iPhone: Call Failed?

The past couple of days, I’ve been having trouble with my iPhone. I thought I’d post the answer here, in case anyone else encounters this — or to make fun of myself, because the solution was surprisingly simple.

I was repeatedly seeing “Call Failed” when I tried to make or answer phone calls.  I would answer my phone, for example, and a few seconds later it would abruptly drop the call.  At first I assumed it was Rogers’ fault… just because it usually is.  But in this case, it was not.  The solution is simple.

Turn your phone off.

The iPhone is a computer, and as you’re probably aware, computers suck.  They don’t always work like they should, and after some time, they need a restart.  Powering off the phone and turning it back on seems to fix the problem.  I’ll try to remember to restart my iPhone each time I charge it.  (Thanks to the guy in the Rogers Plus store for letting me know.)

I’ll admit, I felt a little stupid after that.  Normally, when I call a support desk or ask for help, I’ve already tried the obvious stuff like restarting my PC, checking all the cords, etc.  For some reason I wasn’t expecting the same with my phone.

I hope this helps someone. #


  1. William

    Yes that seems to be the fix. You know its happened to me about 3 or 4 times and each time there has been an update. So I assumed the failure was getting fixed with this update. I will try powering it off if it ever happens again… thanks for the post. Very helpful!

  2. Charley

    Turning the phone off and then back on is “not” a fix. It is a workaround. The fundemental problem still exists. The iPhone should be able to stay on for several days if not weeks.

  3. Colin Temple Author

    Oh, no… don’t use quotes for emphasis in a sentence complaining about semantics.

    True, it’s just a workaround, but it’s not so inconvenient to turn your phone off and then on from time to time. My phone was on for a couple of weeks before this occured, and it’s routinely on for several days. So, it can do what you say it should. Ideally the iPhone would run indefinitely without needing to be restarted. Ideally it wouldn’t need to be charged either.

    But as devices become more complicated their problems will as well. The human brain needs six to eight hours of sleep per day to operate properly, for example. This less sophisticated device needs to be shut off and on every week or two.

    I’m okay with taking the minute that’s required for my iPhone to work perfectly. That’s probably the least expensive and time-consuming part about having one, when you consider the money I’m paying Rogers for service.

  4. BruceR

    Problem is, it hinders incoming calls too. Wife has often been unable to ring through, (she has iphone too) and it’s not until I attempt to place an outgoing that I see there’s a problem.

    This problem is so endemic, people have said “you must have an iphone… I get the first three words and you get cut off”.

    If you need a shiny toy, get an iphone.

    I need reliable communications I don’t have to baby sit, so I’ll see if I can exchange these for a Nokia or something. Unfortunately I’m locked into this ungodly contract with AT&T; Damn, I’m tired of getting screwed all the time.

  5. Colin Temple Author

    I don’t know. I find my iPhone very useful. I make a point of turning it off from time to time, because of this problem, but I’ve only experienced it once (the time I wrote about it.)

    Other than that, I’ve had no problems with my iPhone.

    I’m not crazy about the iPhone or anything. I’d probably be pretty happy with a Blackberry as well. But I have some useful apps on my phone that just make work easier and more flexible.

  6. Alexander

    This doesn’t work for me either. I turn off my iPhone every night. Since this morning I haven’t been able to make any calls. It just says “Call failed”. Incoming calls seem to work though. Crap…

  7. Denise


    I also starting having this problem and a techie friend thinks the SIM card might be at fault. As Colin pointed out, when all else fails, get thee to thy carrier!

    I’ll be heading there tomorrow and will try to remember to post an update.

  8. AlexBerry

    I have the EXACT same problem as indicated by “Alexander” above here– I can receive calls no problem, but get the instant “Call Failed” message at any attempt to dial someone. I am here in the states, with AT&T as my provider, but strongly suspect this is a software issue, not a service provider issue. I have powered on and off multiple times, to no avail in solving this problem.

  9. Colin Temple Author

    One other option to try, if you haven’t already, is to update to the latest iPhone OS. The current one is 3.0.

    This may not help, depending on what’s wrong, but it’s probably worth a shot. Still best to bug tech support about it, though.

  10. antony adler

    Sadly this is a serious failing of the iphone, well known, you cannot fix it. I have had about 6 iphones, don’t get me wrong I love them but I and all my iphone friends constantly have dropped / missed / failed calls.

    Sadly it would appear that apple are more interested in stuffing more and more complex features within the device rather than actually ensuring that the bloomin phone works properly at its most core level !!!

  11. lisakd


    So i am only just having this problem with my phone, i see the last post here was months ago so has anyone had any updates about this problem? I have tried restarting my phone that only works for a few minutes then call failed happens again even though it would appear that I have full coverage, I thought then that it must be my sim but I put it into my old nokia and its been working fine all morning. my iphone has the latest updates so I cant think of what else to do, I’ve had it for 7months and its the first time I’ve had this problem. There isn’t even an Apple store here in Ireland, I’ll have to drive to Northern Ireland to Belfast and thats a couple of hours drive! Anybody any ideas??


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