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iPhone 5 problems roundup; camera, Wi-Fi, scratching...

by Mark Tyson on 2 October 2012, 17:00

Tags: iPhone, PC

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There are now millions of proud owners of shiny new Apple iPhone 5 smartphones. However the new owners may be feeling more than a little post-purchase cognitive dissonance with the seemingly endless tales of problems and bugs with the new Apple flagship smartphone. The range of problems reported with the new iPhone 5 span from cosmetic issues through functionality and to potentially costly financial problems.

Wi-Fi issues and cellular data splurges

Apple iPhone 5 owners have experienced several Wi-Fi problems with the new smartphone. Shortly after launch there were reports of Wi-Fi not working correctly with WPA2 encrypted Wi-Fi routers. Often people complained of “painfully slow Wi-Fi” connections. Apple stores usually have open Wi-Fi so the problem isn’t evident in store, also using the older, less secure WEP encryption can help.

A new more alarming Wi-Fi bug has been reported; alarming because it could have financial consequences. CNN reports that “scores of iPhone 5 users” have experienced their phones “sucking down cellular data even when they were connected to a Wi-Fi network, resulting in big overages as they blew through their monthly data caps”. Apple pushed out a software update on Sunday to resolve the issue for Verizon network users. However it is unclear if other networks are affected. Meanwhile Verizon promised not to charge customers for the “unwarranted cellular data usage”. Other reports suggest this bug is in iOS 6 rather than the iPhone 5 hardware.

The colour purple, the life and trials of a young iPhone 5

Yesterday Apple’s iPhone 5 camera was under scrutiny. Gizmodo published a letter from the AppleCare team explaining the purple tinged photos, which contained a bright light source of some kind, as “normal behaviour”. Included with the Gizmodo article are some startling images. The purpleness is quite intense. Please see below for a comparison with the iPhone 4 imagery.

“The purple flare in the image provided is considered normal behaviour for iPhone 5's camera” explained an AppleCare Support worker.  Gizmodo suggested the sapphire glass protecting the camera lens may be a cause of the (dis)colouration.

Scratches, dings and chips are “normal”.

Gadgets do scuff and scratch despite being clad in this and that premium material. However it does seem like the shiny new iPhone 5 is particularly susceptible to becoming permanently marked. In a PCMag report a week or so ago “scuffgate” was being discussed; “customers have increasingly been complaining that the rim and back of the phone are easily scuffed and scratched. Some early adopters and reviewers even noticed that their device came chipped right out of the box, even before it was used,” said the mag.

Phil Schiller, senior VP of marketing at Apple said “Any aluminum product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver color. This is normal.” You would think that owners of phones costing over £500 would be particularly delicate with them...

The video above demonstrates the comparative scratch resistance of the iPhone 4.

Maps; the amazing iOS 6 maps

We looked at Apple’s new maps app on the iPhone 5 launch date and the comical tragedy of this new app really stole some of the thunder from the iPhone 5 launch. If you want to read more about the errors, bizarre 3D renderings and cloud covered satellite imagery click on through to here to that article.

Hopefully no further iPhone 5 problem roundups will be required.

HEXUS Forums :: 25 Comments

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“The colour purple, the life and trials of a young African American woman iPhone 5” what? :-) On more important note.. Overall I don't see why so many people are mad about this new phone. Yes its nice and OS is pleasant but its not all that functional and camera quality is certainly nothing new if not old. From what I have seen from already criticised and not even released Nokia 920 it is a very decent device. Hardware and software wise. I remember when I got my hands on Nokia 800 - very pleasant surprise and unique experience compared to Android and iOS. Maybe these Apple ‘troubles’ will convince some people to look around. Not every touch screen phone is iPhone and not every rounded edge tablet is iPad. Just saying..
thank god i didnt purchase the Iphone 5. only Apple sheep would camp out over night just to get a buggy phone with minimal benefits over the 4S.
Chromatic aberrations (or “that purple issue”)

I've seen other comparisons with the 5 and the 4S where the 5 is actually slightly better. And someone needs to read up on sapphire glass, it is colourless, used in countless lenses and does not add a purple or any other colour tint to an image.

More on chromatic aberrations -

It has been noted by others that that purple discolouration goes way over and above what is described in the Wikipedia article, so could really be something else rather than a lens issue, perhaps with the sensor instead.
Very hard to tell from that example - there's a lens flare which is caused by internal reflection, so could be an extra protective layer, just a slightly different angle of sun. Chromatic aberrations on the other hand are quite common as you increase aperture size, so if they've provided a brighter lens you might expect more CA (and if the lens is bigger/has less shading then you'd also get more flare).

Rarely a problem in practise, because you don't shoot that kind of angle with the sun in if you can help it - both shots are bad.

edit: DPreview find it's not CA at all:
I seem to recall my HTC HD2 having some purple tint to it and it was down to the sensor or something, it was no where near as bad as this mind! Pretty shoddy from a company that always prides itself on quality and attention to detail!.