Apple is facing complaints from users about overheating in relation to its new iPhone 15 models, with some customers claiming the titanium frame becomes too hot to hold.
The iPhone maker’s community forum is carrying customer feedback about the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max claiming that the handsets are overheating.
“I’ve had the new iPhone 15 Pro and it’s so hot, it’s too hot to hold,” wrote one user. Another wrote: “My skin hurts! What is going on with iPhone 15 Pro Max?”
There are several posts on the Apple forum referring to overheating of the iPhone 15 Pro series, with one user posting a photo of their iPhone 15 next to a thermometer recording a temperature of 44C (111F). There are also posts on X and Reddit.
Ming-Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst at TF International Securities, said any overheating issue was probably due to “compromises” in the phone’s design as the company attempted to reduce the product’s weight.
The iPhone Pro model has a frame made from titanium, a poor conductor of heat, which could hamper the handset’s ability to disperse heat. Previously, Apple has used stainless steel for its high-end phones.
Kuo wrote: “The primary cause is more likely the compromises made in the thermal system design to achieve a lighter weight, such as the reduced heat dissipation area and the use of a titanium frame, which negatively impacts thermal efficiency.”
He said Apple would probably address the problem through software updates. Kuo said the reported problem was unlikely to have been caused by a new Taiwan-made chip deployed in the Pro models.
The analyst indicated that the problem could affect iPhone Pro sales if it was not addressed. The iPhone 15 went on sale last week. In the UK, it costs from £799 for the basic model to £999 for the Pro and £1,199 for the larger Pro Max.
“If Apple does not properly address this issue, it could negatively impact shipments over the product life cycle of the iPhone 15 Pro series,” Kuo said.
Kyle Wiens, the chief executive of iFixit, an iPhone repair website, said testing by his business showed the iPhone 15 Pro had similar characteristics to the stainless steel-clad 14 Pro, which was also “quite hot”. He said unlike the aluminium that was used for the basic iPhone 14 and 15 models, titanium and stainless steel were similar performers in terms of conducting heat, but titanium was lighter and thus absorbed less heat.
Wiens said Apple could fix the problem instantly with a software update that slowed down the peak-level performance of the phone’s processor – in effect, the device’s brain – and made the handset produce less heat. He said the phone’s battery performance could be affected by high temperatures.
“In our testing it gets to 44C. It’s a question of whether that’s acceptable [to Apple],” he said.
Ben Wood, the chief analyst at CCS Insight, said any heating issue would not reach unsafe levels. “There will not be a mass recall of iPhones at any point. This is something that can be tweaked if required,” he said, adding that the vast majority of phone users would not notice any difference to their phone’s performance if there was a software update.
Apple has been contacted for comment.
The company’s customer support pages state that devices might get warm when being set up for the first time, when they are being charged wirelessly or if customers are using graphics-intensive or processor-intensive apps, such as games.