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Monday, February 09, 2009, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

Apple updates iPhone with MicroCell files

A recent carrier update delivered to U.S. iPhone users through iTunes contains two small files for use with AT&T's future MicroCell signal-patching device.

The update to the iPhone's carrier settings arrives on the heels of AppleInsider's report on AT&T's 3G solution to patch iPhone dead zones just last week.

Apple's Knowledge Base offers few details on carrier settings updates, saying only that patches contain small files with changes to the default APN (which is how the iPhone connects to the cellular data network), special dialing codes, and default settings for web apps like Stocks, Maps, Weather, and others.

However, MobileCrunch has explored the package contents of the latest update and discovered that it consists largely of two images named "Default_CARRIER_ATT M-Cell.PNG" and "FSO_CARRIER_ATT M-Cell.PNG".

iPhone Carrier update


The images are simply carrier logos to replace the default "AT&T" logo at the top of the iPhone's screen whenever connected to the MicroCell.

iPhone Carrier update


Additionally, commenters at TUAW point out that Apple has added carrier settings for Mobily (Saudi Arabia) and Etisalat (United Arab Emirates) as well. This seems to coincide with reports that the iPhone will be available on those networks before the close of the month.

iPhone 3G users stuck in an AT&T dead zone at home or at work will be able to purchase and plug in a MicroCell from the carrier that provides a strong local signal for up to 10 phones and four simultaneous voice or data connections via a connection to broadband Internet.