The tint has been noticed by several reviewers, and users are complaining about the screens in Apple’s support forum.
The discussion thread “iPhone 4S Screen Tint” has gotten 136 replies so far on Apple’s support page (at the time of writing) with no official reply from Apple. A user called Snowglider appears to have started the discussion by noting a “really yellow tint” on the screen.
Some others noticed the same thing, though some speculated the effect was caused because the devices are new and it will go away within a week or so. Reps from Apple could not be reached for comment at press time.
The people in the group aren’t the only ones who’ve noticed a difference. In his review of the 4S, Joshua Topolsky of This Is My Next wrote, “One thing I did note, however, was how much less contrast-heavy the screen looks in comparison to the previous model. The iPhone 4S has a noticeably different color tone, and blacks seem far less dark.” CNet also investigated, finding that cases were at least partially to blame because they cause the iPhone to think it was constantly dark.
The iPhone 4 and iPad 2 both had problems with yellow tints showing up on their displays, which turned out to be caused by adhesive that hadn’t cured yet. Those problems cleared up in a few weeks, which may be the case again, so users may just need to wait and see if the tint goes away on its own.
It appears, though, that the 4S’ problem is somewhat different. On the older models, the yellow only appeared in spots. This time around, it’s encompassing the whole screen, not just a few places, leading some users to complain the screens themselves are bad.
Here is a quick video showing the difference between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S screens:
The problem has already been dubbed “Yellowgate” because this isn’t the first time the screen issue has been reported on Apple’s mobile devices. The nickname echoes Apple’s “Antennagate” scandal, so dubbed when Phone 4 models were losing their signals depending on how they were held. Apple cleared up that problem with a free bumper, and fixed the antenna for the 4S. However, before the antenna problem was fixed, then-CEO Steve Jobs blamed the issue on user error, and Apple did not solve the complaints for some time.ems a bit washed-out compared to its predecessor.
If customers believe the 4S has touchscreen problems, they may turn to other devices that have better reviews, particularly users who place a priority on a device’s screen appearance. Whether Apple addresses the yellow screen problem or it solves itself, the complaints are still likely to grow as millions of people start using their new iPhones and a fix isn’t found.
While some are attributing this as a glitch due to the glue used for manufacturing the iPhone and speculate that the issue will go away within a few weeks as was the case with the iPhone 4; Other sources consider the yellow tint to be just the new hue of the screen.
Meanwhile reports are coming in about Apple stores replacing “defected” iPhone 4S pieces with new ones. Many of owners who got their tinted iPhone 4S’ replaced, however, seem to encounter the same yellow tint on the screens after using the phone for some time. Nothing can be said conclusively until we receive some official response from Apple.
As far as new product glitches go, this issue seems to be a pretty minor. It’s definitly not on the scale of the iPhone “Antennagate” in 2010. Still, this could be the biggest knock against the iPhone 4S so far.
Have you experienced Yellowgate? Let us know in the comments below: