iPhone 3G ships with yellow screen

July 14, 2008 | 09:09

Tags: #3g #iphone #yellow

Companies: #apple

Anyone who has upgraded from an original iPhone to the new 3G model may have noticed that the screen is a little warmer than it used to be.

The LCD on the latest 3G iPhone model from Apple is brighter than the original, but that improvement comes at an interesting cost – a colder white point. Whereas the original screen had a white point temperature of 8300k, according to measurements taken by Richard Baguley of Wirelessinfo.com the new screen is somewhere closer to 7000k. This translates to a yellow cast that some are calling the 'pee filter'.

MacWorld has spoken to Apple regarding the 'pee filter', and got a reply from marketing director Bob Borchers saying that “[Apple] moved the white point in order to make [the display] feel more natural.” Unlike desktop systems, the iPhone doesn't feature a user-configurable colour temperature – meaning that if you buy an iPhone 3G you'd better learn to enjoy a 'more natural' display.

There is evidence that the colour cast can be adjusted in software, even if such functionality hasn't been added to the OS yet, however. Forum users over on Ars Technica have discovered that boxed iPhone 3Gs are being sold with an outdated firmware revision – 2.0 5A345 – which has a colder white point compared compared to the latest firmware – 2.0 5A347 at the time of writing. While the latest release doesn't return the screen to the harsh clinical white of the original, it does make it look a little less like it's been dipped in horse urine.

If you want to try the latest firmware out, it's just a case of plugging your iPhone 3G into your main desktop computer, running a backup, and then restoring again. Ars reckons it'll take at least half an hour, but then you should be running the very latest firmware release. Let's hope that a future firmware features user-selectable colour temperature, and then users won't have to choose between the latest firmware and a particular white point that suits their needs.

Any iPhone 3G users reading that have noticed the new colour temperature? Does the screen feel 'more natural' now, or did you prefer the sharper tones on the original? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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