Over the last week, a number of iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro users have complained of their new devices overheating and running at abnormally high temperatures. In response to those complaints, Apple has announced that a software update is on the way to remedy the problems.
Notably, Apple confirmed to 9to5Mac that the new titanium design of the iPhone 15 Pro is not the cause of any overheating problems.
The company also says that the software update coming to iOS 17 does not in any way reduce performance to address iPhone temperature concerns.
iPhone 15 overheating fix coming soon
In a statement first sent to Forbes and also shared with 9to5Mac, Apple pointed out that it’s normal for an iPhone to run hotter than usual during the first several days. As we’ve explained in the past, this is due to iOS indexing photos, searches, and more in the background.
Apple also says that it’s identified a bug in iOS 17 that makes the overheating problem worse for iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro users. This problem will be “addressed in a software update,” the company says.
Furthermore, Apple tells 9to5Mac that recent updates to certain third-party apps are causing them to overload the system. The company says it’s working directly with those developers to fix the issues. According to Apple, some of the apps overloading the iPhone CPU and causing devices to overheat are Asphalt 9, Instagram, and Uber. Instagram issued a fix for the problem on September 27, Apple says.
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.
Apple also confirmed to 9to5Mac that the titanium design of the iPhone 15 Pro is not to blame for any overheating problems, contrary to what some reports stated earlier this week. The company says the new design actually leads to better heat dissipation than previous iPhones with stainless steel. This is likely because of the new internal aluminium sub structure.
iPhone 15 Pro design once again blamed for causing some units to overheat
The iPhone 15 Pro is now in the hands of many consumers around the world, and since then, we’ve seen multiple complaints about overheating problems. Earlier this week, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that these problems may be caused by design compromises, and new reports from Bloomberg and WSJ reveal that the problem may be worse than it seems.
iPhone 15 Pro overheating
As we previously reported, there are many iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max users complaining about how the new devices get extremely hot after using them for a while, even with basic things like web browsing. Although a number of people claim not to be affected by the problem, it’s easy to find posts on social media about iPhone 15 Pro models overheating.
A test run with an iPhone 15 Pro Max shared on a Chinese video platform revealed that downloading the popular game Genshin Impact on a 5G network caused the phone to heat up to 122ºF. The iPhone remained at a similar temperature while running the game in high-resolution mode.
A few days ago, YouTube channel TheRelaxingEnd shared a video showing how the iPhone 15 Pro suddenly started freezing and slowing down while running Genshin Impact, which could be a result of overheating. Of course, this is quite intriguing given that Apple has been marketing the new iPhone as the first capable of running AAA games thanks to the A17 Pro chip.
Apple suggests it’s a normal condition caused by software
Officially, Apple has refused to comment on the matter. But Bloomberg has heard from sources that Apple technicians have been dealing with a lot of customers complaining about iPhone 15 Pro overheating issues. Technicians are telling users to follow the instructions from an old support article found on Apple’s website about what to do when the iPhone gets too hot.
The article doesn’t include any specific instructions for the iPhone 15 Pro. Instead, it only suggests that the iPhone may get hotter than normal after the first setup, being restored from a backup, being wirelessly recharged, or when running graphics-intensive or processor-intensive apps.
While this is true, there’s a group of users who believe that the iPhone 15 Pro is heating up more than usual even under normal conditions, days after being set up or without running 3D games. And they may be right.
It could be caused by a design flaw
The Wall Street Journal heard from “people familiar with the iPhone’s design” that the overheating problems are being caused by design flaws in the iPhone 15 Pro. For instance, Apple removed the SIM tray from iPhone 14 models sold in the US, but every other country still relies on a physical SIM-compatible version of the iPhone.
Because of this, the US version of the iPhone 14 has a plastic piece to fill the gap where the SIM tray is located in the global version of the phone. With the iPhone 15, Apple has redesigned the logic board to remove this gap. But since the eSIM-only iPhone remains exclusive to the US, the rest of the world relies on an iPhone with a different logic board.
“Adding a slot to the phone’s already-cramped interior creates additional challenges for heat dissipation,” the WSJ sources reported.
But that’s not all. Similar to what Kuo said earlier this week, the sources who spoke to the WSJ mentioned that titanium also contributes to overheating, since the material has “less mass to absorb the heat” compared to stainless steel. These two factors combined with a more powerful chip make the iPhone 15 Pro overheat.
Will Apple address the iPhone 15 Pro overheating problems?
It’s unclear at this point whether Apple will do anything to address these problems. The easiest solution would probably be releasing a software update that reduces CPU and GPU performance in certain situations in order to keep the device’s internal temperature under control.
Another alternative would be to change the engineering design of the iPhone 15 Pro, which sounds more unlikely as this would require announcing a recall program for affected customers.