iPhone 15 Pro Max users report seeing ghostly OLED apparitions

A Weekend at Burn-ins

Apple's flagship iPhone 15 Pro Max is having OLED burn-in issues, according to owners of the new smartphone.

Grumblings around social media have become difficult to ignore as the purchasers of the device, which starts at $1,199.00 in the US (€1,199 in Europe/ £1,199 in the UK), claim to have found ghostly images showing up on the phone's display after a few short weeks of use.

One image from a posting on an Apple community forum shows what appears to be a faint, omnipresent keyboard. Another post in the same thread shows what seem to be phantom icons.

Users on Reddit, X, and other social media platforms have similarly joined in and shared images that do indeed look like some form of burn-in.

The launch of Apple's new phones has not gone off without a hitch. The same Apple forums (and elsewhere) also feature users complaining about the heat given off by the hardware. To them, we'd say, "You're holding it wrong."

Next time, maybe use some tongs. The sort an elderly relation would use to burn chicken on the barbecue.

As for the latest issue to bedevil Apple's new handset, it's difficult to say if the cause is OLED burn-in or a manufacturing defect in a few screens.

OLED burn-in itself is relatively unusual but not unheard of – OLED TVs occasionally suffer from the problem after prolonged exposure to a static image. It is also not to be confused with LCD image retention, which usually disappears after a while. With OLED, the burn tends to be permanent. However, the issue is rare, and many manufacturers have devised ways to mitigate it over the years.

Apple is no stranger to display issues with its devices. Even its MacBook Pro has suffered from problems, including delaminating displays and problems with backlights. Apple's history with faulty screens goes back more than a decade.

The Register contacted Apple to see if the company was aware of the issue and could advise on the cause..

In the meantime, if you've dropped the requisite funds on a new iPhone 15 Pro Max and found something ghostly hanging around on the screen, we'd suggest contacting the company and asking about a replacement. ®

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