Last week, Nowhere Else began receiving reports [Google translation] from owners of the white iPhone 3GS that had experience significant overheating, leading in some cases to distinct pink or brown discoloration on the iPhone’s back case. A later report from Wired suggested that faulty battery cells may be the cause of the overheating and could lead to a significant recall of the affected iPhones.
A number of reports today have pointed to an Apple support document providing advice on how to keep iPhones from overheating as an acknowledgement of the problem on the part of Apple. As Macworld points out, however, the document was originally posted many months ago, and was recently updated only to add references to the iPhone 3GS to the existing ones for the iPhone 3G. According to the Apple document, an overheating iPhone will display a warning screen and become inoperable with the exception of allowing emergency phone calls to be made. Apple also describes several situations that can lead to activation of the temperature warning screen.
– Leaving the device in a car on a hot day.
– Leaving it in direct sunlight for extended amounts of time.
– Using 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.
While heat is definitely a concern for any electronic device, particularly ones like the iPhone that pack a significant amount of power into a small space, Apple assures its iPhone 3G and 3GS customers that the devices do meet international safety standards for such devices. At this time, Apple has made no official response to these latest reports of overheating and discoloration on the new iPhone 3GS.