Tuesday, October 3, 2023

iPhone 15 Pro Overheating

Dan Milmo (via Hacker News):

Apple is facing complaints from users about overheating in relation to its new iPhone 15 models, with some customers claiming the titanium frame becomes too hot to hold.


There are several posts on the Apple forum referring to overheating of the iPhone 15 Pro series, with one user posting a photo of their iPhone 15 next to a thermometer recording a temperature of 44C (111F). There are also posts on X and Reddit.

Juli Clover:

Complaints about heat issues with the iPhone 15 Pro models are not related to TSMC’s 3-nanometer node that was used for the A17 Pro chip, according to well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo says that overheating could be caused by “compromises made in the thermal system design” that allowed Apple to cut down on the weight of the iPhone 15 Pro models. Kuo says that the reduced heat dissipation area and titanium frame have negatively impacted the thermal efficiency of the devices.

Joe Rossignol:

iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max overheating concerns continue to make headlines this week, with the topic highlighted by The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.


Joanna Stern said her iPhone 15 Pro Max did heat up while charging and performing processor-intensive tasks, such as gaming, but she said her iPhone 14 Pro Max reached similar temperatures in the same test.

Joe Rossignol:

Apple plans to release an iOS 17 update to address a bug that may contribute to the reported iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max overheating issue, according to a statement the company shared today with MacRumors and Forbes reporter David Phelan.


Apple’s statement:

We have identified a few conditions which can cause iPhone to run warmer than expected. The device may feel warmer during the first few days after setting up or restoring the device because of increased background activity. We have also found a bug in iOS 17 that is impacting some users and will be addressed in a software update. Another issue involves some recent updates to third-party apps that are causing them to overload the system. We’re working with these app developers on fixes that are in the process of rolling out.

John Gruber:

Not only is the titanium frame of the iPhone 15 Pro models not an issue, cooling-wise, Apple told me, and I have no reason to doubt, that the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are better at heat dissipation than any previous iPhone that used a stainless steel frame (iPhone X, XS, and 11–14 Pro). There is absolutely nothing wrong — and in fact much that is good — with the heat dissipation of the titanium frame, and Apple has no plan to in any way throttle the A17’s performance. They have bugs to fix in iOS 17, that is all.


As for the problematic third-party apps, one of them is Instagram, which has apparently just this week released a version fixing a bug that was so egregious that it was burning through iPhones’ battery life at a rate of 1 percent/minute just sitting idle. YouTuber Faruk “iPhonedo” Korkmaz posted a video this week showing the buggy version of Instagram heating two different iPhones to 100°F: one an iPhone 15 Pro, the other a year-old iPhone 14 Pro. Exact same overheating issue. (I question here why iOS allows any app to consume so many resources that it makes the device too hot to hold comfortably, but the bug was apparently Instagram’s. Same too with Uber. Real shocker that two apps made with a Frankensteinian mishmash of web and native UI toolkits would run amok, resource-wise.)


[Ming-Chi Kuo’s] post on this overheating issue is almost transparently a leak from TSMC — a sort of “Whatever is going on with the iPhone 15 Pro heat dissipation, it has nothing to do with our 3nm process“. Blaming it on the new titanium frame was just wild speculation on Kuo’s part, and by all evidence is completely wrong.


2 Comments RSS · Twitter

The titanium frame is unlikely to be the problem because it is a veneer of titanium diffusion-welded onto a regular aluminum frame and aluminum is an excellent thermal conductor, almost as good as copper.

Heat dissipation can’t be the problem here. 100% of the heat that’s generated inside the device ends up on the surface. That’s a physical law.

The only difference the thermal design makes is how quickly it gets there, which affects the temperature inside the device and might cause throttling. If the outside is hot, it must be the amount of electricity being "burned".

Leave a Comment