iPad plays it cool over hot iPad complaints

iPad plays it cool over hot iPad complaintsApple's new iPad has been selling like hotcakes, but over the last few days that metaphor has taken on a whole new meaning, with an increasing number of iPad users complaining that their new tablet is overheating.

However, despite complaints of the tablet getting so hot it can be uncomfortable to touch, Apple has done what Apple always does: it has insisted there's nothing wrong.

Cast your minds back 18 months to the infamous Antennagate saga, the iPhone 4 design flaw that saw the Apple handset losing signal if held in a specific way. While Apple did eventually cave and offer all users a free bumper as a workaround for the issue, that was after weeks and weeks of flatly denying there was anything wrong at all.

This issue isn't quite on that level – it seems to be a question of comfort rather than an actual problem – but Apple has nonetheless responded in similar fashion, issuing the press release equivalent of a disinterested shrug of the shoulders.

“The new iPad delivers a stunning Retina display, A5X chip, support for 4G LTE plus 10 hours of battery life, all while operating well within our thermal specifications,” Apple's statement reads. “If customers have any concerns they should contact AppleCare.”

Okaaaay. So basically: “we're issuing a statement because a lot of people have got in touch to report a problem. There is no problem, but if you have any problems, please feel free to get in touch and report them.”

Thanks for that.

Has anyone out there contacted AppleCare over their overly toasty iPad? Feel free to drop us a line in the comments below to share your experiences.

Read more about: iOSApple iPad 3

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26 comments

jmarcelino  Mar. 21, 2012 at 11:12

Wow people are really trying really hard to find fault with this one.

There's nothing "uncomfortable" with it, it barely gets lukewarm even after driving the processor hard.

Don't just take my word for it, this has been confirmed by several independent sources. Consumer Reports (the US version of "Which") found that at it's hottest - that is after running Infinity Blade II for 45 minutes - it was 7C hotter than the previous iPad, and that was only in the area where the CPU is.

I suspect most of those doing the complaining don't actually have an iPad 3 (or are members of the hysterical media)

blizzard7  Mar. 21, 2012 at 11:54

I don't think a significant number of people are getting "overheating issues", but there do seem to be a fair number of negative comments on the Apple Support site (like "My back 32 Gb is getting warm to a point that is very uncomfortable to hold." and "My iPad 3 is much warmer than the iPad 2. It's not overheating but it is uncomfortable.").

Remember this isn't some free-for-all site like Mobot, this is Apple's dedicated community, full of people who love Apple and would have a much-higher tolerance for any "annoyances" from an iDevice.

meyours  Mar. 21, 2012 at 12:20

i smell crap dude!
a quick google has shown your quoted lines ain't even close to what is being reported which is almost double what you just mentioned!
next time you quote - make sure you provide a link like this one http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/story/2012-03-20/ipad-heating-consumer-reports/53675154/1

Wow people are really trying really hard to find fault with this one.

There's nothing "uncomfortable" with it, it barely gets lukewarm even after driving the processor hard.

Don't just take my word for it, this has been confirmed by several independent sources. Consumer Reports (the US version of "Which") found that at it's hottest - that is after running Infinity Blade II for 45 minutes - it was 7C hotter than the previous iPad, and that was only in the area where the CPU is.

I suspect most of those doing the complaining don't actually have an iPad 3 (or are members of the hysterical media)

jmarcelino  Mar. 21, 2012 at 13:03

a quick google has shown your quoted lines ain't even close to what is being reported which is almost double what you just mentioned!
next time you quote - make sure you provide a link like this one http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/story/2012-03-20/ipad-heating-consumer-reports/53675154/1


It's 13 degrees FAHRENHEIT hotter, "dude".

I was talking in Celsius (see the C?), so the difference between iPads is 7℃

Next time you correct someone make sure you check your facts - and units.

Pondlife  Mar. 21, 2012 at 14:03

Fight fight fight.

jmarcelino  Mar. 21, 2012 at 14:12

Fight fight fight.

That's childish, dude.

Pondlife  Mar. 21, 2012 at 14:14

116F seems rather hot though (they say 120F could lead to burns) and maybe when games get more advanced it could get worse? And presumably differences in production could cause some variation.

Doesn't say based on which ambient temps either.

Don't see it being a huge issue for them but wouldn't be surprised if new ones in few months time quietly start running a bit colder.

blizzard7  Mar. 21, 2012 at 14:31

116F seems rather hot though (they say 120F could lead to burns) and maybe when games get more advanced it could get worse? And presumably differences in production could cause some variation.

Doesn't say based on which ambient temps either.

Don't see it being a huge issue for them but wouldn't be surprised if new ones in few months time quietly start running a bit colder.


With summer approaching, we could see some getting hotter *cue dramatic music*.

jmarcelino  Mar. 21, 2012 at 14:47

116F seems rather hot though (they say 120F could lead to burns) and maybe when games get more advanced it could get worse? And presumably differences in production could cause some variation.

No, you don't get burns by touching a surface even at 120F (48.8C). You're confusing actual skin temperature with temperature of the heat source. Skin (and body) by itself dissipates heat quite well.

Lukewarm tea is 140-150F (60-65C) and you certainly don't get burned by that.

Also 116F value was measured right over the processor. If that ever got too hot any sane person will just move their hand away.

Pondlife  Mar. 21, 2012 at 15:20

I was just going by what they said. That sounds hot for lukewarm tea.

What place does sanity have here. :)

blizzard7  Mar. 21, 2012 at 15:26

116F seems rather hot though (they say 120F could lead to burns) and maybe when games get more advanced it could get worse? And presumably differences in production could cause some variation.

No, you don't get burns by touching a surface even at 120F (48.8C). You're confusing actual skin temperature with temperature of the heat source. Skin (and body) by itself dissipates heat quite well.

Lukewarm tea is 140-150F (60-65C) and you certainly don't get burned by that.

Also 116F value was measured right over the processor. If that ever got too hot any sane person will just move their hand away.


I wouldn't shoot the messenger. IIRC from a miscellaneous leaflet I got about boiler temperatures, it said that 5 to 10 minutes of exposure to 120 F water could cause third-degree burns. Obviously it may be different for warm/ hot solids, but the point remains that it is quite hot.

jmarcelino  Mar. 21, 2012 at 16:03

I was just going by what they said. That sounds hot for lukewarm tea.

Tell that to the BBC. I hear they are quite experts at tea drinking :-)

"Compared with drinking warm or lukewarm tea (65C or less), drinking hot tea (65-69C)"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7965380.stm

I wouldn't shoot the messenger. IIRC from a miscellaneous leaflet I got about boiler temperatures, it said that 5 to 10 minutes of exposure to 120 F water could cause third-degree burns. Obviously it may be different for warm/ hot solids, but the point remains that it is quite hot.

One can also die of hypothermia if we stay in 26C water for a few hours, however we don't seem to be falling off and dying in our cozy air-conditioned 23C offices.

Although I suspect if Apple made air-conditioners people would now be claiming exactly that.

blizzard7  Mar. 21, 2012 at 16:23

Sorry, I didn't know it was OK for you to use a liquid temperatures in your argument, but I'm not allowed to make a similar conclusion...

jmarcelino  Mar. 21, 2012 at 16:31

Sorry, I didn't know it was OK for you to use a liquid temperatures in your argument, but I'm not allowed to make a similar conclusion...

I was referring to holding a mug full of lukewarm tea in your hand, sorry for the confusion.

That said I doubt immersing a finger or two in 120F water would cause a burn as simple osmosis and blood circulation should take care of the heat. The boiler temperature guidelines probably assume immersion of a large part of the body in the water.

Sounds like something to try at tea time :-)

matt101101 / MOD  Mar. 21, 2012 at 16:38

The sheer number of people who are saying this is true, on Apple's on support forums, suggests to me that this alleged problem does in fact exist. These are people who like to use iOS devices and like Apple, as Blizz said, it's not like Mobot where we have different opinions and favourite brands/products.

Pondlife  Mar. 21, 2012 at 16:53

If it's only getting warm it's not really a problem just a difference. And 3-4 months ago it might've sold out faster ;)

It's not like they had to recall nanos for fire starting lately..

jmarcelino  Mar. 21, 2012 at 16:59

Interesting. I've now tested the water theory and dipping a finger in 120F water does get very painful after only 2 minutes, so the boiler guidelines sound reasonable.

When the water was cooled down to the 116C mentioned, I held on for at least 6 minutes and could easily stay even longer.

However holding the mug (already at 116F measured by an IR thermometer) with the other hand wasn't a problem for the entire test.

So again, even if you are completely silly to the point of ignoring a burning feeling
in your fingers, there's no risk of getting burned on the iPad.

(Fortunately I can claim the time spent in these "studies" as product research :-P )

@matt: It seems you're not familiar with the Apple forums. At times there's more posts from people who hate Apple than those who like it. Especially when something that sounds bad like this pops up.

It's a strange phenomenon, how so many join up Apple forums with no interest in it, just to troll. The same happens in other places like Macrumours.

blizzard7  Mar. 21, 2012 at 18:16

Interesting. I've now tested the water theory and dipping a finger in 120F water does get very painful after only 2 minutes, so the boiler guidelines sound reasonable.

When the water was cooled down to the 116C mentioned, I held on for at least 6 minutes and could easily stay even longer.

However holding the mug (already at 116F measured by an IR thermometer) with the other hand wasn't a problem for the entire test.


Well, I'm glad you've been willing to agree with me on that.


So again, even if you are completely silly to the point of ignoring a burning feeling
in your fingers, there's no risk of getting burned on the iPad.


No-one was claiming to be burned, they're saying it's uncomfortable.

Pondlife  Mar. 21, 2012 at 18:31

No-one was claiming to be burned, they're saying it's uncomfortable.

Yet ;)

jmarcelino  Mar. 21, 2012 at 19:02

"Uncomfortable" is BS. It gets warm that's all. Do any of you actually have an iPad 3?

I'm beginning to suspect this is NVIDIA's plan to get Apple to reduce the clock speed on its GPUs so that the Tegra 3 won't look as rubbish as it does.

blizzard7  Mar. 21, 2012 at 19:11

No-one was claiming to be burned, they're saying it's uncomfortable.

Yet ;)


Haha. Well Apple's response will clearly be "You're holding it wrong" :p

Pondlife  Mar. 21, 2012 at 19:27

Now if Lewis would take the damn thing out of the box we could get his take on it.

jmarcelino  Mar. 22, 2012 at 00:13

The UK Which? report shows they have more sense than their American counterparts:

http://blogs.which.co.uk/technology/tablets-ebooks/is-the-new-ipad-overheating-the-which-test-lab-reports/

jaybear88  Mar. 22, 2012 at 00:18

http://www.homewatersafety.com/tapwatertherm.pdf

Wow, I can't believe the new iPad can give you 3rd degree burns! I would hate to have one, I might end up having to do all kinds of crazy stuff like sitting with my fingers in cups of hot water to make myself feel better ;)

Pondlife  Mar. 22, 2012 at 01:51

The UK Which? report shows they have more sense than their American counterparts:

Although does show upto a 9c difference after shorter time and probably lower room temperature.
I'm finding this more interesting than concerning.
Wasn't expecting the front to be hotter than the back, but guess the glass conducts the heat away from the hottest parts slower so makes sense.

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