When the iPhone 4 was first released, critics praised its high resolution display, advanced operating system and beautiful design. Users noticed the same things, but also something else too – a mysterious loss of signal if they held the phone in a certain way. In what was eventually branded ‘antennagate’, Apple faced increasing public criticism and were eventually compelled to release free iPhone cases to every customer. It was a rare PR failure for Apple, but now we seem on the precipice of another ‘scandal’ with an even sillier name: ‘heatgate.’
The new third-generation iPad has been lauded for its Retina display screen and new support of super-fast LTE networks by critics, but once again users have been complaining of a new problem: Heat. Many consumers are reporting that the iPad 3 runs much hotter than its predecessor, no doubt thanks to the vastly expanded battery, and the new display and LTE technology that it powers.
According to thermal imaging done by Consumer Reports, the new iPad will reach 116 degrees Fahrenheit (46.6 degrees Celsius) when playing Infinity Edge 2 (the flagship game to launch with the new iPad), whilst charging and with Wi-Fi on (but not LTE). When it’s not charging, the iPad will still reach 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius).
The tests were performed at room temperature (72 degrees Fahrenheit), so this doesn’t seem to be a one-off case. However, while the iPad 3 is operating outside of its 95 degree Fahrenheit operating temperature, the Consumer Reports article admitted that the tablet wasn’t painful to hold, just warm to the touch.
Interesting enough, the same report also reported that the iPad wasn’t being charged whilst the game was in operation, which may mean that the 2.1A cable may not be up to the task in all situations any more.
Apple has only remarked that the iPad operates “within thermal parameters”, although if public pressure continues to mount we may see further statements or actions by them. It’ll be an interesting time – but it seems unlikely that we’ll reach the same levels as antennagate, which affected the iPhone in a much more serious way than the iPad 3.