Ming-Chi Kuo analyzes the reasons why the iPhone 15 Pro series overheats
The iPhone 15 series, having launched earlier this month, incorporates the A17 Pro chip, fashioned using TSMC’s 3nm process, within both its iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models. However, based on evaluations by certain tech bloggers and feedback from users, the iPhone 15 Pro lineup seems to grapple with pronounced overheating issues. In response, esteemed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo proffered insights suggesting that this thermal challenge is likely a consequence of the iPhone 15 Pro’s structural design, rather than any inherent flaw in the 3nm process utilized by TSMC for the A17 Pro SoC.
In his deliberations, Kuo underscored that the principal catalyst behind the iPhone 15 Pro series’ thermal challenges isn’t solely Apple’s adoption of a titanium alloy mid-frame but also the noticeable diminution in heat dissipation surface area compared to its predecessor.
Although Apple’s choice to employ titanium in the iPhone 15 Pro series rendered it lighter than its stainless steel-clad predecessor (the iPhone 15 Pro weighs 187 grams in contrast to the 206 grams of the iPhone 14 Pro), titanium’s thermal conductivity lags behind that of steel. When juxtaposing the thermal requirements of smartphones, stainless steel evidently emerges as a more propitious candidate for the phone’s chassis. Additionally, Kuo postulates that the iPhone 15 Pro series compromised on its heat dissipation surface area due to weight considerations, rendering the existing thermal system inadequate in managing the robust A17 Pro’s power demands.
Concluding, Kuo surmised that the overheating conundrum of the iPhone 15 Pro series is engendered by its design ethos. While Apple might endeavor to ameliorate this through system and selective software updates for optimizing performance management, Kuo remains less than sanguine about this scenario. He anticipates that barring a potential downclocking of the A17 Pro, holistic mitigation of the thermal issues remains elusive. This, in turn, could substantially impinge upon the shipment volumes during the iPhone 15 Pro series’ product lifecycle.