Mobile phones feel the cold

New models of mobile phones struggle to survive when temperatures plunge towards zero. Batteries freeze, performance weakens and the phones turn themselves off. 'Read the instructions', Swedish consumers have been told.

“If you live in a country with a lot of cold weather and damp then it should be something retailers divulge,” according to Marek Andersson, a lawyer at the Swedish National Board for Consumer Policies (Konsumentverket).

Nokia telephones, according to their instructions, thrive in temperatures between 15 and 25 degrees centigrade. Sony Ericsson, Siemens and LG declare however that their phones can remain effective from minus 10 to plus 55 degrees centigrade.

The new type of phone designed with a touch screen and no keypad, Apple’s Iphone for example, are also sensitive to cold temperatures. Iphone instructions say that the phone should be used in temperatures ranging from zero to 35 degrees.

“As a consumer one should pay attention and consider the temperature guidelines,” advised Marek Andersson.

Nokia, the firm with the most sensitive mobile phones, commented on the problem to Dagen Nyheter as follows:

“The reason we write that is that if the phones are subjected to extremely cold temperatures then performance can suffer, the display can for example appear slow. But when the telephones are returned to normal temperatures they work as normal again.”