times I have good cell coverage with 4 – 5 bars but no internet connection.  Have tried turning cycling Airplane Mode and Cellular Data on and off to varying effectiveness.

  • MacHead84

    This happens to me from time to time. Seems to be when leaving wifi to ATT network, not switching properly. A Restart fixes it and its only rarely that it happens but it does happen.

  • bas

    My iPhone 3GS does it pretty often like 5-10 times a day. But I think that is because t-mobile nl has a really bad network

  • Abarry126

    Yup I’m having this problem. I have to turn the phone off an then back on for it to find the network

  • Larry

    Because of this happening the battery life gets worse as it is searching for the network. I am experiencing this problem in South Africa. We bought 3 of them and only noe (mine) is experiencing this problem

  • ray

    I’ve had this happen 1 time.  It came back on its own.

  • Shameer Mulji

    There seems to be many issues with 5.01. Maybe Apple, this one time should let users revert back to 5.0 until they truly get issues resolves.

  • Kyochin

    in UK. This issue has been reproducible for my 4S, it’s searching for network and consequently sucking my battery life, 4S battery doesn’t last a day. 

  • prof_peabody

    This doesn’t make any sense.  iOS doesn’t “crash” at all, at least I’ve never seen a single report of this happening, ever.  Even if it did, it wouldn’t “require you to log back in to everything that requires credentials,” or anything of the sort.  

  • Ralod

    I have same on my iPhone 4 !!!

  • spiff89

    Same here, and I love it.

  • Gwendolynne

    I’m having the same issue (iphone 4s)  but only since upgrading IOS to 5.0.1

  • Pavel Pokorny

    I have this problem as well, in Czech Republic T-Mobile network. New  iPhone 4s started to lose signal after installing iOS 5.0.1. Restart helps but the issue will re-appear after 1-2 again. 

  • Johnnydirtbag

    Same problem on my iPhone 4s on Verizon. Funny thing is, my wife (who has my old iPhone 4) will be getting 4 bars of service when mine drops off.

  • Stefan

    Same problem for Me iOS 5.0.1
    swedish Telia

    Put my sim back in my old 3GS and then back to 4S.

    No problem for 5 hours now…

  • Stefan

    Sweden Telia.

    If i turn of mobile data the problem does not happen. but then i cant use the internet…

  • CZ

    had similar issue on ios 5 when coming out of airplane mode, ocasionally, not always. that fix is to reset network setting

  • Joel Korkowski

    Happened to me once… 4S in Oregon on AT&T.  Airplane mode didn’t help… ended up doing a full hard reset and that seemed to do the trick.

  • sir1jaguar


    Steve jobs showed himself in my dream and told me that I need to tell you alll…


    I ordered and tested the iPhone 4s for 15 days and returned it for htc rezound, oh boy it’s day and night difference…

    Rezound is more faster in every way and the screeis wayyyyyy better than iPhone 4s…

    Eve the motorola droid razr is better than iPhone 4s in all aspects…


  • shawin

    I’ve narrowed down the issue to sims with larger chips. Orange in Mauritius cut it’s sim cards to microsim size. 5.0.1 on the 4S short circuited my sim card. I got another one and it lost signal every few hours. I got a third one which which lost signal around every half an hour. Then I tried one from another carrier (Emtel). Their sim cards have a smaller chip and hence don’t touch the sides of the sim tray. It worked without any issue for days. I ended up getting a postpaid sim card microsim from Orange since all their prepaid were large-chip sim cards which had been cut.
    No issue so far with the real microsim or a sim which has a small chip.

  • sir1jaguar

    I NEED TO ASK THIS… Why people still buying iPhone?









  • asd

    after i updated to 5.0.1, my 1 day old iPhone 4S 32 Gb gave me the damned NO SERVICE error. and the apple folks refused to replace it on the spot, even though it was ONE DAY OLD!!! shame shame shame

  • iDaBoss

    I saw this happen yesterday

  • iDaBoss

    Actual iOS did crash for me the other day and I had to reset with sleep-home buttons. It was pretty surprising as I’ve never seen it crash before on stock iOS.

  • iDaBoss

    I’ve also been having phone call issues after the recent update. Halfway through a call the other person will no longer be able to hear me. I have to fall back to Skype calls, which means it’s not a hardware issue.

  • Aa

    You just keep telling yourself that. I bought the galaxy s2, the best android phone bar none and… It sucked ass big time. Utter crap. The iPhone, even with a bug or two simply pwns every other phone out there. The galaxy s2 went on eBay and I was more than happy to see the back of that awful android crap

  • Al

    You are so obviously from a guerilla marketing firm.

    Please go away.

  • sir1jaguar


    I owned APPLE products since 1985…

    But I also buying products from Bose, SAMSUNG, Sony, htc and from other quality name company…

    We had owned the original iPhone till the latest one -iPhone 4s (my wife still have it)

    I have a cousin in Houston who owns 5 cellphone stores and he will tell you that if you like simplicity, go for iPhone…

    But he is using ONLY NEXUS PHONES from Nexus one to Nexus S now.. So he is patiently waiting for galaxy nexus…

    Because I cannot wait, I returned my iPhones 4s yesterday and grab the HTC REZOUND…

    My wife and 2 kids LOVE IT… It never lags and lots of things to offer – out of the box – iPhone out of the box experience is cripple so million people around the world unlock and jailbreak it…

    We did the side by side testing and I will tell you, HTC REZOUND beat iPhone 4s in almost all aspects… To name a few – 720p HD DISPLAY, 2mp FFC, super fast LTE Internet, gingerbread plus htc sense 3.5 beat iOS 5, lots more…

    So please, don’t say SAMSUNG galaxy s2 is crap because I checked reviews and I asked my cousin and he said YOU ARE LYING – You don’t own one…

  • Jason

    This is also happening to me on my new iPhone 4s on iOS 5.0.1 on UK O2. The signal keeps dropping completely off to no Signal, when a 3Gs side by side on O2 has full bars?

  • sir1jaguar


    Guerilla marketing firm???

    For god sake, did your parents spanked your head so hard when ur still a baby?

    I’m here to share my experience and telling you all here about my REAL experience NOT LIKE those kids from their moms basement always trolling and will defend APPLE, just to pissed people…

    Grow up and find a real job…

  • grigo_grg

    I had the same problem. All you must to do is to set the PIN code Off

  • Ugutmann

    I am having this exact problem but on my IPhone 4, since the 5.0.1 update!

  • Mbi3003

    Wrong. I had the same problem with my iPhone 4. I had it replaced 3 times and had them wipe my MacBook Pro. It was something todo with my sync from iCloud to get all my apps and whatnot on the phone. I had to finally say screw my old stuff, and reinstall every app manually. 

  • Mbi3003

    I literally went to my local apple store 5 times within 2 weeks. The location services was draining my battery at night to the point I had to turn my iPhone 4 on Airplane mode…

    horriable. apple claimed it was the phones hardware, and kept replacing it. Turns out I never had a problem with the phone, and its the software…!!!

  • Ryansomebody

    I’m having the same problem with my iPhone 3GS!

  • Ryansomebody

    …since the update!

  • Franchezcadepaz

    i have same this problem with my ipad2…..!

  • CharliK

    folks are still buying the iPhones because no matter how much the media hypes these issues for the sake of scoring page hits, none of them is a tragic design flaw or even software bug. Each of them happens to maybe 3% of users. The rest are fine. No battery issues, no service issues etc. 

    I myself haven’t seen any of these issues that keep popping up. And I can’t help but wonder if it is because I set up my 4s as a new iPhone and none of my apps are ancient things that haven’t been updated past their original iOS 3 release (I don’t play games on my iPhone so it was easy to avoid such ‘old’ apps). 

  • CharliK

    If you think the iPhone and iOS are such crap why are you still hanging around. You think we are morons so why waste your time. 

    Oh and the rude tone, calling people kid etc, really doesn’t help your case. 

  • CharliK

    I’m curious. the 3gs used full size sims and the 4s uses the smaller micro sims. So how did you get it to work in your 3gs

  • Maaroufsaida

    Yes i have been experiencing this issue since i updated my iphone 4s into ios 5.0.1. My iphone is an ipod now. Cuz i loose my signal every time i try to call or sms

  • Kyochin

    Oh god, I thought it has something to do with Orange but happening to O2 as well, I might return 4S. I have been with Apple for 15 years but this is the worst Apple product ever after mobileme subscription.

  • Pavel Pokorny

    No need to rush with return. Have you tried the suggested workaround 
    – “All you must to do is to set the PIN code Off”
    Next option is ask for a SIM card replacement.
    And iOS 5.0.2 is expected next week, hope with a fix for this issue.

  • Pavel Pokorny

    No need to rush with return. Have you tried the suggested workaround 
    – “All you must to do is to set the PIN code Off”
    Next option is ask for a SIM card replacement.
    And iOS 5.0.2 is expected next week, hope with a fix for this issue.

  • Bruno Pinto

    Same problem here. I get each morning even an INVALID SIM error.
    Restarting the device is the only help.
    Did not had this bug before the first beta I’ve installed of 5.0.1 and on 5.0.1 final.
    Got a SIM replacement, but nothing changed.

  • jim_28

    Happening to me to in UK on Three, iPhone 4S since upgrading to 5.01 and I’ve been cursing Three, not once did I suspect the phone. Doh.

  • Qw


  • Techno_80

    Same problem in România for Orange customers. My Iphone 4S is Noe an IPod. Ashame for Apple

  • michaeldurwin

    the OS has “caused” crashes. Meaning that apps have crashed.
    But in terms of the OS crashing, mine did last night. In the middle of a text message my screen turned black and the power down icon sat their frozen. That’s not a crash?If you Google “iphone OS crash” you’ll find 13 million results.
    I wasn’t clear, but it wasn’t the crashed that required me to login. The new OS update has caused apps to crash, the new OS update has required me to log back into all of my apps, the new OS update has not improved my poor battery life.

  • Pasquettof

    Salve a tutti,

    Ho un iPhone 4s acquistato con operatore 3 Italia, riscontro lo stesso problema la rete continua a “switchare” da tre a Tim e da Tim a senza servizio è un continuo perdere la rete e sta provocandomi un disservizio. Inoltre l’applicazione credito per tre non si connette da due gg!
    Speriamo che rilascino un’aggiornamento al più presto perché oramai stanno facendo continui buchi nell’acqua!
    Prima la batteria poi l’aggiornamento! Possibile che un’azienda da milioni e milioni di euro con personale altamente qualificato non riesca a trovare una soluzione a tutto ciò? Era meglio il 4 con il “problema” dell’antenna (il quale non mi ha mai dato problemi) confronti ad un 4s così acclamato da una folla poi delusa, difettoso e diverso dal precedente praticamente in nulla!

  • Weebro

    I’ve had my iphone for a few weeks now, and I upgraded to the 5.01 about a week ago. Everything was fine until today!…..and I normally have full bars with Vodafone UK next to it.
    Now, my signal bar has about 2 out of the 5, but everytime I try and make a call, or send a text, it will cut out the signals and go and display a NO SERVICE text.I have Internet if I’m connected to WIFI only.I’ve rung up Vodafone and they couldn’t do anything about it, they said the network coverage around my area is fine.  None of my friends that have iphone 4s have any problems at the moment. Quite strangeI hope someone can get a solution.

  • Sumitk

    Happening to me all the time on 4S 32Gigs

  • Gordon Terry

    Am I the only one who noticed that they’re using a non-retina iPhone in the picture, and it’s an article about the 4S?

    Reminds me of those automated news aggregator sites that grab a related picture from the web, but it’s a dead giveaway because no human would have chosen it.

  • Jack

    I have the 4s32gb with ios5.0 and am having the same problems…i have not been able to connect my phone to itunes because i have. O pc where i am at…i bought the at&t device only,and put a t-monile sim card in it(prepaid) and when i check sim pin is already off,should i turn sIm pinn on and then turn it off?so frustrated!!! :(

  • Hassan7 Kuw

    i am from kuwait and i have same problem
    and yes its start with i update to 5.01

  • Esmé

    Same problem here. My issues started two days after I bought the 4s 16gb. Unfortunately the 5.0.1 update didn’t fix my problem. Tried a lot of things, but none worked.

    An iPhone user from The Netherlands

  • Frank Valentin

    Same issue ocurring to me. I have even changed microSIM thinking it would be the reason but the issue persist. I bought it in France and now I am using it in Brazil.My
    carrier is TIM and now I see “TIM 3G” displayed but then when I try to
    browsing using 3G network it just does not load web pages and after a while the iphone
    display ‘No Service’. I dont know what else to do. Did anyone who update iOS to 5.0.1 do a rollback to iOS 5.0 version. Did a fulll reset solve it? How to roll iOS back to 5.0 version? Thanks!

  • Frank Valentin

    Exactly the issue happening to me! I bought my Iphone 4S in France but I am using it in Brazil now… We really hope it will be solved soon!

  • Andres

    Hi. I´m facing the same issue here in Colombia.
    The problem is this:
    1. Turn on my phone.
    2. Works fine everything.
    3. Let it be, for about 4 minutes.
    4. After that it still shows 5 to 4 bars and 3G sign.
    5. Then, try to make a call o navigate.
    6. No navigation at all and Called Failed.
    7. After that inmediately it show no signal and then Searching…
    8. A few seconds later, the signal comes back and works fine
    9. LOOP to step 3. (lol) :)
    [1] Change my SIM to an original microSIM. Still the same problem.
    [2] Full reset
    [3] Turning off the Location Services
    [4] Turning on and off the SIM PIN.
    Problem Remains…
    Model: Iphone4S
    OS: iOS 5.0.1
    Carrier: TIGO 1900 3G

  • Naveed Zanoon

    I’m facing the same issue as Andres, here in Colombo. 

    1. Turn on my phone. 2. Works fine everything.3. Let it be, for about 4 minutes.4. After that it still shows 5 to 4 bars and 3G sign. 5. Then, try to make a call o navigate.6. No navigation at all and Called Failed.7. After that inmediately it show no signal and then Searching… 8. A few seconds later, the signal comes back and works fine9. LOOP to step 3. 

    [1] Change my SIM to an original microSIM. Still the same problem.[2] Full reset[3] Turning off the Location Services[4] Turning on and off the SIM PIN. Problem Remains… Model: Iphone 4SOS: iOS 5.0.1Carrier: Dialog GSM 

    After paying so much I’d expect apple to be a little better than this. This is ridiculous, I am coming from Nexus S, it was so much better. Wish I never switched. 

  • Razvan Dulf

    salut, ti l-au schimbat?..au facut cei de la orange ceva cu el?…si al meu are aceeasi problema.

  • Rajan Waghdhare

    Hi, im rajan from india,My carrier is Vodafone. recently i brought iPhone 4s from Magnet (INDIA), Same issue ocurring to me. I have even changed micro SIM thinking it would be the reason but the issue persist. pls. Help its so disappointing.

  • Maurizio Biso

    Yes I have this problem, Italy vodafone

  • Maurizio Biso

    stesso problema con vodafone… ho provato anche tim

  • adrianpp

    Problems here, I’ll get it back from service today … hope is fixed

  • Waleed Adams

    Biggest piece of shit I have ever bought, no service after 3 hours and then wait a week for a genius reservation what a joke

  • Mohd Ace

    Huge mistake buying this piece of crap i have been using apple products for years n all my friends went for the galaxy S2 but i went for iphone 4S i hate apple products i am having huge problems coz of the no service problem i baught my iphone 4S from apple as a pre order anyone who can advice me how to get my money back from Apple i don’t wana continue using apple.

  • Rahul Alakanti

    Hi I have an unlocked Iphone 4s bought about 2 months back in UK. It worked fine there. I came to India a few days back and switched to Vodafone network. And since then I’ve been encountering this problem. 
    This is odd because I’ve never had this problem before.

  • Snagabott

    Norway NetCom, got it for Christmas and still having that problem. The suggested fix from Apple is to save profile, restore defaults and reinclude profile. Did that and the problem is still there (no idea why it would work to begin with, to be honest, but hey, it didn’t, so…).

  • yan_050488

    Hi! I have an iPhone4s 16gb, bought it late last year2011. I’m from Philippines. Everything went well with my iPhone 4s but not until I updated my iOS to 5.0.1 (9A406) from 5.0. There’s a loss of signal. I can’t make calls and even cannot send SMS. I already restored it a lot of times, and also tried DFU mode. Nothing happened. :(   I am very disappointed with what I bought. :(   Does anyone have the same issue? Does anyone have any solution for this? Please help. :(   And will Apple still replace my iPhone 4s?   Your suggestions or help will be highly appreciated. Thanks.

  • yan_050488

    Hi! I have an iPhone4s 16gb, bought it late last year2011. I’m from Philippines. Everything went well with my iPhone 4s but not until I updated my iOS to 5.0.1 (9A406) from 5.0. There’s a loss of signal. I can’t make calls and even cannot send SMS. I already restored it a lot of times, and also tried DFU mode. Nothing happened. :(   I am very disappointed with what I bought. :(   Does anyone have the same issue? Does anyone have any solution for this? Please help. :(   And will Apple still replace my iPhone 4s?   Your suggestions or help will be highly appreciated. Thanks.