“There has been a ton of speculation in the media and in user forums over what’s going on with the iPhone 5S accelerometer: see CNET, Gizmodo, ExtremeTech, Apple Support Communities, or MacRumors,” Eagle Jones blogs for RealityCap. “In short, apps that use the accelerometer to sense device tilt are showing errors of as much as 5-6 degrees off level, when these apps worked fine with previous iOS devices. This can be seen in many games as well as tools like level apps, including Apple’s built-in compass/level app.”

“People are asking whether this is a hardware shortcoming, manufacturing issue, or software problem. Quite definitely, the answer is that these issues exist due to hardware design,” Jones writes. “The Chipworks teardown of the iPhone 5S identified the accelerometer as the Bosch Sensortech BMA220. Previous Apple devices have been reported to use ST parts, such as the LIS331DLH in the iPhone 5 (according to iFixit).”

“What can developers who depend on reasonable accuracy from the accelerometer do? The good news is that a large component of the bias error in the accelerometer doesn’t change. Thus it is possible to work around the problem by incorporating a calibration procedure into apps,” Jones writes. “This procedure would ask the user to place the device in different orientations to determine the accelerometer bias. Apps can then subtract this measured bias from the data coming from the accelerometer to get a corrected reading.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Sensorgate: Apple iPhone 5c also exhibiting sensor issues, too – October 7, 2013
Sensorgate: iPhone 5s sensor malfunctions may be widespread (with video) – October 4, 2013