iPhone + Call to Poland + Train = A perfect experiment on smartphone reception and endurance.
Cal Train Station
iPhone + Call to Poland + Train = A perfect experiment on smartphone reception and endurance.

I stared intently at my iPhone as Foursquare processed my latest check in at the Diridon Caltrain station in San Jose. It was my first check in at the train station and I got bonus points.

I was heading up to the San Francisco offices for some meetings with colleagues. It was about 7:30 in the morning and I had a conference call with folks in our Polish office at 8. I knew I should have left my home earlier this morning, but it had been raining all week and my bed felt super cozy.

I decided this would be the ultimate test of iPhone performance and reception. Since my conversation with Carl O— several weeks back where he noted the iPhone seems to drops calls after about an hour (see “Confessions of an iPhone chick: A traitor’s regret?“), I was curious to see if I had the same experience.

It was the perfect set up. A long train ride from San Jose to San Francisco. A phone call to Poland that lasts 75 minutes. I also wondered along the way if I could check in at every train station and rack up mega points. Not sure yet what the points are for, but I was starting to feel the effects of Pavlov’s dog and liked seeing the points tally after a check-in.

I called T— at 8 am sharp since in Poland, this was the end of their day. His voice came through the phone with surprising clarity and volume. In fact, for the entire ride, the connection was one that instilled confidence: strong and persistent.

By the time I had arrived at the Caltrain San Francisco station, my focus had completely turned to the contents of the conversation. I scooped up my things and continued to press the iPhone on my ear as I got off.

I had successfully made it past the one hour mark and the connection was going strong. Just as I looked over at the cafe shop in the train station, wondering if I should get a shot of espresso before the rest of the day went into full gear…


There was no voice on the other end. My connection to Poland had been dropped. The time? 9:04 am. I burst out laughing.

Hmm…did my phone call begin at 8 am sharp or had I was I a little late for the call having to look up the phone number and dialing instructions to Poland.

Regardless, add this to the data set of rumor, myth or fact of calls dropped after (about) an hour on the iPhone. One could argue that what can’t be said in an hour, probably is not all that important…

Loni Stark
Loni Stark is an artist at Atelier Stark, self-professed foodie, and adventure travel seeker who has a lifelong passion for technology’s impact on business and creativity. She collaborates with Clinton Stark on video projects for Atelier Stark Films. It’s been said her laugh can be heard from San Jose all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. She makes no claims to super powers, although sushi is definitely her Kryptonite.