Apple, Bug Evangelism, iPhone

iPhone 5 shuts off when opening Camera

I’ve experienced a strange iPhone 5 or iOS 6.0.2 bug three times in the last week. Here are the steps to reproduce:

  1. Use phone until battery level is at the most 40%.
  2. In in an environment with a temperature below 50º Fahrenheit, play music through the phone speakers for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Confirm that the battery level is above 15%.
  4. Open Camera app, with or without stopping the music playback.
  5. Phone immediately shuts off as if the battery was dead.
  6. Attempt to turn phone on; screen shows “no battery” symbol.
  7. Plug phone in to a power source. The phone will turn back on after a few seconds, showing at least 15% battery power.

These specific steps are the result of me using my phone as a stereo while I work on projects in my garage in Minnesota in the winter.

I’ve reported the problem to Apple; has anyone else experienced this? I don’t know if the temperature, music playback, or actual battery level are relevant, but it’s definitely due to opening Camera.

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10 thoughts on “iPhone 5 shuts off when opening Camera

  1. Julien says:

    Bonsoir
    Content de ne pas être le seul à avoir ce problème.
    J’ai eu ce problème 3 fois depuis le début de l’année.
    Batterie inférieure à 40%, utilisation en extérieure avec température proche de 5 degres.
    Après une dizaine de textos envoyés, j’ai voulu prendre une photo et l’appareil s’est éteint.
    Impossibilité de le rallumer. “Batterie à plat”.
    Je rentre chez moi, je le branche, la batterie était supérieure à 35%.
    Que faut il faire pour éviter ce problème à l’avenir?

    Translation:

    Good evening
    Content not to be the only one with this problem.
    I had this problem 3 times since the beginning of the year.
    Battery below 40%, in use with external temperature close to 5 degrees.
    After a dozen text messages sent, I wanted to take a picture and the camera is turned off.
    Unable to turn it on. “Dead battery”.
    I get home, I plug the battery was above 35%.
    What should be done to avoid this problem in the future?

  2. Connor says:

    I’ve had exactly the same issue on three occasions. About to use runkeeper to record run activity, take a few photos of the group before setting off, camera switches off. At all times temperature between 3-10 Degrees, battery over 35% full. Try to switch on and get the red flat battery indicator. Wait about 10 minutes and it powers up normally and works ok. Pain in the neck when you’re about to start a race and the phone dies.

  3. Same problem here, when I open the camera and take 2 or 3 pictures with flash, the phone turns off, even when 45% battery. Unable to turn it on, until I plug the charger for a few seconds, after that, unplug the charger, and if I dont take pictures with flash, everything is ok.

  4. Drew says:

    This has happened to me several times. Both in ios 6 and even today with ios 7. Phone was at 50%. Took a few pictures and it shut down telling me to recharge. Upon plugging it in it started immediately at 50%.

  5. Joe says:

    Same exact thing here. Today it was at 32% when it shut off indicating a dead battery. Plugged it in, it was at 39%. This has happened many times, and is irritating to say the least.

  6. Jerry Fisher says:

    Count me as part of your circle of puzzled iPhone users.

    I ran into this with my older iPhone 4S. It was always the same situation. I’d be taking snapshots outside at one of the local parks, it was brisk as its tends to get here in our neck of the woods in the Dakotas in the winter and then without any warning, I suddenly would get the spinning dial and the iPhone would shut down. It wouldn’t start up till I plugged it in. It usually had around 32% of charge (funny how it never seem to get under that number unless I let the iPhone sit around).

    I ended up getting it replaced under warranty as the frequency of the random shut-downs increased dramatically. I was tethered to a power source nearly at all times before the replacement. I’ve had the same problem pop up with two iPhone 5 models as well, but with a twist–in the summer the iPhone 5 would get so toasty that I couldn’t hold it and had to resort to putting it in a soft-sided cooler on top of a bag of ice wrapped in a towel. That way it wouldn’t develop condensation from having extremes of hot and cold in direct contact. It would stay broiling hot if I used it for anything or was recharging it.

    I’m on my second iPhone 5 as I type this and I’m out of the Apple basic warranty period. Of course, my iPhone 5 is committing a slow death march and Apple has told me in no uncertain terms that I have nobody to blame but myself for stressing my iPhones unduly and causing them to have power issues. When I begged the rep to make an exception since I was a week out of warranty, he was firm in suggesting that I either come up with $279 for a refurbished model or start shopping for a new iPhone 5C or 5S.

    I’m all about supporting Apple as I grew up on it and really like the user friendly interface, but literal built in obsolescence is almost unforgivable. I’ve paid my coin and I expect a reliable product in turn, not something that gives up the ghost every six months.

  7. My brother has told me he has the exact same issue on his iPhone 5 (battery 40%-50%, take a photo with flash = iPhone off) and only since the iOS 7 update.

    But I’ve the 4S and no issues so far (lucky me…).

    He lives in a town with high temperatures (10ºC to 20ºC) so the temp issue is not his case.

    Waiting for a (im)possible solution…

  8. This could be a bug with particular iPhones iOS version only. Consider to visit local iPhone repairing service to get more details. There are companies that are specialized on fixing both iPhone hardware and software issues.

  9. B Hopkins says:

    It happens to me all the time. Very frustrating. It is when the battery is below 50% but the temperature makes no difference. Any solutions anyone?

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