“Yellow Blotch” Display Complaints Mar iPhone 4 Launch Day

Published on June 24, 2010
by John Paczkowski

Early adopters beware: Apple’s new iPhone 4 officially went on sale earlier today and there are already reports of problems with it. Some new owners of the device report finding yellow discoloration on its Retina Display.

“I just noticed a flaw on my display,” one wrote in a message to Apple’s support forums. “It wasn’t very obvious, i was messing with the phone for a good 45 minutes till i even spotted it. On the bottom 10% of the screen there are 3 blotches about the size of shirt buttons that discolor the screen a brown/yellow color. Again hardly noticeable at first but now that i know it’s there my eyes get drawn too it. Shows up well when its a white background. I was hoping it was just some grime but wiping down the front didn’t help. Oh well, guess i’ll hang onto it until Apple gets a few more in stock and trade it in a few weeks from now.”

Similar reports are showing up on Gizmodo and MacRumors, where the blotch is described as more of a bar. “Just synced up my iPhone 4 and noticed that, on screens with a white background (i.e., Settings.), there is a decidedly yellow spot on the lower left corner of my screen,” another report reads. “It appears circular (about the size of a pencil eraser) but when you rotate the phone sideways, it’s more visible as running across the bottom edge of the screen a ways.”

It’s not yet clear how widespread the issue is, but there are enough complaints on Apple’s (AAPL) support forums to be concerning. I’ve asked the company for comment and will update here if offered one.

Meanwhile, reports of problems with the iPhone 4’s signal-strength bars are beginning to circulate as well. But as Walt Mossberg noted in his review, this is a known issue that Apple intends to fix:

In some places where the signal was relatively weak, the iPhone 4 showed no bars, or fewer bars than its predecessor. Apple says that this is a bug it plans to fix, and that it has to do with the way the bars are presented, not the actual ability to make a call. And, in fact, in nearly all of these cases, the iPhone 4 was able to place calls despite the lack of bars.

However, on at least six occasions during my tests, the new iPhone was either reporting “no service” or searching for a network while the old one, held in my other hand, was showing at least a couple of bars. Neither Apple nor AT&T could explain this. The iPhone 4 quickly recovered in these situations, showing service after a few seconds, but it was still troubling.

[Image credit: elitemrp, Apple Support Discussions]

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