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Thread: Apple's iPhone 5S Accelerometer Woes May Be Linked to a Supplier

  1. #1
    MMi Staff Writer Akshay Masand's Avatar
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    Default Apple's iPhone 5S Accelerometer Woes May Be Linked to a Supplier


    Many iPhone 5S owners have been experiencing issues seemingly related to the handsetís on-board sensors and a new report claims the use of a new accelerometer supplier may be to blame. Following up on an earlier report, Gizmodo recently reported that a switch in Appleís accelerometer suppliers may likely be the cause of misreadings seen in the iOS 7 Compass app.

    According to a tear down by Chipworks, the iPhone 5S now uses an accelerometer made by Bosch Sensortech while older models of the smartphone employ STMicroelectronics silicon. Interestingly, STM still makes the three-axis gyroscope found in the iPhone 5S.

    Since component specifications differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, the new part doesnít behave in the same manner as those found in previous iPhones. This means apps accessing its raw data will output incorrect readings. In several anecdotal tests, the Compass appís level was found to be off by roughly three to five percent against a physical tubular spirit measure, even after recalibration.

    A more precise assessment of the discrepancy was shared by RealityCap, a company specializing in sensor-based real-time 3D location software for iOS. The companyís CEO, Eagle Jones, explained in a blog post that an accelerometerís accuracy relies on variance or the consistency in readings and bias or constant inaccuracy due to manufacturing flaws. He had the following to say regarding the matter:

    This is where we find the problem: the typical bias for the ST part is +/- 20mg, whilhttp://gizmodo.com/heres-why-the-iphone-5s-accelerometer-is-so-screwed-up-1445966306e the Bosch part lists +/-95mg. This almost 5x greater offset range is confirmed by our measurements, and is absolutely consistent with the failures being reported by users and the media. Specifically, a +/- 20mg offset range would translate to around a +/-1 degree accuracy range in tilt detection, and a +/-95mg offset translates to +/-5 degrees in tilt.
    According to Jones, the Cupertino California company could resolve the issue by building in a recalibrated firmware bias at the factory. Alternatively, manual calibration can theoretically be accomplished on an app-by-app basis, a solution that RealityCap is said to be working on. For its part, Apple seems to be quiet regarding the matter.

    Source: Chipworks, Gizmodo, RealityCap

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand

  2. #2
    Yea they are quite. Can you see over 9 mil iPhones being recalled.

  3. #3
    Sounds like it they can fix it with firmware I could just do a software update I doubt they would have to do a full recall

  4. #4
    This can easily be fixed with a firmware update, and as IPSW files are device specific it won't affect any other devices.

    Panic over. Move on, there's nothing to see here ;-)

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by nealh View Post
    Sounds like it they can fix it with firmware I could just do a software update I doubt they would have to do a full recall
    Remember the iPhone 4 reception problem which they asked people who bought it before whatever date they could get full refund of the device or a case. They send in a update but a lot still had the problem so yeah, we'll see in the coming weeks.

  6. #6
    It's just embarrassing. It seems that Apple is making a habit of not being able to do things right on the first try any more...

  7. #7
    If it so easily fixed with software then You fix it..

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by towboattrash34 View Post
    If it so easily fixed with software then You fix it..
    Yeah, with all Apples device firmware keys...

    Stop trolling!! Dumb

  9. #9
    .artwork assassin Jato_BZ's Avatar
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    Glad I'm giving the 5S a miss AND iOS7...will wait for the 6...
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  10. #10
    I'm an EE and work with accelerometers every day in my design. For any of you complaining, it makes no difference at all which. I can choose any manufacturer I want and the way to compensate any variance in bias is through software. The reason Apple turned to Bosch is because ST obviously ran out of stock during production. An oversight by the engineer in charge at apple for not reading the spec sheet thoroughly before ordering? Perhaps. But none the less completely benign.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nealh View Post
    Sounds like it they can fix it with firmware I could just do a software update I doubt they would have to do a full recall
    a firmware update will fix;

    spontaneous bending? iPhone 5s allegedly bending in people's pockets all by themselves [pics] - TodaysiPhone.com

    blue screen and reboots: Some iPhone 5s Users Being Treated To The Blue Screen Of Death [VIDEO] | Redmond Pie

    motion sensor?: iPhone 5s Motion Sensor Problem Could Be Hardware Related Afterall | Ubergizmo


    OK, maybe the blue screen and reboots but the other 2 are hardware related.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Jato_BZ View Post
    Glad I'm giving the 5S a miss AND iOS7...will wait for the 6...
    I'm passing 5S, people keep saying that if you already have a 5, like I do, there's no point in upgrading unless you MUST have its touchID, which I, who has used a passcode for so long, don't really care. So I am just gonna get the 6 upgrade from AT&T when it comes out

    Plus, maybe it's a problem with the new M chip motion thing
    Last edited by wiipro; 10-17-2013 at 08:36 PM.

  13. #13
    .artwork assassin Jato_BZ's Avatar
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    ^^^Yip same buzz here.prefer my i5 slate which is jailbroken. The iPhone 6 / iOS8 has a better sound to it. Hopefully it's a bigger form factor & iOS8 has addressed a lot of the curly bugs that have popped up.

    My only issue my theme which im about to release. Pretty sure 7 is throwing a few curveballs which we've spoke about. At the same time I don't think I can justify purchasing a 5C/5S just for that. The 6 makes more sense...
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  14. #14
    My all time favorite at the moment is the 6.
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