Exchanging iPhone X: Week 1 “You’re Holding It Wrong”

After living with the iPhone X Apple Pay Suica problem since November and the experience of Twitter user kamikou who successfully exchanged his iPhone X to fix his Suica problem, I decided to call Apple Support and exchange my iPhone X for a new one. I expect this to be a long journey and will blog about the experience in the hope it can help others with the same problem.

The initial process went as I expected: nowhere, but I learned how hard it is to accurately explain over the phone a problem that can only be confirmed visually and only happens ‘in the field’ at train station gates. The support person was not familiar with Suica so it was a longish conversation describing how iPhone X causes a gate error, the frequency and how the issue continued to be a problem despite wiping and restoring the system, the Apple Pay Suica card and updating iOS.

There was also basic information that AppleCare needed:

  1. Did you try a wipe and restore from iCloud backup? (Yes)
  2. Did you try a wipe and restore from iTunes backup? (Yes)
  3. Did you try deleting and reloading the Suica card in Wallet? (Yes)
  4. Do you use a case? (Yes the Apple iPhone X leather case)

With this information out of the way the Apple Support person had me run a hardware diagnostic activated via the Privacy menu in Settings that uploads results to AppleCare. They said my iPhone X hardware checked out but Apple Engineering would look into to the problem which would take a week.

Exactly one week later AppleCare contacted me and said that Apple engineering could not recreate the problem and wanted to know how I was holding my iPhone X when going through the transit gate. I explained that held it exactly as Apple shows on their web site. The support person said they would relay that to engineering and would get back to me this Thursday.

So far my experience is shaping up like yuya-310 rather than kamikou. I think this is going to take a while.