A small but growing subset of iPhone X devices seem to have a hardware defect that causes a bright vertical green line to appear on their displays, according to new reports.
The scope of the problem isn’t entirely clear at this point, but at least 25 iPhone X owners have reported the issue on their own devices as of this morning. You can see some of those reports and pictures of the issue via Reddit, Twitter, the Apple Support Communities, and other social media outlets.
Reportedly, the iPhone X devices spontaneously developed the green line issue sometime after they were unboxed. In other words, the green line wasn’t present when first booted up. By all indications, it doesn’t seem like the affected devices have been damaged or dropped, either.
Additionally, the issue doesn’t seem restricted to specific configurations of the iPhone X. The green lines have appeared on both 64GB and 256GB iPhone X models, in both Silver and Space Gray. The reports are also international, so they don’t appear limited to one region or another.
At this point, it’s unknown what is causing the problem — though there are some signs that it could be a hardware problem. As DisplayMate points out, the iPhone X’s OLED display uses a new diamond sub-pixel pattern. Basically, that means that green pixels will appear in straight lines while red and blue pixels alternate (as seen below).
According to a theory provided by TechCrunch’s Devin Coldewey, the issue could be tied to an electrical fault that’s causing voltage to flow to those lines of green sub-pixels — though why the lines appear near the sides of the device is harder to explain. Worryingly, the issue doesn’t seem to be resolved by a full restart of the devices, either. Some are calling it the “green line of death.”
To be fair, the iPhone X is being produced in the millions of units, so even with all of the reports seen thus far, it still appears to be a small percentage of devices. And with a new and ambitious first-generation product like the iPhone X, which uses introduces several new kinds of technology, hiccups are bound to happen.
Case in point: a similar issue plagued Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge devices earlier this year, except that those devices had a “pink line of death,” rather than a green one, Android Authority reported in January. Perhaps it’s worth noting, at this point, that Samsung produces the OLED panels that Apple uses in the iPhone X.
Currently, we haven’t heard any word from Apple about the issue, but they do appear to be aware of it. Several users who contacted Apple Support are indicating that the company is replacing affected iPhone X devices free of charge. In addition, Apple is likely collecting data from affected devices so it can investigate the cause of the problem.