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Apple says yellow-tinted iPhone 3G screen deliberate

post #1 of 58
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While many new iPhone 3G owners have griped that the device's occasionally yellowish hue is evidence of a defect, Apple has now gone on record to say that the tint is a deliberate choice to improve overall usability.

The company's Senior Director of Product Marketing, Bob Borchers, tells Engadget that the shift from the blue-biased LCD of the original iPhone isn't an accident and produces more accurate colors most of the time, registers deeper blacks, and makes the resulting image appear crisper.

The original screen was too cold and slightly murkier, Borchers adds. In AppleInsider's experience, the new panel should also help improve visibility outdoors, where contrast and overall brightness are both important factors.

This notably doesn't affect color shifts at wide viewing angles, which are a symptom of certain LCD panel types that show either blue or yellow depending on the point of view.
post #2 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While many new iPhone 3G owners have griped that the device's occasionally yellowish hue is evidence of a defect, Apple has now gone on record to say that the tint is a deliberate choice to improve overall usability.

The company's Senior Director of Product Marketing, Bob Borchers, tells Engadget that the shift from the blue-biased LCD of the original iPhone isn't an accident and produces more accurate colors most of the time, registers deeper blacks, and makes the resulting image appear crisper.

The original screen was too cold and slightly murkier, Borchers adds. In AppleInsider's experience, the new panel should also help improve visibility outdoors, where contrast and overall brightness are both important factors.

This notably doesn't affect color shifts at wide viewing angles, which are a symptom of certain LCD panel types that show either blue or yellow depending on the point of view.

Which means (to me) that ALL 3G phones will be or are Yellow? Yet I don't see everyone complaining. Is this because some haven't noticed or are there a shit load of folks who are color blind?

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post #3 of 58
From the pictures I've seen, the difference doesn't look too severe anyway. And given better image quality overall, I'd say it's definitely a fair trade-off.
post #4 of 58
We see a HUGE range of "whites" in the world--even just on device screens. It doesn't surprise me at all that some people notice, while others don't--or notice but don't care.

I would think the people who would be MOST likely to notice would be those going from an old iPhone to a new one: they're used to a slight blue bias, and now a slight yellow bias seems extra yellow to them in comparison.
post #5 of 58
Most don't notice because they have nothing to compare it to.

The people who do compare it think that something is wrong because the 1st generation MUST BE RIGHT!!
post #6 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ncee View Post

Is this because some haven't noticed or are there a shit load of folks who are color blind?

No, it's because most people are relieved. Macs have traditionally followed the TV manufacturers in pursuing brightness at any cost by using ridiculously hot color temperatures: 8,000, 10,000, even 12,000 Kelvins (when sunlight is about 6,500.) Remember that brightness goes up with the fourth power of the temperature and you'll see why. Turn on your TV in a darkened room and then turn your back on it and you'll see that everything is actually some shade of blue, even though your visual cortex will (sort of) compensate for it. Every computer monitor (and TV) has to be calibrated to bring down the color temperature to some reasonable level. I know when I boot up my Mac, that first opening screen before my calibration takes over, seems just as hot and blue as a welding arc. If the iPhone can not in fact be color-calibrated, then this is a great step in making it more usable. Try watching a video before you decide you don't like it. I'll bet you'll find that it looks much more natural. But some people are so used to that blue actinic glare from their uncalibrated displays that they ARE complaining about it.

P.S.: A good test for any display is if you can't get natural skin tones without making blonde hair look green. That means the color temperature is too high, like every TV that's left the factory for the last 50 years!
post #7 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

We see a HUGE range of "whites" in the world--even just on device screens. It doesn't surprise me at all that some people notice, while others don't--or notice but don't care.

I would think the people who would be MOST likely to notice would be those going from an old iPhone to a new one: they're used to a slight blue bias, and now a slight yellow bias seems extra yellow to them in comparison.

i notice the difference, but that's all it is to my eyes. although i won't describe it as yellow, but a biased towards warm hues. i find the overall colors on a warm and saturated side. i find these quite pleasing to my eyes. however, i won't rely on its display for accurate colors, and of course, this iPhone model wasn't intended for rendering colors accurately.
post #8 of 58
I was in AT&T store yesterday and held my old iPhone up against one of the new 3Gs. I noticed that is was "less blue" more than I would say "more yellow". I did feel the 3G screen was brigher and of higher contrast. (However, my phone was on AUTO BRIGHT and who knows what the demo phone was set to)

Overall, I loved the display on the new phone.

Jim
post #9 of 58
I haven't really noticed a yellow tint, I did however think that the new iPhone display is much crisper and brighter. I like it :]
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post #10 of 58
I wonder if we can expect a calibration, perhaps just a couple presets, under the Brightness tab (though they'd have to rename it) in a future update.

If not, I'm sure there will be such an app for Jailbroken iPhones.
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post #11 of 58
Of course it was just the color temperature! Why did people think this was a "defect"?? Because Apple doesn't provide easily accessible display controls? I'm not familiar with small embedded LCD screens, but I would assume Mobile OSX controls all the hue/color temperature/contrast settings. Shouldn't it be easy to modify these settings in the hacked firmware? Anyone heard of people changing these settings?
post #12 of 58
I still think that is rather bizarre that you can take a brand new iPhone out of the box, sync with iTunes to back everything up, then hit the Restore button and get an updated version of 2.0 - even though when you first mount iTunes it still says you are running the "latest" version.

When I first plugged in the phone to sync, it said I had 2.0 (5A345)

After going the Restore route, it now says 2.0 (5A347)

Obviously some type of minor bug fix, but why keep it a damn secret?
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post #13 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by justflybob View Post

Obviously some type of minor bug fix, but why keep it a damn secret?

I think the answer is simpler than that. If you restore the iPhone it has to grab v2.0 before proceeding. The only one that has been released to iTunes for upgrading is 5A347. When it was released as Golden Master 9 days ago, 5A345 is was packaged on the iPhone 3G. While there obviously have been some changes, this is apparently nothing that Apple thinks will impact 3G users. In fact, the most logical deduction is the newer update probably addresses issues for original iPhone hardware.
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post #14 of 58
Or maybe the yellowish hue is the NOW the deliberate choice as complaints surface.
Imagine the recall?
post #15 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

Or maybe the yellowish hue is the NOW the deliberate choice as complaints surface.
Imagine the recall?

That isn't likely. If it is a HW issue then it will be made self evident as a display calibration app will surely be available for jailbroken devices. Apple trying to cover it up with a lie would just make matters worse for them.
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post #16 of 58
When youve used iPhone V1 for the last year, its weird to pick up a new one, see the same icons as before, and yet theyre more yellow. I compared the 2 phones and the 3G has much darker blacks, a sharper contrast and is more yellow. The old one appears whiter (perhaps bluer) and washed out. I wanted to make sure it wasnt just my phone so I want to Apple. They all have the same screen, the differences people are reporting online are confused, because its all too subtle and people arent professional colour graders and many havent owned the first phone. Now Im getting used to the new screen Im realising that photos look just amazing, really beautiful. Clearly Apple has made a choice that is going to be best for us all, we just need to get used to it. At least theres no hardware issues

post #17 of 58
I'm just happy to have so much power and usability in a device I can hold in my hand.
post #18 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueLaw View Post

When you’ve used iPhone V1 for the last year, it’s weird to pick up a new one, see the same icons as before, and yet they’re more… yellow. I compared the 2 phones and the 3G has much darker blacks, a sharper contrast and is more yellow. The old one appears whiter (perhaps bluer) and “washed out”. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just my phone so I want to Apple. They all have the same screen, the differences people are reporting online are confused, because it’s all too subtle and people aren’t professional colour graders and many haven’t owned the first phone. Now I’m getting used to the new screen I’m realising that photos look just amazing, really beautiful. Clearly Apple has made a choice that is going to be best for us all, we just need to get used to it. At least there’s no hardware issues


After looking at screen shots from the Rat movie in the last thread, I think maybe it is for the better. The original model does look a bit too blue, but it seems from the pics that maybe the new ones went a bit too far the other way. It's hard to really tell which one is more correct without at least setting a decent camera to a specific white balance number, preferably 6500K, and eye dropper the white colors on the screen. I suppose the way to really settle it is if someone with a good screen calibration sensor could test both and see what the color temps are.

Does anyone have more than one iPhone 3G, using the same firmware, that look different from the other iPhone 3G at the same settings?
post #19 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

After looking at screen shots from the Rat movie in the last thread, I think maybe it is for the better. The original model does look a bit too blue, but it seems from the pics that maybe the new ones went a bit too far the other way. It's hard to really tell which one is more correct without at least setting a decent camera to a specific white balance number, preferably 6500K, and eye dropper the white colors on the screen. I suppose the way to really settle it is if someone with a good screen calibration sensor could test both and see what the color temps are.

Does anyone have more than one iPhone 3G, using the same firmware, that look different from the other iPhone 3G at the same settings?

When using an application such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop for color correct work, generally displays will tend to look more yellow because they are trying to simulate reflected light conditions, even though monitors are transmitted light.

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post #20 of 58
Quote:
Does anyone have more than one iPhone 3G, using the same firmware, that look different from the other iPhone 3G at the same settings?


My 3G is way more yellow than my wife's 3G. It seems the displays are biased warm, but some displays may be warmer than others by default. I think mine is too yellow and my wife's, which is warmer than my ipod touch is perfect. I did the restore and update and it didn't help.
post #21 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_too_shabby View Post

My 3G is way more yellow than my wife's 3G. It seems the displays are biased warm, but some displays may be warmer than others by default. I think mine is too yellow and my wife's, which is warmer than my ipod touch is perfect. I did the restore and update and it didn't help.

Along those same lines and having more candidates for testing, does anyone with an original iPhone and an iPhone 3G both running v2.0 (5A347) have the yellowing on both devices? Or two original iPhones, one running v2.0 (5A347) and with v1.1.4 have yellowing differences?

Either of those can determine if it's a software or HW issue.
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post #22 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_too_shabby View Post

My 3G is way more yellow than my wife's 3G. It seems the displays are biased warm, but some displays may be warmer than others by default. I think mine is too yellow and my wife's, which is warmer than my ipod touch is perfect. I did the restore and update and it didn't help.

That's what concerns me... if it were intentional, they'd all be the same.
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post #23 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Apple trying to cover it up with a lie would just make matters worse for them.

I am not following: How so?
post #24 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Along those same lines and having more candidates for testing, does anyone with an original iPhone and an iPhone 3G both running v2.0 (5A347) have the yellowing on both devices? Or two original iPhones, one running v2.0 (5A347) and with v1.1.4 have yellowing differences?

Do we seriously think that an average Apple user cares about this?
post #25 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I am not following: How so?

If it's a HW issue the facts will come out. There will be comparison between the two iPhoen versions next week using the exact same OS X version. If they lied about it, then this pathetic rouse will only hurt them in court.
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post #26 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Do we seriously think that an average Apple user cares about this?

There are plenty of articles about it so someone sure does.
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post #27 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post

That's what concerns me... if it were intentional, they'd all be the same.

I agree.

I just took some pics. There is the black 3G with the yellow bias on the left, a ipod touch in the middle, and a white 3g iphone that looks perfect on the right. The big difference is when you get off angle. The one that was slightly biased yellow looks really green off angle. This is a problem if you are laying in bed for instance surfing the web and you hold it at an angle different than straight up and down. Tilting the top towards the floor makes it look noticably greener. My wife's isn't like that.



post #28 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_too_shabby View Post

I agree.

I just took some pics. The big difference is when you get off angle. The one that was slightly biased yellow looks really green off angle. This is a problem if you are laying in bed for instance surfing the web and you hold it at an angle different than straight up and down. Tilting the top towards the floor makes it look noticably greener. My wife's isn't like that.
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Wow, Marcus! That 2nd picture really shows a hugh difference. Have you updated the original iPhone to v2.0 yet?
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post #29 of 58
double post
post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Wow, Marcus! That 2nd picture really shows a hugh difference. Have you updated the original iPhone to v2.0 yet?

It's an ipod touch, but nope. I don't think it's worth the $10 to update it yet.
post #31 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

After looking at screen shots from the Rat movie in the last thread, I think maybe it is for the better. The original model does look a bit too blue, but it seems from the pics that maybe the new ones went a bit too far the other way. It's hard to really tell which one is more correct without at least setting a decent camera to a specific white balance number, preferably 6500K, and eye dropper the white colors on the screen. I suppose the way to really settle it is if someone with a good screen calibration sensor could test both and see what the color temps are.

Does anyone have more than one iPhone 3G, using the same firmware, that look different from the other iPhone 3G at the same settings?

My equipment won't really do that, because it, and others need the app on the device for that.

While my XRite i1Photo will measure the color of a print or object, it doesn't read transmitted light properly when held to the screen, though it will measure something from far away. It's possible that if someone has the new Color Munki, they can do it, but not with accuracy from such a small screen. The screen would also need to be in "flashlight white" mode to get a real white point, and in all grey mode to get the proper color temp for the greyscale.

Unfortunately, it won't fit under the probe for my Macbeth transmission unit.
post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_too_shabby View Post

I agree.
I just took some pics. There is the black 3G with the yellow bias on the left, a ipod touch in the middle, and a white 3g iphone that looks perfect on the right. The big difference is when you get off angle. The one that was slightly biased yellow looks really green off angle. This is a problem if you are laying in bed for instance surfing the web and you hold it at an angle different than straight up and down. Tilting the top towards the floor makes it look noticably greener. My wife's isn't like that.

I noticed that from looking at number of different 3G units at store, when tilting one side and viewing it from a steep angle, it tends to either look more yellow or green. Try to flip the white 3G unit upside down and look from a steep angle, you will notice the same as the unit on the left.
post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_too_shabby View Post

I agree.

I just took some pics. There is the black 3G with the yellow bias on the left, a ipod touch in the middle, and a white 3g iphone that looks perfect on the right. The big difference is when you get off angle. The one that was slightly biased yellow looks really green off angle. This is a problem if you are laying in bed for instance surfing the web and you hold it at an angle different than straight up and down. Tilting the top towards the floor makes it look noticably greener. My wife's isn't like that.




You can't compare it to the Touch as a point of reference for the phone, because the Touch has always had a much cooler screen than the phone. In fact, the phone has been considered to have a better viewing experience for Tv shows and movies than the Touch because of that very reason.

But, yes, even the first iPhone has a slightly blue screen, at least to me. But I've done color correction for decades.

The sharp angle is interesting, but It isn't really a factor, except as how it shows the differences in extremum. No one will be using their phones from those angles.

But then, even the first photo is already at a large angle from perpendicular, so it is already exaggerating the differences.
post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

You can't compare it to the Touch as a point of reference for the phone, because the Touch has always had a much cooler screen than the phone.

Dude, it's not about the Touch. It's not about the angles.

It's about that the phone on the left, and the phone on the right, are BOTH 3G, both running same software and should be identical.
post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkh View Post

Dude, it's not about the Touch. It's not about the angles.

It's about that the phone on the left, and the phone on the right, are BOTH 3G, both running same software and should be identical.

Dude, I know what we're talking about.

The iTouch shouldn't have been included then, should it?

And it IS about the angles. If you knew anything about LCD's, you would know that except for the most expensive panels, they ALL exhibit color variation from panel to panel in the same production batch.

You SHOULD also know that when moved at an angle any small color variation will be exaggerated. Even on a desktop monitor you will see that by looking to the ends of the monitor while keeping your head in the middle.

So, yes, the angles of the shots do matter. He knew that by shooting a more extreme angle. What we also need is a shot where the center of the lens is at the center height of the screens vertically for one. Secondly, as the camera is also off angle to the side phones, it also exaggerates any difference.

As you KNOW, all LCD screens look darker when you move your head down from the center line, and lighter when you move it up. The color also changes in opposite directions. Therefore, the fact that the camera angle horizontally across the picture is well past the side on the right of the phone on the left, and well past the left of the phone on the right will also bias the picture towards exaggeration.

I hope that helps you. I really didn't think it was required to give that basic lesson on LCD technology, as I thought everyone here already understood it, and that the way the pics were taken was either an oversight, or was just quickly done. Otherwise, an individual picture of each device would be required, shot from the very center of the screens, and then comp'd together. Too much work for a Saturday night.
post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I hope that helps you. I really didn't think it was required to give that basic lesson on LCD technology, as I thought everyone here already understood it, and that the way the pics were taken was either an oversight, or was just quickly done.

Oh I don't need that info. Both me and my gf have a brand new 3g and hers is a lot more yellow. They look about the same in reality as the above pictures. The off-white I can live with, but not when the greens go yellow. I'm just happy it wasn't mine since I'm very sensitive to color variations.
post #37 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkh View Post

Oh I don't need that info. Both me and my gf have a brand new 3g and hers is a lot more yellow. They look about the same in reality as the above pictures. The off-white I can live with, but not when the greens go yellow. I'm just happy it wasn't mine since I'm very sensitive to color variations.

This had been my business for quite some time, so I'm sensitive to it as well.

Nevertheless, the pics aren't actuality, because of the way they were taken. I can't speak to what you say you see. I can only respond to what I know is happening.

As you know, what the camera captures is very different from what the eye sees.

If you maneuvered the angles to demonstrate what you think you see, it doesn't help the rest of us, because all people will see it differently. A neutral comparison is required for the rest of us.
post #38 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_too_shabby View Post

I agree.

I just took some pics. There is the black 3G with the yellow bias on the left, a ipod touch in the middle, and a white 3g iphone that looks perfect on the right. The big difference is when you get off angle. The one that was slightly biased yellow looks really green off angle. This is a problem if you are laying in bed for instance surfing the web and you hold it at an angle different than straight up and down. Tilting the top towards the floor makes it look noticably greener. My wife's isn't like that.

Why not just take screen shots to compare the three, i.e., hold down the Home button and press the power button. Screen will flash white. Screen shot stored in Saved Photos folder.

Not sure if it will work on original iPhone software. Already upgraded my Touch and I won't have my new iPhone until I get back from my speaking tour.
post #39 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Why not just take screen shots to compare the three, i.e., hold down the Home button and press the power button. Screen will flash white. Screen shot stored in Saved Photos folder.

Screenshots will most likely not reflect the quality of the screen. Perhaps I can take some photos tomorrow when I have access to both phones.
post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkh View Post

Screenshots will most likely not reflect the quality of the screen. Perhaps I can take some photos tomorrow when I have access to both phones.

I think he meant so you have a white image to display while taking a photo of the screen. If you can set your camera's white balance, please try to set it to 6500K. A lot of them have that color as a white balance option. Shooting as perpendicular to the screen as possible is best too.
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