Oct. 19, 2011 at 3:12 PM ET
Some owners of the iPhone 4S are complaining that the phone's screen is noticeably yellow, aggravatingly so.
Upset buyers are taking to various forums, including Apple's own, to voice their unhappiness and anger:
64GB black model with a hideously yellow screen (looks worse than my wife's 3-year old 3G).
I just compared my iPhone 4 in black to my iPhone 4S in black and can see a VERY noticeable difference. I am so upset now! :/
Compared to my iPhone 4, the iPhone 4s screen has a tarnished look with a yellow tint and lower contrast.
It seems the yellow issue is more predominant in black versions of the phone than white ones.
"I noticed this pretty much straight away on my black iPhone 4S, compared to my iPhone 4 the screen looks washed out and yellow ... It annoys me every time I use it and see whites looking off-white and blues looking slightly green," said user "chr0m" on Apple's support site, posting photos of the two side by side.
We have compared an iPhone 4 with an iPhone 4S, both black AT&T models, and sure enough, the 4S does appear yellower. However, differences in color temperature, from iPhone to iPhone or between iPhone and iPod Touch, are nothing new.
Since it is a uniform display difference, it is not the same kind of problem as the yellow discoloration that appeared early on with the iPhone 4, which, according to Apple news site TUAW, "was caused by glue used in the manufacturing process and went away once the glue dried."
Nor is it identical to a problem a few years back with iMacs, which also showed yellow blotches, rather than a uniform color difference.
We've asked Apple to comment, and will update this post if we hear back.
Some wags are calling the situation "Yellowgate," a reference to the iPhone 4's "Antennagate" in 2010, when Apple acknowledged problems with the antenna design that interfered with the phone's reception when the user's fingers covered the area of the antenna.
Initially, Steve Jobs countered with "Just avoid holding it that way," but Apple soon issued free "bumpers" for awhile to buyers to help mitigate the problem. Despite the acknowledgment, no clear connection between the problematic antenna and the iPhone's dropped calls, particularly on AT&T, was ever established.
Nevertheless, it wouldn't surprise us if Apple responds to the 4S screen complaints by saying, "Just avoid looking at them that way."