Six weeks ago, I wrote about a problem that I was having with my iPhone 4. Every once in a while I was getting a "No SIM card installed" message. At the time, I reported that removing and replacing the SIM card seemed to be a fix, and I said that I would update after a while to say how things were going.
Unfortunately, that "fix" didn't do much good after all. I continued to get the error message every once in a while. Turning on airplane mode and then turning it off again was a quick way to get my signal back, but that was still a pain to have to do. And then in late July I got the dreaded "No SIM card installed" message while I was IN THE MIDDLE OF A PHONE CALL. The call dropped, and I thought that maybe I just lost a 3G signal — something that doesn't happen to me very often, but at the time I was in another city and wasn't paying attention to the strength of the 3G signal in that area. But then I looked at the iPhone and saw the dreaded No SIM message. Arggh! So on Friday, July 30, I visited my local AT&T store and was told that the best fix was to replace the SIM card, which the salesperson did quickly. All was good for about a week, but then the problem happened again, and continued to happen every once in a while after that. Sometimes I would go a week before seeing the message again, sometimes I would see the message twice in one day.
So I finally made an appointment at my local Apple Store this past Saturday. I was worried when I arrived because the store was packed with people. (Back to school purchases?) I was told when I checked in that the wait would be over 30 minutes, but fortunately within 2 minutes my name was at the top of the list. I suppose the long wait was for people who hadn't made an appointment before arriving. As soon as I mentioned what was happening, the helpful employee asked if I had backed up my iPhone 4 before I went to the store (I had) and then within a few minutes he swapped out my phone for a new iPhone 4.
I suspect that this was just a construction defect with my particular iPhone, not a flaw in the iPhone 4 series, so Apple is just guessing that another unit won't have the same flaw. Indeed, as I noted in my prior post, others have experienced this problem with prior models of the iPhone.
So now I have a shiny new iPhone 4 (although frankly the other one looked pretty shiny and new) and my fingers are crossed that I won't see this problem again. I'll update this post in the future to let you know.
[UPDATE 1/11/11: It has now been several months and the problem has not come back. Apparently, getting a new iPhone was the solution. I'm glad that I live in a city with an Apple Store, which made that very easy to do.]