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More iPhone 5 misery as users report 'purple flare' camera defect

'Purple flare' might sound like a cool new Instagram filter, but it's actually the nickname for the latest glitch affecting the iPhone 5.

Some users are reporting a strange issue with the iPhone 5 camera where a purple flare or haze appears when taking a photo near a bright light source such as a lamp or the sun. The issue was first reported by a forum user on the tech review site AnandTech, who posted several different photos taken inside and outside that showed a purple haze.

The user said he confirmed the issue on at least five different iPhone 5 handsets, including models in both black and white. The issue occurs when you aim your iPhone 5 towards a bright light, and then move it so the light source is just off-screen. It happens most often near bright lamps and the sun, but also occurs to a lesser degree near LED lighting, florescent lighting, and computer monitors.

"I take a lot of photos and video with my iPhone and this is a really annoying problem for me," the user Kaido wrote. "I've confirmed the issue on multiple phones, so I know it's not just me."

The issue may be related to the iPhone 5's new sapphire crystal lens cover, or it could also be caused by a software glitch, the user speculated.

Another poster in Sydney, Australia said they are experiencing the same problem and reported it to Apple. The user was asked to send sample photos so Apple's engineers could investigate the issue.

"I'm not surprised that it is widespread though as I've been able to replicate it on every iPhone 5 I have gotten hold of," the user DJ Callyman wrote.

ITProPortal tested the cameras on both the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S, and found it relatively easy to replicate the purple flare effect irritating owners of the new iToy. However, despite our best efforts, we couldn't reproduce the splash of colour on the older device (see header image, top).

'Purple flare' is just the latest in a string of issues affecting the iPhone 5. Users have been reporting that the rim and back of the phone are easily scuffed and scratched. Some have complained of light leaking out around the white iPhone 5's power connector, while others are having trouble transmitting data via Wi-Fi.

Most recently, iPhone users also noticed that Siri was providing them with inaccurate weather forecasts. But the biggest issue so far, which has now reached "meme" status, is Apple's flawed iOS 6 mapping software that replaced Google Maps.