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Apple’s Strategy to Cool Down Overheating Problems for iPhone16 Revealed!

On November 16th, IT tipster Kosutami announced through his X account that Apple plans to introduce a new cooling system starting with the iPhone 16.

iPhone 15 Overheating Issue


The iPhone 15, unveiled last September, received reviews of severe overheating immediately after its release. Ian Zelbo of 9to5mac, an IT specialist media outlet, reported through his X account that the iPhone 15 Pro Max was too hot when charging. He explained that the overheating was most severe in the 20-60% battery range, and while it cooled down somewhat after reaching 70%, it was still hotter than average.

On September 23rd, a video on a Chinese video platform featured a test of the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s overheating. Just by downloading a mobile game while connected to a 5G network, the device temperature rose to a maximum of 122°F (50°C). The same issue occurred even when running the game in high-resolution mode.


At the time, two causes were suggested. First, there were opinions that the ‘titanium frame’ used in the Pro model might be the cause. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo argued that titanium has a lower heat absorption rate than the previously used stainless steel. However, Apple directly refuted this, claiming the opposite.

There were also opinions that the new AP (Application Processor) ‘A17 Pro’ could be the cause. Several foreign media outlets, including 9to5mac, reported that there might be a defect in the chipset or the cooling system may not be functioning properly.

Eventually, Apple officially acknowledged the problem and released the iOS 17.0.3 version. It aimed to solve the overheating issue without reducing performance through a software update.

iPhone 16, Will Hardware Cooling System Improve?


It appears that the iPhone 16 will bring changes to the hardware. Speculations suggest that a heat sink will be used to reduce overheating, with current considerations focusing on using a ‘graphene’ heat sink. Graphene has a thermal conductivity that is four times higher than the copper now used in the iPhone 15 and is also lighter in weight.

The material of the heat sink is critical to solving the overheating problem. Smartphones have a narrow internal space, so they cannot be equipped with fans. Instead, they dissipate heat through heat sinks. However, there are limitations to increasing its thickness or size due to space constraints.

Graphene / Science in the news

For this reason, smartphone manufacturers make heat sinks thin but use materials with high thermal conductivity. Tipster Kosutami explained that the battery will be changed to a metal shell if graphene is used.

Apple has been consistently developing new cooling technologies. In September, they filed a patent with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) for a ‘liquid heat exchanger for electronic devices.’ This technology allows electronic devices to circulate liquid in pipes to dissipate heat. It was introduced as a technology that can be applied to everything from Macs to Apple Watches, iPhones, and iPads.

What Technologies Have Other Manufacturers Applied?


Solving the smartphone overheating issue is a major task for manufacturers. Various technologies have already been developed and applied. In 2021, Xiaomi developed a ‘circular cooling pump cooling technology’ similar to satellite cooling systems. This method sends cooling water to the smartphone’s heat-generating area, evaporating the heat and reducing the temperature.

When heat is generated in a smartphone, the evaporator in the heat-generating part operates, evaporating the cooling water. The steam created here flows through the pipe and turns back into a cold liquid when it enters the condenser. The cooled cooling water then flows back to the heat-generating part to continue cooling the smartphone.

Galaxy S22 Vapor Chamber / PBKreviews

Samsung Electronics unveiled a new cooling technology applied to the S22 series at the Galaxy Unpacked 2022 event. This technology was developed to solve the severe overheating problem in the S21 series compared to previous models.

The S22 series used Gel TIM, which dissipates heat inside smartphones. This material increases the thermal conductivity between the AP and the heat disperser by 3.5 times compared to existing materials, enabling quicker heat dissipation. The designers have also redesigned the Vapor Chamber (VC) to extend from the AP to the battery area. This allows for more efficient heat transfer than its previous position atop the PCB (Printed Circuit Board).

By. Kim Ha Young

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