Frustrated iPhone SE owners are voicing their grief on an official Apple Support Community forum page, citing poor quality and distorted crackling while taking phone and FaceTime calls via in-car Bluetooth connections.
It would appear that numerous Apple customers who purchased the newly released, mid-range iPhone SE handset are suffering from a possible 'software issue', with some noting that Apple engineers have reproduced the issue in testing.
While GPS navigation also seems to be affected by "robotic" noises, several contributors have mentioned that music streaming is unaffected. User 'skierrob2' started the exchange, stating:
"I have a new iPhone SE and have so far paired it to a 2014 BMW 328i and a 2011 Kia Optima and a 2015 Kia Santa Fe. In all cases, I have terrible quality bluetooth call reception... the audio while on a phone call is extremely scratchy and distorted."
Vehicle manufacturers Vauxhaul, Nissan, Subaru, Volkswagen, BMW, Kia and Jeep (among several others) are all known to suffer from the issue, indicating this could be an issue inherent within the phone itself.
'Apple support has been able to reproduce this issue'
While users are expressing their dissatisfaction over the support offered by the in-store service at Apple Genius Bars, 'skierrob2' responded in a later post and echoed others noting that the issue is being worked on by Apple engineers:
"I got a call from Apple Support from an iOS Senior Advisor this morning. In the call, he stated he worked with his colleagues to test Bluetooth on the iPhone SE, and that Apple support has been able to reproduce this issue on more than one bluetooth device. They have already forwarded the information on to their engineers."
Apple 4in iPhone boasts an impressive feature list which, despite several cutbacks to lower the cost price, still boasts many of the best qualities of its premium bigger brother: the iPhone 6S.
Here's hoping that a future iOS 9.3 update can put to bed those pesky Bluetooth gremlins currently plaguing iPhone SE-owning drivers.