Feeds

iPhone 5S autopsy shows WHY it can't tell which end is up – dev

How faulty levelling caused Jesus phone to lose its balance

The essential guide to IT transformation

Balance problems plaguing the iPhone 5S popped up with the first reviews. But a teardown by Chipworks and the musings of an iOS dev have isolated a likely reason why the steering on that motor racing app is about 5 degrees off.

It's all down to a replacement accelerometer which lacks the accuracy of its forebear.

Although inaccuracies in the iPhone 5 accelerometer are not a critical issue, they have certainly annoyed some users, and have definitely irritated developers.

The problem in Apple's latest uber-phone shifts gravity by as much as five degrees, but now iOS dev RealityCap has a theory, based on the iPhone 5S teardown, which discovered that Apple has substituted the ST part used in previous models for a lower-power alternative from Bosch.

Talking in the company blog, RealityCap CEO Eagle Jones explains that the two parts are similar, and remains at a loss to explain why Apple made the switch – though he does have some suggestions for addressing the problem.

The new part, the Bosch Sensortech BMA220, does use a little less power. The consumption is roughly the same though it only requires 1.8 volts compared to the 2.5 volts consumed by the previously-favoured ST LIS331DLH, so that might explain the switch.

Jones argues that the prices are roughly the same, but component prices are very hard to judge as they're hugely dependent on scale and often vary based on what other goods one is ordering and the bragging value of one's brand.

Ask a component supplier how much something costs and they'll invariably reply "how many do you want", a statement generally followed (in your correspondent's experience) by lunch and a few drinks to narrow both numbers into something from which one can negotiate.

The Bosch part is, according to the specifications, less accurate than the ST alternative, and accounts for the variance seen by iPhone users, but Chipworks also reckons the variance on a particular device doesn't change, so the problem could be fixed with a calibration process of some sort.

Apple could do that, as part of the production process, but has shown no inclination to do so. Developers can now think about how they might implement such a thing and RealityCap promises to share some ideas on the subject in the near future. One way or another, the days when an iPhone doesn't know which way is up are probably drawing to a close. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Leak: Intel readies next round of NUC
Cheap boxen to get a refresh
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?