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This is news to me, and scary news at that, but it seems as though firmware update 2.2.1 has been causing some problems with Wi-Fi for many iPhone users.
I’ve not had any problems, but then again, I use Wi-Fi only sparingly, and even when I do, it’s never for an extended period. Also, I’ve updated to the 3.0 beta firmware, so I might have dodged a bullet there. If you have been having issues, and were hoping for a quick software fix, it looks like you may be out of luck.
Some users have reportedly been told by Apple (s aapl) to have their hardware replaced, and to make sure that when they call for a replacement, they specifically ask for an iPhone that’s running firmware of a version earlier than 2.2.1. All of which would seem to indicate that for the moment, Apple doesn’t know how to undo what they did with 2.2.1.
No one knows for sure what exactly is causing the problems, which seem to affect primarily 2G and older 3G model phones, but some believe the issues stem from Apple lifting an artificial throttling cap on the iPhone’s Wi-Fi chip, which enables faster speeds but also overheating. The theory seems to be supported by the fact that the issues are resolved and connectivity is restored when affected units are placed in the fridge for a little while and left to cool down.
As per usual, there’s no official word from Apple on the matter, and gauging how widespread the problem actually is will be difficult in this case, since a number of other factors could be affecting Wi-Fi performance. If you’re having the same problem, let us know, and maybe we can start to see just how deep this goes.