01/17 Update below. This post was originally published on January 14.
iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models suffer from a strange issue that causes horizontal lines to flicker on their screens. Apple has now confirmed the issue and revealed that it is working on a fix.
In an internal Apple memo seen by MacRumors, which I verified, the company admits that customers may “report that when they turn on or unlock their phone, they briefly see horizontal lines flashing across the screen.”
Crucially, Apple has ruled out a hardware flaw that may have prompted a recall, saying in the memo that it “is aware of the issue and a software update will be coming soon that will resolve the issue.”
When is “soon”? The obvious answer would seem to be iOS 16.3, which is currently in beta testing, but that seems unlikely. This major update has just entered its second public beta, and Apple typically releases four to six beta builds, as well as a ‘Release Candidate’ prior to release. Consequently, I wouldn’t expect iOS 16.3 to arrive before the end of February.
Most likely it is iOS 16.2.1. While iOS 16.2 was relatively stable, there are still bugs from the problematic release of iOS 16, which Apple is addressing in a series of “minor dot” releases. It’s rare for Apple to publicly beta test minor point updates, so a dedicated fix could be released as soon as the company is ready.
1/16 Update: In a new report, MacRumors claims that iPhone owners running iOS 16 are reporting a “plenty of bugs,” some of which are specific to the iPhone 14 range. These include slow keyboard response, camera freezes, UI glitches, Username (some really weird) and more. The report links to numerous complaints on Reddit, forums, and social media.
MacRumors also points to comments from a trio of influential tech YouTubers, whose tweets about iOS 16.2, the latest version of iOS 16, and iPhone 14 models have gained considerable momentum in the past 48 hours. “More and more people tell me all the problems with iOS 16.2” tweeted Aaron Zollo from Zollotech. “I hope we get a major bug fix soon. Hearing this more every day.”
A poll by Rjey Tech found that 44% of iPhone owners reported more app crashes since updating to iOS 16.2, while Tom ‘The Tech Chap’ Honeyands tweeted that “My iPhone 14 pro max is by far the most buggy iPhone I’ve used in a LONG time… Is it just me? (iOS 16.2)” and received thousands of hundreds of responses confirming his suspicions.
Apple has work to do, and with iOS 16.3 still weeks away from release, I’d expect the release of iOS 16.2.1 sooner rather than later.
1/17 Update: Sources have informed me that Apple is working on fixing the horizontal lines bug, which it intends to release in an update to iOS 16.2.1 as quickly as possible. The company is also looking to address various other iOS 16.2 release issues as a priority, but any delay will lead them to iOS 16.3, which is already scheduled to launch next month.
iOS 16.3 is a major release that adds significant new functionality. This includes the integration of nearby parking options in Apple Maps, usability improvements for SOS emergency calls, support for third-party security keys instead of two-factor authentication, and new notifications for HomePod Handoffs.
The latest of these is likely to come before Apple’s first new HomePod since 2020, which Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman revealed yesterday, it should “arrive fairly soon”. Details remain unusually scant for a seemingly imminent product, with rumors claiming it will replace the original HomePod, rather than being an update to the newer HomePod Mini, but little else is known.
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max have had a buggy start to life. For those keeping count, you can add this display problem to a list that includes iMessage and FaceTime activation issues, CarPlay, data migration and iCloud errors, shaky camera lens, random reboots, lock screen glitches and Dynamic Island and excessive battery consumption.
With the exciting iPhone 15 leaks already appearing, anyone still feeling undecided may prefer to push their updates up a generation. But for iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max owners, at least they know that the latest in a long line of fixes isn’t far off.
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