Robotic Testing Shows Lack of Touch Accuracy on iPhone 5s/5c

A new report out today from OptoFildelity claims that both the Apple iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c suffer from ‘a significant lack of touch accuracy’, which could in turn impact real user experience. The company set out to test application latency using an in-house camera based measurement tool that measures latencies when users touch a display. The devices is attached to a robot that simulates touch. They took Apple’s two new iPhones and tested against the Samsung Galaxy S3 (last year’s model).

iPhone 5c

They started the test by opening commonly used apps. All three devices were connected to the same WiFi access point and were tasked with opening up the companies homepage. This was repeated 10 times to find an average. The iPhone 5s was the fastest, followed by the iPhone 5c with the Galaxy S3 bringing up the rear.

One of the most commonly used apps is the camera application, so launch times are important to capturing an important moment. There was little difference between iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. The Galaxy S3 took almost twice as long to launch the app.

iPhone touch accuracy

So far, so good and certainly what you’d expect. Here’s where things go off the rails a bit. They conducted an accuracy measurement. Phones get tapped in different areas of the screen and those coordinates get matched up with the reported coordinates. Pass/Fail is +/-1. Green indicates pass and red indicates fail. As you can see in the image below, both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c struggle mightily at the edges of the display and even over the top half.

Typing accuracy iPhone

To show how this can impact users, they used an iOS 7 keyboard with the touch results as an overlay. We’ve yet to see any new reports regarding this issue, but it has been an issue for some users in the past. This indicates that it might not be specific to the newer iPhones, but rather a quality control issue.

Have any of you had difficulties hitting the Q, O or P keys on your iPhone 5s/5c?

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