The iPhone 5s represents several firsts for Apple and the smartphone industry in general. Not only does the device feature 64-bit architecture, but the latest iPhone integrates a fingerprint sensor and independent M7 motion coprocessor. With new technology there's always the potential for bugs to surface after the latest hardware gets into the hands of users everywhere.
Of course the iPhone 5s is no different, and while reviews have been overwhelmingly positive some users have reported problems. Complaints and issues can always be brought to Apple's attention either in iPhone support communities or at the retail store Genius Bar. Besides troubleshooting, keep in mind the iPhone 5s comes with a one-year AppleCare warranty. Usually devices can be repaired or replaced in-store.
So what are the major hardware and iOS 7 software issues facing iPhone 5s owners? Here's a list of the top 10 iPhone 5s problems, issues and complaints.
1. Sensor calibration problems
Some iPhone 5s copies are exhibiting symptoms of incorrectly calibrated sensors. Namely the compass, level, gyroscope and accelerometer. This means the data from these sensors doesn't appear quite right. It's not clear whether this is a hardware issue or iOS 7 problem, however Apple has been replacing affected units under warranty.
2. Apps crash more often
Reports indicate that apps are crashing twice as often on the iPhone 5s as they typically do on the iPhone 5. These are likely growing pains due to the 64-bit architecture of the iPhone 5s. There have also been reports of a blue screen of death (BSOD) which results in a reboot. While there are no specific fixes for the issue, developers are optimizing their apps for the new device. In the meantime, keep in mind the crash rate has only increased to two percent.
3. Apps automatically logging out
For some reason some iOS 7 users are noticing they have to log into certain apps repeatedly. This inconvenience could be related to background app refresh. Some developers have removed the feature to solve this issue, however iPhone 5s users can try turning off background app refresh themselves under Settings -> General -> Background App Refresh.
4. iMessage issues
Since the adoption of iOS 7 there have been reports of iMessage problems from some users. While not necessarily iPhone 5s-specific, these problems can affect communication between iPhone owners. Be aware of the fact that iMessage might not work properly if the iPhone 5s attempts to connect with a device experiencing these bugs. Leaving the option to send a normal text message as a backup can help by going to Settings -> Messages -> Send as SMS.
5. No NFC capability
The iPhone 5s does not include near field communication (NFC) hardware. Although analysts have expected Apple to eventually integrate the technology into its devices, the company may never offer an iPhone with NFC. With proprietary products such as AirDrop, Passbook and Touch ID, Apple likely has its own plans.
6. Fingerprint sensor limited to Apple apps
While Touch ID can be convenient, the system is limited to authorizing Apple purchases and making the passcode login experience more convenient. With privacy and security concerns in the public eye, Apple has no plans at the current time to open the Touch ID sensor to third-party apps. This could mean that one of the flagship features of the iPhone 5s remains limited in scope for some time.
7. Camera specs
The iPhone 5s continues Apple's commitment to stellar image quality and top-notch camera and video features. The addition of slow-motion, True Tone flash, and software improvements continues this trend. Despite all of this, some observers are disappointed that the iPhone 5s camera is not a bigger leap over its predecessor. While the image sensor has larger pixels, it remains at 8 megapixels. The f/2.2 aperture is larger than on the iPhone 5, but it's not the largest available on a smartphone.
8. Screen size
Apple's Retina display might top the charts for quality, but there are always detractors who point to comparable Android handsets and their much larger displays. Rumors that Apple is testing a larger iPhone display are floating around, however when it comes to the iPhone 5s the display measures 4 inches diagonally. This is identical in size to the iPhone 5, which Apple contends makes the device easy to operate with one hand.
9. Motion sickness from iOS 7
Parallax can be an interesting effect, taking advantage of the iPhone 5s A7 processor to give the iOS 7 home screen a 3D look. Only problem is that some users are getting nauseous when using their phone. Other animations can have a similar negative effect, such as zooming into an app screen when launching the software. Click here to learn how to turn off the parallax wallpaper motion in iOS 7.
10. Low inventories and long wait times
Current wait times for an iPhone 5s range from 2-3 weeks when ordering from Apple's online store. Much like its predecessors, the latest iPhone is in high demand. Likewise Apple's tough production standards and tight release schedules are keeping the iPhone 5s in short supply. Gold iPhone 5s models are in particularly high demand. Check out this online tool to see live Apple Store inventories for the iPhone 5s.