Some iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max handsets appear to have charging issues

Owners of some of Apple’s new iPhones appear to be experiencing difficulties charging their device via the cable.

The issue seems to affect the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, two of the tech company’s newest phones that started shipping just over a week ago.

A growing number of owners are hitting forums to express their frustration over the problem, which in the worst cases results in a complete failure of the charging process via the Lightning cable.

In a test of multiple iPhone XS and XS Max devices conducted by YouTuber Unbox Therapy, the issue was replicated, though it manifested itself slightly differently with each device. So with some phones, the charging process failed to begin when the phone was in sleep mode and the cable was connected (the screen is supposed to light up to let you know the charging process has started), while in other cases charging would only start once you tapped the screen.

In one odd case, an iPhone XS Max not only failed to light up when the cable was plugged in, but also failed to start charging when the phone came to life via a tap on the screen.

In Unbox Therapy’s experiment, two of the four XS phones lit up and began to charge in the proper way, while only one of the four XS Max phones did so. But some people have also reported that the phone looks like it’s charging but sometimes stops after a short time.

Unbox Therapy also noticed how, on some occasions when it was plugged in, the phone would freeze and stay in sleep mode.

As you can see, the experiences regarding charging issues with Apple’s latest phones are broad and varied, and it’s not clear if it’s down to a problem with the software or hardware. But the fact that some recent commenters are pointing out that they’re suddenly seeing the same problem on older iDevices suggests the former, meaning a fix shouldn’t be too difficult to sort out.

The only apparent workaround is to use wireless charging, which works with Apple’s iPhone X, and the new XS, XS Max, and upcoming XR models. Digital Trends has a page showing some of the best wireless phone chargers currently available.

At the time of writing, Apple has not publicly acknowledged the issue. We’ve reached out to the company for comment and will update this article when we hear back.

It’s not the first time Apple has had to deal with iPhone problems at launch. AntennaGate, for example, saw some owners of the iPhone 4 experiencing call reception issues soon after the device hit the shelves in 2010. The problem occurred when the user placed their hand at the lower left edge of the device, which interfered with the phone’s antenna. Apple discovered that the situation could be resolved by putting a bumper on the phone, and so handed out free bumpers to affected users. And then in 2014 there was BendGate, which put the aluminum frame of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in the spotlight. Let’s hope we’re not witnessing the beginning of ChargeGate here, and that Apple can resolve this issue, once it’s confirmed, as soon as possible.


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