Apple’s iPhone XS and XS Max are officially launching today. But for some early adopters, their launch experience isn’t going as expected.
Reportedly, a small number of users are receiving iPhone XS Max devices with faulty or seemingly damaged displays. We have only seen a couple of reports thus far, but it’s still fairly early into the 2018 lineup’s official roll out.
According to Twitter user @phillmeredith, his iPhone XS Max features a peculiar yellowing of the display when it’s powered on. That yellow tint is also visible when the device is off — leading them to theorize that the “glue has gone yellow between the display and glass.”
Just got my iPhone XS Max delivered and the bottom of the screen is faulty. Everything at the bottom is yellow when powered on and looks like this when off. Its like the glue has gone yellow between the display and glass or something. #iphonexsmax #apple pic.twitter.com/iYwRwNySHA
— Phill (@phillmeredith) September 21, 2018
But it’s another report out of Australia that may be a bit more concerning for some iPhone XS Max owners.
Twitter user Musthafa Ali, who lives in Sydney, Australia, tweeted a picture of his recently acquired iPhone XS Max. The images seem to show a display with a single vertical green line through it.
— Musthafa Ali (@mali4481) September 21, 2018
If that sounds familiar, it’s because a similar phenomenon plagued a small number of iPhone X owners back in 2017. The issue was dubbed the “green line of death” by impacted users.
To be clear, the “green line of death” was never a widespread issue. At the most, fewer than 50 people actually took to social media to report their own faulty devices. And similar problems have been seen on other smartphones with OLED displays — like Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge.
While an exact cause was never publicized, the issue could be caused by OLED technology itself. Specifically, it’s the diamond-shaped sub-pixel pattern used, which causes green pixels to appear in straight lines while red and blue pixels alternate.
TechCrunch theorized back in 2017 that the problem could be tied to an electrical issue causing voltage to improperly flow to those green sub-pixels.
As always, with a device that’s being produced in the millions, some manufacturing errors and faulty units are expected. That was likely the culprit of the iPhone X’s “green line of death,” which never became a huge issue for Apple or its customers.
That’s probably the case for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, too. The same goes for the yellowing display of @phillmeredith’s iPhone XS Max.
In other words, don’t panic. This probably isn’t going to happen to your new iPhone XS Max. And if it does, Apple will work quickly to fix it for you.
Ali wrote in a separate tweet that Apple Store staff immediately replaced his iPhone XS Max when he brought it to them.
If you experience a “green line of death” on your own device, we recommend you also take it to your local Apple Store. Apple will likely remedy the problem free-of-charge.