The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max came out last week to plenty of enthusiasm, but some users have discovered that everything isn’t up to par with their shiny new handsets. Early adopters are claiming that their units have extremely poor Wi-Fi and cellular connections.
People have taken to Apple forums and Reddit to highlight the problem. The common thread seems to be that the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are showing weaker signals in places where older iPhones used to show strong signals.
iPhone XS User Complaints
For instance, one person complained that their iPhone 7 Plus and iPad (2017) can easily connect to his 5GHz network, but the iPhone XS only shows two bars and can’t maintain the connection. He’s since switched to a 2.4GHz network. Another iPhone XS Max owner says he swapped his unit at Verizon, but even the replacement iPhone had the same LTE issues.
Solutions vary, with some trying to go in and out of Airplane mode to restart their connections and make it run faster. It’s possible that carriers are overwhelmed by the number of activations happening and can’t keep up with demand. Not everyone is affected by the problem and it’s hard to determine whether this is a hardware or software concern.
Network blog WiWavelength published an in-depth look at the matter recently. As per its lab measurements, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have a disappointing radio frequency performance when compared to earlier models. It thinks these problems are being caused by a weak antenna gain issue.
There’s no easy fix for this, unfortunately. Apple could send out a software update to tweak some settings, but it won’t resolve the core problem. A hardware tweak would be the best solution, but this would require the company to go back to the drawing board and replace existing units. It hasn’t even acknowledged the issue yet.
We’ll let you know if Apple says anything official about the matter. Hopefully, this won’t be a repeat of the iPhone 4’s Antennagate.