I went to Omotesando Apple Store today and exchanged my iPhone X for a new one. The Genius Bar staffer was very kind, he watched my iPhone X Suica problem video portfolio and listened to my 6 month story. He ran the iPhone X diagnostic program again and tested NFC performance with a portable reader/writer,
He agreed that only Apple engineering could figure out if the Suica problem was hardware or software and said, “I think exchanging is a good idea. If you’re lucky it may fix the problem.” If only I was lucky…
I migrated Suica to the new iPhone X. I knew exactly what station gate to go to: Koenji station gate #1, the golden gate for reproducing the iPhone X Suica problem. Sure enough it gave me a nice cheery error flicker. Hello iPhone X Suica error, nice to see you. Again.
This is the one fascinating and infuriating thing about iPhone X Suica, some station gates like Asagaya gate #4, Koenji gates #1/#8, Ikebukuro Chuo exit gate #11, are prone to read errors, other gates are not.
Just for kicks I asked the station attendant if JR East had any kind of information desk I could leave my iPhone X Suica transit gate error information with. There was not. He said, “Different iPhone models behave differently but from the JR East standpoint all of our gates are qualified to one standard and are equal.”
That means the engineering ball is in Apple’s court.
In summary all I can say is this: exchanging iPhone X for a new one did not solve my iPhone X Suica error problem. If you have this problem, and there are some who experience it every daily commute, the only thing to do is try different transit gates to find the good ones and avoid the error prone ones. Until Apple fixes this issue which I assume is a software one, there is nothing to do but wait…and wait…and wait.
UPDATE: as a consolation prize I contacted Twitter user Kamikou to confirm if his exchanged iPhone X completely solved his Suica problem. It didn’t.
UPDATE 2: The saga continues.