Apple's iOS 4 Hit by Microsoft Exchange Sync Problems

While the iPhone 4's widely reported antenna reception issue has accounted for the lion's share of the phone's negative attention since its launch, a problem with the device's new iOS 4 operating system has also bubbled up in recent days, prompting Apple to post a suggested fix.

The problem stems from iOS 4 users trying to sync their Microsoft Exchange accounts. According to a 12-page (and counting) discussion thread on Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) support boards, the problem seems to hit Exchange 2003 users particularly hard. The problem wasn't limited to Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Exchange either as Gmail users also noted a similar problem on the Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) support boards.

Users have noticed trouble getting e-mail and synchronizing contact data and the phone calendar from the servers. Instead, they've been getting no data or long delays and timeouts. The problems were reported by people around the world, using iPhone 3GS and 4 models.

The bug in question prevents iOS 4 from synchronizing the device and the server. Apple has responded by releasing a knowledge base article with a potential quick-fix, although not everyone on the Apple discussion boards has gotten satisfaction from the fix.

Support document TS3398, "iOS 4: Exchange Mail, Contacts, or Calendars may not sync after update" acknowledges that some users may notice syncing errors with iOS 4 or that attempts to sync with the server may make Exchange servers run slowly.

"To work around this issue, users should install a configuration profile from Apple that increases the amount of time the iOS 4 device will wait for the Exchange Server to respond to its sync requests," Apple engineers wrote. "For best results, the profile should be installed on as many iOS 4 devices at your company as possible."

Apple also provides a link to download a profile that will be installed on the phone. The new profile is downloaded and installed into the iPhone's system settings.

A Microsoft spokesperson said the company had no comment on the issue; Apple did not return a request for more information.

Andy Patrizio is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


Microsoft, Apple, iPhone 4, Exchange, IOS