Monday, June 18, 2018 [Tweets] [Favorites]

The iPhone X Suica Problem

Joel Breckinridge Bassett:

The iPhone X Suica problem is an issue that causes transit gate errors when using Suica Express Transit on iPhone X. Errors occur with any transit gate or any reader device. Overall iPhone X Suica transit gate performance is sluggish. iPhone 8 / 8 Plus and Apple Watch Series 3 are free of the Suica problem and work reliably. It’s not clear what the cause of the problem is: iOS 11 software or a iPhone X NFC related hardware flaw.

Joel Breckinridge Bassett (via Meek Geek):

It’s a problem in Japan because transit cards like Suica require much higher performance than low performance EMV contactless credit cards. Transit gates are not cash registers. EMV was developed for slow pokey credit card payments at your local supermarket, not whizzing through a transit gate at Tokyo rush crush hour. This is why EMV sucks at transit.

[…]

I believe that Apple’s inability to fix the iPhone X Suica problem despite multiple iOS 11 updates is proof of a iPhone X NFC related hardware problem: if it was just software it would be fixed by now.

[…]

Whatever the outcome, Apple’s complete silence and non-action regarding the iPhone X Suica problem has left iPhone X Japanese customers saddled with an inferior product that does not work with Apple Pay in Japan.

Previously: iPhone 6 Bendgate and Touch Disease.

Update (2018-06-19): Friedrich Markgraf:

FWIW I had great trouble pairing a Sony Alpha 7 III with iPhone X via NFC. It took me multiple minutes, but eventually it worked.

Update (2018-06-23): Joel Breckinridge Bassett:

iPhone X users with Suica problem units have no reliable way to obtain a good unit because Apple Support has no method to identify bad units or supply good units for exchange.

Update (2018-07-16): Joel Breckinridge Bassett:

The bad news: iOS 11.4.1 does not fix the iPhone X Suica Problem.

1 Comment

This is a typical example of why Apple sucks when it comes to customer service related to a hardware or software bug. Their customer service is great when there's nothing wrong with their products (on a deep level) and the user just needs a little bit of help or you have an atypical hardware failure. But when the product itself is broken as a result of software or hardware bugs, Apple almost always remains silent.

If you take it to an Apple store and talk to a "genius" about a problem like this, they will just shrug their shoulders and say "that's interesting" or they will set you up for a product replacement and you'll just end up with the same defective shit anyway. And if you call their customer service number you will get basically the same treatment ("We've never heard of this issue before..." -- yeah right!). And I've commented about how opaque and useless Bug Reporter is in another post.

I have run across hardware or software bugs that are similar to this Suica bug in the past (repeatable, common, and show-stopper), and honestly the only thing that 'worked' was just waiting several months or years until Apple finally got off their lazy ass and fixed it... (example, I filed a radar about a bug in Mac OS 10.8 related to Quicklook (10.7 was fine) and Apple didn't fix it until 10.12!!!)

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