To their shock and annoyance, users of their brand new iPhone 15 noticed that the screen was “burning in”. Turns out, fortunately, to be a software bug, iOS 17.1 brings releave.
OLED screens are prone to screen content burn-in over time. In the past, this used to occur mostly on picture tube monitors. With the advent of LCDs, we seemed to be rid of this misery for good. Which, by the way, occurs because fixed images are displayed for long periods of time. And in the case of a CRT, the affected phosphor layer aged faster than the rest. In the case of OLED screens, the affected organic LED pixels age faster than the rest. The effect is exactly the same: a shadow of the burned-in image over the regular content. Normally, on smartphones, this happens only after years of use, if ever. Hence, (some of the) proud owners of the brand new iPhone 15 became seriously concerned when they saw obvious burn-in on their screen.
Nothing to worry: it’s a software bug!
Fortunately, according to Apple, these are no burn-in symptoms at all; it is a software bug. Indeed, it has since become clear that the phenomenon disappeared in the betas of iOS 17.1. We are now at the point of release of iOS 17.1 (perhaps that update is already available at the time you are reading this!). Quick installation is therefore highly recommended for iPhone 15 owners.