The iPhone 5 has experienced a bumpy start with scratches and nicks on the outside, purple haze issue on some photos as well as the Maps inside iOS 6. However, all of these don’t seem to affect initial sale numbers but we’ll have to wait for Apple’s official figures coming this month.
As far as the purple effect is concerned Apple has released a support document; describing the problem is this sentence: “a purplish or other colored flare, haze, or spot is imaged from out-of-scene bright light sources during still image or video capture.” From the official Apple issue resolution text we are led to understand that this is normal not only with every previous iPhone but with most small cameras. It is due to a light source outside the frame which is attacking the lens at an angle. The resolution? “Moving the camera slightly to change the position at which the bright light is entering the lens, or shielding the lens with your hand, should minimize or eliminate the effect”.
We need to note that this purple haze effect, judging by reports and description as well as behavior, is different from those exhibited with older smartphones where pink spots appeared in the center of the image. The current issue is only present when the light is refracted through the lens, at and angle, on the sensor.
However, we haven’t seen any reports of the problem happening on previous iPhones as Apple implies. It might have to do with the new sapphire glass protecting the camera unit, which is an iPhone 5-specific innovation.