Sales of Apple's iPhone 3GS aren't the only thing hot about the device: Reports of overheating issues on the new version of the smartphone caused Apple to release an advisory on how to keep your iPhone cool.
While the debut of the iPhone 3GS, the latest edition of Apple's sleek,
popular smartphone, has been a runaway success (sales after three days on the
market bested 1 million models sold), Apple acknowledged the devices may have
an issue when it comes to overheating.
In response to numerous consumer reports that its iPhones were
overheating, Apple has posted an advisory on its support site where users can
learn about the operating temperatures and temperature management of the iPhone
3G and iPhone 3GS.
"Operate iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS in a place where the temperature is
between 32?? to 95?? Fahrenheit. Low- or high-temperature conditions might
temporarily shorten battery life or cause the device to temporarily stop
working properly," the post explains. "Store the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS in a
place where the temperature is between -4?? to 113?? Fahrenheit. Don't leave the
device in your car, because temperatures in parked cars can exceed this range."
Apple noted if the interior temperature of the device exceeds normal
operating temperatures, users may experience these signs as it attempts to
regulate its temperature, including stop charging, a dim display and a weak
cellular signal. Users may also recognize the iPhone is overheating if they see
a temperature warning screen, which appears with the message "iPhone needs
to cool down before you can use it."
The company noted when this message appears, the device may still be able to
make emergency calls. If the message appears, users should turn the device off,
move it to a cooler environment and allow it to cool before resuming use, Apple
said. The company recommends avoiding leaving the device in hot conditions or
direct sunlight for long periods of time, or using applications like GPS
tracking or listening to music while in direct sunlight.
The reports of overheating iPhones (and the resulting advisory) come on the
heels of a Consumer Reports smartphone ratings guide, which saw the iPhone 3GS
topping the competition. While Palm's latest entry into the competitive
smartphone market, the Pre, was close behind in the ranking, Apple maintained
its competitive edge.
"The phones vary significantly in how they achieve their high scores," wrote
Paul Reynolds on the Consumer Reports blog. "The iPhone 3GS edged out
high-scoring competitors such as the Palm Pre and BlackBerry Storm thanks to a
superior display, reinforced by top-notch multimedia, navigation, Web browsing
and battery life."
However, Reynolds also noted the Pre, the BlackBerry Storm
and other BlackBerry models bested the iPhone in messaging, and the Pre, with
its new deck-of-cards handling of multiple applications, is a superior
multitasker. In rating smartphones this year, Reynolds said the magazine added
new categories for ranking, including display and ease of navigation. "The
iPhone 3G and some other older phones have moved up due to these changes," he
wrote. "While others, including the Samsung Blackjack II and BlackBerry Pearl
Flip, have dropped in their ranking."
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.