If you’re lucky, you have a brand-new iPhone 12 to play with. If you’re unlucky, your device’s OLED screen has a mysterious green tint to it. You can see if this is the case by turning the lights off in your room and restarting your iPhone, viewing a darker image, or pulling up an all-black background. If your device has a strange green glow, you’ll know.
What should you do if you’re affected? You can contact Apple, which might send you a replacement iPhone, but there’s no guarantee that what you get will actually fix whatever problem plagues some of these iPhone 12s. As one person wrote in Apple’s forums:
I have the same problem, Apple [sent] me a new iPhone two times now, I think they don’t know what to do. I still hope for a software issue.
Apple is actively investigating the problem right now, and it’s too soon to say whether this is a hardware issue (hopefully not) or some kind of quirk that can be fixed with a future software update (hooray).
Try to hold off on heading to the Apple Store to get advice or a replacement for your iPhone — there’s a raging pandemic, after all. While you can always reach out to Apple Support virtually, the best they’ll be able to do is send you a new iPhone. That means you’ll have to send your green-tinted one back, which is probably another trip to the FedEx or UPS store (which will likely get more busy as we get closer to the holidays). And there’s no guarantee that the replacement you get will actually fix the problem. Not to mention, even though setting up a new iPhone is quick, especially if you’re copying over from another one, it’s still time you’ll spend redoing what you already did once.
As MacRumors reports, even Apple itself is telling its Authorised Service Providers to hold off on replacing these iPhone 12s. That makes it seem likely this is something that will be more easily fixable with a software update. There’s also a separate yellow-tinting issue going on, too, and it’s unclear whether that’s a hardware issue Apple can only fix with a replacement, or whether that’s something that software will patch in time.
(You can check this by turning off True Tone in Settings > Display & Brightness and pulling up white screens and websites. If your iPhone looks unnaturally yellow — again, you’ll know if it does — then you might be affected.)
So the best course of action for now is to wait. However, if you’re still within your 14-day return window for your iPhone 12, and any perceived screen tinting issue is really bugging you, maybe you should contact Apple to see what they can do, if anything. You can always initiate that return and rebuy an iPhone 12 when you’re done — or if Apple offers any meager Black Friday deal to sweeten the deal.