A New iPhone, a New Controversy. Is it Legitimate This Time?

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I did my typical news sweep this morning and was greeted with something incredibly familiar. There is a new iPhone “gate,” this time related to charging. Evidently, there are some users who are having problems charging their devices if they plug the lightning cable while they are in standby with the screen off.

All Apple fans have seen this movie before. If there is a problem with an iPhone, any problem at all no matter how small, it will make instant news. That is the bullseye that comes with Apple being the largest company in the world. It is what it is.

A couple have been truly legitimate, as the original “antennagate” was a design oversight that affected every iPhone 4 on AT&T. Apple acknowledged the problem when they redesigned the antennas on the Verizon version of the phone early the next year. We also have “bendgate,” which affected the iPhone 6 Plus. Like antennagate, bendgate issues could be easily be avoided with a little forethought and using a case. While legitimate, neither issue was substantive enough to warrant recalls and both died down fairly quickly.

Then we have some of the lesser remembered and more ridiculous “gate” issues. There was the black iPhone 5’s paint job that chipped and scratched too easily. Meh. I was able to keep mine spotless. There were some iPhone 4 S screens that were initially affected by a yellow-ish tinge that faded over time. The issue also faded pretty quickly from people’s memories.

Last year, we had the strange issue that prevented some iPhone X users from typing the letter “i,” which quickly got fixed with a patch. We also had one related to the X becoming unresponsive after a certain level of temperature change. Do you remember the outcry over Apple  from the usual suspects like Forbes’s Gordon Kelly and Ewan Spence? It came and went in a matter of weeks and has largely been forgotten. I had to look up my article from last year to remember what the issue actually was.

We also had a similar issue affecting the cellular version of the Apple Watch Series 3 last year. There was a software problem that was triggered when the Watch would try to connect to public WiFi hotspots that require a login screen or an “Accept” button to be pushed. This would cause the cellular radio to not work, as the Watch tried to use the recognized WiFi router. The issue itself was legitimate and it was sloppy work from Apple to allow it out of the factory in a new product. However, the way the click-bait side of the tech press and blogosphere ran with it was just as ridiculous, if not more so. It was all faulty hardware, recalls, and poor build quality. The Series 3 was DOOMED. Then a software update quickly fixed the issue and the Series 3 went on to become a hit for Apple.

So how about this latest charging issue affecting the XS and XS Max? I don’t seem to be suffering with this one, as I was able to verify that my iPhone XS Max charges just fine with the iPhone asleep. There are some indications in posts across places like Reddit, the Apple Support Forums, and iMore that the issue has to do with iPhone inactivity rather than it just being asleep. However, considering I’ve never had an issue with finding my phone not charging after leaving it plugged in, I don’t think my XS is affected at all.

While the usual suspects rant and rave about how the iPhone is flawed and how Apple may have to recall millions of phones in an effort to harvest your clicks, I am interested in what is actually going on here. While I don’t have this issue, I know that others do. It’s a matter of how many people and what is causing it. I want to hear from our readers about this: Are any of you or people who you know affected by this XS and XS Max charging issue? If so, how did you discover it? Does the Lightning cable or charger that you are using matter? Is your phone locking up, or is simply waking it up enough to get charging to continue? Is anyone having this problem running the iOS 12.1 Beta?

It will be interesting to see how this latest “gate” shakes out. I think it is highly unlikely that this will turn out to be a hardware issue, as the Lightning port is a mature technology at this point and the issue obviously isn’t affecting all XS and XS Max phones. This is much more likely to be a software issue that a patch will take care off. The question is, how long will it take for Apple to deal with it? We shall see.

Again, if you are affected by this charging issue, I would love to get your answers to the questions above in the Comments section below, on Flipboard, our Facebook page, on Twitter, or on our new Instagram account.



James Rogers

I am a Christian husband and father of 3 living in the Southeastern US. I have worked as a programmer and project manager in the Commercial and Industrial Automation industry for over 19 years, so I am hands on with technology almost every day. However, my passion in technology is for mobile devices, specifically Apple's iOS and iPadOS hardware and software. My favorite is still the iPad.

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