The iPhone X Suica Golden Boy

1️⃣ iPhone X Suica Problem Q&A Exchange Guide
2️⃣ iPhone X Suica問題Q&A交換ガイド (Japanese)
3️⃣ Apple Denial and iPhone X Users
4️⃣ iPhone X Suica Problem Index

The ongoing iPhone X Suica Problem is, well, a continuing problem for many. But not all! Twitter user yuya-310 has been a loyal reader sharing his iPhone X Suica problems and thoughts. He alerted me to the XPERIA Z5 Suica problem which suspiciously resembles the iPhone X problem, he thought it might be related to the OLED power saving function part of iOS 11 for iPhone X unique to X hardware.

An iPhone X exchange at the Omotesando Genius Bar did not fix my Suica problem, 4 other readers told me their iPhone X exchange didn’t work for them either. Despite the negative reports yuya-310 bit the bullet and exchanged his iPhone X on May 14. He has not experienced a single Apple Pay Suica error since.

Do we have a winner? Time will tell but 3 weeks of daily problem free iPhone X Suica use, with an iOS upgrade to boot, is good enough for me. Congratualtions yuya! But why did his iPhone X exchange fix the Suica problem while everybody else lost out?

iPhone X Apple Pay Suica Problem Hardware or Software?

A few things to consider:

  • iPhone 8/8 Plus do not have the Suica problem
  • iPhone 8/8 Plus/iPhone X all use the same NXP NFC chip
  • The iPhone X OLED screen and battery are considerably different from iPhone 8/iPhone 8 Plus
  • There are separate iOS 11 builds, one for iPhone 8/iPhone 8 Plus and one for iPhone X

Because they all use the same NXP chip and because iPhone 8/8 Plus do not have the Suica problem, we can eliminate the NXP Chip, Mobile FeliCa stack and Suica stack from the iPhone X Suica problem matrix. This leaves us with the different screen, the different battery and the unique iOS 11 build of iPhone X. The screen or battery or something else might use slightly modified parts and revised drivers that are different from early iPhone X production units.

There is also the possibility that iPhone X production quality is uneven with good and bad NFC iPhone X models rolling off the assembly line with Apple Q&A unable to spot the difference. This kind of scenario is a whole different kettle of fish and I think highly unlikely.

Only Apple engineers know the answer. Let’s hope they find the answer and solution for all iPhone X Suica users sooner than later. We deserve to be golden boy winners too.