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I have a 2013 16Gb iPhone 5S, It worked properly until an annoying screen/touchscreen issue appeared yesterday . Here is the issue :

  • The screen suddenly gets slightly darker and some shadows appear under black texts and shapes.
  • The touchscreen stops working but works back when I lock and unlock my iPhone.
  • The slightly darker screen and the blacks shadows issues continue after locking-then-unlocking and then suddenly go away.

So the issue is a sudden screen issue (it gets darker and so shadows appear under black shapes and texts) along with a temporary touchscreen problem that goes away after locking then unlocking the device .

enter image description here

  • Is your iPhone Jailbroken? Because that could have something to do with the screen acting up. The reason I ask is that I noticed that there are a Settings gear and an "iPhone in a circle" button (and what does the "iPhone in a circle" button do, anyway?) between the flashlight and camera buttons. I have a stopwatch where the gear is and a calculator where the iPhone in a circle button is. – RedEagle2000 Aug 22 '15 at 16:56
  • Looks like this thread is older but I just started having the same problem on my 5s. The shadows disappear for me when the light in the room is bright enough to make the phone's backlight get brighter. In other words, if the phone's backlight is low, the shadows are likely to appear. – user182891 May 9 '16 at 23:19
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Great picture. I'm not sure I would be able to answer from the words alone.

If you focus on two areas - just above the words Airdrop - the fading/smearing looks quite evident.

  • the speaker icon for mute/low volume has definite "smearing"
  • the >> fast forward black triangles also exhibit "smearing"

I don't know the technical term for that bleed, but it's a hardware issue with the voltage controlling the LCD panel. Either the chip that drives the graphics is failing or the connections between the circuits embedded in the LCD and the controlling chip. Basically, reseating the LVDS cable would be the first things I would try if I were a repair technician and needing to fix a phone with that display.

To check your phone against other phones and devices, this web page is fabulous for test patterns:

You'll want the detailed pages for how to use them, but the link above is my gold standard for just looking at two screens side by side to get a quick check of the LCD calibration and performance.

Without opening the hardware and inspecting things, here are questions I'd ask before getting a repair:

  • Has the phone been dropped recently or had a large shock (even in case, a drop can cause internal damage)?
  • Is there warranty or AppleCare coverage? (If so - seek repair before it expires)
  • Has the phone been opened by Apple or anyone else recently (or ever?)?
  • But why does the touchscreen stops working when this display issue occurs until I lock then unlock my device? – reaffer Aug 22 '15 at 16:31
  • @reaffer I would speculate that cable damage or voltage fluctuations / defects in the hardware could cause both issues. If you keep track of when things happen on paper - you'll know if they always come at the same tim or if it's just a coincidence. Sorry I can't offer more details. I haven't worked on iPhone 5S but know how things work in general from opening / repairing all manner of Mac and older iPhones. There might be some practical advice to be had from someone that repairs iPhone 5S generation hardware, but I have nothing more solid to add to the answer. :-( – bmike Aug 22 '15 at 16:36
  • It's not a coincidence but I totally appreciate your help, you clarified the issue for me, thanks. – reaffer Aug 22 '15 at 16:42

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