Seeing Yellow? iPhone 4S Users Complain of ‘Yellowgate’

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Is your new iPhone 4S feeling yellow? Sallow around the edges? Jaundiced around the icons? Some fledgling iPhone 4S owners are claiming on Apple’s support forums that, yes indeed, their new mobiles look a little peaked.

“Got a new iPhone 4S this morning, and when I put it next to my old iPhone 4 I discovered the screen was much ‘nicer’ on the old iPhone,” wrote user Snowglider just after picking up an iPhone 4S Friday morning. “When I say nicer, its [sic] kind of got a really yellow tint to the screen on the 4S, whites are where you notice it the most for example the email looks far nicer on the iPhone 4 screen. All other colours look quite washed out. Anyone else got this problem?”

(MORE: iPhone 4S: The Buy Lines Are Still Long Outside Apple Stores)

That’s followed by some 30 replies (viewed over 2,000 times) that more or less corroborate Snowglider’s complaint.

“I have the same issue. My 4S screen is less contrasty, and the whites are more yellow (beyond “warm”) compared to my iPhone 4 screen,” writes another user. “The colors are less vibrant, and some are pretty washed out. I’ve also noticed that the screen is more directional than the 4 screen, and in some viewing angles it’s more yellow, and in others it’s more contrasty.”

And another: “Yep, it appears black iphone 4S’s have Yellowgate. Bloomin heck. Hardly shows up in an Apple store under their bright lighting. Not sure what to do now. No point getting a replacement black, it will probably have the same screen. Ah dear.”

That has some speculating the issue may be related to glue (yes, glue). You know, as in the sticky stuff they use to assemble the screens in these things.

According to user applegeekva, “When I got my iPhone 4 a year ago, it had a yellow tint. After about 2 weeks, the tint cleared up, and it displayed colors normally. The issues with the 4S, are most likely the same. The “glue” used to put the screens together hasn’t fully cured yet. The phones are made, and shipped very quickly to fill customer demand, they haven’t had the time to set yet.”

It’s not the first we’ve heard of “Yellowgate” (or glue-related coloration troubles). CNET notes Apple’s 3GS experienced the problem, as did the iPad 2 and even the iPhone 4 when it launched last year.

The fix? If it’s indeed the so-called “glue issue,” wait a few days and the screen should resolve to something nearer pure white. If it doesn’t, you’ll want to contact (or visit) an Apple Store to get the problem sorted. Apparently Apple’s offered to swap out iPhones based on screen-color complaints in the past.

Whether the problem’s endemic or noteworthy at all remains to be seen. I’ve dropped Apple a line about the issue, and I’ll update here if they get back to me.

MORE: Hot Potato: Apple’s iPhone 4S Does Record 4 Million Sales

Matt Peckham is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @mattpeckham or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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