Don't look now, but Apple may have another hardware controversy on its hands. With the iPhone 7 in the wild for two days now, there are some reports of a hissing noise from the A10 Fusion processor when the device is under a heavy load. Apple has weathered similar storms before, having seen Antennagate, Chipgate, Mapgate and Scuffgate already. Will this fall be the season of Hissgate?
iPhone 7 and particularly iPhone 7 Plus users have noticed the sound while setting up their devices or doing something intensive. The noise is said to be coming directly from the Apple logo on the back of the device, approximately where the A10 Fusion processor is located. It's not clear how many devices are affected, or whether the sound is always accompanied by noticeable heat radiating from the back of the iPhone.
My iPhone 7 Plus makes terrible noises when under load. https://t.co/wFM2gImpOb
— Stephen Hackett (@ismh) September 17, 2016
In any case, it sounds like Apple has already offered to replace affected devices under the Apple Care warranty. Only problem is that since stocks of the new iPhones are so low, it could take some time for those experiencing the hissing noise to get a replacement.
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus both lack fans, and previous model iPhones have not made noises like the hiss reported above. Some have speculated the noise could be related to the Taptic Engine or even the barometric valve that equalizes air pressure inside and outside the iPhone.The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus feature the A10 Fusion processor, which uses four cores to balance performance with battery power consumption. Tasks that are low key such as Mail only use the two power-sipping cores, but a controller will fire up the other two high-performance cores when needed for CPU-intensive tasks. According to a teardown by Chipworks, the A10 Fusion processor is "incredibly thin".
Time will tell if hissgate becomes a major issue or if the sound effects are limited to a small subset of units.