AppleInsider may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made through links on our site.
A growing thread on the Apple community support forums suggests that users are having some difficulties with GPS accuracy mostly on the iPhone 8 and iPhone X — but a software fix appears to be included for most in the most recent beta of iOS 11.2.
Users afflicted by the problem note that the location drifts away from where the user is, with the problem aggravated by high rates of speed like a car on a highway. The traditional problem-solving steps of toggling location services on and off don't seem to work, nor does a fresh software install.
AppleInsider reader Brandon reports that Apple has "captured" three iPhone 8 Plus units from him over the span of a month. Apple generally captures problematic hardware to send it directly to engineering teams to diagnose a rare issue, or one they want to collect more data on.
Turning to data that we have been collecting since the iPhone 6 "Touch Disease" saga began, there appears to be a very slight increase in Genius Bar requests in general regarding GPS location since iOS 11 launched. However, there doesn't appear to be a statistically significant increase in the percentage of iPhone 8 family devices brought in for service for GPS problems, over the iPhone 7 at launch or at present.
While the support forum reports suggest that the iPhone X may be having a similar issue, there isn't enough service data for the unit collected as of yet to make any meaningful conclusion about the prevalence of the problem in the phone which has only been available to consumers for a week.
Afflicted users cite Apple's different responses to the situation at varying levels of Apple support. Many users are encouraged to return their devices for a new one — which generally doesn't fix the situation for the user. This suggesting an environmental problem local to the afflicted user, or variances in signals used in location determination could also be a culprit.
However, the problem isn't widespread, and not even close to universal. None of the devices AppleInsider has on hand are afflicted by the issue.
Some GPS temporary variance is expected given the nature of the position location. However, persistent problems resulting in a drift from expected location over time that do not correct themselves when a new signal presents itself are not.
Sources within Apple not authorized to speak for the company have told us that "assorted GPS fixes" have been included in iOS 11.1 and the beta releases for iOS 11.2. Some support forum-goers have reported the same, with some claiming that iOS 11.1 rectified their issue, and others saying that 11.2 was the fix.