Does anyone know Apple's dead pixel policy?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by xxcool, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. xxcool macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2006
    I got my MBP C2D a few weeks back. It had a dead pixel on it. I called tech support and the guy told me the only thing I can do is to take it to the Genie bar to be assessed whether it is eligible for replacement. I didn't do that, but I ended up returning it anyway because of the optical drive problem.

    The replacement I got also has a dead pixel on it, plus 2 smaller ones near the edge which is less prominent. This is pissing me off a bit. Do I have bad luck or apple's laptop screen just have low quality?

    I was wondering if anyone have any dead pixel issues with your laptop and were you able to get a replacement by apple?
  2. Kingsly macrumors 68040


    I know the pixel requirement but in the interest of job security I cannot tell you.

    I can, however, tell you that you don't have enough to justify a replacement or repair by Apple. :(

    BTW, it would appear that you just have bad luck. I have never had any of my Apple LCD's experience dead or stuck pixels. :eek:
  3. Zwhaler macrumors 603


    Jun 10, 2006
    First off, when you say "dead" pixel, are they actually dead (black and not working at all) or are they "stuck" which means they are stuck on a certain color (usually red, green or blue) because if they are in fact dead they have no reason not to replace it, but stuck pixels are not that uncommon, so you may have a tougher time getting it replaced. I'm not sure about Apple's policy, but if you are nice but firm to a guy at the Apple store you should get a replacement.
  4. Kingsly macrumors 68040


    True, if you can find a sympathetic Apple store manager, it is very possible to get a replacement.
    Keep in mind, though, that Apple has a set threshold of when a monitor becomes defective. Your monitor does not surpass that threshold.

    OT: Zwhaler, I want your drum kit!!!
  5. xxcool thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2006
    From your description, I really don't see what the difference is. If it is stuck in one color, it might as well be considered dead. What good does it do otherwise? Anyway, it my case, the first MBP had a pixel that appeared to be very dark blue or black, my current MBP has a pixel that is stuck in orange.

    I'm curious as to why you think it's possible to convince the guy at the store? This is almost telling me that there is really no set policy on this.

  6. Kingsly macrumors 68040


    If you can find a rreeaallyy sympathetic Apple store manager you can possibly convince them to help you out. Apple has no obligation to do so though, and they do have a set pixel policy. Good luck, I'll be sending the manager good Reality Distortion Field vibes. ;) :D
  7. Transeau macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2005
    Alta Loma, CA
    Buyers in California have a legal right to full disclosure of warranty information. That includes a right to have - in writing - what the manufacture qualifies as acceptable or defective.

    If you can not get the info you want from AppleCare or the Local Apple Store, try contacting your states Attorney General's Office. They would be the people that can put pressure on a manufacture to either provide you with the info you want, or a replacement.

    I don't know the state that the OP is in, but here in Cali we expect to know exactly what is covered by the warranty.
  8. Kingsly macrumors 68040


    While you are 100% correct (about California) my MBP disassembly guide (where it tells the the policy) explicitly tells me not to tell the customer the pixel policy. Oh well. :eek:
  9. iBorg20181 macrumors 6502


    Apr 5, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    That surprises me!

    I can't remember the website, but a couple of years ago, a site had a comparison chart of replacement policies for the major notebook manufacturers' stuck/dead pixels on their notebook screens, and they were all fairly close - something like a total of 5 or more pixels, or more than one in the center of the screen - something like that. A single pixel wouldn't trigger replacement for any company. But Kingsly is correct, in that a sympathetic manager may be more helpful.

    Oh, and I also think you've had bad luck - I've purchased, over the past 10+ years some 10-11 Apple notebooks (iBooks, PowerBooks, MBPs) for myself and my family, and although I've required AppleCare service on a few of them, not one has had even a single pixel problem, either stuck or dead.

    Good luck!

  10. dhc macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2006
    This is precisely what Apple (UK) told me when I queried the situation with an old g4 iBook I had bought my wife. Won't replace unless there's 5 or more dead 'uns. Her dead pixel was the only one in we've experienced in 5 Macs...
  11. EvryDayImShufln macrumors 65816


    Sep 18, 2006
    The thing I dont understand is when I called apple to ask them this, they told me any amount would warrant a replacement. I knew this was not the truth, but why are support staff always so sure of themselves and often turn out to be wrong???
  12. macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2006
    Sorry about this post - I put my question in a thread of its own :)
  13. rdhmario3suit macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2005
    I don't think it's just in California but in every state where it's illegal to hide qualifications for Warranty service. I'm studying Business Law and we just went over some of that. Threaten legal action and Apple might cave in...
  14. Transeau macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2005
    Alta Loma, CA
    Well, unlike others - I could care less if Apple doesn't want people to tell.

    Here is what they base it on:

    When displaying a single color over the screen area, the LCD panel shows one or more pixels that are not properly lit

    To determine whether or not the display has an acceptable number of pixel anomalies, follow the steps below:
    Set the display image to one of the following colors: all-white display, all-red display, all-green display, or all-blue display. Knowledge Base article 112125: Service Diagnostics Matrix, has the LCD Tester Diagnostic Utility that will generate these patterns on the screen.

    Using a jeweler’s loupe, pocket microscope, or other magnifying device, identify and count each pixel anomaly:
    • Bright subpixel anomaly = subpixel that is always on
    • Dark subpixel anomaly = subpixel that is always off

    The number of acceptable pixel anomalies for this system is:

    Acceptable Number of Subpixel Anomalies:
    Bright Up to 3
    Dark Up to 5
    Combination Up to 7

    If the number of subpixel anomalies exceeds the acceptable number listed in the above chart, replace the display panel assembly.

    Bright 4 or more
    Dark 6 or more
    Combination 8 or more
    If the number of subpixel anomalies is acceptable, explain to the customer that the pixel anomalies are within specifications, and no repair is necessary.

    Important: Do not release the specifications to customers. Instead, inform them that a certain
    number of subpixel anomalies are considered acceptable, and these factors apply to all
    manufacturers using LCD technology—not just Apple products.

    When speaking with customers, please use the following explanation:
    Active-matrix LCD technology uses rows and columns of addressable locations (pixels) that
    render text and images on screen. Each pixel location has three separate subpixels (red, green,
    and blue) that allow the image to be rendered in full color. Each subpixel has a corresponding
    transistor responsible for turning the subpixel on or off.

    There are typically millions of these subpixels on an LCD display. For example, the LCD panel used
    in the Apple Cinema HD display is made up of 2.3 million pixels and 6.9 million red, green, and
    blue subpixels. Occasionally, a transistor does not work perfectly, which may result in the affected
    subpixel being turned on (bright) or turned off (dark). With the millions of subpixels on a display,
    it is quite possible to have a low number of faulty transistors on an LCD. Therefore, a certain
    number of subpixel anomalies are considered acceptable. Rejecting all but perfect LCD panels
    would significantly increase the retail price for products using LCD displays. These factors apply
    to all manufacturers using LCD technology—not just Apple products.

    Any Apple people... I'm well within the California Laws posting this.
  15. Kingsly macrumors 68040


    Wait until Apple has told you to shove it before threatening legal action, it could backfire if you go that route on the first try!
    Well, the cat's out of the bag! ;) :cool: :D
  16. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    Look, the point is this:

    Did you see Apple's policy BEFORE you purchased your computer? Was that information made plainly available to you? Would a reasonable person have known what the policy was?

    A bought an iMac in April of 2006. Its 20" screen has exactly 1,764,000 pixels (1680x1050). THAT is what Apple advertised and THAT is what I made my purchase based on (well, not just that, but you get the point). I haven't had any dead/stuck pixels.

    But if I have so much as a SINGLE bad pixel during my warranty period, that machine is going back for repair. Sellers have a choice: either offer full disclosure of all return policies BEFORE the sale, or accept returns of all products that do not meet that actual stated specifications. If I got a dead pixel, that would mean my pixel count would be less than what Apple advertised, meaning I'm not getting what I'd paid for.

    On this, I would be VERY litigious.

    I understand that it would be cost-prohibitive for manufacturers to ensure zero-tolerance for dead pixels. But the other option is clear: tell the consumer the policy before the sale. But manufacturers know that people (a) will be less willing to buy an LCD display that they are told MIGHT be faulty and (b) if they're not told, they'll usually accept one or two dead pixels (it it, I think, rare to see more than that on a single display). The cost-benefit ratio for Apple says 5 pixels is the sweet spot; after that, people start to demand a replacement. Below that it costs Apple too much to ensure better quality. Strangely enough, manufacturers are VERY forthcoming about the difference in posted hard drive space vs. actual useable space (the whole, 1GB = 1 billion bytes thing). Why? Because people wouldn't accept a lower capacity drive and Apple WOULD be liable if they didn't make this plainly obvious to every purchaser.

    Do not accept dead pixels. You simply don't have to, no matter what Apple tells you.
  17. Elisha macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2006
    its funny that most new notebooks have dead pixels everywhere, be it Mac or other manufacturers.
    I have an Acer Extensa 710DX from 1998 and it still works well on XP and Win2K and it has absolutely no stuck or dead pixels.
    but the 2 new Vaio's i had had a couple dead pixels and numerous stuck pixels out of the box.
    And so did the Gateway and Toshiba i had as well.
    Not gonna run the Macbook on a black wallpaper, cause it would really piss me off if i find stuck pixels on it. As long as i don't see any dead ones on a regular wallpaper i'm good to go especially since i bought it online and have upgraded the ram myself.
  18. GraceMolloy macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2006
    I agree with this statement. My new MBP was blessedly free of defect (that I can find, and I've checked MANY times, knock on wood). But if it had not been, Apple would be replacing or refunding this thing, or I'd be reversing the charges on my credit card.

    Do not pay THOUSANDS of dollars for an imperfect product.

    However, mine is perfect, and I LOVE this thing, I'm not going back any time soon.
  19. sepu macrumors regular

    Nov 18, 2006
    I just got my MBP C2D ... and I havent notice anything out of the normal in the screen ... I still wonder how do you find out if you have a dead pixel ?
    can someone point me out how to see them or even better can you post a pic how they look like ?

  20. Elisha macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2006
    for dead pixels, use a white background. for stuck pixels, use a black background.
  21. Max Payne macrumors 6502a

    Oct 27, 2006
    Brisbane, Australia
    I was told Americans were whinners. Now I am sure they are.

    I received my MBP and the box had five scratches. Should I return in to Apple?

    My friend got a 20" iMac. Everything was good until he installed Win XP. The keyboard stopped responding. He borrowed his housemate's keyboard. He didn't contact apple until now and I don't think he will. Even if it was replaced, he won't be using it because he will need an arabic enabled keyboard. He will only waste his time and money in talking to Apple's costumer service.

    My MBP's led doesn't close perfectly. So what. Who cares about such minor issues.

    Stop whinning for the love G-d.
  22. Elisha macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2006
    how about you bend over, and Apple will stuff a pole up you ass and you can take it smiling :D
    since you obviously like receiving the ****** end of the stick.
  23. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    If I was a company, I would love the threat of legal action.

    Since I can avoid the customer until the court date, and make the repair based on written policy anyway.

    Plus, the machine/vehicle sits idle while the warranty clock counts down.

    And dealers immediately in the area may talk to each other and decide not to service them to ever again. Dealers tend to blacklist some of the bigger PIA customers.
  24. Learjet035 macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2005
    S. Floriduh
    I had a 3 year old PB that had a few stuck pixels. I brought it in and they sent it out for a screen replacemement. =) Apple care was just about to expire on it.

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