In light of a spate of recent iPhone 3GS overheating reports, Apple published a set of guidelines to help iPhone users ensure that their devices remain at proper operating temperatures to prevent overheating and related issues. More accurately, Apple released the tips the day that many of the initial reports surfaced, last Thursday, June 25, so it’s unclear whether or not the two are connected–Apple has not issued an official comment on the reports. But the following information could be valuable to any iPhone owner concerned with possible overheating.
iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS should be used in environments where temperatures remain between 32 degrees and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures outside of this range could decrease battery life temporarily or effect performance.
iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS should be stored in locations where temperatures remain between -4 degrees and 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Note: Temperatures within sealed motor vehicles can exceed 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
iPhone owners who don’t follow these suggested best-practices could experience any of the following “symptoms:”
iPhone could randomly cease charging
iPhone display could become less bright
iPhone cellular connection could weaken or diminish
iPhone temperature warning screen (see above image) could appear, rendering your device useless except for making emergency phone calls
Apple also included the following suggestions, though most of these are simply common sense, at least for experienced gadget users:
Don’t leave your iPhone in a vehicle during a hot day
Don’t leave your iPhone in direct sunlight for any extended period of time-Avoid using data intensive applications, like GPS or streaming-media apps, for extended periods of time on hot days or while in direct sunlight.
Note: Apple’s iPhone overheating tips appear to be aimed specifically at iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS owners, but I’d say they’re equally applicable to first-gen iPhone users. I’m guessing there’s no temperature warning screen on the original iPhone, though.)
I’ve got a few of my own tips, too.
First of all, you should try not to use too many applications at once on a hot day or while out in the sun, since your device is more likely to overheat. As a rule of thumb, the more tasks your device is performing, the more battery life it will need, and in turn, the hotter that battery and its surrounding components will get.
Secondly, don’t worry about it if your iPhone gets warm. All mobile devices, cell phones, netbooks, laptops, etc., tend to heat up on hot days or during extended use. However, if your device seems to be getting uncommonly hot to the touch or it’s too hot to handle for long, turn it off and let it cool down.
Finally, if you must use an iPhone or other device in steamy environs, try to keep it in the shade or at least out of the direct sunlight. I wear a baseball hat constantly, but in addition to showing my support for the best team in baseball–Go Red Sox!!–it also works great as an “umbrella” or sorts for my iPhone or BlackBerry.
I keep both my iPhone and BlackBerry busy in the car, getting GPS driving directions and listening to Pandora Radio via my stereo Bluetooth FM transmitter, which is sure to get any mobile device nice and toasty. But I keep them out of the sun by throwing my hat down on top while they’re in use.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.