The iPhone 5’s been on sale for three weeks now, and as is always the case with a device this popular, a long list of defects is already building up. There’s Maps, of course — though that’s not really exclusive to the iPhone 5 — the purple haze that sometimes appears in photos, and the black model is susceptible to chips and scratches.
And now some users are reporting that an odd green glow, described as “plasma bleed,” is plaguing the handset’s display.
The issue has been documented on a number of forums, CNET reports, and most users find that it is most apparent when the display lights up — after waking the device from sleep. While it only appears for a split second, users say it gets worse over time.
One user on the Apple Support Communities forum writes:
Whenever I wake my iPhone there is a split second where a green glow around the edge of the screen is visible. It’s a bit like light leakage but its green and only appears for a fraction of a second after you turn on the screen. It is also sometimes activated by using the slide to unlock, which makes it glow brighter.
A member of the iMore forum has the exactly same problem:
Okay this has happened to me a few times. Mostly when I unlock to my home screen. I’ve caught, only for a second or two, the edges of my screen glow green.
Am I alone?
It’s unclear what’s causing the issue, but it doesn’t appear in screenshots, suggesting that it’s a hardware problem as opposed to a software one — as you might expect with something like this. What that means is, it can’t be fixed with a software update, and affected handsets will likely need to be replaced by Apple.
Some users report that they’ve already had their handsets replaced at the Genius Bar, while others say they were unable to replicate it at the Apple Store and were subsequently sent home with the same handset.
I haven’t been able to replicate the problem on my iPhone 5, so it’s certainly not a problem with every model. Apple introduced a new display for the iPhone 5 — one that’s thinner and lighter thanks to in-cell touch technology — and first-generation products sometimes do suffer from teething issues.
If yours is one of them, take it into Apple and see if a Genius can help. As long as you can demonstrate the problem, your iPhone should be swapped.
Apple is yet to comment on this problem, and we’re not holding our breath, either.