Following the purple haze camera issue, the WiFi bug affecting cellular data usage, Scuffgate, Mapgate, light leaks and other teething problems, some early adopters are now reporting a new glitch related to the iPhone 5’s virtual keyboard.

Apparently, it’s randomly inconveniencing an unknown proportion of users whose device exhibits an annoying glitch where some parts of the keyboard show random noise and broken lines, like old TV sets attuned to the snow white frequency…

A growing thread on Apple’s Discussion forums is filling with reports of the screen flickering problem, which by all accounts appears to be related to the software keyboard.

Poster ‘samesense’ writes:

When I enter my password in the app store, lines begin to flicker across rows of the keyboard.

This has happened on my last two visits to the app store. The first two or three times there was no problem. This is the only context in which I observe the flickering keyboard. Is anyone else having this issue?

Another users says the issue is “kind of widely reported in Japan”.

A guy who called Apple’s support department was told that the company will be investigating further.

Apple reportedly replaced devices for some people, which solved the problem for some, while others claim the hiccup persists.

Our own Sebastien Page also observed the flickering on his iPhone 5.

Here is an example of the flickering.

Pay attention to the flickering in the bottom left and top row of the virtual keyboard.

Here’s another one.

Looks pretty bad.

Are you affected by this issue?


It’s unknown how widespread this issue is as Apple isn’t talking, per usual.

My guess is it’s probably software-based and easily solvable with a future software update.

By the way, YouTube lit up with user videos depicting the issue (here, here, here, here and here) so the keyboard flickering thing definitely is not an isolated incident.

It would seem that many people are only seeing the flickering during App Store password entry, though your mileage may wary as Sebastien tells me that he’s seeing the flickering when creating a tweet from Notification Center so it appears to be whenever the keyboard pops up.

Feel free to post your thoughts and experience about this issue down in the comments.

  • lol @ apple lack of quality control…. what a mess…. but the chipping black paint is the worst of all..

    • coejam

      Yes. They have plan to follow the Blackberry RIM. From highest to zero.

    • Jordan Dixon

      I have a black iPhone 5 – no chips. People are just retards. And this is a software bug, nothing to do with hardware.

    • Yea, and when they tried to raise the quality standards, Foxconn workers protested. So there is something fishy going on there. Apple quality standards already high yet the actual quality inspectors arent doing their job?

  • Yeah I get this on the app store too. As do the other guys in the office. We noticed it just a few minutes out of the box on launch day.

  • Ron McLaughlin

    I was wondering when this would show up on this site, I knew my phone couldn’t be the only one doing it… Glad to see others are having issues too! Hopefully a quick and easy fix soon!

  • Happens all the time to me. Unfortunately, you can’t use the iOS screenshot tool to catch it in the act.

    • Yeah true I got my phone swapped last Friday because of this problem, and I just got the same problem again now and tried to screenshot it and it goes away 🙁

    • Jan4843

      So it’s a hardware problem?

  • mine
    does the same i should have waited a couple months to get the iphone

    • There’s always some problems with the first batch of any device. The 4 and 4S had the yellow screens from the adhesive not drying, the Nexus 7 had screen problems in the pre-order batch. That’s why I always wait til the bugs are worked out as much as they can be.

  • JerseyD

    This happens to me. Also see discolored lines and pixels when I open folders sometimes. Like Jeff said cant capture it w a screen shot either.

  • I get it a lot too.

  • iFrank0

    It happens to me every time I download an App from the AppStore. The flickering goes away when i tap the correspondent keys.

  • Mine does that when I enter the numbers for my password. When I switch back to letters the lines disappear. Not cool, but luckily no big issue. Will probably be gone with 6.0.1

    • Javier Rios

      Yeah same here only when entering numbers. Software issue. It will be fixed

  • Aaron de Silva

    I have it flicker when i open a folder as well. usually this one particular folder gets the problem the most.

  • Definitely been having this issue too.

  • Guest

    Why is the keyboard black? My keyboard does not look like that

  • jose castro

    ya its really not a big issue

  • On our polish web site, apple has mixed describe of the new iPod Touch buttons. What a fuckup.

  • Well since its happening to so many people I doubt its a software issue but maybe it is. Has anyone tried restoring and then replicating the issue. I remember this happened to my iPhone 4 when the first jailbreak for it came out. I had to restore and it went away and then retried the jailbreak and it was fine. I haven’t noticed this on my iPhone 5 yet but If it happens I might try a restore and see if that fixes the issue.

    • Anton

      You don’t really seem to know what you think is the problem. First the screen, then maybe the OS, then the screen again.

      It should be quite obvious that it has to be a software issue, especially when you say that you have experienced it before with a jailbroken device, and it disappeared after restoring it to original OS.

      • Yeah but that was on an iPhone 4 and that was a different situation. Here everyone is running the exact same version of iOS 6 but some people have the problem and some don’t. If everyone has the same software and only some people are still having the problem even after restoring then I don’t think it’s the software. Only way it would be the software is if only a specific iPhone from one of the three carriers was the only one having the problem (which is not the case because people with different carriers are all getting it) and that would require Apple to make a different version of iOS 6 for that specific device like they used to do for the iPhone 4 and still do for all the different iPads. If it does turn out to be a software problem then it must have to do with some different settings people have on their iPhones and Apple will issue a fix for it. There are a lot of different factors going on so noone can be sure if it really is just the software or just the hardware. Hell it could even be both.

  • I actually noticed this a few times with my phone has not stuck around for more than. Few seconds and the app I noticed it the most with was the App Store while entering password as stated in the article. Not a big deal, that’s what warranties are for if its hardware, No phone or OS is perfect.

  • Okay I finally see this article after going crazy for long time and yes I decided to share my story about my iPhone 5 as well.

    So I got my iPhone 5 first on the launch date and I was a bit stupid this time I guess. I line up for the iPhone 5 with “iH8sn0w” at Sherway Garden Mall for 17 hours.

    What happen is that when I get my iPhone 5 I wanted the white, but I told them black just because it looks cool, but then yeah not a big deal. After a day of using it I notice that there is a big issue on my phone with the LTE connection.

    Comparing my iPhone 5 black 64GB with my brother’s iPhone 5 white 64GB he got a full signal bar and mine only 2 signal bar, so I thougt that could be just the software issue. I did a fresh restore using erase all setting, yet the problem still exist so I went back to the Apple Store and told them about it, and they just swap my sim card, but no the phone and asked me to use it for another day. I did use it for another day and still have the same problem. This time they did swap me the phone, but!!!! I really hate this because I don’t have the case for my iPhone 5 yet so I didn’t peel off the plastic, but when I did take it off just to see the back and found there is a scracthes on the phone already! WTF???

    Anyway I don’t really care about the scuff, scracthes since I got Apple Care+ I can get a new phone after 2 years paying 50$ not a big deal, but now the problem comes!!!!

    I found the same problem like the article talking about here with the screen flickers. The most suspicion part is that it does only happen when you are entering the password in the AppStore app. I thought that was only the software issue again, so I did restore and still happen and checked with my brother he told me it never happens to him, and I asked few of my friends no one said about this problem.

    I did record a video of this screen flickers and also show the IMEI+Serial number of the device in the video.

    What happen is I made an appointment with “Genius Bar” I had an arguement for like 30 mins with him about this. He told me that video can’t be a prove of the problem it has to be proven at the scene. I told him tell me how because is not always happen!

    So we ended up talking with the manager of the Apple Store, so she asked me to use it for another week and if it happens again take another prove like video record it again or take a picture and she will be happy to swap the phone for me.

    So it does happen again and I got my phone swap last on Friday.

    I don’t know what is wrong really with Apple this time with the quality control.

    LTE issue
    Scuff and scratch from the unbox
    and Screen Flickers?

    I paid over 1000$ for my phone and really so disappointmented about this 🙁

    • Tanq

      Over a grand? You were ripped off. My 64gig cost 323 after upgrade.

      • @disqus_bHgN2Kih9Z:disqus Sorry I meant the phone cost, I paid only like 524$ after taxes.

    • Rip Steve… He would never release a phone of this caliber.

  • It happens all the time

  • LOL just happen again just now to my new swapped phone

  • I’m finding more and more bugs and power management issues in iOS 6 every day.

  • Had my phone replace due to this..New phone has same issue now I have that issue with the glow by the power switch…I miss Steve.

  • NinjaCEO

    I have the same issue. Annoying.

  • Yeah i’m having the same problem. I really don’t feel like doing the whole swap out thing if it’s only going to end up being a software issue. I’m going to see where it goes… If the problem persists after an update i’ll probably take it in. but it’s a random thing and not that huge of a deal to me. I figured this would eventually pop up with other consumers if it was not only me… Hopefully it’s a Software thing.

  • My iphone is also doing that. Happy to see I’m not the only one.

  • jeff it happens to my iphone as soon i load the appstore when i purchased an app and it stays until i closed the app store….

  • Keeps on happening to me to also when a latter pops up it keeps on flashing for about 20 seconds.

  • well if you wanna replace your iphone this is the best excuse, as i have been told by an apple employee they know of this issue but have no instructions so they just replace the phone :D. i also have it when i open up a folder that is set at the center of the screen and full of apps.

  • willie_walk

    My iPhone 5 has this issue as well, a long with the purple halo issue.

  • I have this exact issue with my keyboard, it doesn’t happen all the time, but I have seen it more than once.

  • SoCoMagNuM

    if i bought a brand new device and it did that id be pissed. when i camped out for iphone 4 and waited all those hours to get a phone that had visible glue residue under the screen (yellow tent) i lost my mind. i bought it back the next day and got that swapped out. then came winter time and my phone started having freezing issue forcing me to do hard resets just to get the phone functional again. hen the weather got cold screen would go black and stay black until i did a hard reset. had to go to apple and get phone replaced again. i had that phone for a while, waited for the iphone 4s…wasnt impressed. waited for the iphone 5…still not impressed and all these issues popping up isnt making me wan to jump back to the iphone wagon. lets see if they can start getting their quality control back in order. seems to be deteriorating at a rapid pace.

  • Same problem with mine, and my last Iphone 5 had to be replaced because when it lost signal (when going into a supermarket or something) when I came outside it wouldn’t get a signal again unless I put it in airplane mode then turned airplane mode off again. Even when left for an hour while my friends iPhone 4S had full signal on the same network.
    I do think both ios6 and the quality of the new iPhone has dropped slightly. 🙁

  • Mine started doing it but the more I used it the less it happened. I havent seen it for a while now. No doubt this is a software issue anyways.

  • Yes, I’ve noticed this same flickering in the App Store since day one. Very annoying

  • i experienced that 5 times already during texting 🙁

  • Pedro Nunez

    yes!!! this happens to me. not always but happens!

  • My ip5 has broken lines when I open up folders.

  • Yep, this has happened to me since day one, but I don’t know why it’s only when I go to enter my iTunes password, that’s really weird!

  • Anyone else having constant problems with their messaging app? Like my shortcuts never work, sometimes my phone will display my message multiple times, or my phone will notify me about a message I already read 20 minutes late.

  • ThatSam

    I get when looking at pictures sometimes

  • What they told me at apple was that its a software problem from going from a older iPhone to a new iPhone I told him lie just swap it and he just didn’t and I got mad a left

  • Rinto

    I had the same problem for few days, but it seemed to have stopped by itself. Today there was another problem- the keyboard in text message doesnt show up no matter how hard i click in that box..
    I’ve filed a complaint in the apple site and popping dwn to the store soon to talk to apple staff about it.

  • Rinto

    This is the perfect time for RIM to slap apple with their B10 device..

  • My wife has this problem w/ her iPhone 5, never really been concerned with it. We just assumed it was a software bug because the phone works fine regardless and it still functions even w/ the flicker.

  • Affected, at least twice. Consider go changing a new one or not 😐

  • I see the same error on my iPhone screen, while downloading app in the apple store.

  • Maybe apple will say we holding it wrong smh

    • philadelphia

      Good thing you said that, we all almost forgot! Stay original my friend!

  • a smit

    WHO CARES lmao

  • philadelphia

    Is this a hardware or software problem? Some of the other problems that have been reported lead me to believe that it’s software…

  • I’ve also just noticed this same effect when opening a folder.
    There was the same type of lines on the screen in the gray area.
    As soon as I touched the screen they vanished.