The latest iPhones went on sale just over a week ago. Since then, some users have commented that their phones have been getting hotter than expected. In some cases quite a lot hotter. In the last few minutes, Apple has exclusively been in touch to talk to me about what’s going on.
Here’s what Apple said: “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.”
This is to be expected. When you set up a new iPhone and it’s redownloading all the apps, photos and music, for instance, that you accrued on your previous phone, it means your new device is working overtime, and sometimes over-temperature, to get it all done as quickly as possible. But, intriguingly, there’s more.
Apple went on, “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.”
This is tremendous news—it’s not something users will have to face long-term. I should add that not everyone was affected by this and the iPhones I’ve been testing for review haven’t come across this issue at all.
There has been much speculation that this could be down to the new titanium material that is one of the big updates on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. This never made sense to me, not least because iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus users were reporting overheating, and there’s no titanium in those handsets.
What’s more, Apple has been consistent about how titanium, in conjunction with its aluminum substructure, is great at dispersing heat. Better, indeed, than any previous stainless steel iPhone Pro model. The design of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro is not causing overheating, Apple says.
There are some apps, Apple says, that are known to raise the temperature, physically as well as metaphorically. For example, Instagram, Uber and Asphalt 9 can all cause the iPhone to get hot and Apple is working with the app developers to address this, and investigating to see if other apps are causing this. I’m told that Instagram introduced a fix with its update on September 27, so it’s good to check your iPhone has the latest version (which is version 302).
I’m told that the update to iOS 17 which is currently in beta, iOS 17.1, does not involve reducing performance in order to address the issue of the iPhone’s temperature.
Other culprits can be larger USB-C power adapters, those above 20W, which can cause a temporary temperature increase. If you have a suitable charger with a higher wattage, providing it’s compliant with the USB-C PD (power delivery) standard, it’s still safe to use, as the iPhone automatically regulates its power draw.
Finally, Apple stresses that there’s no risk to safety or to long-term performance of the iPhone as iPhones and other iOS and iPadOS devices have built-in protections to prevent overheating. If the temperature inside the iPhone increases beyond the normal range, it protects its components by regulating the temperature.
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