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The Bird Feed

Apple’s new iPhone 15 may be a “hot” Commodity – for all the Wrong Reasons

Titanium. The over-heating issue. The charging port controversy. Apple’s latest product begs the question: Is it a worthy upgrade, or just a $1600 headache?
Apple’s new iPhone 15 may be a hot Commodity - for all the Wrong Reasons
Della Singleton / The Bird Feed

How much is too much? Is $1600 reasonable for an iPhone? $800? 

What can that much money get you? 

Numerous people have their own opinions of the new iPhone, and with claims of overheating, breaking, and discoloration flooding the internet alongside outlandish claims from the manufacturer, it’s hard for consumers to know who to trust.

To sort fact from fiction, we investigated the claims surrounding Apple’s newest product launch.

Fact or Fake?

Shortly after the release of Apple’s new iPhone, viral social media videos caused consumers to question the new model’s quality. But were these claims real, or were these “scientific” tests altered to acquire views?

The first video to go viral was of Youtuber JerryRigEverything shattering the back of the 15 Pro Max with nothing but his hands. https://youtu.be/IS0SItAzEXg?si=9TSdmQptSIpcNKnM 

Although many people do not intentionally try to bend their iPhones, some pointed out how durable they need to be to survive the trials and tribulations of everyday life.  

Previous videos show past iPhone models passing this smash test with ease, so what caused this new model to exhibit such a weak point? 

Zack, the owner of JerryRigEverything, seems to think the titanium frame is to blame, but repair shop employee, Jose [Last Name], from uBreakiFix thinks differently. 

“So, the back glass on the [iPhone 15], they’ve changed it,” Jose said. “With the new iPhones, it’s a piece that can be lifted off. It’s still adhered down, but it’s a piece that can be removed. And I think with how they did that piece, and the mid-frame of the phone, there’s space in there where if you apply enough pressure to the back, it’ll crack.” 

So, is Apple’s new back glass design in fact to blame for its structural weakness? 

Another source, Consumer Reports, claims the iPhone is not fragile at all. 

They performed their tests in response to the viral videos. Taking a more scientific approach, they used an Instron machine to apply 110 pounds of pressure to the iPhone 15 Pro Max. While there was some bend in the phone, after the pressure was released, it returned to its original shape without a crack in sight. 

So what does this mean? Due to the variety of opinions and Apple’s silence, it is hard to figure out if any of these claims are true. 

To add to the chaos, unsatisfied customers have also raised new concerns. 

Toasty iPhones

Many iPhone 15 users have observed their new phones getting hotter than past designs. 

One person even claimed they recorded their phone’s temperature at a high of 118 degrees. While some originally speculated this could be caused by Apple’s new A17 pro chip, the most noteworthy claim comes from well-respected Apple analyzer Ming-Chi Kuo. 

“The primary cause is more likely the compromises made in the thermal system design to achieve a lighter weight, such as the reduced heat dissipation area and the use of a titanium frame, which negatively impacts thermal efficiency,” Kuo said. 

Apple’s response? Apple told David Phelan, “We have also found a bug in iOS 17 that is impacting some users and will be addressed in a software update. Another issue involves some recent updates to third-party apps that are causing them to overload the system. We are working with these app developers on fixes that are in the process of rolling out.” 

While consumers of the new phone hope this problem can be fixed with a simple update, if Kuo’s claim is to be believed, this will not provide a permanent fix to the issue. 

Unless Apple plans to recall all its new phones, this problem is likely to persist. 

But in terms of the overheating, not all hope is lost. ZDNet took thermal images of their iPhone before and after the new update and there seemed to be a reduction of heat by 13 degrees. 

Although Apple may have found a way around the temperature issue (for now), the 15’s titanium frame continues to take a beating.

Ugh, titanium.

X user Andrew Clare posted images of the new frame’s fingerprint-attracting properties. https://twitter.com/andrewjclare/status/1702738762294296985 

Along with this problem, other consumers have complained their iPhones changed color over time. 

Apple’s Help Page suggests this is because the titanium frame attracts oils from your skin and that the phones can be restored to their original color with a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth. 

While it is good the discoloration is not permanent, who would want to spend hundreds of dollars on a phone with professional-grade titanium only to have to clean it every time you pick it up? 

“Notable” Features

So, the new iPhone might have some issues, but is there anything that makes it better than past models? 

The mythical disappearing charging cord is a struggle we all share, and as Apple continues to transition to USB-C, the battle becomes significantly more strenuous. 

Many dislike the new USB-C charging ports replacing the historical lightning port,  as this requires users to keep up with and carry around yet another charging cord. 

Although this might sound like an issue, the transition to USB-C ports isn’t painful without reason. USB-C allows for faster charging and significantly faster data transfer, and eventually, we will be able to use the same cord for iPhones as we do computers. 

On top of this, there are options for all-in-one cables that you can use to charge your USB-C and lightning cable devices, but they can be noticeably more expensive than the basic cords. 

Along with new ports, the iPhone 15s boasts the new dynamic island and action buttons. The dynamic island allows users to view and perform simple actions without having to open the app. You can use it to control music, track your door dash, and receive information on upcoming flights, among other things. While there are not many actions available now, the feature is still new, and users can expect added capabilities and system improvements in the future. 

Also, debuting is the action button. This button replaces the silent switch on the 15 Pro and Pro Max. This button is customizable in the settings app and allows users to quickly perform actions they often use. 

In addition to these other features, the cameras seen on the new iPhones continue to improve. The camera now has four times the number of megapixels as the 14 Base model, meaning the photo resolution is significantly better. They also have double the amount of zoom and new focus and depth control settings in portrait mode. 

‘Incredibly Minute’

So, is the new iPhone 15 worth it? While consumers should decide for themselves how valuable the iPhone 15 is to them, for many, the number of problems seems too much for the price. 

“There’s nothing really major about [the iPhone 15] that is different, or that would convince me to get the new one,” Josue said. 

One of his colleagues at uBreakiFix described the differences between the 13 Pro and 15 base models as “incredibly minute.” 

So, why pay more if you can buy a product with the same features for less money? 

While answering this question is up to you, if you were hoping to gift an iPhone 15 Pro or Pro Max to a loved one for the holidays, I recommend you order as soon as possible, as delivery dates can be up to 6 weeks depending on the model you buy.

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About the Contributor
Della Singleton, Staff Writer
Della Singleton is a Freshman, thrilled for her first year on The Bird Feed staff. One of her goals is to write about the world’s wonders while exploring new places. It’s her dream to be able to immerse herself in different cultures from all around the globe. For now, you can often find her fervently scribbling down thoughts in a journal or gripping the edge of her seat while absorbed in a new book. Her favorite novel of all time is Six of Crows, but she would gleefully dissect plots and passionately present her speculations about almost any book. When not in school she spends most of her time in Marching Band practice or volunteering with National Charity League. When she finds herself with spare time, she enjoys exploring different music genres and cuisines while agonizing over irritating brain puzzles. Most importantly though, she is always looking for a good debate, and open to hearing new opinions and discussing your hot takes.