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Light leaks causing camera issues with Apple's white iPhone 4 - rumor

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
The white glass planned to be used for the delayed iPhone 4 model allows in too much light, resulting in poorer quality digital pictures, according to a new rumor.

Apple announced this week that its white iPhone 4 was delayed yet again this time until Spring 2011. Apple has not offered any reason for the delays, except that the device has proven "more challenging to manufacture" than the company had originally anticipated.

Cult of Mac on Wednesday offered a potential explanation for the delay: an anonymous source "with connections at Apple" indicated that the white model takes poor pictures due to its white glass. That person indicated that the white case allows light to leak in, causing washed out pictures.

"The white iPhone 4 can't take accurate photographs," author Leander Kahney wrote. "The handset's semi-translucent glass case leaks light in, ruining pictures taken with the internal camera, especially when the built-in flash is used."

The source reportedly indicated that Apple has been "struggling to isolate the camera sensor," and may have to completely redesign the iPhone 4 to address the issue. The problem was reportedly found at the last minute at a secret testing facility Apple uses to allow case manufacturers to qualify for its "Made for iPhone" certification.

Previous reports had alleged that the white iPhone 4 experienced delays due to light leakage, but suggested the issue was light leaking from inside of the case. Another report alleged that Apple's overseas manufacturing partners were struggling to achieve the right balance of paint thickness and opacity to color the glass front and back of the device.
post #2 of 47
I am always testing this with my eyes as well, must close them for at least 30 mins after lunch to check for light leaks.
post #3 of 47
Just kill the thing already. One month delay, then three month delay, now six to nine months. At what point does one throw in the towel? Just put out a press release that states the obvious: "We are disappointed in (ahem) sales of the white iPhone, but we are thrilled to offer you the much more popular black iPhone!"
post #4 of 47
At last... an explanation that makes sense.
I tend to agree with the NYTimes (today) suggesting that what had been an engineering delay had not turned into a marketing opportunity (reason for upgrade) for iPhone 5.
post #5 of 47
All my DSLRs are black, and none have light leaks, except for really long exposures with the optical viewfinder open - they all have viewfinder covers or shutters for those instances. But body color shouldn't be a factor at all, the camera/lens section of the phone should be better sealed from the rest of the device, simple fix imo.
post #6 of 47
Quote:
at a secret testing facility

What's next? Apple developed the SR-71 Blackbird?
post #7 of 47
does anyone have one of those aftermarket white replacement pieces for the iPhone 4? how are those doing? I think I saw a post from someone at Engadget that had one
post #8 of 47
The could just ship it and include a free case with a back, as the did with the black unit for the antenna.

If they are delaying it till spring, just a few months before the next revision, it could help offset the normal drop in demand prior to a refresh. Sales start to slow, just release the white unit and sales jump back up, then the new model comes out with barely a hiccup in sales.

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post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

What's next? Apple developed the SR-71 Blackbird?

No Apple developed the SR-71 Whitebird.
Its release has been delayed indefinitely.
Something about not being able to fly.
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner View Post

I am always testing this with my eyes as well, must close them for at least 30 mins after lunch to check for light leaks.

Very funny. I think I might go and test for leaks right now. Is the best way to lean back wherever you are, or to find a quiet spot where you won't be disturbed? I like the idea of a secret testing facility someone mentioned above.
post #11 of 47
Talk of this white iPhone is getting out of control.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Very funny. I think I might go and test for leaks right now. Is the best way to lean back wherever you are, or to find a quiet spot where you won't be disturbed? I like the idea of a secret testing facility someone mentioned above.

Either way works. I stopped short of creating a 1.2 billion test facility for this. Me in a special room, in a special chair, sleeping.
post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by marokero View Post

All my DSLRs are black, and none have light leaks, except for really long exposures with the optical viewfinder open - they all have viewfinder covers or shutters for those instances. But body color shouldn't be a factor at all, the camera/lens section of the phone should be better sealed from the rest of the device, simple fix imo.

Agree. Thinking it is based on the coating they are using. Titanium white is much harder to work with and has very different diffusion properties than carbon black.

Aside from all the negative reasons I can come up with for the delay, I am happy that Apple is taking the testing seriously. It's the perfect catch 22. Not happy with the delays, not happy with shoddy product.
post #14 of 47
Dear Apple..

Please cancel the white iPhone 4, save yourself from further embarrassment and headache trying to figure out a solution, move on to iPhone 5, focus all your time to it and those waiting for the unicorn iPhone 4 can move on with their lives as well..
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by marokero View Post

All my DSLRs are black, and none have light leaks, except for really long exposures with the optical viewfinder open - they all have viewfinder covers or shutters for those instances. But body color shouldn't be a factor at all, the camera/lens section of the phone should be better sealed from the rest of the device, simple fix imo.

Yeah the camera part of the phone has to be light tight. Maybe there is some glare from the white plastic into the lens. I know my iPhone 4 is very sensitive to gunk on the lens, especially in situations where the flash is used, or a case is on the phone.
post #16 of 47
I call BS. I have an aftermarket white back panel that is extremely well made and looks to be an OEM part because it's an exact match to my black one the quality is very top notch. I have NO problems with pictures at all. The only thing that is affected by the white back is that the LED is diffused through the white back, but it makes for a softer light at night when stumbling to the bathroom. It's still very very bright though. Whomever this 'source' is they're lying or being lied to.
post #17 of 47
Even the black iPhone 4 "leaks" light when the flash is used, producing horrid, cloudy pictures, if part of the case comes near the flash but is still well out of view of the camera.
post #18 of 47
I'll save you the rumor... I have a white iphone and most lower light situations I can't use a flash... It sucks.. Besides that it works fine!! LOL
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by HKZ View Post

I call BS. I have an aftermarket white back panel that is extremely well made and looks to be an OEM part because it's an exact match to my black one the quality is very top notch. I have NO problems with pictures at all. The only thing that is affected by the white back is that the LED is diffused through the white back, but it makes for a softer light at night when stumbling to the bathroom. It's still very very bright though. Whomever this 'source' is they're lying or being lied to.

Coming from the guy with one post.

Why don't you call up Steve Jobs and tell him how to do his job, ok? You obviously know how to fix it.
post #20 of 47
I have a white one, and the only problem I've seen is the different color white between the glass and the plastic button. I don't have any problem with photographs being washed out.
I don't think there is much truth to that rumor
post #21 of 47
How does this make sense? The camera and flash are flush with the glass and the surrounding components are covered by an opaque black film.

I think it's actually the proximity sensor in the front of the phone that's having the problem.

post #22 of 47
Why would he call Steve about a RUMOR?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatsFan83 View Post

Coming from the guy with one post.

Why don't you call up Steve Jobs and tell him how to do his job, ok? You obviously know how to fix it.
post #23 of 47
This is certainly plausible. Most other problems hypothesized do not appear difficult to solve, but this would be difficult to solve while maintaining a single sheet of glass covering the back of the device.

However, Apple engineers must have experimented with boring a hole in the glass, making the inner diameter of the hole light tight, bonding a glass disk inside this hole, and polishing both sides.

This does not seem like it would be prohibitively expensive, so I wonder why it either does not work or has not been selected.
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by marokero View Post

All my DSLRs are black, and none have light leaks, except for really long exposures with the optical viewfinder open - they all have viewfinder covers or shutters for those instances. But body color shouldn't be a factor at all, the camera/lens section of the phone should be better sealed from the rest of the device, simple fix imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobrk View Post

Yeah the camera part of the phone has to be light tight. Maybe there is some glare from the white plastic into the lens. I know my iPhone 4 is very sensitive to gunk on the lens, especially in situations where the flash is used, or a case is on the phone.

I was thinking the same thing. The camera module itself should already be light-proof from the lens to the sensor (and dust proof). If the lens is inset into the case and there is white plastic forming a barrel around the lens, you could get reflections from the plastic causing glare across the lens. Similarly, if the white plastic channels light from the flash across the front of the lens, that can cause glare, too. But if that's all it was, you'd think a simple black coating around the inside of the hole through the case would be all it took to solve the issue. (And then I'd go fire the engineer who thought having an exposed white surface near a camera lens was OK.)
post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Talk of this white iPhone is getting out of control.

I just thought it was a rumor started by Steve.

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post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by marokero View Post

All my DSLRs are black, and none have light leaks, except for really long exposures with the optical viewfinder open - they all have viewfinder covers or shutters for those instances. But body color shouldn't be a factor at all, the camera/lens section of the phone should be better sealed from the rest of the device, simple fix imo.

My thoughts exactly.
post #27 of 47
I said it before and I'll say it again. Apple is using the white iPhone as an excuse to redesign and fix the antenna issue as well. They don't want to admit there's a flaw with the antenna design because that will mean massive recalls, but if they happen to redesign the iPhone so the white works, then the black will follow and they kill two birds with one stone.

I'll bet you a quarter.
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

The could just ship it and include a free case with a back, as the did with the black unit for the antenna.

Defeats the whole purpose of buying a white phone, no?
post #29 of 47
Well, they are probably going to use the Liquidmetal for the iPhone 5 anyhow, so this should "solve" the glass back issue altogether, and solve the problems with the breakage issue common to the iPhone 4. Then, we can all wait for them to perfect the white liquidmetal back in the iPhone 5. (preorders are available now, of course).
post #30 of 47
So the assertion is that light can reach the sensor without having gone through the lens? That just doesn't sound right.
post #31 of 47
This doesn't make sense to me. I think this is a simple supply issue, and not a functional issue specific to white iphones.

Still obviously just a guess, though.
post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naboozle View Post

So the assertion is that light can reach the sensor without having gone through the lens? That just doesn't sound right.

If the light from the flash diffuse throughout the back panel glass, and the camera lens sits behind a window of the back panel, the light can possibly leak into the camera. If that's the way iPhone4 is made.
post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatsFan83 View Post

Coming from the guy with one post.

Why don't you call up Steve Jobs and tell him how to do his job, ok? You obviously know how to fix it.

I'm sorry, please explain what my post count has to do with having direct experience that is contradictory to this rumor. Since you have 133 more than me your opinion matters more than my firsthand experience? I have what is quite possibly a Chinese knockoff of the white iPhone 4 back panel that is OEM quality and don't have anything close to what this unnamed source claims is the problem. Do you have a white iPhone 4? Do you have this problem? Care to add anything to the discussion other than your idiotic superiority complex about having more posts than me? It's idiots like you that have kept me from registering here even though I've been lurking as long as you've had an account. I hate to justify your asinine comment by responding to it, but I must say it's people like you that kept me from posting here. Especially in the threads spreading lies and disinformation about jailbreaking. Most of AI is alright but people like you ruin a good site with your crap.

Photo taken in complete darkness. Not washed out at all, looks perfectly fine to me.
I dont have this problem. I think it's just someone starting a BS rumor. Unless you have a white iPhone 4 I don't see how you have any reason to comment other than to try and troll someone who does have first hand experience with this 'problem'. If a Chinese knockoff works just fine Apple either has standards that are unrealistic, or have other reasons not to release a white iPhone.
post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner View Post

I am always testing this with my eyes as well, must close them for at least 30 mins after lunch to check for light leaks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Very funny. I think I might go and test for leaks right now. Is the best way to lean back wherever you are, or to find a quiet spot where you won't be disturbed? I like the idea of a secret testing facility someone mentioned above.

I didn't get it right away at first, but after reading the post quoted second, I burst out laughing. Good one!
post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

How does this make sense? The camera and flash are flush with the glass and the surrounding components are covered by an opaque black film.

I think it's actually the proximity sensor in the front of the phone that's having the problem.

That would make the most sense, since it is the most significantly different part used between the white and black iphone (the white one actually having a set of holes in the glass it looks like). Those holes might be too small and too close together for strength. Its always been my #1 suspicion about the white iphone 4 delays.
post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by robogobo View Post

I said it before and I'll say it again. Apple is using the white iPhone as an excuse to redesign and fix the antenna issue as well. They don't want to admit there's a flaw with the antenna design because that will mean massive recalls, but if they happen to redesign the iPhone so the white works, then the black will follow and they kill two birds with one stone.

I'll bet you a quarter.

The thing is, Apple continues to sell out of the black model and are continually expanding their distribution . People also seem to have stopped complaining--case program or not. All that coupled with the defiant tone Apple maintains leaves me perplexed but still doubting they are withholding the white model to reintroduce any sort of new design/fix.

however:

If it's a color matching issue between the button and the faceplate, I would have to imagine a fix by now. Ditto for the proximity sensor.

This latest rumor regarding the leaking light doesn't appear legitimate either--even before those with white iphones claimed it was/is a non issue.

So we are still left with questions. Why would Apple post a white model on their website or even offer the option if it had not cleared their notoriously stringent development? I don't know, maybe you're right.
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by HKZ View Post

I'm sorry, please explain what my post count has to do with having direct experience that is contradictory to this rumor. Since you have 133 more than me your opinion matters more than my firsthand experience? I have what is quite possibly a Chinese knockoff of the white iPhone 4 back panel that is OEM quality and don't have anything close to what this unnamed source claims is the problem. Do you have a white iPhone 4? Do you have this problem? Care to add anything to the discussion other than your idiotic superiority complex about having more posts than me? It's idiots like you that have kept me from registering here even though I've been lurking as long as you've had an account. I hate to justify your asinine comment by responding to it, but I must say it's people like you that kept me from posting here. Especially in the threads spreading lies and disinformation about jailbreaking. Most of AI is alright but people like you ruin a good site with your crap.

Photo taken in complete darkness. Not washed out at all, looks perfectly fine to me.
I dont have this problem. I think it's just someone starting a BS rumor. Unless you have a white iPhone 4 I don't see how you have any reason to comment other than to try and troll someone who does have first hand experience with this 'problem'. If a Chinese knockoff works just fine Apple either has standards that are unrealistic, or have other reasons not to release a white iPhone.

While I agree that your post count is completely irrelevant, if your back plate is a knock-off, it may not be the same material as Apple is trying to use. Perhaps yours is more opaque and Apple's is more translucent, allowing light to travel through the material.

I still find this rumor to be unlikely. But 9 months for color matching? That's just blowing smoke. The "we delayed it long enough that we might as well wait until we can relaunch the white iPhone with a spring launch of the CDMA and/or fixed antenna iPhone v5" theory is starting to sound interesting.
post #38 of 47
Sounds fishy to me. I had always assumed that the camera in an iPhone was an integrated sealed unit, not a collection of loose components (sensor, lens, etc.) fitted into their respective places within the iPhone case.
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post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

While I agree that your post count is completely irrelevant, if your back plate is a knock-off, it may not be the same material as Apple is trying to use. Perhaps yours is more opaque and Apple's is more translucent, allowing light to travel through the material.

I still find this rumor to be unlikely. But 9 months for color matching? That's just blowing smoke. The "we delayed it long enough that we might as well wait until we can relaunch the white iPhone with a spring launch of the CDMA and/or fixed antenna iPhone v5" theory is starting to sound interesting.

It probably is a knockoff but if it is, it's a fantastic one. It matches the black back exactly save for Apple branding. And I mean exactly, there isn't one thing that's different material or construction wise from the black one. I agree with you on the CDMA/Antenna issue. But I would have bet that T-Mobile would get the iPhone before anyone else. They are GSM same as AT&T and verizon make some seriously draconian decisions on what goes on their phone. I'd bet T-Mobile would be willing to bend to Apples control over the phone like AT&T did. This rumor is just crap to me. For a company that gets so many accolades for design and manufacturing quality this issue about color matching is probably false in a big way. If something as simple a painting glass is stopping Apple my ass is ice cream. I don't believe for a second that colored glass would really give Apple so many problems, especially since you can get OEM quality parts like the back I have through other channels.
post #40 of 47
I'm glad Apple's quality control isn't letting this out until it's right. If you can't have a properly working product, it's better to have none at all.

Too bad they didn't realize that before they put out the iPhone Bluetooth headset a few years ago.
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