The iPhone 5 has a reasonably good camera that is incredibly convenient because it is always in my pocket. Unfortunately, I noticed a few weeks ago that there were two spots on pictures that I took with my camera. In most pictures the spots were almost invisible, but a picture of a light, solid color would reveal the spots.
For example, here is a picture that I took using the ABBYY FineReader Touch app that I recently reviewed, and another picture that I took of the floor of an Apple Store. I've added red ovals to emphasize the spots:
At first I thought my lens was just dirty, but cleaning was not a solution. Then I thought that the lens had gotten scratched, but I try as I might, I certainly couldn't see anything. Some research on the Internet led me to discover others with this problem, and the working theory was that dust had somehow gotten inside of the iPhone 5. I gave my phone several vigorous shakes to try to dislodge any dust, but that wasn't a solution either.
So I decided to make an appointment at the Genius Bar at an Apple Store. As always, the experience was fantastic. Before I left home, I backed up my iPhone to iTunes on my computer. As I entered the store I launched the Apple Store app, which instantly noticed that I was in an Apple Store and knew that I had an 11am appointment, so it immediately asked me if I wanted to sign in. I tapped one button to do so, and a few minutes later, the Apple Genius called my name. Perhaps he had seen this problem before because as soon as I started to describe it, he quickly said that he would just swap out my iPhone 5 for a new one. A few minutes later I had a new iPhone 5 in my hand, and when I got home I connected it to my computer, restored from a backup (which took a long time ... maybe two hours for my 64 GB iPhone 5), and then I was back in business again. A shiny new iPhone 5 with no dots in my pictures.
I have not had many hardware problems since I started using an iPhone in 2008, but it is nice to know that if there is a problem, the Apple Store makes it as fast and easy as possible to get customers up and running again. Can you imagine if other business worked the same way — car mechanics, cable companies, the DMV?
If you see consistent, reproducible spots in the pictures you take, I recommend that you swap it out at an Apple Store.