Other Has Apple solved the PWM issues on new upcoming iPhone 12 models?

MrMiyagi1

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 22, 2019
33
12
As the title asks. Do you believe that due to no lcd iPhone in the 12 line up that Apple has finally solved the pwm issues that were causing people such as myself eye strains and headaches on OLED displays?

I feel that personally the reasons why Apple had a lcd option available is due to giving people a chance to buy a newer iPhone who suffered from the pwm and also because it’s cheaper the lcd models.

I am planning on getting the iPhone 12 5.4” model. However if Apple hasn’t sorted out the pwm issue then I guess I would buy the iPhone SE instead.
 

MrMiyagi1

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 22, 2019
33
12
I don’t think Apple will have materially changed the PWM in the new phones, though I’m an uneducated muppet so could be wrong.
I hope they have. I mean surely Apple knows the issue that PWM causes to some people and it makes sense for them to address the problem. So people can buy the newer iPhones instead of relying on lcd iPhones.
 
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aakshey

macrumors 68020
Jun 13, 2016
2,124
861
I hope they have. I mean surely Apple knows the issue that PWM causes to some people and it makes sense for them to address the problem. So people can buy the newer iPhones instead of relying on lcd iPhones.
I doubt it. There might be a minor difference. But don’t expect anything super major.
 
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now i see it

macrumors 601
Jan 2, 2002
4,966
9,910
They refuse to admit that their OLED screens are a health hazard (for some people) and continue selling them. At least there's the 2020 SE and refurbished 8 Plus models still available.

Cutting edge, best in class, luxury brand- HA! And we're stuck with a 10 year old regurgitated design or a discontinued model.
 

freeagent

macrumors regular
Mar 9, 2020
181
85
I wonder if it’s a fault with the display, rather than a widespread problem? There are 5 people in my house, and nobody sees any flicker on my xs max.
 
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ericwn

macrumors 601
Apr 24, 2016
4,378
2,676
One can of course only speculate but I don’t expect major changes with the fourth iPhone year with OLED on offer.
 

russell_314

macrumors 65816
Feb 10, 2019
1,225
1,638
USA
They refuse to admit that their OLED screens are a health hazard (for some people) and continue selling them. At least there's the 2020 SE and refurbished 8 Plus models still available.

Cutting edge, best in class, luxury brand- HA! And we're stuck with a 10 year old regurgitated design or a discontinued model.
I thought it was the 5G that was supposed to kill us but secretly it's the screen! :eek:
 

TiggrToo

macrumors 68000
Aug 24, 2017
1,586
3,895
Out there...way out there
They refuse to admit that their OLED screens are a health hazard (for some people) and continue selling them. At least there's the 2020 SE and refurbished 8 Plus models still available.

Cutting edge, best in class, luxury brand- HA! And we're stuck with a 10 year old regurgitated design or a discontinued model.
What health hazard?
- - Post merged: - -

I thought it was the 5G that was supposed to kill us but secretly it's the screen! :eek:
If the 12 Pro does come armed with 5G and OLED then would it be classed as a deadly weapon...? 🤔
 

tonybarnaby

macrumors 68020
Dec 3, 2017
2,117
1,473
I don’t think there has ever been a mass produced oled screen that didn’t utilize PWM. This isn’t on Apple, it’s just the nature of the tech. I would feel pretty confident in assuming 100% that there will indeed be pwm in the 2020 lineup. If you want an oled and can’t handle pwm, the only real option I know of is OnePlus offering DC Dimming on their oled phones. I have never talked to anyone who used it to know if it legitimately helps, but that’s the only option that is available with the current tech. The chances of Apple including a DC Dimming option are most likely zero.
 

kerplunknet

macrumors 6502
Oct 8, 2006
363
617
There are two types of people in this world: those who believe PWM is an issue (affecting some greatly and others not so much) and those who are wrong/ignorant.

There is no debate: PWM is an issue.
- - Post merged: - -

I don’t think there has ever been a mass produced oled screen that didn’t utilize PWM. This isn’t on Apple, it’s just the nature of the tech. I would feel pretty confident in assuming 100% that there will indeed be pwm in the 2020 lineup. If you want an oled and can’t handle pwm, the only real option I know of is OnePlus offering DC Dimming on their oled phones. I have never talked to anyone who used it to know if it legitimately helps, but that’s the only option that is available with the current tech. The chances of Apple including a DC Dimming option are most likely zero.
My LG TV doesn't use PWM and is OLED.

Source: https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/lg/c9-oled

"Flicker-Free: Yes

PWM Dimming Frequency: 0 Hz

The LG C9 doesn't use PWM, as there's no backlight, but there's a slight dip in brightness approximately every 8 ms, which coincides with the TV's refresh rate. This shouldn't be noticeable."
 
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ksec

macrumors 65816
Dec 23, 2015
1,213
1,196
Those PWM issues only kicks in if you lower the screen brightness. So as long as you set it to Max or close to max it should be fine. For Apple the threshold tends to be higher than other brand. And hence why battery isn't as good as some expected.

Personally it is much more of a problem iPhone 12 uses OLED from BOE, which doesn't have Diamond Pentile pattern.
 
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kerplunknet

macrumors 6502
Oct 8, 2006
363
617
No, it's not, and here's why:

PWM in OLED displays can be an issue for some users at low enough frequencies. At 3,000Hz or higher though it should be much better.

PWM in and of itself is NOT an issue. PWM is a generic term not limited to OLED displays
I fully understand how pulse-width modulation works. When I write about PWM on these forums, I speak in very elementary sentences because people tune out when going into detail.

In keeping with this simplistic way of explaining, imagine PWM is like someone pinching your arm. Low frequency PWM is a very hard pinch and higher frequencies are a lighter pinch. Regardless of the frequency, your arm is being pinched.

In direct response to your points:
  1. PWM in any display, not just OLED, is problematic. Not sure why you said it's just OLED. For example, LCD monitors coined the term "flicker-free" because people were complaining about this exact issue.
  2. As I illustrated with my example, any PWM is still undesirable, it's just easier to tolerate when its a higher frequency. 3,000Hz is not acceptable in my opinion. MacBook Pro PWM is 165,000 Hz.
 

Stuey3D

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2014
508
471
Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
There has to be a real issue for them to fix something.
Just because it isn’t a problem for you doesn’t mean others don’t suffer from issues.

It’s like high pitched coil whine or those annoy a teen apps, just because you can’t hear it doesn’t mean the issue doesn’t effect other people.

For me personally low frequency PWM like what the iPhone OLED uses is bloody painful, it makes my eyes throb and go itchy and gives me a major migraine. Took me nearly a year and multiple eye tests to realise that my iPhone X was torturing me, it was stumbling upon a thread on here that alerted me to the issue.

I traded the X in for the XR and now the 11 and I have 0 eye/headaches with those phones. I now also have an Apple Watch Series 3 and on the first day I had that doing all the setup stuff and looking at the screen lots I had the same Eye/Headaches again, however thankfully being a watch I only give it occasional glances and therefore I don’t look at it long enough to cause the problems.
 

alpi123

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2014
1,245
1,221
How exactly do you expect us to know? It's a completely unreleased product and is months away from being released.
 
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Maven1975

macrumors 6502a
Aug 24, 2008
893
118
I highly doubt Apple will use an analogue PWM controller as I’m sure the must cost .12 cents more and are about .0005mm’s thicker.

One can hope tho....

It all comes down to the controller. Analogue controllers do not exhibit PWM like digital ones. (For the most part)

Look at LED lighting. There are many cheaper brands that use digital controllers that will exibit the same issue.

I am using an IPP as it is the most powerfull Apple portable device I can use comfortably. (Rather like it now in comparison to laptops)

However, I do I have a Thinkpad for those times I do need a laptop with a beautiful screen and no PWM.
 
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Stuey3D

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2014
508
471
Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
Right now the way to avoid PWM on a OLED iPhone is to do the reduce white point hack and make sure the brightness doesn’t drop below 50% which is a bit of a ball ache but by all accounts works.

Why doesn’t Apple put a switch in the accessibility settings for reduce flicker. Then the iPhone will dim to just before PWM as normal then the reduce white point after that. To us the phone would be working as normal without any convoluted steps.

They could put the description “Reduces flicker of the screen at low brightness, may effect colour accuracy at lower brightness”

I believe this is what OnePlus are actually doing when you use “DC dimming mode on their screens” from reading up about it. I think someone tested it and you get a little black crush and a slight gamma shift when it is enabled. For us to be able to upgrade to a future iPhone I think we can handle slightly wonky colours at low brightness to have a screen that doesn’t make us want to gouge our eyes out with a spoon.
 

freeagent

macrumors regular
Mar 9, 2020
181
85
I don’t know what to think. I think “some people” have a harder time than others. I don’t think it’s a problem with the tech itself. Since I’ve discovered this “issue” on this forum I’ve given my phone to family, friends, co workers, about 20 people and no one saw any kind of flicker, stutter, nothing. I have an XS Max. Maybe you need new glasses? Don’t know. I don’t wear glasses so.. either I got a good one, and you guys didn’t, or you have a problem we don’t have.
 
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