New iPad runs hotter than skin temperature, say reports
Tests by Dutch technology site suggest ‘iPad 3’ can get hotter than 32C, as new iPad sales top 3m in three days.
The “new iPad” – AKA iPad 3 – operates at a higher temperature than its predecessor, according to tests. And it’s got people complaining in support forums that it feels “hot” – which appears to be because when it starts running warm, it goes above normal skin temperature.
The reports have not so far slowed sales of the device, of which 3m were purchased in its first three days on sale in just 12 countries – significantly faster than its predecessor’s launch last year.
Reports of its temperature during operation have led the US consumer watchdog Consumer Reports, which previously downgraded its rating of the iPhone 4 after determining that its external antenna could lead to loss of reception, to announce that it will investigate the reports.
According to the Dutch tech site Tweakers.net, when running the GLBenchmark software, after five minutes the new iPad was running at 33.6C (92.5F), while the iPad 2 was running at 28.3C (82.9F). That’s a difference of 5.3C or 9.5F.
Compared to central body temperature (37C), that’s not burning hot. But crucially, compared to normal skin temperature, it crosses a key divide – the 32C (89.6F) barrier. That’s normal skin temperature, according to medical consensus.
This means that while the new iPad won’t appear to be sizzling hot to the touch, it will appear to be notably warm – and is likely to be the cause of the comments in Apple’s support forums and elsewhere, with at least one commenter saying his iPad was running at 96.8F (36C). Some of the reports said the hottest point was at the location of the processor within the case. The new iPad has a more powerful graphics processor to handle the quadrupled number of pixels in its “retina display” screen.
Apple issued a statement saying the iPad’s performance was “operating well within our thermal specifications” and said: “If customers have any concerns they should contact AppleCare.”
During the Guardian’s testing of the new iPad, often carried out alongside an iPad 2, no significant difference was noticed in warming of the new model, which included the 4G circuitry.
Apple said on Monday that it had sold 3m new iPads since its launch on Friday, and an unspecified number of iPad 2s. Phil Schiller, its marketing chief, said it was “the strongest iPad launch yet”.
Certainly the device has sold substantially better even than its predecessor in its first weekend: the iPad 2 was launched on 25 March 2011 in 26 countries. However, its first two days on sale covered the last two days of Apple’s financial quarter, during which the company sold 4.69m iPads.
The new iPad appears to be selling significantly faster despite having been on sale in 12 countries initially, with release in many more expected in the coming weeks.