The Great iPhone 'Screen' Debate

Dennis Faas's picture

iPhone users have flooded the Apple support site, as well as numerous other sites, complaining about problematic iPhone screens. Consumers are angry that the screens labelled as LCD panel ID "7" display a faint grid of dots and are dimmer than those with a panel ID of 5. (Source:

Entering *3001#12345#* (including the asterisks) on an iPhone and hitting the Call button puts the phone into Field Test Mode. From this mode, users can view information about the iPhone's hardware, such as the firmware versions and the LCD panel ID number. The panel IDs that start with a 7 are getting criticized by consumers who insist that the panel ID 5 phones display a much sharper image.

"I'm a bit disappointed in it, especially since we paid the same price as everyone else and are getting what appears to be a lesser quality product," wrote user "FBMike" on the Apple forum. (Source:

Meanwhile, others have speculated on the root of the issue. One user, "sandman32," hypothesized that the pattern consumers are faced with is "due to the spacing or alignment of the touch screen grid and the display pixels. If this is the case, it could be that there's some variation from one unit to the other, depending on how the sensing grid is overlaid over the display. Could be that very small variations in alignment, that could be very hard for the manufacturer to control, would cause this effect." (Source:

Some users reported that when they tried to exchanged their iPhones, Apple staff assured them that their screens were normal. However, others had better luck, most notably over the phone with Apple Support.

Could it be that iPhone users are being too picky and demanding? Should they just suck it up and deal with the slightly less vibrant image?

Many people would answer those questions with resounding a resounding "NO!" And can you blame them? With the $599 price tag hanging from the iPhone, it's natural that expectations would be just as hefty.

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