Despite some display concerns, early reports suggest Apple’s new iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are breaking sales records. But potential upgraders might now want to wait because serious cellular problems are now being reported by thousands of owners.
First spotted by 9to5Mac, over 500 iPhone 12 owners have posted to Apple’s Official Support Communities forum that their phones (seemingly all iPhone 12 models) are dropping both 5G and 4G reception, leaving them without connectivity even in areas with strong signal. Moreover, when I dug further into this issue, I found numerous similar threads with thousands of comments posted to Reddit threads for Verizon, AT&T and more as well as complaints about signal drops on international carriers.
Describing the problem, affected users (spread as widely as the US to Japan, India and the UAE) say reception strength on their new iPhones suddenly drops before disappearing. For some, the signal can return in under a minute but for others they have to restart their phone, toggle Airplane mode or remove and replace their sim to get it back.
“For me it’s almost like clockwork. If you’re actively using your phone for more than 20 minutes at a time, you’re bound to experience the dropped signal. I’ve tried endless workarounds to no avail.” – source
Interestingly, one affected Verizon store worker also confirmed customers are now coming into the store to complain about the issue. Switching between towers seems to be a common cause, regardless of network, for others their signal disappears even when standing still. Unfortunately, some very unlucky iPhone 12 owners are also being impacted by both problems:
“It’s particularly bad when moving (and switching between towers). Even when I’m stationary the signal randomly drops to zero multiple times a day. Only airplane mode/reboot can restore service, and I’ve erased network settings multiple times now. I’m using a new AT&T SIM provided by Apple.” – source
While there is some gallows humor about the issue, the problems are clearly impacting a significant number of iPhone 12 owners. They also add to a wider pattern of cellular issues with the iPhone 12 range. At launch, iPhone 12 owners were impacted by widespread SMS issues while the latest iOS 14 release (iOS 14.2.1) patches problems with iPhone 12 models not receiving MMS messages.