I own an iPhone 3G. Skipped the 3GS in the belief that Apple’s even number releases are always the better buy. Um, iPhone 5 anyone?

When the iPhone was first released I recall a commotion over the phone’s reception; that it wasn’t particularly good. In response Apple released a firmware fix that recalibrated the phone’s signal strength meter, thereby displaying more ‘bars’ even though there could be no way of improving the actual reception.

Anyhow, the sheeple were happy …

The iPhone 4 debacle forced Apple to once again revise its signal strength algorithm and my phone once again has terrible signal quality (except of course it has always been that way).

I live in a city fringe suburb with spacious properties and can see my mobile provider’s tower from my back balcony. Yet my iPhone’s reception went from a solid ‘5 bars’ pre-iOS 4.0.1 to only ‘3 bars’. At least I now know why so many calls go through to voicemail. Not good for business …

You can see from the image below how Apple previously mapped the iPhone’s signal strength.

[![iPhone 4.0.1 signal strength chart](https://i0.wp.com/res.cloudinary.com/r12s/image/upload/v1501372492/anandtech_iphonesignal_ios401_utwhjj.jpg?resize=600%2C431 "anandtech_iphonesignal_ios401")](https://i0.wp.com/res.cloudinary.com/r12s/image/upload/v1501372492/anandtech_iphonesignal_ios401_utwhjj.jpg)How Apple changed the iPhone's display of signal strength