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Apple fans unwrapping their new iPhone 3GS are being disappointed by an eerie yellow on-screen tint that pushes some handsets beyond usability, though not every complainant has managed to get their handset replaced.

The problem is reminiscent of one that plagued the iPhone 3G, and is described by some users as a "warmer" tone, but by others as an irritating blemish that makes the phone unusable. Some buyers have managed to convince their local Apple store of the problem, while others have been sent home with assurances that the problem was in their imagination or would fix itself over time.

While not widespread, the problem has attracted 24 pages of comments on Apple Discussions, with UK 3GS owners venting their anger on the O2 Forum. Some users report getting their handsets changed at the Apple store by demonstrating the problem to the resident "geniuses", while others claim to have been told the problem didn't exist or would fix itself over time.

The Apple Discussion is also alive with speculation as to why none of the 3GS handsets on display in the stores seem to exhibit the same problem - suggestions include the idea that these are prototype units, or that staff replace any dodgy-looking display devices before the customers see them. The latter seems more likely to us, especially if the problem is rare; but we can only speculate as, true to form, Apple is saying nothing.

So if your 3GS is looking a little jaundiced round the gills you might try haranguing the shop where you bought it, but be prepared to argue your case or admit that a "warmer" screen is just what you wanted really. ®

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