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iPhone 7 owners say new phones are hissing at their users

But ‘Hissgate’ doesn’t appear to be all that it seems

Andrew Griffin
Monday 19 September 2016 11:46 BST
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It’s most likely that people will hear the phone making the noise when it is first starting up
It’s most likely that people will hear the phone making the noise when it is first starting up (Reuters)

The iPhone 7 will hiss at its users if they ask it to do too much, according to owners of the new handset.

Multiple reports are springing up from people who got their phones since they went on sale last week, reporting that when the iPhone is put under an intense load it will start making an audible hissing noise, coming from the back of the phone. Some of the reports are even referring to the noise as “hissgate” – a new variation on the supposed scandals that often follow iPhone releases, which have in the past included things like Bendgate and Antennagate.

The problem appears to be particularly prevalent in the iPhone 7 Plus. And many people have reported that it is most noticeable when the phone is being restored from new.

And other reports have suggested that the problems appear only to affect some models – potentially meaning that it is the result of a specific part or manufacturing technique, rather than being present in every phone.

Engineers have suggested that the sound might be something called “coil whine” – the noise that electrical components can create when they’re operating. That sound happens as a result of vibrations in the electromagnetic coils that are used in devices, which can resonate with other parts of the phone and produce the sound.

But Apple website iMore tested out the iPhone 7 alongside other Apple products and those made by other companies.

It found that while there was a noticeable hiss coming from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, that same hiss appeared to be present in other, older devices. And the new iPhone’s noise was no different in kind or volume than other similar devices, it said.

The sound was most clear and audible when the iPhone and other devices were doing processing-intensive tasks.

A sneak-peek at the new iPhone 7 Plus

As such, it’s most likely that people will hear the phone making the noise when it is first starting up. Restoring a new phone from a backup uses a huge amount of processing power – to put new files on the phone, for instance – and so the noise will tend more audible than ever then.

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