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Apple's Anti-Reflective Coating Repair Program Still in Effect for Some MacBooks With New Mail-In Policy

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In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple recently informed its network of Apple Authorized Service Providers that mail-in repair is now required for Mac notebooks with anti-reflective coating issues in the United States.


The new policy went into effect January 4, 2021 and means that customers who take an eligible 12-inch MacBook or MacBook Pro exhibiting this issue to an Apple Authorized Service Provider will have their notebook mailed to a centralized Apple depot for the repair to be completed, likely resulting in longer waiting times in most cases. It is unclear if the policy applies to any countries outside of the United States at this time.

Apple launched an internal "quality program" in October 2015 after some 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro users experienced issues with the anti-reflective coating wearing off or delaminating on Retina displays. Apple has never publicly announced the repair program on its website, opting instead to handle the matter internally.

Apple continues to authorize free display repairs for eligible Mac notebooks for up to four years after the original purchase date. At this point, it is likely that only select 2016 and 2017 models of the 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro still fall within that four-year window, depending on the purchase date. 2018 or newer models of the MacBook Pro and all MacBook Air models have never qualified for the program.

To initiate a Mac repair, visit the Get Support page on Apple's website. Apple has previously said that customers who already paid for a repair related to this issue may be eligible for a refund, which can be initiated by contacting Apple's support.

Article Link: Apple's Anti-Reflective Coating Repair Program Still in Effect for Some MacBooks With New Mail-In Policy
 

CrazedVW

macrumors member
Feb 15, 2005
67
31
Sandston, Virginia
They need to expand this to the later models too. Both of the 2018 MBAs that we have developed the issue and it seems to be fairly commonplace. I don't doubt that the 2020 M1 I just bought will eventually have it too.
I had it on my work issued 2013 rMBP and 2017 Macbook too. The former had the screen replaced in 2015 and had it happen again. I don't understand why Apple has had this issue for so long and can't figure out a way to keep it from happening.
*Edit to add as I noted in a reply below since first experiencing this issue with the 2013 rMBP I've only used a microfiber cleaning cloth with a little water (per Apple's own instructions) and have never used a keyboard cover. Despite that I've still had the issue on that same machine with the replacement screen and three others. So if you want to claim it's a result of people using a solvent to clean the screen I can assure you it still happens even with just water and a cloth.
 
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swingerofbirch

macrumors 68040
I paid for a repair on a 2013 rMBP with the problem, just months before the unannounced program came out. I was never notified of the program.

I only much later found out about through MacRumors. I contacted to try to get a refund since the issue I paid for was part of this program, and they denied all knowledge of the program. Then I talked to someone who did acknowledge a program but said it was only for model years later than mine. They used to have good customer relations where if you had a problem with AppleCare you could talk to someone in a separate department, but they said that that department no longer takes calls from customers.
 
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vagabnd

macrumors newbie
Jul 1, 2017
9
8
Most likely what is happening is that the replacement parts are constrained and it makes more sense for them to have them all in one central repair facility.
 
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Maconplasma

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2020
957
805
They need to expand this to the later models too. Both of the 2018 MBAs that we have developed the issue and it seems to be fairly commonplace. I don't doubt that the 2020 M1 I just bought will eventually have it too.
I had it on my work issued 2013 rMBP and 2017 Macbook too. The former had the screen replaced in 2015 and had it happen again. I don't understand why Apple has had this issue for so long and can't figure out a way to keep it from happening.
Only use a lightly moistened microfiber cleaning cloth and don't use keyboard covers with the screen closed. I've never experienced this ever. I've been on Macs exclusively for the past 25+ years. I had a 2014 AIR, 2017 MBP, 2018 MBP and now my 2019 16". Much of this issue comes from people using solvents to clean the screen.
 
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Think creative

macrumors 6502
Jul 27, 2013
269
724
I just sent in my 2015 MacBook pro and they replaced the whole screen in less than a week. Fantastic service. Thing was, I bought the computer in 2018 used from a vendor on ebay. I got lucky, and they purchased it in 2017. So when I called to see if I was still eligible, they said yep. This way I can wait for the gen 2 of either the M1 air's or the 14 inch MacBook pro (probably gen 2, unless gen 1 is truly as amazing as I think it will be). I'll give this computer to my mom. Personally, this 2015 is still amazing (low battery count, in a D brand skin to keep it looking new) and for the programs I run (writing software and photo editing) still works great. The new ones mainly appeal for lighter new form factor and battery life.
 
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Maconplasma

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2020
957
805
I paid for a repair on a 2013 rMBP with the problem, just months before the unannounced program came out. I was never notified of the program.
You have to look at this realistically. Apple sells millions of computers every year. Impossible for any company to directly contact every customer. That's why the news has to happen over social media. It's the easiest way for companies to get the word out.
 
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Taz Mangus

macrumors 603
Mar 10, 2011
5,175
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Apple replaced the screens on (2) 2015 MacBook Pro computers about 6 months ago. They covered it as part of the replacement program. So far, the issue has not reoccured.
 
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Rocko99991

macrumors 65816
Jul 25, 2017
1,162
1,405
Apple replaced the screens on (2) 2015 MacBook Pro computers about 6 months ago. They covered it as part of the replacement program. So far, the issue has not reoccured.
It will as the screen is exactly the same. Be careful on how you clean that screen and don't store it with pressure on the display.
 
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Rocko99991

macrumors 65816
Jul 25, 2017
1,162
1,405
Personally, this 2015 is still amazing (low battery count, in a D brand skin to keep it looking new) and for the programs I run (writing software and photo editing) still works great. The new ones mainly appeal for lighter new form factor and battery life.
It's a great laptop. I just wish the bootup time didn't slow with every iteration of Macos. Big Sur is 10 seconds slower than older versions.
 
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Taz Mangus

macrumors 603
Mar 10, 2011
5,175
1,359
It will as the screen is exactly the same. Be careful on how you clean that screen and don't store it with pressure on the display.
I have been watching how I store the laptops, making sure that there is not any pressure against the laptops. Cleaning has never been the issue as I use a microfiber cloth and water to clean the screens.
 
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ArmCortexA8

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2010
1,002
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Terra Australis
This has been going on for years which proves the manufacturing defect still exists. I went through this whole process twice in Australia - first whole display was replaced (usually A$1,400 via the now-defunct Next Byte AASP) for free and months later it started to have the same issue but this time I demanded a full system replacement instead at no extra cost which they agreed too. I have a mid 2015 MacBook Pro.

After about a year of the full replacement system, it too started to have the same issue (NOTE: I don't touch the screen with my hands or fingers and only use a lint-free cloth and some minimal water to clean the screen as recommended). At this time my MBP was also part of the battery recall programme as well, so again at no cost to me they replaced the whole screen, whole new top case, new keyboard, new trackpad, new left and right speakers (right one was crackling) and new bottom case as well. This would easily equate to almost A$2,000 just for the parts alone.

The only original component is the logic board, the rest is brand new. My research into these display issues indicates the AR (anti-reflective) coating is put on reversed via a process called vapor deposition. This means when the coating "breaks" it spreads like a virus as air itself makes it degrade faster the longer it's used. It initially starts as what appears to be dried water droplets but when cleaning this breaks the coating which continues to degrade of its own accord. As Apple have indicated, never use solvents, acids, industrial cleaners, toxic chemicals to clean the glass screen. If it does not come off with water and lint-free cloth, contact Apple and provided photos as well.

Users cannot be blamed for these issues, it's not the keyboard pressing on the glass either especially when these "dry bubbles" appear on areas outside of the confines of the width of the keyboard (aka bezel). Pressure does not cause this issue as the bezel / gasket seal don't allow the screen to touch the keys beyond extreme force. Plastic keys cannot damage a protective film. Beyond the display issues / AR coating issues the system has performed flawlessly and no major hardware faults beyond the screen.
 
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CrazedVW

macrumors member
Feb 15, 2005
67
31
Sandston, Virginia
Only use a lightly moistened microfiber cleaning cloth and don't use keyboard covers with the screen closed. I've never experienced this ever. I've been on Macs exclusively for the past 25+ years. I had a 2014 AIR, 2017 MBP, 2018 MBP and now my 2019 16". Much of this issue comes from people using solvents to clean the screen.
Since first experiencing this issue with the 2013 rMBP I've only used a microfiber cleaning cloth with a little water and have never used a keyboard cover. Despite that I've still had the issue on that same machine with the replacement screen and three others. So no, the issue isn't just from folks using solvents to clean the screen. But thanks for trying to shift the blame onto the end user.
 
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ArmCortexA8

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2010
1,002
170
Terra Australis
Only use a lightly moistened microfiber cleaning cloth and don't use keyboard covers with the screen closed. I've never experienced this ever. I've been on Macs exclusively for the past 25+ years. I had a 2014 AIR, 2017 MBP, 2018 MBP and now my 2019 16". Much of this issue comes from people using solvents to clean the screen.
You need to be careful not to make assumptions relating to maintenance abuse of Apple hardware. No one should be making blanket accusations of using solvents to clean any screen. Most people look after their expensive Apple hardware. I never used anything chemical-based and yet I have had to go through this process around three times on the same MacBook Pro hardware. The AR coating is the issue and the way it's applied during manufacturing. Once the coating breaks it degrades quickly of its own accord. This is a manufacturing defect of which the consumer cannot be blamed and is not responsible for.
 
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Maconplasma

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2020
957
805
You need to be careful not to make assumptions relating to maintenance abuse of Apple hardware. No one should be making blanket accusations of using solvents to clean any screen.
Firstly I wasn't making assumptions. Many people on this forum have stated that solvents have been the issue. Secondly don't speak to me that way as if you're scolding me. 🙄
 
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Maconplasma

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2020
957
805
Since first experiencing this issue with the 2013 rMBP I've only used a microfiber cleaning cloth with a little water and have never used a keyboard cover. Despite that I've still had the issue on that same machine with the replacement screen and three others. So no, the issue isn't just from folks using solvents to clean the screen. But thanks for trying to shift the blame onto the end user.
Stating a fact is not shifting blame. But taking responsibility is something some people should try for once. SMH.
 
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CrazedVW

macrumors member
Feb 15, 2005
67
31
Sandston, Virginia
Stating a fact is not shifting blame. But taking responsibility is something some people should try for once. SMH.
I don't doubt there are some folks that caused the issue by using other things to clean the screen. But there are plenty of folks like myself that have followed Apple's own advice on using only water and a cloth and still experienced the issue on multiple devices. (Based on reading through quite a few posts on various forums over the years.) This isn't my fault or anyone else's that followed Apple's instructions on cleaning the screen. It's a manufacturing defect plain and simple.
 
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