The new Apple iPhones arrived on the market on September 22nd, and already a few days later there were those who published videos on social media with the first problems. Those who broke the rear glass on TikTok, those who complained about the speed of the USB-C port, and above all those who reported overheating. Such, in some cases, that it makes it impossible to hold the phone, or that it activates the protection mode that suspends use of the iPhone until the temperature drops.
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The problem seemed to essentially concern the two Pro models, and all in all it was to be expected: while the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus adopt the same A16 chip as last year’s iPhone 14 Pro, and continue to have an aluminum chassis, the two top of the range have a new processor and a titanium frame, used for the first time on a smartphone. It therefore seems reasonable to attribute the cause of overheating to the new chip, more powerful and with 3 nm technology adopted for the first time, but the use of titanium, which has a thermal conductivity equal to a third of that of steel. And in addition there is a new operating system, with all its unknowns and some inevitable bugs (such as the one that does not always allow data transfer from an old iPhone to be successful).
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For a few days, Apple avoided commenting, but last Saturday it officially admitted that the problem exists, and has multiple causes: “We have identified some conditions that can cause iPhone to run hotter than expected.” In our experience, with the testing of all four new models, iPhone 15 and 15 Plus did not show signs of anomalous behavior, nor can a certain heating at the time of configuration be considered unusual, considering the large amount of data and power of calculation in play. However, the situation is different with the iPhone 15 Pro and especially with the iPhone 15 Pro Max. In the first case there are minimal differences compared to the iPhone 14 Pro, but the temperature was actually slightly higher at times. The iPhone 15 Pro Max, on the other hand, heated up significantly more than the 14 Pro Max in the first few days, but in no case did it become so hot that it couldn’t be held in my hand and the message signaling the intervention of the protection never appeared thermal. And now, more than two weeks later, the situation seems all in all normal: the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max heat up, in particular with some games and some apps, but not like at the beginning.
“The device may feel warmer in the first few days following its initial configuration or reset due to increased background activity,” Apple reports in its official note. Where there is also a partial admission of guilt: “We have also found a bug in iOS 17 that has been encountered by some users and which will be resolved with a software update.” In reality, at least two minor updates to iOS 17 have already been released, none of which were aimed at solving the overheating problem.
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Apple does not distinguish between the various models, but is keen to underline that the higher than usual temperature does not depend on the titanium of the chassis, and that the bug fix will not lead to a reduction in performance. Instead, it will be a good idea to check the store and make sure you have the latest version of the apps installed: “Another problem concerns some recent updates of third-party apps that cause system overload. We are working with the developers of these apps to find fixes that are in the process of being released.” No app is explicitly mentioned, but we can say that it is good to pay attention to at least one Instagram, Uber e Asphalt 9 (and maybe TikTok). However, no comments were received from the interested developers, as Cnet reports, but Instagram published an update on September 27th.
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The battery charger
As for years, the iPhone 15 is also sold without a charger. And if it is true that the USB-C connector is a standard, it is not true that all power supplies are the same: anyone who uses one over 20 Watts will most likely actually see their iPhone get hotter. Regardless of the power of the adapter, the iPhone continues to regulate the power of the device up to 27W, as long as the adapter complies with the USB-C PD (Power Delivery) standard. This temporary increase in temperature, according to Apple, does not affect the long-term performance of the iPhone. We remind you that iPhones adopt a machine learning system that adapts to the habits of those who use them, regulating the battery charge, for example if you keep the phone connected all night, or limiting it to 80% so as not to stress it excessively and increase its duration. Here too, a few days of continuous use is necessary for the system to work at its best.