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What does the iPhone and vampires have in common? Both apparently can be killed by sunlight. Apple says that the following warning can occur when its phone gets exposed to sunlight.  (Source: Apple)
Apple finally responds to reports about its heat issues

Apple has been having plenty of headaches lately with its MacBook Pro displays failing and experiencing distortion.  Worse yet is the iPhone 3G S's quality problems, which include reported overheating and signal issues.  

The overheating was first noted in Apple support forums.  Soon, though, writers at several tech publications -- PC WorldWired, Le Journal Du Geek and The Telegraph -- began to notice the problems on their own phones.  The Le Journal Du Geek writer posted pictures of a white phone and noticed that the overheating was so severe that it colorized the plastic.  The heat tended to turn the case pink or brown.

Now, Apple has at last issued a response and it is assigning the blame for the problem on its users' behavior, sunlight, and on the seasons.  Apple says that leaving the device in a car on a hot day is one possible culprit causing its phone to overheat.  Apparently, like a vampire the phone is no friend of the sun --  Apple states that "leaving it in direct sunlight for extended amounts of time" may cause it to overheat.

Apple lists the use of "GPS tracking in a car on a sunny day or listening to music while in direct sunlight" as two particularly dangerous operations.

According to Apple the following problems are the result of the iPhone's overheating:

  • The device stops charging
  • Display dims
  • Weak cellular signal
  • Temperature warning screen appears with the message "iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it" (see image below)

Apple says that the iPhone is only meant to operate at temperatures between 0º and 35º C (32º to 95º F) and be stored at temperatures between -20º and 45º C (-4º to 113º F).  Unfortunately, this is much lower than the temperatures experienced in much of the American South and Southwest.

Based on Apple's stance it seems there's no immediate solution for iPhone owners.  Apple seems unwilling to agree that its hardware needs revision to deal with the problem, instead assigning the blame elsewhere -- the sun, heat, and summer weather.  And that means as summer temperatures heat up, users are left to prepare for the worst -- their phones beginning to fail.

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By aj28 on 7/6/2009 2:46:03 AM , Rating: 2
designing a phone that cant handle a bit of a sunny day isnt the users fault, thats the design teams.

A bit of a sunny day isn't what we're talking about here. Since when was heat an element everything is supposed to be entirely immune to? Most electronics, for example, aren't waterproof. Even those that are can only claim to be so at certain depths or under certain conditions. So why is it expected that you can leave your phone on the dash of a hot car without the A/C on while it's actively running power-consuming tasks like GPS?

on a side note... my MBP has had over £3000 in repairs since i got it... its only 2 years old. apple care sure paid for itself there!!!, but again shows how they seem to sacrifice good functional engineering for a bit of style. i reckon heat has been to blame for all my failures thus far.

For £3000 you could rebuild an MBP two or three times. I would be interested to know how close that figure is to the actual cost of repair, how much of that was labor, what parts were replaced, and whether they were replaced with new or refurbished parts.

The MBP I'm typing this post on has had £0 in repairs since I got it two years ago.

(Note: If all of those repairs were on your system board, I can take a pretty well-educated guess at the reason for the repeat failures. The nVidia graphics chip was defective from the factory, which is an industry-wide failure affecting Dell, HP, and a number of other brands of PC notebooks. The current fix among parts suppliers refurbishing these boards is to use an epoxy solution to affix the chip more securely to the board and ensure the package connection is not broken under conditions of excessive heat. Unfortunately this is a very poor solution and doesn't last long, particularly if the user is not careful to apply newly released BIOS/EFI firmware updates which introduce new, more effective fan speed algorithms to ensure reduced temperatures and prevent future failures.)

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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