My iPhone 5 has recently developed a screen fault: a line going from the bottom left to the top right with other lines and / or a mold-like pattern (the photos don't exactly convey the full effect).

The weird thing is that it is not permanent - it comes and goes (although the diagonal line always stays, it just varies in intensity).

Unless it's a symptom of a very strange cause, I'm fairly sure that this isn't software-based.

I'm very careful with my phone so, as far as I can remember, the device hasn't suffered any physical or water damage.

I do have insurance but I'd just like to know what people think so I know exactly what to claim on.


6th February:

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11th February:

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27th March:

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    Since it's highly likely your iPhone 5 is less than a year and covered by warranty, get it to the nearest Apple Store or call AppleCare in your country to get it fixed. – Global nomad Feb 12 '13 at 19:34
  • But no idea what the actual cause is? – mythofechelon Mar 27 '13 at 8:49
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    @Globalnomad highly possible? It's the only possibility. LOL – Shane Hsu Mar 27 '13 at 13:36
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    In all honesty this looks like liquid exposure to me. When liquid enters an LCD panel it creates a cloudy effect, like the effect seen along the upper portion and down the right side of this display. Source; worked in Apple retail for a few years and have seen literally hundreds (thousands?) of damaged iPhones, iPods, Macs. – Mr Rabbit Mar 27 '13 at 14:24
  • @ShaneHsu I was future proofing my answer (past when the one year anniversary of iPhone 5). LOL – Global nomad Mar 29 '13 at 18:24

As I can see from your profile: You live in the UK. How's the winter this year? I mean: How cold is it? And how are you carrying your iPhone around? Inside your trouser's pocket? Or inside your coat's pocket? So yeah, maybe it sufferd from extreme differences in temperature plus condensation.

  • We have had some pretty bizarre weather lately - days that start sunny and mild, turn into actual blizzards, and back. But only lately. This started before all that. – mythofechelon Mar 30 '13 at 14:46

I would say from the cloudiness around the edges of your screen it looks like water damage and the fact that there are water droplets (or appear to be) on the phone in the pictures I would check the water sensors very closely (in the headphone jack and in the charge port) if they are even the slightest color of pink your probably not going to have much luck at the Apple store unless you get real lucky and get a newbe at the Genius Bar. Good luck with it though.

  • Even though the "cloudiness" dispersed fairly quickly and I was left with just the jagged lines, the Genius said: 1. It looks like water damage 2. There's no way to confirm #1, as the iPhone was missing its water sensors (weird) 3. They wouldn't offer a free screen replacement, as "there's no point because other components may be damaged" 4. A new handset would only cost £180, as it's still in warranty. So, you were the most right. Have an accepted answer and an upvote on me! – mythofechelon Aug 29 '13 at 19:41

On August 25th, I made an appointment with a Genius and took the device to the Apple Store.

Weirdly, he said that there was no liquid sensor inside the device (I've never removed it) and that he would ignore that but that it does look like liquid damage. He said that there's no point replacing just the display, as other components may be damaged, and that I'd have to buy a replacement device for £180 (reduced, due to the fact that it was still in warranty).


It’s condensation, same thing happened to me after I left my phone next to the bath which I had really hot. Same cloudy effect and diagonal lines.

  • Exactly the same, took it from under a cold window charging into the bathroom to watch telly as I've done many times and the volume was changing itself a few times, odd, then the screen went dark and patterned right before my eyes in about 5 minutes. Put on radiator immediately in a towel but too late. – Luke Puplett Mar 27 '18 at 13:21

I think is due to temperature difference. I have no problem using it in Australia for many years. I was in northern Sweden (Umea) last year December and I found this weird screen appear. I asked Apple Sweden and they said it might be due to extreme difference in temperature that cause this. Northern Sweden was -11 on Christmas period. Well... I think if you read in the instruction, there is a certain temperature range for Apple iPhone to be stable . :)

I would definitely get back to Apple Australia and ask for opinion and help. Hope it helps.

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