∞ Apple's heat warning, not really a warning

I don’t doubt that some people are having heat issues with their new iPhone 3GSs, but watching some publications jump on an innocuous support note from Apple is disturbing. iPhone 3GSAn article on PC World on Thursday says that “Apple Admits iPhone Overheating Issues — Sort of.” Well, no, either they admitted they have an overheating problem or they didn’t–which is it?

What some people are trying to do is shoehorn a tech note into fulfilling the story they want to write. Unfortunately, that’s not what Apple said.

What the tech note does do is give optimum operating temperatures for the iPhone. It also offers these tidbits of advice to keep the iPhone from overheating.


  • Leave the device in a car on a hot day.
  • Leave it in direct sunlight for extended amounts of time.
  • Use certain applications in hot conditions or direct sunlight for long periods of time, such as GPS tracking in a car on a sunny day or listening to music while in direct sunlight.

That’s hardly a “warning” of the problem that some users are reporting. This is more like a warning to idiots who don’t realize that leaving the iPhone in the hot sun is going to affect the device.

Since Apple didn’t say it, I’ll add a couple more for you:


  • Bake your iPhone in an oven.
  • Put your iPhone in a pot of boiling water.
  • Drop your iPhone in a Volcano.

When Apple comes out and says something like, “We are aware of an issue that has caused some iPhones to overheat. We are investigating the issue and will report back our results.,” then I’ll believe it. Until then they didn’t admit anything.

  • Peter

    Dance, apologist, dance!

    My personal favorite: listening to music in direct sunlight.

    What? You mean, like, taking it to the beach or the park or something so you can listen to music?

    So, in other words, if you’re going to the beach on a nice sunny day, don’t expect to lie on the sand and listen to music. Don’t expect to play that cool OpenGL game, either.

    If something happens to your iPhone because you had the gall to use it in direct sunlight, it’s your own fault.

    Perhaps they should call it the iPhone 3G Vampire.

    • Yes

      Of course you can lie on the beach. Just don’t have the sun shining directly on the device for hours. You can cover it, put it in a pocket or under a shade. This is just common sense.

  • What about blow drying your hair while wearing that new-fangled head mounted iPhone carrying case?

  • Kudos to you, Jim, for getting this right. This article existed before the 3GS even came out, and now that it’s been updated to include the 3GS, “journalists” are scrambling to say it’s an admission to some supposed overheating issue that we’ve heard of only in one sparsely-documented account.

    Sure, the iPhone gets warm with usage. So does basically every other smartphone.

  • A few more that should be mentioned:

    Don’t boil your iPhone 3G S beyond al dente.

    When sauteeing the iPhone 3G S, avoid getting olive oil into the 30-pin connector and the audio jack.

    Do not leave the iPhone 3G S unattended with a child or a pet in a car on a hot day, particularly if the windows are completely rolled up.

    Never clean the screen of the iPhone 3G S with a wide-open propane torch.

    There are more specifics but this should cover the most common question.

  • kanester

    Who would ever want to listen to music while in sunlight??

  • This is an actual quote from Apple’s LaserWriter manual: “Do not expose your LaserWriter to open fire or flame.”

  • Jim Dalrymple

    So that’s what happened to my LaserWriter 😉

  • KMB

    Now, you said don’t put in in an oven, but what about a microwave oven?! Should I not do that either?!


    Sorry Jim, couldn’t resist. Congrats on The Loop, I’m really enjoying it!