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Apple blames Instagram for overheating iPhones

‘Heatgate’ issue causes devices to become ‘too hot to touch’

Anthony Cuthbertson
Tuesday 03 October 2023 06:08 BST
Apple Software Update to Address iPhone 15 Overheating Issue

Apple has blamed Instagram and other popular apps for an overheating issue with the iPhone 15.

The US tech giant said a software bug tied to the Meta-owned app was among the reasons for users reporting that its latest range of smartphones, unveiled last month, become “too hot to touch” while performing certain tasks.

The company is working on an update to its latest iOS 17 operating system, which serves as the software for the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Meta has acknowledged the issue, which some users have dubbed “heatgate”, and modified its Instagram app in an effort to prevent it from heating up the device.

Other apps blamed for the problem, including Uber and the video game Asphalt 9, are yet to roll out updates, according to Apple.

There is also no timeline for when Apple’s own software fix would be issued but the firm said no safety issues should prevent iPhone 15 owners from using their devices while awaiting the update.

“We have identified a few conditions which can cause iPhones to run warmer than expected,” Apple said in a short statement.

It’s not unusual for new iPhones to get uncomfortably warm during the first few days of use or when they are being restored with backup information stored in the cloud – issues that Apple already flags for users.

The devices also can get hot when using apps such as video games and augmented reality technology that require a lot of processing power, but the heating issues with the iPhone 15 models have gone beyond those typical situations.

In its acknowledgement, Apple stressed that the trouble isn’t related to the new titanium casing that houses the high-end iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max instead of the stainless steel used on older smartphones.

The iPhone 15 reached temperatures of up to 47C, according to overheating tests carried out by YouTube channel BullsLab (YouTube/ BullsLab/ screenshot)

Apple also dismissed speculation that the overheating problem in the new models might be tied to a shift from its proprietary Lightning charging cable to the more widely used USB-C port that allowed it to comply with a mandate issued by European regulators.

Although Apple expressed confidence that the overheating issue can be quickly fixed with the upcoming software updates, the problem still could dampen sales of its marquee product at a time when the company has faced three consecutive quarters of year-over-year declines in overall sales.

The downturn has affected iPhone sales, which fell by a combined 4 per cent in the nine months covered by Apple’s past three fiscal quarters compared with a year earlier.

Apple is trying to boost its sales in part by raising the starting price for its top-of-the-line iPhone 15 Pro Max to $1,200, an increase of $100, or 9 per cent, from last year’s flagship model.

In its acknowledgement of the iPhone 15 overheating issue, Apple said the planned software update would not impact the phone’s performance, which analysts had warned is a possibility.

Additional reporting from agencies

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