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Old Oct 10, 2007, 08:30 AM   #1
PDE
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Iphone/Itouch screen scan lines?

I've noticed that there are faint and occasional 'scan lines' on my iphone display. They're not visible all the time and everywhere, but they appear as a slight pattern of horizontal lines on solids. If I flip the iphone into portrait mode, the lines are vertical from top to bottom.

I went to check in the Apple store and, sure enough, many of the ipod touch exhibit the same issue, and some of the iphones too. It's very subtle, but I do notice it.

Has anybody noticed this? My eyes are very sensitive to these kinds of things - my girlfriend didn't notice until I pointed it out.

My display is a '5XXXXX'.

Oh, yes, my phone is unlocked and, yes, these lines were there before I unlocked it too. No correlation, move on please.
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Old Oct 10, 2007, 09:08 AM   #2
Fuchal
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Originally Posted by PDE View Post
I've noticed that there are faint and occasional 'scan lines' on my iphone display. They're not visible all the time and everywhere, but they appear as a slight pattern of horizontal lines on solids. If I flip the iphone into portrait mode, the lines are vertical from top to bottom.

I went to check in the Apple store and, sure enough, many of the ipod touch exhibit the same issue, and some of the iphones too. It's very subtle, but I do notice it.

Has anybody noticed this? My eyes are very sensitive to these kinds of things - my girlfriend didn't notice until I pointed it out.

My display is a '5XXXXX'.

Oh, yes, my phone is unlocked and, yes, these lines were there before I unlocked it too. No correlation, move on please.
I've noticed it occasionally on my replacement iPhone. I've decided to just deal with it as it is very minor and not very noticable even when I try to look for it, because I had to go through 4 iPods just to get this one without a negative black screen or battery problems. Since those issues are gone, and negative black issue is still a big problem, I'm not going to worry about a few scan lines every once and a while.

But I have noticed it. And I know it wasn't on my original iPhone.
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Old Oct 10, 2007, 09:13 AM   #3
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I've noticed it occasionally on my replacement iPhone. I've decided to just deal with it as it is very minor and not very noticable even when I try to look for it, because I had to go through 4 iPods just to get this one without a negative black screen or battery problems. Since those issues are gone, and negative black issue is still a big problem, I'm not going to worry about a few scan lines every once and a while.

But I have noticed it. And I know it wasn't on my original iPhone.
Yes, it's very very minimal so I'm not going to worry about it either. I wonder if anybody has talked to Apple about this to see what they have to say? This seems to be a problem that might be fixable with an update.

BTW, which model display do you have on your replacement?
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Old Oct 10, 2007, 09:34 AM   #4
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Yes, it's very very minimal so I'm not going to worry about it either. I wonder if anybody has talked to Apple about this to see what they have to say? This seems to be a problem that might be fixable with an update.

BTW, which model display do you have on your replacement?
its 7459072
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Old Oct 10, 2007, 01:18 PM   #5
mspy
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I had the same problem. The easiest place to see it was in the gray area around the camera launch icon. If I moved the phone back and forth a little it was easier to see it. It was bugging me quite a bit so I took it to the Apple store and with some convincing and second opinion they exchanged it for me. The new one does not have the problem . . . but the new one has the "negative black" issue and something behind the glass at the bottom. I did not think or know to lookout for that. Doh! So I took that one back to the store the next day and they claimed it was in spec so I am not happy. I would rather have my original one back. I will try to get it exchanged again once it looks like the acknowledge the "black" issue. And next time I know to use the Jay-Z picture to prove it is defective. What gets me about the "in spec" thing is they don't even have an official way to test it. And the other thing that irks me is Apple is a company all about classy, good looking stuff including their displays but will let you have a $600 phone that looks like ******. Enough ranting for now.

BTW, I got the phone the day it was available. I don't know if I just did not notice but it did look like the scan lines had gotten worse over time.

MSPY
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Old Oct 10, 2007, 01:27 PM   #6
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I had the same problem. The easiest place to see it was in the gray area around the camera launch icon. If I moved the phone back and forth a little it was easier to see it. It was bugging me quite a bit so I took it to the Apple store and with some convincing and second opinion they exchanged it for me. The new one does not have the problem . . . but the new one has the "negative black" issue and something behind the glass at the bottom. I did not think or know to lookout for that. Doh! So I took that one back to the store the next day and they claimed it was in spec so I am not happy. I would rather have my original one back. I will try to get it exchanged again once it looks like the acknowledge the "black" issue. And next time I know to use the Jay-Z picture to prove it is defective. What gets me about the "in spec" thing is they don't even have an official way to test it. And the other thing that irks me is Apple is a company all about classy, good looking stuff including their displays but will let you have a $600 phone that looks like ******. Enough ranting for now.

BTW, I got the phone the day it was available. I don't know if I just did not notice but it did look like the scan lines had gotten worse over time.

MSPY
Yes, I agree completely. The funny thing is, this "within spec" screen was brought to 2 Apple stores while I was trying to find a good one, and in both stores the geniuses said both "your screen looks terrible compared to mine" and "this looks like sh**". Both said "there is definitely something wrong". So if geniuses at these stores both clearly say something is wrong, then there is clearly a problem. "Within spec" is probably what Apple is telling stores to claim so that they don't have to replace half a million defective phones. Thankfully these stores went out of their way to help me find a phone that didn't have the issue.

Funny when you can take a free camera phone and have it display the Jay-Z picture better than a "within spec" $400 iPhone.
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Old Oct 10, 2007, 05:10 PM   #7
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Ever since the opening of Apple Stores, geniuses have been telling me that obvious problems are 'within spec'. When I tell them that none of the floor models exhibit the problem, they reply that there 'manufacturing tolerances' and that 'it's just the way it is'. I find especially annoying when the issues are cosmetic since, as you said, Apple always brags about its design and quality and makes such an issue of it, but then when I complain about things, they suddenly seem to have no standards at all.


As for the display - it's really not something that bother me too much, but course I'd be happy if Apple could address it. I think a lot of people have this issue, but people just don't notice it if they don't look for it (which is great, but once you've seen it it's impossible to 'unsee' it).
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Old Sep 23, 2008, 10:26 AM   #8
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I have this problem on a 3G iPhone... I'm gonna bring it back tonight and see what they say.
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Old Sep 23, 2008, 10:54 AM   #9
mspy
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TheSpaz

Be careful. All the phones I have seen, even my 3G, have scan lines. If there are not any other problems like the "negative black" issue I would consider not taking it back because what happened to me last time was I ended up with a worse iPhone which was harder for me to get exchanged.

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Old Oct 16, 2008, 10:19 PM   #10
swampf0x
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Itouch 1.1.4 Grey horizontal line very noticable

So theres this bold grey line running across my screen of my itouch and i can even see it when i put the itouch into sleep mode etc. When i change the position of a web page (like flipping the page) it stays in the same place. Theres a weird chemical like yellow aura coming off the line that can be easily seen. Does anyone know if this is cosmetic or a serious damage to my itouch? I was going to sell it to a friend, but well now, I don't know.
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Old Oct 16, 2008, 10:36 PM   #11
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TheSpaz

Be careful. All the phones I have seen, even my 3G, have scan lines. If there are not any other problems like the "negative black" issue I would consider not taking it back because what happened to me last time was I ended up with a worse iPhone which was harder for me to get exchanged.

MSPY
Just to let you know... not all iPhone 3Gs have the scan lines. I finally got one with NONE... seriously... no scanlines on my 6th iPhone 3G. I exchanged it for other problems and now this one happens to also not have the lines.
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Old Dec 26, 2008, 04:07 AM   #12
Morn
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I've noticed this. Infact it seems to be on all of iPhones and iPod touches. Some of them are worse, some barely noticable however. So clearly apple has to say within spec for such a widespread problem just due to the economics of it...
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Old Dec 26, 2008, 10:09 AM   #13
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I've noticed this. Infact it seems to be on all of iPhones and iPod touches. Some of them are worse, some barely noticable however. So clearly apple has to say within spec for such a widespread problem just due to the economics of it...
No. It's not on ALL iPhones and iPod touch's I have an iPhone 3G here without ANY effect of this and my 1st Gen iPod touch doesn't have it either. Neither did my old iPhone 1st Gen. I did have this problem on 3 of my iPhone 3Gs (that were replaced for other problems) and my girlfriend's iPod touch. So I know exactly what they look like, but they're not on ALL iPhones and iPod touch's.
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Old Dec 26, 2008, 07:28 PM   #14
Morn
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Probably one of the 'barely noticable' ones. lucky.
From looking at the on the floor ones they seem to be in the minority.
Hope later revisions use a better LCD panel.
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Old Jan 3, 2009, 11:15 PM   #15
Morn
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I've noticed, now I know what to look for. Blackberry Bolds have this same issue! And read an article of compliants about scan lines on sony psp's. Maybe it's some sort of dithering used commonly on mobile devices. Thoughts?
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Old Jan 3, 2009, 11:44 PM   #16
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I've noticed, now I know what to look for. Blackberry Bolds have this same issue! And read an article of compliants about scan lines on sony psp's. Maybe it's some sort of dithering used commonly on mobile devices. Thoughts?
I really wish I knew what it was. I have two first gen iPhones here, an iPod touch, and an iPhone 3G that does not have these lines, but almost every other iPhone 3G I've ever seen (plus every 2nd gen iPod touch) has these lines. My advice, get a 1st gen iPhone, because I think they used higher quality screens.
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Old Mar 24, 2009, 09:21 AM   #17
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I just got my brand new iPod Touch 2G. I have never seen or used one of these devices before, but there are strong scan lines in the screen all the time. It's very noticeable when scrolling through app icons. It's noticeable enough to my eyes that I was wondering if it was some kind of defect or if they are all that way.

My Palm m515 has these scan lines too, to a much lesser extent generally. The iPod Touch 2G is much brighter though, and brightness increases visibility of the lines.

It's mostly only visible if the iPod is moving or if the content on the screen is moving. If it's just sitting on the table not doing anything it's not generally visible. It's something to do with the speed at which my eyes move as well.
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Old Mar 24, 2009, 09:34 AM   #18
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I just got my brand new iPod Touch 2G. I have never seen or used one of these devices before, but there are strong scan lines in the screen all the time. It's very noticeable when scrolling through app icons. It's noticeable enough to my eyes that I was wondering if it was some kind of defect or if they are all that way.

My Palm m515 has these scan lines too, to a much lesser extent generally. The iPod Touch 2G is much brighter though, and brightness increases visibility of the lines.

It's mostly only visible if the iPod is moving or if the content on the screen is moving. If it's just sitting on the table not doing anything it's not generally visible. It's something to do with the speed at which my eyes move as well.
Yup... these are the scan lines. Tell you what. There ARE units out there without the scan lines. My first generation iPod touch has none... my 2G iPhone has none and my 3G iPhone has none... however... The first three 3Gs I owned had horrible scan lines all over the screen... I got lucky with this last one. I think it has something to do with how well it's put together. You could try bringing it back and getting one that's more bearable to look at or with none at all. While you're there... ask to look at a few until you're happy... they let me do that. Apple is so nice. By the way... I hate scan lines too... I wonder what causes them.
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Old Mar 25, 2009, 08:05 AM   #19
Kevenly
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Thanks for the reply. Mine was custom engraved and sent out directly from the factory, so going back to a store and sorting through them isn't an option for me. Since it sounds to me to be the rule much more than the exception I'll just have to live with it. I read a lot about how they went with a yellow tint on the 2G Touch units, but my screen is as blue as blue can be when looking at off-angles. Other than the awful scan lines the display otherwise looks great... And the device itself is just incredible. It's very curious that you've found some without the lines, but Apple does use varying components in all of its hardware models.

I've no idea what causes them in these small screens, but Sony did release some statements in response to people complaining about the PSP. They said that they employed a technique that eliminated ghosting on the display, but the side effect of that is that it creates the scan lines. I don't know if the PSP lines were the same as the PSP, but perhaps Apple made the same decision. They've been pushing the gaming and video abilities of the Touch, maybe they wanted to crank of the display response time. However, if you can find some that don't have the lines then I suppose that doesn't compute.. That is unless they would consider your line-free units to be "defective". Ha...
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Old Mar 25, 2009, 03:20 PM   #20
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Absolutely true, had a 8gb exchanged it for 16gb and got the scan lines.
Bought another 8gb lucky it was same as the first one changed the screens moved the 8gb screen to the 16gb now I have 16gb that is perfect no scan lines.

Also to know these scan lines are simply bad adjustment on the LCD scan frequency.

Nintendo Gameboy Advance had the same issue but it had a small pot inside that I was adjusting with a screwdriver and made it perfect. PSOne had the same issue but also had a pot inside to adjust. Now the iPHONE lcd's either have a tiny pot (I had not search for it) or it is adjusted via software.

So whomever believes that these scanlines do not exist has no idea what they are talking about.

All LCD's are for sure adjustable but the question is weather the end user can do it.

That should close any arguments on this topic.

Damn I was pissed when I saw the 16gb screen.
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Old Jun 20, 2009, 06:57 PM   #21
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Am I ever so glad I found this thread! The same exact thing is happening to mine. I just bought a new iPhone 3G S on launch day and I thought I was going crazy seeing these scan lines on the screen as when I show my father, he can't see them, but I definitely do. And the worse part is, that once you know they're there you somewhat tend to focus on it. I'm planning to exchange it in hopes to get a better one. My Original iPhone DEFINITELY did not have this and I am somewhat disappointed. If I pay $200+ on something I want it to be somewhat perfect and without lines especially considering it came right out of the box. We'll see what happens...
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Old Jun 20, 2009, 07:27 PM   #22
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Am I ever so glad I found this thread! The same exact thing is happening to mine. I just bought a new iPhone 3G S on launch day and I thought I was going crazy seeing these scan lines on the screen as when I show my father, he can't see them, but I definitely do. And the worse part is, that once you know they're there you somewhat tend to focus on it. I'm planning to exchange it in hopes to get a better one. My Original iPhone DEFINITELY did not have this and I am somewhat disappointed. If I pay $200+ on something I want it to be somewhat perfect and without lines especially considering it came right out of the box. We'll see what happens...
Finally! Someone who sees what I see. I'm just happy that I'm not the only one who sees this phenomenon. Whew. I wish there was a way to show the nay-sayers what we mean.
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Old Jul 4, 2009, 06:06 PM   #23
samven582
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wow I just notice this on my iphone 3GS
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Old Jul 4, 2009, 06:10 PM   #24
TheSpaz
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wow I just notice this on my iphone 3GS
I think that anyone who is used to a computer display should be able to notice strange lines appear on the screen.

I'm curious as to what actually causes the lines in mobile screens but not in computer screens. Maybe it has to do with power saving.
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Old Jul 4, 2009, 06:15 PM   #25
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I think that anyone who is used to a computer display should be able to notice strange lines appear on the screen.

I'm curious as to what actually causes the lines in mobile screens but not in computer screens. Maybe it has to do with power saving.

I think its the refresh rate that is causing scan lines.
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