But now a new issue is coming to light: a faulty camera system that not only affects your ability to take pictures, it can foil your attempts to use FaceTime, the video chat feature that is the iPhone 4′s top talking point.
I ran into this issue over the weekend. Apple kindly sent me two iPhone 4s to test out. I’ve been trying to convince my wife that we need to upgrade our iPhone 3G’s to the new model, so I thought I’d show her how FaceTime works, figuring she’d be as wowed as I was when I tested it on a friend’s phone in the office.
But it didn’t work. While the phone I was using received my wife’s image, the small box that was supposed to display my image wasn’t showing anything. Meanwhile, on the phone my wife was using, she could only see her own image in the small box on her screen; she didn’t get any images from my phone.
I figured that I must have done something wrong or that there was a glitch, so I tried again. Same result. I tried turning off the phone and turning it on again. Same thing.
Wondering if there was something wrong with the camera on my phone, I called up the camera application. It seemed to work fine. I was able to take a few pictures. But when I tried to switch the in-use camera from the rear to the forward-facing one, the program locked up, showing an unchanging image.
I closed the program and tried to re-open it, but the virtual shutter refused to open. I couldn’t even use the rear-facing camera. The only way to get the camera working again was to turn off the iPhone (by holding down the power button for 5 seconds or so and sliding the slider to “power off” the device) and then restarting it.
It turns out that I’m not the only one that’s having trouble with the new iPhone’s camera. I’ve found four different discussions in Apple’s own support boards in which people have claimed having similar issues. It’s unclear yet how many iPhone 4s are affected by the problem and whether the camera problem is affecting FaceTime on other people’s phones.
An Apple representative I spoke with today said she was unaware of the issue.
Regardless, given the different issues that have come to light with the new iPhone 4, it sure looks like Apple’s quality control was asleep when the new gadget was being readied for store shelves.
How about you? Have you experienced this problem? If so, please let me know.