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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 46
    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!"
  • Reply 3 of 46
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 46
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 46
    Quote:

    at a secret testing facility



    What's next? Apple developed the SR-71 Blackbird?
  • Reply 6 of 46
    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
  • Reply 7 of 46
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,757member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 46
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 46
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,729member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 46
    irelandireland Posts: 17,798member
    Talk of this white iPhone is getting out of control.
  • Reply 11 of 46
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 46
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 46
    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..
  • Reply 14 of 46
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 46
    hkzhkz Posts: 190member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 46
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,212member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 46
    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
  • Reply 18 of 46
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 46
    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
  • Reply 20 of 46
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    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.



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