iPhone 13 and 12 on iOS 15.1 face in-car Bluetooth connectivity issue

iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 owners have raised an in-car Bluetooth connectivity issue on iOS 15.1. As per reports on the Apple Support forum, Bluetooth signals on newer iPhone models drop after a few minutes of starting a call which prevents them from making or receiving hands-free calls. 

Apple seeded the iOS 15.1 update in October which included SharePlay support, ProRes video recording for iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, COVID-19 vaccination cards in Wallet app, and other features. Then the company released iOS 15.1.1 update which fixed the call drop issue for iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, even when the issue was not widely reported. Although the recently highlighted issue is not of calls dropping, it is related to call drop when the smartphones are connected to their in-car systems via Bluetooth. 

iOS 15

iPhone 13 and 12 on iOS 15.1 fail to stay connected to users in-car systems via Bluetooth

Affected users started a thread on Apple Support CommunityiPhone 13 Pro loses Bluetooth connection to car 2-8 minutes after starting a phone call” and the Bluetooth connectivity issue is experienced by car owners with and without CarPlay and it only occurs with phone calls. At the moment, there is no apparent work around this issue. 

I recently purchased a new iPhone 13 Pro (then exchanged for an iPhone 13 Pro Max) to replace my iPhone XR. Here is the info on the problem I am seeing for your developers:

Hardware: iPhone 13 Pro Max, running iOS 15.0.2. Car: 2016 Toyota Avalon

The iPhone is unusable for calls in my car which is really frustrating. Hopefully someone out there has seen something like this and has a solution/workaround. Or maybe this will make it to the developers and they can try and fix the issue. @

I have the same problem with dropping calls. I have a 2017 Tundra and an iPhone 12 with 15.1.1. The only workaround that I’ve found is to connect the USB cable from my truck to the phone. This may cause your phone to connect to the dock but you need to switch it back to Bluetooth. This has prevented the dropped call issue. I hope this helps. @

Same issues. 2016 4Runner with no car play. Unusable. Spent an hour on the phone with apple today. Uploaded diagnostics from my phone. They told me to call Verizon, it was a network issue. Huh? Bluetooth has nothing to do with Verizon. Should have returned this immediately when the problem started but I thought there is no way this wouldn’t be sorted out soon. Wish I had my X back. 15.1.1. @

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Addicted to social media and in love with iPhone, started blogging as a hobby. And now it's my passion for every day is a new learning experience. Hopefully, manufacturers will continue to use innovative solutions and we will keep on letting you know about them.