Can’t Answer Your iPhone? You Aren’t Alone!

by Colin Berkshire

I can’t answer incoming calls on my iPhone 7 plus about 10% of the time. The call appears on the screen, but the slider just won’t slide. The call comes in and keeps ringing. But when I put my finger to the screen and slide right to answer the call just keeps ringing. I must try 7 or 10 times until finally the slider will move. Or, I can press the sleep button and then press the Home button and then I can answer an incoming call.

When I mention this problem to others they all have said: “that happens to me sometimes.” It seems all iPhone users may be having this problem, and each person just thinks it is a fluke that is unique to them. Somehow, this problem exists for all of us, but collectively we haven’t waken up to the fact that it is a generic and widespread problem with the iPhone.

The problem happened under IOS 9 and also the latest IOS 10. The problem happened on iPhone 6 plus and my new iPhone 7 plus. It happens to friends on iPhone 5s. It seems to pretty much happen to everybody.

When a call comes in and I am with others I show them my trying to answer a call by sliding the slider. I do it over and over again while others are watching. They say: “Yeah, that sometimes happens to me.”

When I call Apple technical support they have never heard of the problem. From anybody.

Apple has suggested that perhaps the problem is something unique to my phone and they have offered to swap it. But it happened on my iPhone 6 plus as well. It happens to pretty much every person that I talk to. So replacing my individual phone isn’t going to help.

What the problem seems like to me is a memory deadlock. When a call comes in the user interface tries to spring to life. But perhaps there isn’t enough memory available. So the phone deadlocks and goes into a memory garbage collection process. That process takes perhaps 30~60 seconds to complete. During that time the phone is dead.

In any event, I am very frustrated that I can’t answer incoming calls.

I have tried Apple technical support (they are unenthusiastic and are no help. I can’t even get them to respond to my emails.) I finally wrote to Tim Cook. His office called me back and spoke in a nice executive-sounding voice. But at the end of the call they just dumped me back into the technical support queue where I reached yet another under-trained and under-motived techie-wanna-be who couldn’t help. At least he admitted that the problem occasionally happened to himself. But nothing seems to be done about it.

Apple quality has slid a lot in the past five years since Tim Cook took the helm. I have always believed that the employees take on the priorities of the CEO. It seems that the Tim Cook priorities are not having products that “Just Work” but on having products that are fashion statements from a lethargic and mellow organization. (Apple must be a great place to work with so little pressure!)

I have very nearly given up on Apple. What a terrible disappointment the iPhone has become.