Apple Acknowledges iPhone 5 Camera Problem, Says You're Holding It Wrong

After initially denying it, Apple has acknowledged the iPhone 5's purple flare camera problem in an email to a Gizmodo reader. Apple's solution: "Angle the camera away from the bright light source when taking pictures."

Here's their complete answer:

Dear Matt,

Our engineering team just gave me this information and we recommend that you angle the camera away from the bright light source when taking pictures. The purple flare in the image provided is considered normal behaviour for iPhone 5's camera. If you wish to reach me regarding this case number *********, please contact me at 1-877-***-**** ext. *******. I currently work Thursday-Monday: 7:00am - 3:30pm Mountain Time. If you reach my voicemail, please leave your name, phone number, case number and the best time to reach you. Email is [email protected]



AppleCare Support

Long time Gizmodo reader Matt Van Gastel received this email after a long call with Apple support regarding the Purple Flare problem in his phone, which apparently is a feature common to every iPhone 5:

Initially I was told that it shouldn't happen and that it is strange. My call was escalated to a senior support individual who again said it was odd and shouldn't happen. I sent her some pics of the issue and she in turn sent them to the engineering team.

Her final response is what you can see at the top of this article. Some photography experts have speculated that the purple flare is a product of the sapphire glass covering the iPhone 5's camera.

So it is final, folks: Apple says that, if your photos have a purple flare, this is totally normal behaviour of the iPhone 5's camera. You are just holding it wrong.

Also, it's not Apple's fault that the sun is purple. [Thanks Matt!]

Lamp and truck photos by @weaksauce12



    Can we sue them please

      seems to solve all apples problems is to 'hold your phone correctly' do they only have ONE person testing how to hold phone @ apple these days

        I've found that if I hold the iphone 5 with just 3 fingers (no thumbs) and tap the screen with my nose, Apple Maps turns out to be a brilliant app that works as perfectly as intended. You just need to know how to hold it

      Apple going to sue the SUN...

    That's really bad... thank God I didn't get iphone 5... stick with my 4S until 5S is out :D

    And no... no Galaxy at this stage =P

      I see what you did there...

      "Apple make continually flawed products, but I'll stick with them anyway, and totally ignore the competition"

      Ha ha - nice one!

        If I thought for a second a samsung or nokia would still work even half as well after my two year contract, i'd buy one.
        But as much as I hate to say it, Apple's products are the only ones which work the exact same both the day you get them AND 24 months later. My iPhone 4 will do until the iPhone 6 comes out.

          yeah it will work the same....
          unless you upgrade to the latest iOS and apple gives you crappy substitute for a map application

          I've never had an issue with any of my nokia's, in fact with their software updates the phone works even better and have survived many many drops over the years. Why you would think apple is better in this regard I have no idea.

          Yeah, my Galaxy S keeps getting better and better with more features every month and better implementations of existing features thanks to Cyanogenmod.
          I'm so disappointed it is this way instead of being locked into the original firmware supplied by Samsung.

            True that, Jelly Bean on the Galaxy S is amazing. Using Slim Bean.

          "Apple’s products are the only ones which work the exact same both the day you get them AND 24 months later"
          Umm, sorry, I just can't let that one go...Even if that were true in any measurable way, there are MANY similar products out there that just keep soldiering on, my HTC Desire for example. There really are genuine alternatives to iPhone out there...everyone owes it to themselves to think critically about their choices...
          You'll be ok....really :-)

            my desireHD is still kicking arse. I open beers with it and everything.

            Mark, I bought this $35 android phone outright, and I can say with absolute certainty that all android phone suck compared to apple phones. (yes, I'm being facetious)

          The latest Nokia and latest Galaxy phones work better than iPhones 3 through to 5 and there are countless videos on the internet that proves it. iPhone aren't the best anymore, you might like to look around for something that doesn't look like it's 12 months or more behind everyone else.

            Why do you care what phone someone else uses?

              THANK YOU!!! I'm SO over this crap... Who cares what product someone else has... we all have different products for different reasons, to suit our particular needs... if we wanted something better, we would buy it! If I knew something was better, I would buy it. If I couldn't afford it, I would at least say "I cant afford it, but my god it's better than what I have now" ... When will this shit stop?

              my nokia e63 worked perfectly fine for the three years that i owned it.... up until i went snowboarding with it...

    I think Apple just took arrogance to a whole new level.!

    Problem is real. Just took a photo with my boss' iPhone 5. Any sort of even semi-bright light source and you get a purple flare.

    Holy shit.

    Good luck with that, same was with the antenna dropouts - your holding it wrong.

    Gee this is pretty bad... I get a lot of good photos with my 4S and this would be a total bummer

    I think this might be your iphone 5, I tried mine and a few friends at uni and we cannot replicate...

      Can't figure out if living in denial or ignorant...

        It could be a manufacturing fault affecting a large but not all iPhone. Didn't they change the lens cover to sapphire or something?

    And yet people defend apple like religious zealots....

    iphone users have no one to blame but themselves, you buy into marketing hype and buzz words and when something doesn’t work apple says its "your fault" or "it's a feature" and you go... "Ahhhh that makes so much more sense now that i look at it that way" and then you run out to by the next product and the cycle continues.

    Sounds like an abusive relationship to me, but like someone in an abusive relationship your all in denial

      Nice grammar...

    thought it was a default instagram filter!

      It will be soon enough.

      Or maybe will talk abotu secretly implementing Instagram purple filter into the camera app.

    It hardly surprises me that this was response from Apple. Apparently the millions of users are all incompetent.


    Im a apple user and lover, but If I just forked out $1000 for an iPhone (which I was about to do) and got camera quality like that, I would be pissed.. what a freaking joke.

    Apple, from a user and lover, Sort your shit out.

    I tried this as soon as i found out but it didnt turn out purple ? i could upload the pic.

      Well your missing out, apparently it's a normal function ;-)

      Yeah I'd ask for a refund, citing your camera didn't come "With the purple filter".

    Hahahah that's the magical effect of the camera

    Their support is getting worse and worse. They're completely denying the Macbook Pro Retina Image Retention issue as well, and touting it as "within spec". Bit hard to call something within spec when it happens to only certain units (those with an LG display. The laptops with Samsung displays don't have this "feature".)

    Oh Apple, what's happened to you.

      Nothing has happened to them, they have always been like this. You're only now realising what many of us have known for years.

      But at least your eyes have now been opened! :)

    I have an iPhone 5 and cant get any purple flare. This makes me think there is a very real problem but with a batch of phones.

      The fact they are saying its normal behavior would state otherwise.

    Didn't this "amazing phone that's grown up" just get a glowing review and we have yet even more issues now?..

    "The purple flare in the image provided is considered normal behaviour for iPhone 5′s camera."
    I reckon Jobs would be rolling in his grave if he knew that made it past R+D.

      You mean like antenna gate? And the yellow hue screens? Jobs will be fine.

      Admittedly, Apple have responded to the issued in perfect Jobs-style

    I've taken heaps of pictures with my 5, just had a look, none of them have the purple flare. So while it may exist, it's not going to affect that many of your pictures. Overreaction much?

      If you've looked at the photos above you would see that's not the case. If its not present in other phones or even other iPhones it should never happen.

    Any of you phone users ever take photos with proper photo equipment? It's called lens flare.

      Lens flare is tolerable. But purple lens flare? I wouldn't be happy with it.

    I guess only Apple can hold it right when they took that pano of San Fran they showed off at the keynote. Or was it not really an iPhone 5.

      Alby, you obviously no less than ZERO about taking proper photos. If my Canon Lens flares like that there is something SERIOUSLY wrong. You have no idea about photography, so stick to your broken iPhone and think it is a cool feature like you do now.

      pfff, lens flare, ha ha ha. I crack myself up.

    But there's no 'i' in purple..

    Didn't all the blogs just a week or so ago tell us that in their testing the camera on the iphone (i-phony?) 5 takes the "best" pictures of all the mobile phone camera available? Yet the camera is obviously flawed.

    This obviously doesn't apply to all iPhone 5s… I just tested mine and theres no purple lens flare whatsoever (images are downsized for quicker download / upload)… or in a panorama,

      photo 2 has a slight hint of purple, not as bad as the others though

        Honestly, the amount of purple in the second image isn't much worse than what the kit lens on my DSLR throws out… granted, its nothing on an L lens, but it really isn't dramatic at all.

    I'd rather call it; Lens flawed! It is not even a proper flare. Look at the odd shape?

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