iPhone 3G screens yellow by design, firmware fix available [updated] | iLounge News


iPhone 3G screens yellow by design, firmware fix available [updated]


Following our report on the yellow tint apparent in many iPhone 3G screens, Apple has confirmed that the screen has a warmer look by design. Apple’s senior director of iPhone product marketing, Bob Borchers, said, “We moved the white point in order to make [the display feel] more natural,” noting that customers would likely appreciate a warmer color temperature, particularly when viewing photos. Ars Technica, however, reports that an updated version of the iPhone 3G firmware — labeled version 5A347 as opposed to the 5A345 version that ships on the devices — changes the color calibration to be less yellow. The 5A347 firmware is not available though the “Check for Update” feature in iTunes, but can be installed by clicking on the “Restore” button.

Update: John Gruber of Daring Fireball reports that a source on Apple’s iPhone engineering team confirmed that there were no changes regarding display color temperature between 5A345 and 5A347, questioning the accuracy of Ars Technica’s earlier report.

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hardly an issue to begin with

Posted by Andrew Horn on July 14, 2008 at 3:07 PM (CDT)


For some it might be!

I don’t like the yellow tinge one bit and noticed it well before comparing to my previous iPhone.

I personally hope it is put back as it was or at least we are given an option to do so in a future firmware.

Posted by Craig on July 14, 2008 at 6:43 PM (CDT)


The yellow tint is fine by me.  It’s close to how my properly calibrated displays look at 6500K and gamma 1.8. 

Remember, there’s no such thing as “white” exactly.  All light has some color temperature associated with it.  Your tungsten lightbulbs are 2500K.  The sun ranges from 5000K to 6500K under different atmospheric conditions, and that whole range is perceived as very yellow compared to a CRT monitor at 9000K.

Posted by Patrick Austin on July 15, 2008 at 9:45 AM (CDT)


Patrick, you are absolutely right. Many people panic when they see a newly calibrated monitor for the first time—almost by definition, calibrated monitors look more “yellow.”

But the technical explanation is this—the 3G phone is “warmer” on the temperature scale.  Call it what you will, the results are clearly superior—photos look better, text is more readable.

And I am astonished that people are not getting excited about a fundamental improvement here:  the 3G screen is a LOT brighter than the original iPhone.  I compared mine to ten 3Gs at the Apple Store and by comparison my screen looks dull, lifeless, just plain awful.—at any brightness setting.

Say what you will—the new screen is an improvement over the old one.

Posted by random person on July 16, 2008 at 2:33 PM (CDT)


The display color temperature is a personal preference, unless you’re doing color matching. So, it makes little sense to tell someone what they “should like”. Now, I have no inside information on any changes Apple may, or may not, have made. But I can tell you that 5A345 made my iPhone display look like someone had peed all over it—I was concerned enough to be considering a replacement. But, after having restored to 5A347, I find the display much more acceptable, irrespective of what John Gruber claims to know.

Posted by chashulme on July 16, 2008 at 6:24 PM (CDT)


Purchased two new iPhones 3Gs over the weekend. One is yellower than the other.

Posted by Frederick on November 3, 2009 at 8:20 AM (CST)

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