AS BITTERLY cold temperatures hit the UK, we’re well prepared for shivering, being able to see our breath and generally being uncomfortable.

But did you know you could have a much bigger problem - your iPhone getting so cold it stops working?

When your phone gets too cold, the results range from mildly annoying to truly concerning.

On one end of the scale your phone might not be able to detect your touch on the screen, on the other, the battery of your handset will deplete much faster, and if it gets really cold it will just turn off altogether.

Richard Mavers, director of group marketing and online strategy at Envirofone, said: “People often speculate about whether or not the cold really does affect the iPhone’s battery.

“Now we know it does, it is important to avoid subjecting your iPhone to extremely cold conditions.

“Minimise the use of your phone outside when temperatures drop and keep it warm in a pocket or bag where possible."

To shed some light on why this happens, phone recycling specialist Envirofone, has taken a look at the reasons why our iPhones seem to hate the cold as much as we do.

As it turns out, there is a technical reason behind the problem - the battery.

All iPhones use a type of battery called Lithium-Ion, and while these battery types have their advantages they do not fare well in the cold.

With Apple stating that the iPhones and other iOS devices operate most efficiently when the ambient temperature is between 0ºC and 35º C, the iPhone is actually designed to shut down automatically under certain conditions, such as extremely cold temperatures.

So, now we know that the cold is a real problem for our phones and not just a figment of our imagination, what can we do to stop it happening?

Do your battery - and hands - a favour in the bitter cold and keep them in pockets, avoiding exposing them to the cold unless absolutely necessary.

We know it might be tempting to check your phone to distract yourself from the freezing conditions, but if you want to keep your phone working, those texts and Facebook notifications will have to wait.

If you haven’t already, ensure your iPhone also has a case - we wouldn’t dream of going out in the cold without a coat afterall.