Over the past few weeks, a number of readers have been getting in touch to highlight an issue with the iPhone 12. It’s a display issue that’s been plaguing users since the handset was released, and one that Apple seems unable to fix.
The problem is weird — black pixels are not turning off in dynamic scenes, and black pixels turning off after few seconds in static scenes when the iPhone is in low light conditions, causing a weird, ghostly intermittent glow.
There’s an extensive 82-page thread over on the Apple’s support forum about this, a thread that was started back in early November 2020.
It’s a long, detailed forum, where some iPhone 12 owners have had numerous handset replacements to try to fix the issue. Others are being told by service centers that it is a software issue and need to wait for an update to fix it.
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I was told mid-November that Apple were “aware” of the issue and “investigating,” but since then things have gone quiet.
It’s February of 2021, the iPhone 12 has been out for months, and neither the release iOS 14.4 nor the iOS 14.5 developer preview seems to fix this problem.
Here’s a video that shows the problem in action, captured by the user who kicked off the support thread.
I’ve seen a number of possible fixes for this problem suggested, from resetting the light sensor (go to Settings > Display & Brightness, set to Automatic, and then, while you are shining a bright flashlight onto the light sensor that’s at the top of the display by the earpiece, turn off the Automatic setting), or switching off True Tone (which you can find in Settings > Display & Brightness).
Others have had temporary relief from this issue by fiddling with the color tint of the display (Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size then tap on Color Filters and from there tweak the display).
The bottom line, though, is that these are all temporary fixes, users should need to fiddle with settings to get the display working right, and Apple needs to fix the problem.
Any readers affected? Let me know in the comments below.