Apple’s response to iPhone X screen cold weather responsiveness

Yesterday, a Reddit user named Darus 214 started a thread complaining about his iPhone X screen becoming unresponsive in cold weather. From the thread:

I’ve noticed that my iPhone X screen becomes very unresponsive as soon as I step outside. It literally takes 2 seconds from going inside to the cold outdoors and my screen stops being very responsive. I try swiping on websites and it doesn’t register my finger. It’s very noticeable. Is anyone else having this problem?

Edit: possible other explanation might be the drastic changes in light that are causing problems.

Edit2: looks like some people are having issues while others are not. Might be different colors/sizes of iPhones that were affected. Can we get Apple to investigate?

First things first, this thread caused a number of people to go outside and try their iPhones in relatively cold weather. Every result I saw (small sample size, so take with grain of salt) was that the phone worked fine.

At the core of this issue is, how cold is cold?

Apple has some guidance on this issue:

Use iOS devices where the ambient temperature is between 0º and 35º C (32º to 95º F). Low- or high-temperature conditions might cause the device to change its behavior to regulate its temperature. Using an iOS device in very cold conditions outside of its operating range might temporarily shorten battery life and could cause the device to turn off. Battery life will return to normal when you bring the device back to higher ambient temperatures.

This guidance goes back quite a ways, and is in line with typical guidance on these sorts of devices.

We asked Apple about this situation and they sent us this response:

“We are aware of instances where the iPhone X screen will become temporarily unresponsive to touch after a rapid change to a cold environment. After several seconds the screen will become fully responsive again. This will be addressed in an upcoming software update.”

Interesting situation. Sounds like Apple is on top of it.

  • C

    cold fingers will not work also.

  • franksspam

    I’m not sure if it is the same issue, but when I got home tonight, I took my iPhone X out of my pocket and the screen remained blank. I pressed the side button and nothing. I tried again and again. Nothing. I plugged it in and the backlight immediately came on but the screen would not respond to touch. I tried holding down the power and volume button to reset and instead it went into emergency mode and started a siren. Of course, the screen was still not responding to touch. As I was heading down the hall to my office, it started working again.

    • Tommy C

      On the iPhone X, the force reset is press & release Vol Up, press & release Vol Down, press and hold Power until the Apple logo appears. As you discovered, you triggered the emergency mode.

  • Gordon

    I encountered this on my way to work this morning. I stopped at the gas station and it was windy and blustery (which sounds like the “rapid decrease in temperature” people were reporting). I was at the pump and I noticed my keyboard was regularly missing keys. By the time I finished pumping my gas and had hopped back in the car, things returned to normal.

    So, at this point, I don’t know if it was getting back into the room-temperature car or if the phone had adjusted to the temperature change. I’ll have to see if I can trip it up again.

  • Kosenefx

    Apple’s official response is to tell their users to move to a warmer climate…

    • Mo

      You sound like a Windows sysadmin.

      • Kosenefx

        no… just a normal non addicted human being… GFY

        • Mo

          Classy, too.

  • Marucins

    It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!

  • You’re colding it wrong.


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  • DrPhilOfCrap

    Take off your gloves…

  • Dr Prasanna Lokuge

    I have some slightly different problem, once a call is finished my iPhone X remained blank. I pressed the side button and nothing happening. Then I have to hold two buttons to for shut down screen. This happens not always, but very frequently. What should I do?, also sometimes mute button is not working and anyway, new iPhone X is less responsive and not acceptable