As the issue of overheating iPhones heats up, Apple might be preparing to point the finger at iPhone owners who fail to keep their iPhones within acceptable temperatures.
Apple recently updated its knowledge base advising iPhone owners how to keep their devices within acceptable operating temperatures.
For many, this was not the answer they were hoping for because Apple’s solution to an apparent defect appears to be to place the burden on the user to ensure their iPhone’s temperature remains within an acceptable range.
What’s troubling about Apple’s position is that it sets the stage for Apple to adjust its iPhone service policy based on the argument that damage caused by overheating the iPhone is the fault of the iPhone’s owner — not Apple.
Remember how Apple resolved the problem with the iPhone’s oversensitive moisture sensor, which some claimed was activated by sweat?
That’s right, if you bought an iPhone with a defective moisture sensor that subsequently gets tripped by sweat or humidity you have to pay Apple $199 for a replacement under the theory that Apple cannot confirm that your iPhone was not exposed to water.
Now that Apple has begun to warn iPhone owners of the potential risk of operating iPhones at high temperatures, Apple might begin treating overheated iPhones the same way as iPhones that appear to have been exposed to water.
After all, the iPhone does warn you if its temperature gets too high. Will you be penalized for not taking measures to cool it down? Apple could be embarking on a slippery slope.
Over the course of the last week complaints have surfaced about Apple’s new iPhone 3GS’s propensity to overheat. Although there is little doubt that some sort of defect is afoot, most reports have done little more than repeat the same story: iPhones overheating and, in some cases, turning brown.
Some have speculated that the defect is related to the iPhone 3GS’s new high capacity battery or its 600 MHz processor. Some have blamed the iPhone 3GS’s GPS unit. Others have pointed the finger at the iPhone 3.0 Software — citing the fact that their older iPhone 2G’s and 3G’s had been showing signs of overheating after updating to 3.0.
On June 25, 2009 Apple issued a warning on its support knowledge base indicating that users should take measures to ensure that their iPhones remain (between -20Âº and 45Âº C (-4Âº to 113Âº F).
What happens if Apple decides to adjust its service policy on iPhones that have been exposed to high temperatures? Suddenly iPhone owners might be forced to pay a premium if their iPhone was used in Southern California or left in a car on a hot summer day. After all, Apple has put iPhone owners on notice.
The jury is still out as to whether this reported issue poses a widespread threat to iPhone owners. Apple, as it appears, certainly feels the same way because they have yet to issue a formal admission to the existence of any manufacturing or design defect. Rather, Apple seems to be hoping that the problem goes away.
Perhaps you can help us gauge how pervasive this problem is?
Is it the new 3GS hardware, a design defect, or manufacturing defect? Does it have something to do with the 3.0 software itself? Or, perhaps, it is a combination of both?
Are the phones overheating completely on their own or under specific circumstances (i.e. running large Apps, iPhone insulated under pillow or blanket, iPhone left in the sun or a hot car)?
If you believe your iPhone has been displaying symptoms of overheating, please contact us with your story in the comments below.
Please explain your iPhone’s symptoms, tell us what model it is and what version of the iPhone OS it is running. What Apps are you using?
Take photos if possible (especially if your iPhone’s body has been affected by high temperatures). We look forward to hearing from you.