The iPhone 15 series was well-received except for many complaints about the thermal performance. The problems are more apparent with the iPhone 15 Pro. However, the base iPhone 15 models have heating issues to an extent as well. The main problem with the phones is the lack of an internal cooling solution.
In response, Apple could finally add a cooling solution to the iPhone 16 lineup. According to a leaker Kosutami on X, Apple is actively working on a Graphene thermal system for the iPhone 16 models. There are many reports of overheating on the iPhone 15 Pro with even casual use. We need a better solution for passive heat transfer on the iPhone. As SOCs become more powerful and the number of transistors in a CPU increases, the heat generated also increases.
Many phones reach 50C after intense gaming sessions or back-to-back benchmark runs, but the iPhone 15 Pro had plenty of heating issues with regular everyday use. After reviewers called this out, Apple pushed out the iOS 17.0.1 update to apparently address the heating issues. While this fixes the problem to an extent, it doesn’t address the root cause, and gaming will still make the phone considerably hot.
Even on the latest iOS 17.1.1 update, some iPhones are randomly overheating. This problem is more prevalent in regions that have relatively high ambient temperatures. To date, Apple’s only cooling solution is thermal paste. The iPhone 15 Pro has heat dissipation via Titanium, but it isn’t viable enough, and it’s not as good as passive cooling. Users also report that charging the iPhone generates an unbearable amount of heat.
This problem will allegedly get a hardware solution in 2024. The copper heat sink on the iPhone 15 models is far from effective. They’re apparently replacing it with a Graphene solution. The thermal conductivity, or the ability to conduct and transfer heat, is much better with Graphene. The Titanium frames on the Pro models are worse at letting the phone’s internals stay cool, and this is further proof that we need a hardware solution.
Google has thick layers of Copper and Graphite to cool the phone down. Samsung uses thermal vapor chambers. A simple copper heat sink and thermal paste aren’t working for Apple. Apple will mostly use a new metal bracket housing for the iPhone 16. As a result, the battery will remain cooler and transfer heat better. This should solve the issue with iPhones randomly stopping charging since the battery is too warm.
There were earlier reports of Apple using a vapor cooling system and even a solution with magnets. These are probably too pricey to implement now. Apple has probably tested several solutions before choosing a Graphene heat sink. It’s cost-effective, and they don’t have to completely redesign the internals to make it work.
Apple is heavily pushing console gaming on the latest iPhones. That requires a lot of cooling since it pushes the CPU and GPU to its limits. The downside to such performance is heat. The conductivity of Graphene is 5000 Watts per metre-Kelvin, which is double that of Copper and three times that of Silver. We’re unsure if this will completely solve heating issues and whether it’s as viable as solutions from its competitors.
Apple didn’t confirm this; all this info comes from one post on X, so we cannot determine its authenticity. We recommend taking early rumors with a dollop of salt, but it’s worth mentioning that it’s time Apple takes thermals seriously on future models.