I own both a Launch iPhone 4 (32gb) and a Launch iPhone 4S (Black-64gb) and I'm a professional calibrator for our studio, so I have some authority on this subject.
The iPhone 4s screen has a lower gamma curve and is warmer in color temprature than the iPhone 4. Based off what I am reading in this thread it's probablly due to the type of screen they are using in the 4s.
Is it better or worse? Well it depends.
It's worse if you are relying on the iPhone to display images close to sRGB standards. sRGB is the standard for the web, and it's the standard on all current Mac and Windows PCs. The iPhone 4 is more accurate to the sRGB standard than the 4S. The 4s seems to mimic more of the Apple RGB standard. Ultimately apple switched to sRGB becuase its the standard that the rest of the world uses.
It's better if you're trying to view the phone in bright sunny conditions, or conditions when the backlight is very low. It will make it easier to see darker areas since they ammount of contrast will appear to be lower. I have a feeling that Apple might have gone this route since the iPhone could be used outside as much as indoors.
What will it take to fix your phone? Well if all of the screens used in the 4S are around the same ammount off in calibration, apple could issue a firmware update that makes the screen more like the iPhone 4, or closer to sRGB, the standard that they should be following. A new screen for all users wanting a new phone is very costly, and I imagine they will go the software route.
I hope that Apple does issue some sort of fix becuase I've done a lot of work on my photos and they just dont look right when viewed on the iPhone 4s. The iPhone 4 was very close to the monitor standard that I work in on my PC (sRGB). Consumers are going to have problems looking at media from a large variety of sources who are calibrated to sRGB standard on the iPhone 4s.
The "give it two weeks" solution is their way of getting you to get use to the different screen. After some time of looking at a certain screen you start to forget about its color casts or deviations when looking at something that is suposed to be white.
Bottom line: I would keep pushing Apple on this issue becuase it does affect all users.
I see many concerns why they wouldn't want to add color profiles to iOS:
- The OS would need to get support build in to support color profiles. Thats dev time spent on a feature that a small percentage of users would use.
- How would you calibrate such a small screen? You would have to get some sort of coloremeter small enough to fit onto the screen. Who's going to make it? You then need to develop software to display test patterns and do the calculations for creating a LUT.
- There might be battery concerns for running a LUT. Now the GPU has to translate every display function.
- iOS probablly doesn't have support for Color management
- It would really complicate things for the end user, and ultimately the iPhone is a consumer product. Not one meant for professionals.
Even if we try to return and get a replacement, there is no guarantee that the replacement phone will have a cooler color. How many of you have had a replacement? How many had the same yellow color on the screen?
This is not a screen defect but due to variation in color temperaure between different screen manufacturers. I personally do not like the yellow screen. But I bought 2 iphone 4s Black at the same time.
One has a cool blue screen and the other a yellow warm screen.
So I am afraid that even if get a replacement there is 50% chance that it will be yellow.
We are stuck with the yellow screen!
Just got the black flagship 64 gig 4s. Compared it to my 32 gig black 4 (both early phones). Huge difference in contrast and hue. 4s much more yellow and I don't like it. Co-worker has 32 gig white 4s. Contrast and hue identical to my old 4. All theories as to why this might be aside, if this in fact, due to two different screen suppliers, why in the world would Apple not require that the specs be identical? Can't imagine that Apple would allow this intentionally. Who knows, maybe it's the blue screens that aren't dry and in two weeks, they will all burn in yellow! At least they will all match again!
I posted last night about this. When I kept getting yellow screens with my 4, I kept sending replacements back, because I wanted to find that magic "blue" hue. Forturnately, I was working with a very patient Apple Executive customer relations, who kept allowing me to send phones back until I could find one. I found with every one that came, I was getting pickier and more critical of the screens. I hadn't compared my 4 that I kept with my 4s until I read this thread. Like I said last night, I can see a slight difference. Everyone I show it to, says they think the screen on the 4s looks better than the 4. It is a different phone on the inside. I have decided that I can't compare models of phones with each other. Good luck in your search to find a screen you can be happy with and don't get sucked in by the talk. I learned my lesson last year.
I compared my iPhone 4 I purchased at launch day last year with a coworker who just got a 4s. I noticed immediately the yellow tint on his 4s. Oddly I had the same issue with my 3G. My black 3G had a yellow tint and my wife's white 3G had the bluish tint. The yellow tint never went away and I lived with it, but when I got my 4 I was much happier with the cooler white. I won't be getting a 4s though until they resolve this. I don't want to go back to a yellow screen.
I just found the old discussion on the 3G. The yellow color never got better on my 3G.
3 people in my family all got black iPhone 4S and they all have varying degrees of different yellow tint. My wife's is especially bad. As a photographer, I think this yellow tint looks horrible. I love eveything about the phone except for this. The screen in my iPhone 4 was nice, white and crisp.
I really really hope this is some glue issue based on the fact that each screen on all 3 phones have such a wide range of yellow.
I really hope Apple chimes in. Hoping to go to the Apple store and check out the displays on hand. Wish we got the white as people are saying they don't have the issue.
Just remember, white is relative. I'm not saying there isn't a problem with some phones. But if you hold a cooler screen next to a warmer one and take a poll, subjectively more people will call the cooler one "white". But the fact is that there is no white, everything is relative, and without a point of comparison our eyes will adjust. They do it all the time. A white piece of paper is a completely different color in the sunlight than it is under incandescent light. We call them both white, but hold a piece of paper half in sunlight and half under a lamp and the warmer white will look yellow.
Maybe some phones have a problem, but don't rush to conclude that yours is defective just because it's a bit warmer than your old 4.
You are wrong with your paper analogy, white paper doesn't emit light, it reflects it. If you look at it under the light of a red (green, blue, etc) lamp in a dark room, then it would seem to be red, but it doesn't mean that red (green, blue, etc) equals to white. While any computer or phone screen emits light by itself, so in a dark room you will see the true colors of its screen. And human eye, while being faulty, is still a pretty good optical instrument, so when you turn on a bright yellow lamp in a dark room, then it is, well, indeed yellow color, and not "wait for it, it becomes white in a few days".
No, I'm not wrong with my analogy. I'm dead spot on. Incandescent light is not white light through a yellow filter. It's white light. It's just a different temperature light. Warmer light sources look yellow depending on how bright they burn. But look at a 300W bulb and tell me what color it is. And the sun? It looks yellow in my 3 yo son's drawings, but it's as white as white can be, yet a much cooler light source than a light bulb. So here we have two different temperatures of light reflected (admittedly) off "white" paper (which itself has cool or warm characteristics). Side by side, they appear different colors, relatively.
What you're talking about filtered light that absorbs part of the light spectrum so that only yellow (or whatever the filter color) light is passing through. So of course in your case, nothing would ever appear white, because there's only yellow. If what you're saying were correct, we would never perceive the color white from a desk lamp. But we do, because it's all there.
My analogy and explanation holds true for reflected light on paper as well as emitted light from a screen (albeit in an opposite fashion, additive vs subtractive). Computer monitors emit red, green and blue light balanced for a particular point in what we consider, subjectively, white light. Change that balance, and you get a different cast. A monitor with a yellowish cast isn't yellow because of filtration, but rather because it's balanced differently than a blue monitor. You may think it's nowhere near correct if it's far enough off balance, but that doesn't mean it's defective. Particularly when held beside a screen that's unbalanced in the opposite direction, the effect will be exaggerated. So people start to say it's yellow, which it is, relatively.
What we're seeing with the possibly defective iPhones is most likely, in most cases, a differently balanced white. But like I said, given the choice between warm white and cool white, most people claim the cool white is "whiter".
This whole "Yellowgate" mess has now made the news internationally. Still no comment from Apple.
After almost a week of use my 4S is definitely still yellow compared to others. I have so far compared 50+ iPhones at various Apple Stores and spoke to several genuises. None of the store display models I checked had a yellow tint. The geniuses agreed that my screen is yellow but they can't replace it because the phone is not broken.
They suggested sending it back to the Apple online store where I bought it and hope that they're sending me one that's not yellow. That's a hassle!
I would think that this could be easily fixed via firmware update if it's just a matter of balancing the light differently.
Apple usually doesn't comment on this type of thing. They'll either fix it or they won't, or say something after the dust has settled. You have AppleCare with your new phone, so I'd suggest calling tech support and seeing what they can do. You'll probably have to send it back, but you may be able to get them to advance you a replacement if you explain that it's critical for you to not be without a phone.