Since they were introduced, the new iPhone 15 models have been in the spotlight. Any information about them grabs headlines… and today is no different.
Unfortunately for Apple, the latest issue grabbing media attention is the design flaw apparently affecting the iPhone 15 Pro, which is causing phones to overheat due to thermal throttling.
And while you may not believe me, it’s worth paying attention to Ming-Chi Kuo from TFI Securities, an analyst and technology expert specializing in Apple (few people know more about the brand than he does).
A problem stemming from titanium and the obsession with lightweight design
We are all used to our phones heating up a bit from time to time, sometimes for obvious reasons like playing a demanding video game, sometimes for no apparent reason.
But for the iPhone 15 series, things can be more serious. According to 9to5Mac, “there are widespread reports of the iPhone 15 overheating, seemingly in all models.”
Some of the heating issues occur when the phone is charging, which may not be a problem since it is unlikely, though not impossible, that you would use it much while it’s charging.
It’s also worth noting that the first 24 hours of an iPhone’s life are not indicative of how it will perform in the future. This is because most people transfer data from their old phone on the first day, and the new device works hard to copy everything.
A Korean YouTuber, BullsLab, claims to have recorded the temperature of an iPhone with a thermal imaging camera and, when testing the phone thoroughly, playing games and running performance tests, he says the phone reached nearly 47º degrees.
Now, Ming-Chi Kuo’s comments add more context. Kuo says that overheating is unlikely to be due to one of the entirely new elements of the iPhone 15 Pro, the A17 Pro chip, which was built using a 3-nanometer process, the first smartphone chips to do so.
This makes sense, as the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus have seen reports of overheating, and that processor is not in those phones.
Kuo says in a report on Medium: “My survey indicates that the overheating issues of the iPhone 15 Pro series are not related to TSMC’s advanced 3nm node.”
So what could it be? Kuo continues: “It is more likely that the main cause is the compromises made in the thermal system design to achieve a lighter weight, such as reducing the heat dissipation area and using a titanium frame, which negatively affects thermal efficiency.”
And how can this be resolved? At a hardware level, it’s too late for the millions of phones sold so far, so the logical step would be for Apple to reduce the power of its processor, thus preventing the phone from heating up so much. Yes, it’s not an ideal solution, but it seems to be the only viable one.