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I can't count how often I overslept since I'm using my iPhone as my main alarm clock. I can't reproduce it and it's happening without any observable frequency of occurrence. Here is all I know:

  • My iPhone is not jailbroken and I've already done a complete reset for several times.
  • The volume is loud enough. I test the volume of the alarm clock before I go to sleep and it's definitely loud enough. In addition, the iPhone is lying in a distance of 15 inches from my head.
  • I'm not sleepwalking, so it's impossible that I turn off the alarm clocks at night. ;)
  • Most of the time I set three or four alarm clocks with intervals of 15 or 20 minutes. Just to get that I'm so glad I can sleep another 15 minutes - feeling.
  • As I already mentioned, the malfunction does not always occur. The alarm clock does work sometimes. The first alarm clock goes off at 5:30, another one at 5:45, I get up and go to work. But in 30 % to 50 % of the cases, it does not go off and I'm late for work, in a bad mood and really stressed.
  • When I realize I have overslept I first have a look at my iPhone. When I unlock it, I see that there is still the message I programmed for the alarm clock to display when activated! Like Get up! or something. That's very strange because it implies that the alarm has been activated but only the message is shown and no sound.
  • I've got no other problems with my iPhone (besides a synchronizing issue I got the Tumbleweed badge for). Sound is working fine, settings are always applied.
  • It's not an issue of push-messages being displayed. I first assumed that it could be a push message from Google+ or a news-app I'm using but the malfunction is also occurring without any push-messages being displayed.
  • I've been searching the net for a solution and found the issue of iPhone alarm clocks going off one hour late. That is not my problem, because - as I already said - the alarm seems to go off, but without sound.
  • I'm not deaf.

The iPhone:

  • iPhone 4 32GB
  • iOS 4.3.5
  • No jailbreak

I hope one of you has a solution for this problem, because I would feel very strange buying an old school alarm clock. :) But I think I have to, if I can't fix this malfunction of my iPhone.

Thanks in advance.

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What country and time zone are you in? There were a lot of issues in Australia when daylight-savings time started and ended. Also, these issues only seemed to occur for recurring alarms, not one-offs. –  Hand-E-Food Sep 1 '11 at 3:04
    
I'm from Germany, timezone should be GMT+2. I heard of those timezone problems where the alarm went off with a delay of one hour, but my alarm isn't going off at all. –  Exa Sep 1 '11 at 14:19
    
Is there a reason you're still on iOS 4? –  hellothere Aug 22 '12 at 4:54
    
Is there a reason you didn't notice that the question has been posted August 25, 2011? –  Exa Aug 22 '12 at 12:40

6 Answers 6

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I have written up a procedure for you to try:

  1. Restore your phone.
  2. Test - if successful go to last.
  3. Take your iPhone to the nearest Apple store and tell them what's happening.
  4. Test the issue with the refurbished iPhone they gave you to replace the one that was malfunctioning - if successful go to last.
  5. Enjoy your "15 more minutes" feeling.

Failing all of these, your alarm is going off and you're sleeping through it because you stayed up too late playing WoW, drinking, coding, whatever. It eventually stops making noise and leaves the message on the screen. Try placing the phone across the room so you have to get up to turn it off. See if that helps. Either way, now you have a newly refurbished iPhone 4.

Please forgive the snarky nature of this answer. I wrote it after my alarm didn't go off in the morning due to a push notification.

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1  
Wait, so are you also saying push notifications can cause the alarm to fail? Do you have any more info on that? –  Hand-E-Food Sep 1 '11 at 23:51
    
In my experience, and also that of my friends who are also iPhone users, we have collectively experienced push-notification-related alarm failures. Where the alarm will not sound and the alarm dialog will not appear for as long as a push notification is left on the screen. This is repeatable by allowing a push notification to appear prior to the alarm's designated time. Do not dismiss the push notification and wait until after the alarm was to sound. Now dismiss the push notification, your alarm will either sound now, or not sound at all, and finally appear on screen. –  sholsinger Sep 4 '11 at 1:12
    
I will accept your answer to mark this question as answered. By now I got rid of my iPhone and bought a Lumia 920. No problems with that phone at all. –  Exa Nov 23 '12 at 8:28

It's calendar bug. I figured that the same day I have something scheduled on my calendar the alarm does go off but without a sound.

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So you are not crazy. I experienced the same thing. That button on the side sometimes doesn't go all the way up. Just flicker it up and down really fast, and end with it on. It should work then. If it doesn't than go to Settings → Sound and turn everything on and the volume up.

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When you create a new alarm, there will be a menu above the section where you choose the time. Make sure to select the "sound" option. It's possible that your sound was set to "off" for your alarm. This solved my problem.

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1  
iPhone uses the last alarm sound you used as the default sound apparently, and this can include "None". It's confusing, so always double check the "Sound" option. –  duozmo Jun 9 '13 at 17:49

You could try Beautiful Clock Radio; works every time for me and has radio.

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Can you provide a link to the app you mention in your answer? –  CajunLuke Aug 22 '12 at 0:36

I had the same issue. Hold down the home button until Siri pops up then turn up your volume. Somehow Siri has its own volume. Try it; it can't hurt.

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He does have Siri –  hellothere Aug 22 '12 at 4:53

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