NEWS: 08.21.20 – Apple smartphone users who have been reporting a greenish hue on their iPhone screens now have a solution care of a new software update issued for iOS.
Last Wednesday, Apple released iOS 13.6.1 to address, among other issues, a specific bug that caused some iPhones — mainly 2019’s flagship models, the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max — to exhibit a tinted appearance. The minor quirk was noticed by owners of the affected devices who reported the problem on such online venues like Reddit as well as the company’s own community discussion forums.
An owner of an iPhone 11 Pro who was seeking help to find a fix for this minor quirk on their own device posted a thread to the Apple Support Communities discussion forums aboutt their screen having a green tint and that taking a screenshot and viewing it on another display did not exhibit the problem, adding that the issue presented itself randomly. A community specialist — someone presumably from the company itself — outlined steps to take, such as updating to the latest version of iOS and turning off colored filters in the accessibility settings, however, after doing both, the individual in question reported that the suggested solutions did not work. A second specialist advised them to contact Apple Support as the next step.
“It’s so annoying,” the owner of the affected device wrote in the post.
In an official Apple Support page titled “About iOS 13 Updates,” Apple indicated in the release notes — specifically in regard to version 13.6.1 — that the recently issued software update included fixes for some minor bugs in the iPhone, namely, a bug which was described as a thermal management issue that caused some displays to exhibit a green tint. Other issues the fix addressed were one where unneeded system data files might not be automatically deleted when available storage was low and another where exposure notifications (for COVID-19 contact tracing) could become disabled.
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Described as unusual by the website MacRumors, the Apple news rumor site was the first to make public earlier in June the green tint issue that some iPhone owners were facing, reporting that the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max appeared to have been the primarily affected devices but that there were also some iPhone X users included in the mix. Its report was based on a number of complaints — dating all the way back to May of this year — from people whose phones were exhibiting the problem and posted such to the website’s own reader forums.
The majority of owners with the affected Apple smartphones reported that the problem was visible for only a few seconds after unlocking the iPhone’s screen.
Other reports stated that the issue occurred in the evening with either dark mode or night shift enabled. Other occurrences happened when brightness was set to the lowest possible levels. Most notably, Some people reported that they were able to get the green tint to go away following a device restart while others were unsuccessful even after attempting to do so.
One iPhone owner in particular, the person who started the thread, explained in great detail the issue they were experiencing in the following post to the MacRumors reader forums:
“About 25% of the time when I unlock my launch day iPhone 11 Pro, the screen looks all washed out with a green tint. After about 3 seconds, it flashes back to normal. Anyone ever have this happen or know if this is a problem on iPhone 11s? I should probably do a restore / set up as new but I’m trying to avoid that if possible.”
According to a number of posts on the website’s reader forums, the green tint surfaced after devices were updated to iOS 13.4.1. iOS 13.5 and iOS 13.5.1 also appeared to have the minor quirk as well. Based on the reports from iPhone owners, MacRumors posited that the problem people were experiencing may have been due to a software issue.
The website iDrop News, an Apple-centric news site, reported last week that the minor quirk was not a widespread problem to begin with. In the website’s report, owners of the affected Apple smartphones surmised that the green tint may have been attributed to a software issue related to the color matching algorithms utilized by the True Tone displays used for the iPhone’s screen.
However, the owner of the iPhone 11 Pro who posted a thread to the Apple Support Communities discussion forums about the green tint issue on their screen told the community specialist who was helping them find a solution that turning off True Tone in settings did not resolve the problem either.
On the other end of the spectrum, a report from Forbes magazine — published just days after MacRumors broke the story about the screen problem being faced by some iPhone owners — revealed that Apple had unofficially confirmed problems with the screens used in its smartphones stemming from an underlying issue in the phone’s OLED displays. Described by the business news publication as a flaw, for some, the defective display Needed to be replaced with a new one.
Forbes reported that Apple was accepting the problem as a hardware issue, and, in some instances, for those iPhone owners whose screens were exhibiting severe cases of the green tint involved, the company was quietly giving its approval for the defective displays to be replaced under warranty.
For those with iPhones where the defect in question came to light following an iOS update, people that had defective displays first noticed that the flaw became apparent after updating to iOS 13.4, becoming worse in iOS 13.5, and worst yet in iOS 13.5.1. The magazine reported that the bizarre hue — which colored the entire screen — for some, would occur only momentarily (as corroborated by MacRumors), but, for others, it remained permanently. Lending credence to a problem related to the iPhone hardware were a number of reports from owners of the affected devices who also found (similar to what was done by the owner of the iPhone 11 Pro from the Apple Support Communities discussion forums) that taking a screenshot and viewing it on another display did not show the green tint, suggesting that the colorization was not a result of a software issue.
While Forbes reported that complaints of the green tint issue have included (again, as corroborated by MacRumors) the iPhone X, according to the magazine, the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max appeared to be affected the most. An individual who purchased directly from Apple, brand new, the former of the two 2019 iPhone models that have been exhibiting the problem (which seems to be a common denominator) immediately noticed the display defect with their screen while still in-store after powering on the device for the very first time.
“I purchased the phone straight out of the box and complained about the swamp-like green haze on the display the minute I turned the phone on, only to be told by the store manager at Apple that [it] was ‘a character trait of the phone,'” the unnamed source told the business news publication.
It was not clear (nor is it currently known at the moment either) how many iPhones were affected by a defective display. Forbes hypothesized that the green tint issue — which the magazine also speculated may have been attributed to a bad batch of displays — was a combination of software and hardware related factors and it was unknown whether the fix would come from an iOS update (since released by Apple), or, possibly, a product recall.
At the time, Apple had not yet officially acknowledge the problem that iPhone owners were having with their screens (now known to have been “a thermal management issue” as stated in the iOS 13.6.1 release notes) and the company declined to provide an official statement or comment on the matter after each was requested by the business news publication.
A Note from the Author: the image featured herein was procured from and courtesy of the website iDrop News via the same article cited within as source material for this story. (Full Disclosure: earlier this week, this writer posted — as user “Pismo 900” — the solution to the problem faced by the individual from the Apple Support Communities discussion forums referenced throughout).