iPhone X's screen doesn't like sudden cold but Apple's working to fix the bug

Rapid drop in temperature causes some iPhone X screens to become unresponsive.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Apple has acknowledged the issue and says it surfaces when the iPhone X faces a rapid change in temperature.

Image: James Martin/CNET

Apple is working on a software fix for a mystery bug that causes the iPhone X's display to become unresponsive in cold weather.

The fix is coming in response to complaints that the screen doesn't detect touches when the device is in cold weather.

One user on Reddit who claimed to be using an iPhone X in -4F (-20C) temperatures reported that the screen only recognized 20 percent of touches, but that locking and then unlocking the screen fixed the problem.

Another user from Minneapolis, where it was 7F (-14C), reported similar issues and confirmed that locking and unlocking the phone solved the issue.

"Key taps take multiple taps to register and it was pretty annoying. I'll try the lock-unlock trick to see if it works," the user wrote.

Other users noticed that the issue arises when moving from an indoor environment to a cold outdoor environment.

Apple has acknowledged the issue and says it surfaces when the iPhone X faces a rapid change in temperature. The software update suggests the problem is not an issue with the iPhone X's OLED display.

"We are aware of instances where the iPhone X screen will become temporarily unresponsive to touch after a rapid change to a cold environment. After several seconds the screen will become fully responsive again," Apple said in a statement to ZDNet sister site CNET. "This will be addressed in an upcoming software update."

It's fortunate that this screen issue can be fixed with a software update. Apple last week warned iPhone X owners that the OLED display may eventually be affected by screen burn-in.

It has included mitigations for the effect in iOS 11 and future updates, but Apple admitted it can only reduce the effect and not eliminate it.

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