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iPhone 15 Pro Max OLED burn-in issue might be fixed by iOS 17.1

Published Oct 18th, 2023 10:13AM EDT
iPhone 15 Pro on a shelf.
Image: Jonathan Geller, BGR

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The iPhone 15 launch hasn’t gone very smoothly for Apple. Some of the buyers who got the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max versions experienced overheating problems that Apple had to fix via a software update. The iOS 17.0.3 release addressed a few of the bugs that led to overheating, though some iPhone 15 Pro users still experienced issues after the fix.

But overheating isn’t the only problem that Apple needs to fix. Some buyers have reported sound issues that impacted various iPhone 15 models.

More troublingly, some iPhone 15 Pro Max users complained of an OLED burn-in issue, which is a disturbing issue for a new phone that could indicate actual defects with the hardware. However, yet another software bug appears to be causing the problem, and Apple will fix it with its iOS 17.1 update.

Burn-in refers to display image retention, as seen in the image below. It’s a problem that can impact any OLED screen, especially TVs and monitors that show the same static image for long periods of time.

That’s obviously not the case for an iPhone. The pixels light up differently because you keep switching between apps and turning off the screen. Therefore, OLED burn-in shouldn’t be a problem, especially on brand-new devices like the iPhone 15.

iPhone 15 Pro Max burn in issue
iPhone 15 Pro Max burn-in issue. Image source: Apple Discussion Forum

However, MacRumors reports that older iPhone models have also experienced burn-in issues recently. That includes iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 models.

The blog also says that Apple has acknowledged the display issues and will fix them via the upcoming iOS 17.1 software release. The news comes from the release notes of iOS 17.1.

It’s unclear what causes the burn-in issues, but hopefully, the fix will work. If you haven’t returned your iPhone to Apple for repairs, you might want to wait for the iOS 17.1 to roll out. Then, if the update fixes the problem, you won’t have to have your unit replaced. If the screen continues to retain images after the iOS 17.1 update, you’ll most likely need a replacement. But that’s speculation at this time.

The iOS 17.1 update should also fix other bugs, like preventing the reset of the Significant Location privacy setting when transferring or pairing an Apple Watch for the first time.

The release will also patch a bug that prevents users from accessing custom and purchased ringtones. Another fix will solve the keyboard responsiveness. Finally, Apple has optimized iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 crash detection features.

Since this is a .1 release, it’ll also bring over several new iOS 17 features. Apple already rolled out the Release Candidate for iOS 17.1, so the final release is probably just around the corner. You can expect it to arrive next week.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.