The final final result of dealing with the iPhone 7 Plus display brightness problem

A truly final note. I swear….

As mentioned in my last post, I decided to return the iPhone 7 Plus I got from my carrier (Softbank) to Apple and take them up on their offer for a full refund.

I ordered a new one direct from Apple, which arrived the next morning. Just now the delivery company picked up the original iPhone 7 Plus to send back to Apple, and now I’m left with a more sane two iPhones: the iPhone 6 Plus I want to give my sister, and my new iPhone 7 Plus.

The display is about the same (I think there is a manufacturing issue where there happens to be a lot of variation) but it’s fine. Looking at it you would say, “What a nice screen.” My objection all along has just been Apple stating “it’s 25% brighter” etc. But I’m just too stressed about it to obsess about it any more. This definitely falls under hashtag #FirstWorldProblems. But the screen is fine. Apple should fix their advertising though, because what they are saying isn’t true. And while I’m sticking with Apple, I’ll certainly be more hesitant before making any new Apple purchases – and make sure there is an easy return for anything I’m not satisfied with it. Dealing with Apple support can be very stressful. I’m glad the VP’s liaison stepped in to assist.

Anyway, the whole thing wasn’t a complete waste of time. I ended up with:

1. A newer iPhone 7 Plus and another full two years of AppleCare warranty.

2. I actually ended up with a net 9,000 yen discount off the final purchase because of a discrepancy between the Apple price and the carrier’s price.

3. And the new iPhone 7 Plus is unlocked immediately, which means I can use it when I’m in Boston next month (instead of having to wait the full 6 months before I could have unlocked the carrier’s iPhone).

So I’m going to reset the iPhone 6 Plus and send it to my sister and just not worry about it anymore.

The final result of my iPhone 7 Plus display problem with Apple

This is about the iPhone 7 Plus display not being brighter, as advertised. You can see side-by-side comparative photos in my previous blog post here: http://lerner.net/iphone-7-plus-screen-brightness-issue-update/

I received a call from the Apple liaison this evening and the final conclusion is that as far as Apple is concerned that’s just the way they are.

They admit there is a variation in the phones during manufacture, but they aren’t willing to continue to exchange phones until we find one that is as bright and noticeably more vibrant and brilliant as advertised – or even as bright as the iPhone 7 Plus my friend from the U.S. has, which we compared side-by-side during his visit here to Japan.

However, Apple are willing to let me think about it for a week or so and even though I bought it from my carrier, Softbank, and even though Softbank does not allow returns and refunds, Apple would be willing to let me sell the phone to Apple for the full retail price and I could then just buy another cell phone with the carrier. In other words, they are offering me a way out, if I decide I want to do that.

So I will think about it.

I’m of course disappointed with Apple and with the quality of the screen. And the logic of the engineering team bewilders me. They are advertising one thing and selling another. It’s clear to anybody who looks at my side-by-side photos, which compare the iPhone 7 Plus and my iPhone 6 Plus displays. It’s even more obvious in person. The Apple Store people who have seen it also agree. 100% of everybody who sees the two iPhones side-by-side agree the iPhone 6 Plus is the one that is brighter.

So I will think about exactly how much this bothers me for a bit. I’ll see what my carrier offers. Perhaps an iPhone 6S Plus if I decide to stick with Apple. Or maybe it’s time to look into Android substitutes.

Since Apple is offering a complete refund of the full purchase price, I suppose I will tentatively remain an Apple customer for now. But I certainly wouldn’t buy anything else from Apple again unless it was clear there was a full money-back guarantee from the start. I don’t want to go through this experience again.

I guess that is the end of my story. I hope other people have better luck than I did with their iPhone 7 Pluses. And I hope Apple reconsiders the way they advertise the iPhone 7 Plus screen. Because what they are advertising just is not what you get.

New MacBook Pro USB-C-only ports – Flexible? Messy? Definitely expensive.

The more I think about it the weirder it seems that the new MacBook Pro only includes USB-C ports. There isn’t even an HDMI port anymore. That’s pretty standard. If you upgrade you will need separate adapters for everything. And they aren’t cheap.

On the one hand I suppose you could say this is maximum flexibility. Any port can be used for any purpose. But you have to spend a couple of hundred dollars just on basic adapter cables. It’s messy and not very consumer friendly.

You can’t even connect your iPhone directly to the new MacBook Pro anymore! You need an extra $25 lightning to USB/C cable! That’s a bit over the top I think.

You even need to use one of the USB-C ports for charging.

Green dots in sunset photos on the iPhone 6 plus – lens flare?

Recently I noticed some obvious bright green dots in sunset photos I’ve taken with my iPhone 6 Plus. I thought it was just recent, so I went back and looked over old photos and found a couple with the same phenomenon, going as far back as late 2014. I saw at least one discussion at the Apple support forums about this from 2014, but there didn’t seem to be a conclusion.

My AppleCare warranty is up on 9/25/2016, so I contacted AppleCare and showed them the photos and we discussed it. They did a search of my serial number and determined my iPhone was part of a “small set of iPhone cameras” manufactured between September 2014 and January 2015 which experienced some camera blurring and other camera problems. This wasn’t blurring, but the Apple rep said they wanted to exchange it since it fit into that period of time.

Anyway, I got my exchange iPhone today, and I just went for a bike ride along the river, and it experiences the exact same problem. Not with every photo, but with many of the photos where I’m shooting into the sunset. Here are a few examples with and without the effect. The first 2 do not have the green dot, but the last 3 do.

It’s obviously a spec/quality issue with the iPhone 6 Plus lens – unless I was unlucky with two in a row. I guess you could call it “lens flare.” It seems like a rather odd shape and color for lens flare though. But it only happens when shooting at sunset into the sun.

Oh well, as I head into the end of my warranty, at least I ended up with a new iPhone manufactured in August of this year instead of my two-year-old iPhone.

 

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