iPhone X Suica Problem: Quick Conclusions (U)

The Short Story
If you are thinking about purchasing iPhone X and want reliable NFC performance you should not buy an iPhone X, it’s a flawed product. Buy iPhone 8/8 Plus or Apple Watch Series 3 instead.

The Long Story
If you are coming to the iPhone X Suica Problem for the first time back up and read:

The iPhone X Suica Problem
iPhone X Suica Problem a Design Flaw?
Testing the Revision B iPhone X Theory

What follows is based on those posts.

There are only a few data points to test the Revision B iPhone X theory but it looks like my theory is a bust. That’s OK, theories are made to be tested, often fail, move on to the next theory. Or not.

I do have some observations based on the data points, especially the production week 15 2018 revelation, along with shared reader experiences and my own from these past few months. They are not good.

  • Apple has a Big QA Problem: iPhone X production week 15 2018 says it all. Apple cannot manufacture good iPhone X units consistently and QA has no way of knowing what units are good or which are bad. This is bad. Nothing about the iPhone X Suica problem has been easy, from discovering it to troubleshooting it, but this is hard to take. For me this kind of QA failure of a fundamental feature so far into production is like Steve Jobs dying all over again.
  • iPhone X users with Suica problem units have no reliable way to obtain a good unit because Apple Support has no method to identify bad units or supply good units for exchange
  • Good iPhone X units perform reliably regardless of the iOS version and are faster than bad units, performance speed on par with iPhone 8
  • Bad iPhone X units perform unreliably regardless of the iOS version and are slower than iPhone 8

Some readers have suggested that iPhone X NFC issues can be addressed with software/firmware updates that tweak digital signal processing. Perhaps so, but my take is that bad units are bad units and software tweaks will never raise the NFC performance level to match a good iPhone X unit, or iPhone 8.

I’ll continue to update iPhone X manufacture data points as new ones come in but for now my quick conclusion is: iPhone X manufacturing issues and QA problems will never be ironed out. iPhone X is a flawed product that can’t be fixed. I wish I had bought an iPhone 8.

UPDATE: another Revision B iPhone X candidate has appeared from iPhone X 2018 production week 24 (June), there is still hope Apple might get the iPhone X Suica problem fixed.