Updated: Is the backlight supposed to be blue? | iLounge News

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Updated: Is the backlight supposed to be blue?

Author's pic

By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Wednesday, May 21, 2003
News Categories: iPod

A new photo has been submitted by the same reader that started us on the blue backlight journey. This new photo shows a direct comparison of a new 30GB and a 15GB iPod. Click “Read more” for photo.

“Here is a comparison picture of my 30GB that I got about four days after its release, and a 15GB that was just shipped a few days ago. Both have the backlight on. It is very obvious that the backlight is white and dim on the left “older” 30GB iPod, and bright and blue on the right newer one [15GB]. Also the screen is MUCH clearer on the newer new iPod (although not in the picture, I took it with my Palm Zire71!).”

pic

In our ongoing saga of “Is it white or is it blue?”, iLounger, Matthew S. emailed us the following:

“There are three photos of a 20GB iPod, using varying white balances.  ‘blue1’ is done using the ‘flash’ white balance preset (tungsten 4000K? I didn’t look it up), though without actually using the flash, ‘blue2’ using the ‘automatic’ white balance, and ‘calibrated’ done using calibrated white balance (uses a 50% grey card to set white balance appropriate to the conditions).  They were all shot with a Nikon D100 camera. (Click ‘Read more’ for the full report.)”

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[blue1]

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[blue2]

pic
[calibrated]

“The difference is pretty striking, and you’ll note that even in the manually calibrated version, there is a slight blue tint to the backlight - this is entirely expected as blue is the dominant colour in “white” LEDs.  The precise temperature of the LED varies widely between manufacturers (just try out a couple of different white-led flashlights to see).

The screen also appears quite blue to the naked eye when viewed from even a relatively slight angle.

The moral of the story: there are too many factors involved to make a realistic comparison.  Viewing angle, LED manufacturer, the camera’s white balance, ambient lighting conditions, and simply people’s varying perception of color.  Some iPods probably are blue, but the variations displayed are much more likely to be due to one or two of those reasons than they are to Apple creating a new hardware revision.”

An anonymous iLounger sent us an interesting bit of news about the latest new iPods and LCD backlight. Click here for a photo comparison.

“Yesterday at work (I work at the Apple Store) I had to put out another of the new iPods for demo on the floor (a 15GB). And to my surprise, it was different than every other iPod already out, and different than every one I have seen, including my own 30GB.

The screen was MUCH clearer. It appears to be the promised “new high resolution” screen. I turned the contrast way down and it was still quite visible and clear. And the kicker is that the backlight is BLUE (as promised and as is on the box) and not white. I held the “new” 15GB next to the “old” 15GB and it is quite obvious there is a new, better screen. It is SO much better than the iPods released a few weeks ago. I don’t know if all iPods being shipped have this new screen and backlight but I sure hope so. It is a much better screen.”

Our new 15GB has a white backlight as specified on Apple’s iPod Spec page, but the box and this iPod webpage indicates an iPod has a blue backlight. Is it just Apple’s way of enhancing the advertising photos for advertising’s sake? Or, are the new iPods supposed to have a blue backlight? Does your iPod have a blue backlight? Send us a photo.

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Submitted by a reader. Not the same Apple Store iPod as mentioned above. (15GB iPod)

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iLounge photo. (15GB iPod)

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Comments

81

I was able to get the new 30GB unit by taking it back to the Apple store where I had originally bought it.  I told the guy at the counter that AppleCare told me to swap it out for a new model and he did not say another word.  I was past my 10-day grace period for returns but was well within the 30-day limit that most other manufacturers put on “lemon” products.

If you did not get it from an Apple store, I would recommend badgering AppleCare with phone calls until you get what you want.  I cited the high volume of identical situations being reported by others on the iPod Usage forums at Apple.com.

Good luck.

Posted by cmascatello on May 25, 2003 at 3:42 PM (PDT)

82

I was able to get the new 30GB unit by taking it back to the Apple store where I had originally bought it.  I told the guy at the counter that AppleCare told me to swap it out for a new model and he did not say another word.  I was past my 10-day grace period for returns but was well within the 30-day limit that most other manufacturers put on “lemon” products.

If you did not get it from an Apple store, I would recommend badgering AppleCare with phone calls until you get what you want.  I cited the high volume of identical situations being reported by others on the iPod Usage forums at Apple.com.

Good luck.

Posted by cmascatello on May 25, 2003 at 3:42 PM (PDT)

83

When you guys had your ipods replaced did they give you a new ipod in the retail box and everything?

Posted by rtio in Chicago on May 25, 2003 at 4:13 PM (PDT)

84

Totally new iPod with cellophane wrapping (until I opened it to do the backlight test).

I brought backk all of the original pieces from my 30GB and they did a wholesale swap.  When I got home I actually realised that I had left the little white port covers on my desk at home—how I have 4 of them in case I lose a few.

Posted by cmascatello on May 25, 2003 at 4:36 PM (PDT)

85

One of my biggest problems is that if they get it and they cant find the problem, they are just gonna send it back to me.

Posted by Darkbandit in Charleston, SC on May 25, 2003 at 5:15 PM (PDT)

86

Under what grounds can you return these things? Presumably, a replacement iPod will have the same battery, clicking, channel-switching problems as the one you first bought.

Posted by drmetal in Cleveland on May 26, 2003 at 5:36 PM (PDT)

87

yesterday i compared my 15GB’s screen to that of the 15GB of a friend. his has much more contrast, the letters where much darker (he ordered it right away and mine came 3 weeks later) but they’re both clear WHITE. I’m going to see if i can return mine..
but i ordered it online so i don’t know if i want to miss it a couple of weeks.

Posted by HS-L in utrecht/Holland on May 26, 2003 at 10:31 PM (PDT)

88

The reset problem is not ubiquitous with all 3rd Gen iPods.  That is the symptom I had and the grounds under which the Apple Store gave me a new iPod.

Posted by cmascatello on May 26, 2003 at 10:58 PM (PDT)

89

I’m glad that everyone is getting their’s replaced who is complaining about them. Apple keeps giving me the runaround saying that being the problem isn’t happening constantly, then they won’t replace, just look at it and send it back.

Posted by Darkbandit in Charleston, SC on May 27, 2003 at 8:14 AM (PDT)

90

In my experience with buying the components (LED’s) to build LED flashlights, you order LEDs based on grade and luminosity. The quality of the LED is reflected in price. Often, larger LEDS’s (like the 5 watters) are darn near impossible to get in a perfect white, and cost an arm and a leg. I would imagine that the company (maybe not apple?) that assembled the displays (including backlight) used a variety of different grade LED’s during the manufacture process. This would explain why some are blue, some are blue-ish and some are white.

I’m no expert, but like I said, that has been my experience in the past. Since (I’m pretty sure?) blue absorbs the most light on the color spectrum, I would prefer to have a white one, myself.

Posted by peepokeet in Elk Grove on May 27, 2003 at 12:18 PM (PDT)

91

Except that the blue is so much brighter than the white/gray backlight. 

And just a note: the displays with the blue light isn’t indiglo or like the deep dark blue color cell phones and other devices.  It’s just the LED color that’s a bright bluish/purple.  Under some lighting, it’s quite blue like the above picture, but under other lighting it’s a purple/white color.

Posted by P on May 27, 2003 at 12:33 PM (PDT)

92

i’ve got a problem,.. iPod is broken.. dead battery..
only works while plugged in..

DHL is going to pick it up the day after tomorrow
and in the beginning of next week i’ll have my new one (i’ll check the display again!!  LOL)

Posted by HS-L on May 28, 2003 at 5:20 PM (PDT)

93

I just received my new 30GB iPod today from Dell.  I originally had one of the 30GB units that first came out but returned it because it was much cheaper at Dell.  The backlighting systems are very much different.  On the original 30GB, the backlight color was definitely white, and you couldn’t tell where the LED’s were behind the screen.  The screen was a little ‘sandy’ and hard to read.  The original screen was also very dim, but it was good enough to use in the dark.  On the new iPod I got from Dell today, the 30GB unit has a definite blue backlight, and is MUCH brighter than my original 30GB.  The contrast is also much higher, and to set at a normal level, I had to set it at about 25% or less on the scale bar.  Setting it in the middle will not let you see the screen.  Also, I can see three distinct LEDs on the left side of the screen which I couldn’t see before with the original 30GB.  The screen appears to be crisper than the original as well.

My original 30GB had a lot of ‘reset’ issues.  It was resetting quite often.  My old 20GB iPod never locked up on me.  Hopefully with this newer 30GB unit that I have, I hope that it won’t lock up on me like my previous unit.

Posted by Dude on May 30, 2003 at 8:44 AM (PDT)

94

Mine is having a battery issue as well. After a charge, the battery level keeps fluculating and its being sent back first of next week.

Posted by Darkbandit in Charleston, SC on May 30, 2003 at 2:13 PM (PDT)

95

Well guys… the white or blue thing is not new… in all Apple’s ads you see powerbooks & iBooks with a blue-light apple logo in the back… mine is definitely white (yellowish even)... i had to open it up & put a blue paper to make it blue…

Posted by Dovev on May 31, 2003 at 11:44 AM (PDT)

96

I bought a 15mb ipod,it had blue backlighting, but had to be returned,
as it skipped songs….now I have the white backlight and HATE it.anyone know what serial numbers are running with the newer blue backlighting?

Posted by richard evans on May 31, 2003 at 6:58 PM (PDT)

97

a guy at the apple store here in the netherlands told me that there are two different (white and blue), and that he couldn’t see (from the sn’s) which one i am going to get..!!

HS-L

Posted by HS-L on June 4, 2003 at 4:58 PM (PDT)

98

I love these nerds who want to return their iPods because the contrast isn’t quite sharp enough or the backlighting (which I find I need once or twice a week) is white instead of blue. 

Everyone on the internet is a complainer. 

No, the irony of me complaining about complainers on the intenet is not lost on me

Posted by Eat Me on June 8, 2003 at 6:04 PM (PDT)

99

too much time on your hands,get a life,loser

Posted by richard evans on June 8, 2003 at 6:58 PM (PDT)

100

Has any one heard that there is to be an ipod Pro version to be released w/the ability to pitch shift tracks, ultimately allowing you DJ if you had 2 ipods.

Posted by james on June 10, 2003 at 4:27 AM (PDT)

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