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Iphone Displays Software Apple Hardware Technology

Some iPhone X Displays Plagued By Mysterious 'Green Line of Death' (thenextweb.com) 76

Some iPhone X owners are reporting a random green line appearing on their displays. According to The Next Web, "the defect has already started to take on the endearing 'Green Line of Death' moniker." From the report: Several users across Apple forums and social media have reported the error -- I've counted over a dozen accounts, and MacRumors mentions it's read "at least 25" such reports. Oddly, the issue doesn't appear to affect users immediately, only showing up after some time with regular usage. In some cases it alternates with a purple line, for variety. It generally appears towards the right or left sides of the display, and sometimes it simply disappears altogether. Weird. Either way, it appears to be a hardware defect affecting a small number of users, and Apple appears to be replacing affected units. Mac Rumors first reported the issue.

Some iPhone X Displays Plagued By Mysterious 'Green Line of Death'

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  • Oh, come on, really? We have to have “of death”? It’s just a thin line, jeez.
  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Friday November 10, 2017 @08:33PM (#55529205)

    Do the phones crash when the line appears? If not, this name makes absolutely no sense.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Green Line of Annoyance would be more accurate. But it has more syllables. So Green Line of Death it is.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Friday November 10, 2017 @10:35PM (#55529515) Homepage

      It makes sense as a video firm ware bug, likely triggered by a composite of video instructions of a particular series. Easy fix, reboot, problematic for some phones with fixed batteries because once on, they might not ever fully and totally reboot. Phones need a hard wired no power to the phone switch.

    • While the Android fanboys like to revel in any Apple misfortune and ignore their own problems. For a high end phone like the iPhone X. Such problems from manufacturing defects shouldn’t be in the device.
      However I have heard that the Note 8 is having a similar problem, and that is by no means a cheap copy either.

    • Do the phones crash when the line appears? If not, this name makes absolutely no sense.

      According to TFA, is should be called the "Green Line of getting a replacement iPhone for an otherwise fully functional unit". Too long and not sensationalistic enough.

  • Green means go!

  • by Vegan Cyclist ( 1650427 ) on Friday November 10, 2017 @08:41PM (#55529219) Homepage

    You're just looking at it the wrong way!

    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      It's an OLED screen; in a year [allaboutwindowsphone.com] or [allaboutwindowsphone.com] two [allaboutwindowsphone.com], they'll all be able to get green lines just by telling the phone to draw white ones. ;)

  • Well, sure (Score:5, Funny)

    by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Friday November 10, 2017 @08:43PM (#55529225) Journal
    Green line of death, but only because the Slashdot effect was already taken.
  • Someone on Twitter said it was GameCenter felt trying to come back from the App Style Graveyard.

  • Hmmm. (Score:2, Informative)

    by msauve ( 701917 )
    So, 25 reports, out of how many (hundred thousands / millions)? It can be green or purple, on the left or right side. And, Apple is replacing those that exhibit the problem.

    Is a 25/100000+ failure rate really significant for a brand new device, for any product outside of life critical medical ones?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Considering the only days its been out yes.
      As failure rates are generally calculated over a year and are likely to climb not fall with use, heat and wear and tear.

      • For most electronic devices we have a 48 hour burnin period where device may have a problem. Being that the iPhone X has been sold out for a week. Having only 25 is really a small problem.

    • Re:Hmmm. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 10, 2017 @10:07PM (#55529465)

      Not really.

      It's more that it's a failure that both very visible (a randomly sticking line/column driver) and not fatal (it just messes that line up) and rather unusual, so it's getting attention.

      That apparently two/four column drivers can maybe, sometimes, stick, then maybe unstick on their own or maybe require reset... that's sorta impressive at the hardware level. To get *that* close to everything working, but be so close that this happens now and then. It's probably not use damage (physically damaging the interconnect would be permanent and get worse with time), I'm betting either a defect in the display ASIC (occasionally locking up a line) or a defect in display quality control (letting a few units with some just barely working connects through).

      Given the rate of failure, this would probably have slipped by nearly any QC above the factory production test level (i.e. anything Apple would be doing).

      Reminds me of a local radio station whose transmitter had a very intermittent failure problem... It'd work fine for days, then random lose tx power for a minute. Then keep working fine again. Intermittent faults are the worst.

      • Re:Hmmm. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Saturday November 11, 2017 @12:30AM (#55529723)

        I had a Dell monitor develop a similar issue. Dell UltraSharps are individually tested and calibrated so it wasn't malfunctioning at the factory, but after shipment it had a dodgy green column that would flicker on and off, especially when the monitor had been on for a length of time. Turned out to be a mechanical issue; the panel had shifted slightly in the monitor housing, and as the panel warmed up and expanded with use, the pressure was causing one of the column lines to short.

        The problem could be similar here; thermal expansion and/or battery swelling may be causing pressure on the display. Since the display is held in place at the edges, the strain would be concentrated there, eventually causing a column line to short or separate.

  • Obviously (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by fox171171 ( 1425329 )
    You are holding it wrong.
    • by lucm ( 889690 )

      You are holding it wrong.

      They will just change the design rules and ask developers to add a big green sidebar, like they did for the notch.

  • by meglon ( 1001833 ) on Friday November 10, 2017 @09:56PM (#55529429)
    Just a little bit of the matrix coming undone. Mr Anderson will be by to help you with that soon.
  • It takes courage to show a green line of death.
  • by Z80a ( 971949 )

    I mean, we already have that massive black issue on the top of the screen on basically all the devices.

    • This! I wish they would fix those dead pixels on the top. I mean one or two pixels would be passable, but a bar several mm wide and half the width of the phone? What if there's notification icons that it's covering up? It is really annoying for showing anything with pictures, videos, etc.

      While they are at it can they add the pixels back to the corner? Most applications don't do the rounded corner bullshit.

  • The Galaxy S7 Edge has a similar defect where a vertical pink line appears on many units. Do an image search or eBay search for that and you'll see what I mean. Given that Apple is using Samsung OLED panels for the X (which is what the S7 Edge is using) it makes me wonder if Samsung has a bigger QC problem on their hands.
  • by Hal_Porter ( 817932 ) on Saturday November 11, 2017 @05:42AM (#55530151)

    You see this failure mode in Samsung phones with an OLED display. And the iPhone X uses a Samsung display.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    Seems like it is a bad vertical line driver looking at this.

    https://us.community.samsung.c... [samsung.com]

    One of the vertical line drivers is stuck 'on'. So you get a line mostly in one of the primary colours - R, G or B. Or, less common, a combination of the two.

    My S5 is still fine, but for some reason I've seen a few people with battered looking S7s and S8s with the vertical line. Not sure if the battering causes the failure or if some display panels just fail spontaneously.

    Incidentally, there's an amusing bit of Apple overcharging for glass

    https://www.theverge.com/circu... [theverge.com]

    The iPhone X went on sale today, and with it, Apple released some information about the phoneâ(TM)s repair pricing â" and like the phone itself, it gets expensive. If you donâ(TM)t have the extended warranty, a screen replacement will cost $279. Thatâ(TM)s more than twice the price of an iPhone 6 screen replacement ($129) and about 65 percent higher than a new iPhone 8 screen ($169). The pricing was first spotted by MacRumors.

    If that sounds high, you should be careful not to damage an iPhone X in any other way: all other out-of-warranty repairs will cost $549. Again, thatâ(TM)s a lot more than what other recent iPhones cost to repair. iPhone 8 repairs cost $349 and 8 Plus repairs cost $399. That means if you crack the glass back of the iPhone X (or the iPhone 8), you might just want to live with it.

    Appleâ(TM)s extended warranty, AppleCare+, often looks like a pricey upsell. But for iPhone X buyers, it seems like it might be a necessary safety net. Appleâ(TM)s warranty costs $199 for the iPhone X (up from $129 for the iPhone 8 and $149 for the 8 Plus); but while the warranty itself is more expensive, warranty service fees (which apply only when Apple is repairing something with âoeaccidental damageâ) donâ(TM)t go up at all. So an iPhone X can still get a $29 screen repair if itâ(TM)s under warranty, and it can still get a $99 repair for anything else under AppleCare+, too.

    So it's $279 for a replacement display out of warranty. Or $29 with warranty. And the warranty costs $199. And all other repairs are a whopping $549.

    So if you're the sort of person who cracks the display on your phone, you're going to be paying through the nose for it.

    IHS reckons the display assembly is

    http://www.businesswire.com/ne... [businesswire.com]

    IHS Markit estimates the cost of the display module, which includes the cover glass, AMOLED panel and Force Touch sensor, at $110.

    I.e. Apple make a fair bit of profit out of people dropping their phones. Arguably the reason Apple and Samsung have moved to glass front and back is that glass breaks and repairs are profitable. Also, especially in the Samsung case, it's hard to take the phone apart without damaging expensive bits if you look at the iFixit videos.

    I reckon I could get a whole new, or at least 'pre-owned' S5 for less than $279 if I looked around a bit.

    • The profit made of dropped phones is always ridiculous. In the interest of saving on labour most official phone repair shops will charge you for the full cost of the display / touch module when in reality the only thing that is broken is a thin sheet of glass. Removing the display / touch assembly from the glass is finicky but it can be done and my last repair cost $14 which included all the tools and even an UV light to cure the glue AND batteries for the light.

  • Why do people still spend so much on Apple product? Sure, iOS is nice and such, but the hardware is grossly overpriced and more and more of rather shitty quality. A phone that cost that much should not only be free of all and any defects, but come with a no questions asked warranty. All products ought to have a minimum of two year all inclusive warranty. The EU has that.
    • Here's two stories that may help you understand.

      1. Back in the summer I noticed that the screen of my three-year-old, out of warranty iPhone 6 was bulging out on the left hand side. I checked out the problem on various Apple web sites and determined that it was caused by a swelling battery. I took the phone to the Genius Bar at my local Apple store. The Apple employee took one look at it and explained that the battery was going bad but it would be "too dangerous" to replace it. Instead, for $79 (the price

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 )
        I have a Moto G4 Play phone. Not old. Bought last year. It has ... drumroll please .. a removable battery and micro-SD card. Battery bulging would just pop off the back cover, worst case. $20 for a new battery, and it pops right in, same as a Blackberry from 10 years ago. Storage? I can pop in a micro-SD card and expand it. No waiting for 2 hours at the Apple store. Both of the problems that you mentioned weren't intrinsic to the iPhone, but rather caused by Apple's (and many other similar phones')
        • This is why I like the cheaper handsets (Blu, lower-end Moto, low-end LG). Not only are they cheaper to buy, they're cheaper to maintain -- being able to pop in a new battery or more storage is a real advantage if you're keeping a phone for 3-4 years instead of being a Trendy Wendy who wants the latest and greatest.
        • So you like your phone. Great. I like mine. So far, so good.

          There are reasons why iPhones have batteries that are difficult to replace. An easily replaceable battery takes up more volume for the battery than a glued-in battery that can easily conform to available space. Assuming the battery doesn't need to be changed often, the extra battery capacity is better for many people than being able to change it easily. It can be a design feature you don't like, and it may make tradeoffs you don't want, bu

          • Except that iPhone battery capacity is actually the same or smaller than many devices with removable battery...
            • Do the devices with removable batteries do the same things an iPhone does? Are they the same size? How do wear cycles compare?

              On a common-sense basis, a larger battery is a better battery. Other things being equal, battery size enlarges the phone and makes it heavier, so it's a tradeoff.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I remember a story of iphones bending when they first came out. Rather then admit the problem and recalling the device apple lied and said only 9 devices had bent; quietly tried to fix the issue and ignored it. Flash forward to the when the original issue then manifested itself as touch disease and apple offering to repair the design problem they created in the first place for a price.
        For every story like yours where apple helped a person here and there there are also stories like this where apple denied r

  • I would say Apple is probably violating a Samsung patent on this one.

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