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Buying an iPhone 15? Look out for these 3 widely-reported issues

 The iPhone 15 Pro series cameras on a beige background.
The iPhone 15 Pro series cameras on a beige background.

The first iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro phones have started landing in the hands of those who got their pre-orders in early – and while that's mostly been a cause for celebration, some early users have reported three main teething issues with Apple's new phones.

The first issue, a setup bug, is one of two complaints that Apple has now officially responded to. This bug made the iPhone 15 freeze when you tried to directly transfer data from an older iPhone to the new one – in fact, it was an issue we also experienced with the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Apple has rushed out a couple of small firmware updates (iOS 17.0.1 and now iOS 17.0.2) to fix this problem, and it seems to have done the trick. So if you've just received a new iPhone 15, make sure your old iPhone is updated to that latest firmware by going to Settings > General > Software Update. Apple also now has a handy support page for fixing the issue.


The second widely-reported issue is related to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Some early owners, including Andrew Clare on X (formerly Twitter), have shown how much the phone's new titanium finish is prone to fingerprint smudges.

Like the iOS setup bug, this is something Apple has now responded to in its updated support document. This states that, for the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max, "the oil from your skin might temporarily alter the color of the outside band".

The key word there is "temporarily", with Apple recommending you use a "soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth" to restore the titanium finish to its former glory. Alternatively, you could just avoid the issue by wrapping your iPhone 15 Pro in a protective case.

The final reported iPhone 15 issue, one of quality control, is currently only based on anecdotal evidence, but has been widely reported by prominent social media tipsters and Reddit users. As spotted by Wccftech, Majin Byu (a leaker with a reasonable track record) has gathered reports from Apple resellers and owners suggesting that early iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max phones are arriving with manufacturing defects.

These apparently include the display not being correctly aligned with the edges of the phone, dust inside the telephoto camera lens, and other signs of cosmetic damage. On Reddit, a handful of users have also reported issues – for example, an iPhone 15 Pro Max arriving with cracked rear glass.

There's no evidence to suggest that these issues are widespread or different from any previous iPhone launches. But one Apple reseller quoted by Majin Bu suggested that problems like iPhones arriving with scratched screens didn't happen to the same extent with the iPhone 14 Pro. We've contacted Apple for comment and will update this story when we hear back.

An annual tradition

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max REVIEW
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max REVIEW

Launch day iPhone teething issues aren't anything new – last year, an iPhone 14 update fixed an issue that saw its camera produce shaky or blurry visuals. The iPhone 13 Pro, meanwhile, also came out of the box with an issue that meant its 120hz display wouldn't work with some third-party apps.

Aside from the setup bug, we also didn't encounter any of the other issues highlighted above in the process of completing our iPhone 15 review and iPhone 15 Pro Max review.

Right now, the issues remain either isolated problems for an unlucky few or, in the case of the new titanium finish, something that's easily managed. But we'll update this story if Apple does return our request for official comment on the reported issues or updates its official guidance.

On balance, we're big fans of the Pro line's new titanium finish, stating that the new contoured edges make it a "pleasure to hold" and that the material also makes it noticeably lighter than last year's series. The iPhone 15 Pro Max, for example, is 19 grams lighter than the 14 Pro Max.

So while titanium is no harder or tougher than the stainless steel frame Apple used for its iPhones last year, it's also no major cause for concern if you've been eyeing up the iPhone 15 pre-orders.

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