Apple’s iPhone 4S wasn’t without its share of launch troubles, including complaints of poor battery life. But while Apple was quick to attempt to address said issues in an update, there’s a very annoying bug that’s become a source of considerable frustration for users.


Apple’s iPhone 4S wasn’t without its share of launch troubles, including complaints of poor battery life. But while Apple was quick to address said issues in an update (and then promised to do so again in another), there’s a very annoying bug that’s become a source of considerable frustration for users.

The issue in question is when the iPhone 4S (and according to some reports, the iPhone 4, too) mutes all audio on the caller’s end when placing an outgoing voice call. The person on the other end of the line can hear everything just fine, but on the caller’s end, there’s no ringing sound and no audio from a recipient speaking.

It’s been a problem since the iPhone 4S came out, with most users reporting that it only affects a call every so often, with the majority of calls being placed without problem. In an era where data services are eclipsing voice services on mobile devices, the problem has perhaps understandably taken a backseat to more pressing complaints of battery life issues.

The problem is clearly not isolated, however. A single Apple Support Communities discussion about the bug is now at 109 pages and counting, and the topic comes up in other threads regularly. I’ve encountered it myself (although only once, though I seldom actually make outgoing calls on my iPhone, and most of those are made through a headset, which some have suggested is a workaround for the problem) and until I did a full restore, my girlfriend’s iPhone 4 eventually got so bad that there was never audio on any outgoing calls she made. Some iPhone 4S users are saying a hardware replacement is the only way they could eventually fix the problem.

Apple’s iOS 5.1 release is currently in testing with developers. It presumably will attempt to address remaining battery issue problems, but early reports claim it may not even accomplish that. So far, there’s no direct indication that 5.1 will address the Audiogate (as it’s being called in Apple’s support forums) issue described above, however. I’ve reached out to Apple for comment regarding the issue, but have yet to hear a response.

So far, no fix appears to be a consistent, lasting solution to the outgoing call bug, particularly on the iPhone 4S (a full restore seems to have fixed it on the iPhone 4 for a number of users). Is anyone encountering this problem, and if so, how are you dealing with it?

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  1. YES!!! I Have had this problem quite a few times actually, and it is very very annoying!

  2. I’ve had this problem on my iPhone 4S and it started with the second voice call I ever made, not long after leaving the Apple Store with my new phone. It’s intermittent and it’s annoying. The only workaround I’ve found is to quickly switch on and then off Speaker mode. That solves it for that call. If iOS 5.1 doesn’t fix it, I’ll be swapping out my hardware.

    1. I too have learned the speaker trick to be the only fix. Clever minds, I guess.

  3. Christopher Cioffi Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    I’Ve had this problem for months, one day it got so bad that nothing worked not even the speaker trick. Apple suggested that I swap out my SIM card for a new one and that got the phone working better, however, it still happens daily. My next steps are to get the phone replaced.

  4. Carlos Tavares Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    I live in Portugal and own an iPhone 4S. Same issue here with outgoing and incoming voice calls. It’s very annoying not to mention that this phone is very expensive.
    Battery goes quickly…Apple needs to fix this issue quickly before some folks go to Android!!

  5. Jermaine Richmond Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    I took it back to the Apple store and they replaced it with no hassle

    1. Did that fix ur problem?
      They swaped my 4s five times now but hasn’t solved the issue:(

  6. If I don’t hear the ring initially, I’ll hang up and retry the call. A little annoying, but it works every time!

  7. The latest 5.1 beta 2 version fixed the audio issue for me. If your a beta tester you can get it and try it for yourself.

    1. Were you experiencing intermittent echo and/or static or just the muting?

  8. I experienced this issue and there’s a very simple solution. Apple will replace the phone. Call them or go to an Apple store. I haven’t experienced this issue since.

  9. Even more annoying is the Invalid SIM problem/bug. Just check the Apple Support forums… over 100 thousands views, and still no official answer from Apple (other than the “cloaked” 9A406 update – for which they didn’t even changed the version number so it wouldn’t attract too much attention to the problem.)

  10. I’ve owned the 3, 3G, and the wife owned a 4 – we both have a 4S and it is the worst Apple product I have ever owned for more reasons that this article. It has been a huge disappointment.

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