iPhone 5 purple flare: it’s your own fault

Apple’s conceded that the camera on the new iPhone 5 is causing a purple flare to appear on photos – but says it’s the users’ fault.

Since the phone’s launch last month, many users have been complaining that their photographs are marred by a purple flare near the edge. It shows up when there’s a light source just outside the image.

The company’s issued a statement that many will find reminiscent of its advice over poor voice reception in the iPhone 4 two years ago. On that occasion, it told users they were holding the phone wrongly; this time, it says they’re taking the wrong pictures.

“Most small cameras, including those in every generation of iPhone, may exhibit some form of flare at the edge of the frame when capturing an image with out-of-scene light sources,” says the company in the statement.

“This can happen when a light source is positioned at an angle (usually just outside the field of view) so that it causes a reflection off the surfaces inside the camera module and onto the camera sensor.”

And the solution, according to Apple?

“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.”

Many users, though, say the problem isn’t, as Apple claims, common to all phones – or even to all models of the iPhone. “I do about 600 pics a day between work and personal, both indoor and outdoor.  I gave up and switched back to my 4S.  No issues,” says one on the company’s support forum.

And others criticize Apple for telling users to angle their photos further away from light sources: “For someone to say this is ‘Normal’ and to angle away from the light source is ZERO help when you are shooting interiors (Autos) and surrounded by Windows.”

In any case, other users say, the effect is showing up with light sources as minor as the glow from a television or computer screen.

The reason for the flare hasn’t been revealed, but may be related to the new scratch-resistant Sapphire Crystal lens cover. If this is the case, it’s possible that the company could do soething to mitigate it with a software update.