If you’ve used your brand new iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max since that September 22 release and thought that it got a little too toasty at times, you aren’t alone. The good news is that it should be fixable via a software update, but that might not be the whole story.
With fingers already starting to point at the new A17 Pro chip that now powers Apple’s best iPhones one analyst has sprung to its defense. They say that the A17 Pro and TSMC’s 3nm fabrication process aren’t to blame for overheating issues and that Apple will fix things by releasing a software update. The problem is what that software update might have to do.
If things go the way they very well could, Apple might have to limit the performance of your new iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max to keep it cool, and that’s just bad news for all of us.
Lower performance = lower temperatures
This is all according to supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who posted on Medium that his supply chain checks indicate “that the iPhone 15 Pro series overheating issues are unrelated to TSMC’s advanced 3nm node.” He goes on to say that the “primary cause is more likely the compromises made in the thermal system design to achieve a lighter weight.”
Those compromises are thought to be a reduced heat dissipation area as well as the use of a titanium frame which impacts thermal efficiency. That’s all to say that Apple’s new A17 Pro is nice and fast, but the heat it generates can’t be removed quickly enough because of Apple’s design choices.
Shades of the 2013 Mac Pro’s infamous “thermal corner,” to be sure.
The good news is that this can all likely be fixed in software, but Kuo has a warning, adding that “improvements may be limited unless Apple lowers processor performance.”
That’s something Apple will not want to do, especially as it continues to laud the iPhone 15 Pro’s gaming capabilities and so-called console-quality titles. In reality, the A17 Pro might not feel much slower in use, but we can perhaps expect Apple to choose to throttle the chip sooner than it currently does, impacting performance over longer periods of time — like when playing a game, for example.
For now, all eyes will be on Apple to see what happens next. But it’s worth noting that two iMore writers have iPhone 15 Pro Maxes and haven’t had any issues with overheating whatsoever. Anecdotal? Sure, but a huge and widespread issue this temperature situation might not be just yet.