Apple Confirms iPhone 5 Camera Flaw; Suggests You're Holding It Wrong

Oh brother, here we go again. Quick history lesson before we dive into the hoopla surrounding the iPhone 5. When the original iPhone 4 model launched (not the iPhone 4S, mind you), users reported issues with dropped calls, spotty connections, and weak signals when talking on the device. It turns out the internal antenna was poorly placed, a design flaw, if you will, only Steve Jobs famously suggested users were holding the phone wrong. As in, with your hand wrapped around the chassis as you hold it up to your ear. Well, here we go all over again.

The recently launched iPhone 5 doesn't have the same problem (and nor did the iPhone 4S), but it does have two annoying issues of its own. For one, the anodized aluminum back has a tendency to scratch way too easily, and now it's coming to light that the built-in camera has a problem with purple flare. Guess what? Both are "normal" in Apple's eyes, and the latter is the result of users holding it wrong!

iPhone 5 Camera

Gizmodo posted an email response one of its readers received from Apple, which at first denied there was a problem with the camera, and then acknowledged it while shifting the blame. A portion of the email reads:
"Our engineering team just gave me this information and we recommend that you angle the camera away from the bright light source when taking pictures. The purple flare in the image provided is considered normal behavior for iPhone 5's camera."
iPhone Pictures
Image Source: Mashable

One of the theories floating around as to why this is happening is because of the sapphire glass covering the iPhone 5's camera. The effect is highlighted in a series of comparison photos Mashable posted, such as the ones above, but as evidenced by other iPhone 5 photos posted around the web, the problem doesn't just manifest itself when aiming the camera at or near a bright light source. It's a shame because the camera was one of the things we liked most when we reviewed the iPhone 4S last year.

If you own an iPhone 5, have you noticed any purple haze?
Via:  Gizmodo
sevags 2 years ago

Will everyone shut up again "holding it wrong" it's been over 2 years. And this isn't a case of holding it wrong more than it is pointing it in be wrong place. Every tech site just loves using a dead mans words over ale over and it's ridiculous.

My opinion on it is I haven't seen it once yet, I went to a 2 night rave here in LA h sale weekend ingot th phone and have some amazing pictures and videos of lights lasers pyro technique art statues, and fireworks without a single flare.

HOWEVER I would rather want a sapphire crystal that resists scratches and adds a pretty purple haze OCCASIONALLY than the lens on my iphone4 which was complete scratched to hell even though the rest of the back of phone wasn't.

On a side not ill be posting this with all my comments for now on.... HH NEEDS TO TURN OFF MANDATOY MOBILE MODE!!!!!!! Onc I choose "view full site" I should NOT prompt me for confirmation and should remain at that settings until I change it. Ridiculous.

RTietjens 2 years ago

"My opinion on it is I haven't seen it once yet, I went to a 2 night rave here in LA h sale weekend ingot th phone and have some amazing pictures and videos of lights lasers pyro technique art statues, and fireworks without a single flare."

What an amazingly illiterate endorsement of a phone made for douchenozzles.

lipe123 2 years ago


A little defensive hmm? Try not to sound like such a typical apple device owner claiming that it cant possibly have any defects. Night shots will never produce the haze since its linked to sunlight not artificial light.

A website does not force mobile mode, its your phone's browser/cookie settings thats doing it chump.

RWilliams 2 years ago

This may seem like a small issue to some, but it'd be severe enough for me to choose another phone - even an older iPhone. The fact of the matter is, other phones don't have this issue, so excuses are nonsense.

I can't help but think this wouldn't have happened if Steve was still around and in charge. Hard to believe it's a coincidence, both with this and the Maps issue (and not to mention he wasn't doing so hot around the time antennagate happened).

ricofrost 2 years ago

LOL You're Holding It Wrong... wow great customer support there... they are really looking after their customers.

sevags 2 years ago

Rtietjens.... They are called typos and correctionsade by my iPhone :)

And because my phone turned words like "the" into "h" my opinion is less valid? No sorry.

So you decide to talk trash without even talking about the topic at hand based on my typing mistakes?

Sounds like you're the douchenozzle who has nothing to contribute at all.

Lipe123: uhhh do you know how to read English? I know my phone made some errors so maybe it was a little more difficult for you than usual. I wast defense about the flare I am defensive over the whole "you're holding it wrong. yes steve jobs was an idio for saying it in the first place but over 2 years the idiot is dead and so every single time something ia not perfect with the iphone people are going to throw in "youre holding it wrong"? hotharsware wasnt the only one daytech and many others used the same quote for a headline and ita pathetic. First off I never said the phone was perfect :). 2nd I am actually completely anti-apple except for their phone. So let's stick to the topic at hand..... Oh so you can't produce the flare at night? Why not? Have you ever been to a rave? Trust me its the same as the sun during the day you don't think hundreds of lasers, powerful flood lights, 50 foot high fireballs and produce enough light to cause a flare? You have never used a cera before then. But for the same of arguement ill drop that and focus on the sun. I live in Los Angeles where it was over. 100 degrees last 2 days and completely sunny and point my ip5 at it from EVERY ANGLE from directly at it to having it in the corner of the shot to 3 separate times of day; sunrise, 10am, 3pm, and sunset. Guess what? No purple haze. Again I'm NOT saying it isn't possible but it seems like it would take a special set of circumstances for this to be caused since I or my friend can't duplicate th haze in any way.

So the browser and cookies on 5 different devices are messing up? Don't think so especially since they work fine for disabling the mobile version of other websites. It's only hi website where I can switch to desktop version leave the site come back and be back in mobile version! Also my other complaint was why does HH ask you to verify that you're switching to desktop version and notify you that you can switch back every time? I've never seen another website like that everyone knows you can switch back and forth and this is a tech site I don't need the HTML holding my hand like I'm a 10 year old using an apple MacBook. Understand what you're talking abou before you speak, dumbass retarded BOY.

sevags 2 years ago

Rwilliams: there should be no reason not to consider an ip5 because of this MINOR mistake. Hundreds of pics and dozens of vids since launch and I haven't seen the purple haze once. It might occur once every how many pics? Not enough to matter.... And if you do get a pic with flare just slightly change your angle and take it again big whoop? You've never had to take a pic more than once because someon blinked or didn't smile?

Again don't care what anyone says, a little purple in th shot onc every few hundred pics is WELL worth it over having a completely scratched up lens like on the ip4 and Ip4s hat then shows up in EVERY picture.

Using sapphire crystal as the lens might not have been th perfect idea but it is leaps and bounds better than the regular glass alternative.

RWilliams 2 years ago

I am not sure about leaps and bounds, since it's been verified that the camera on the upcoming Lumia 920 is far better than the iPhone 5 in terms of both shake-reduction and quality.

Regardless, Apple is lucky to have a devout fan such as yourself.

karanm 2 years ago

Haha man sevags the easiest way to prove your point would be to maybe post some pics, however I see your point about how infrequent the pics can be and how you could just take another pic.

Also I don't like the mobile site either but its not that a big deal to me, whats your gripe with it?? Besides not being able to post a comment I don't mind it too much. I would like to know.

sevags 2 years ago

Rwilliams I said that the sapphire crystal cover on the ip5 camera is leaps and bounds better than the cheap glass used over previous iPhone lens covers. Which is true when it comes to being scratch resistant just how higher end wrist watches use sapphire crystal instead of glass to cover the watch face.

As for you comparison with the Nokia lumia 920 I am not sure what lens cover it uses, if it uses sapphire well then guess what you will have the same purple flare, if it's made of glass or plastic I will scratch up just like previous iPhones/phones. On a side note I do think the cemera on the 920 will out perform that of any cell phone at its launch (not counting the pureview 808), however last I read they were not able to test out the video image stabilization functionality as it was reportedly not yet ready even in the Lumia 920 prototype.

Read my posts again, I believe I said that I am the oppsoite of a devote fan. Just because I didn't find an article topic funny automatically depicts me as a devote apple fanboy? lol what camp does that put you in windows? Android? You can choose and switch sides all day but in the end I am just a technology and science fanboy that's it.

Karanm: you're right but I don't know where I could host the full sized images? Let alone the videos which are all 20-200mb, knowing all the people ready to jump at th chance to find a fault with the photos they would complain if I reduced them in size but if someone knows where I can host for free ill take hundreds of photos a day for a week.

Well it's not just this site specifically I just hate ALL mobile site versions for any website. I don't like that I am not able to see all the information normally displayed on the desktop version, I want to choose what I see not someone else trying to condense the site page. Yes I hate that I can see the comments on the same page as the article or comment it makes it feel much more lik just an article I'm reading in say an email or txt message rather than interactive where I can see all of your guys' comments and join in. But my biggest complaint with mobile versions is if I bookmark a page I want to view later on my desktop or keep a tab open and open the same tab using iCloud on another device always leads me to a completely looking interface than what I was using.... So a site I save in my phone will be completely different looking when I open it on my desktop. Opening the desktop version throughout all my devices insures a consistent experience and knowledge of navigating that site (ie. I don't have to look for the link I needed or where the logout button went). My biggest complaint with hothardware's implementation of a mobile version is no just that I get asked every visit (up to a dozen times a day) but that it asks me to press "ok" after it informs me that I can switch back any time. I've had to have pressed that OK a couple of thousand times by now.

mhenriday 2 years ago

Apple will no doubt resolve this flare problem - perhaps by offering a two-day training course on how to «angle the camera away from the bright light source when taking pictures» to users at a price of a couple of hundred dollars (or equivalent) a pop. Naturally, this solution will be patented, just as, no doubt, the purple flare itself has been.... Smile


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