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foreignconcepts

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 31, 2008
42
0
Had anyone else had an issue where the screen coating on their retina display seems to be degrading in spots? To the naked eye, it looks like a minuscule chunk out of the screen, or a dead pixel, but upon closer inspection with the computer turned off, it appears that the coating has developed an imperfection in the finish, which is causing the refraction of light.

I had the screen on replaced 5 weeks ago for the same issue, which had appeared in multiple spots. The computer is only 4 months old. Before that, when the computer was three weeks old, a bug crawled out from IN BETWEEN the pixels and the exterior coating and died, warranting the first screen replacement.

This machine is already a replacement machine for an early 2011 MPB which had no end of hard drive problems. It would appear that any Apple product I own which is under an AppleCare warranty is cursed - my 2008 MBP and iPhone 4S are both out of warranty and doing just fine (knock on wood). Granted, AC has covered the repairs in all instances thus far, but really - what is wrong with Apple's quality control lately? I have never had this many issues with any of their products.

Incensed, I've once again crawled through the forums, and this time found a few people with the same issue, as well as some other non related articles taking issue with LG vs Samsung retina displays. Could this be the source of the problem? Perhaps what comes OEM is Samsung and I've had two LG displays as replacements?? Apparently there is a third party script that can be ran on the machine to determine which manufacturer made the screen - but would this be accurate after two screen replacements?

I'm seriously considering driving to Tampa to take care of this because I'm utterly embarrassed to have to ask my local service center/reseller to replace the screen on this computer a THIRD time in nearly as many months. :mad:
 
Last edited:

markyr17

macrumors 65816
Apr 8, 2010
1,186
92
I have not had this problem at all... Keep bringing it back until you get a perfect one
 

foreignconcepts

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 31, 2008
42
0
My dad has one as well and it's not had any sort of hardware problems like this that I know of - although I may take a closer look at it now to make sure.

I searched online last time this happened, and found nothing. As much as I've tried to manipulate lighting around the machine to document it with a photo, it's too small for even one of my macro lenses to pick up. The only hunch I have go to on is LG vs. Samsung retina screens - I wonder which are used in the replacement parts?

Honestly with the history of screen replacements, I'm almost afraid to take it back even to an Apple Store. They're going to start thinking it's user failure. :(
 

foreignconcepts

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 31, 2008
42
0
YES. After I made this thread, I poked around Apple's support communities, and found someone who referred to it as "exploding pixels". Prior to that point, I was searching for "screen coating damage" or "screen damage" or "dead pixel" (even though the latter did not adequately describe my problem at all).

As soon as I changed my search keywords to "exploding pixels", I started to get threads that described exactly the problem, right down to the panic associated with the initial finding of the problem (thinking it's accidental damage), the lack of imagery as the problem is too small for the average macro lens to pick up... which brings me to this article (http://www.mikcx.com/macbook-pro-retina-exploding-pixels/) which shows the imperfections in the displays seen under a microscope. I've bookmarked everything, so I'm going to print all these out and take them to my service center. Now I'm confident this is not user failure, and confident that I can prove it.
 

JohnDoe98

macrumors 68020
May 1, 2009
2,488
99
YES. After I made this thread, I poked around Apple's support communities, and found someone who referred to it as "exploding pixels". Prior to that point, I was searching for "screen coating damage" or "screen damage" or "dead pixel" (even though the latter did not adequately describe my problem at all).

As soon as I changed my search keywords to "exploding pixels", I started to get threads that described exactly the problem, right down to the panic associated with the initial finding of the problem (thinking it's accidental damage), the lack of imagery as the problem is too small for the average macro lens to pick up... which brings me to this article (http://www.mikcx.com/macbook-pro-retina-exploding-pixels/) which shows the imperfections in the displays seen under a microscope. I've bookmarked everything, so I'm going to print all these out and take them to my service center. Now I'm confident this is not user failure, and confident that I can prove it.

I had this problem on 3 of 3 screens on my 2012 15" rmbp. Apple replaced all three screens. The last screen lasted about a year and then roughly every 2 weeks, a new spot on the screen would experience this "explosion" effect. Finally when there were 4 such spots I had enough and brought it in, again. I think there is a real problem with the manufacturing of these screens and the complaints will slowly start to accumulate/trickle in. Maybe I was just really unlucky, but I somehow doubt it.
 

-Daniel-

macrumors newbie
Feb 20, 2015
1
0
More "exploding pixels" issues

I've had a similar experience as well on two different MBPs at the same time from the 2013 generation (one is work, one is personal). They both developed a pin hole sized crater in the glass and the pixel underneath looked discolored- not sure if the pixel was damaged or it was the crater that caused the discoloration.

Although both covered under the warranty the Mac Genius at the local Apple Store did not want to fix it, he claimed it was due to dirt and so it would not be covered. Of course I complained to the manager and since I was at the time a Joint Venture member they finally agreed to repair both laptops.

Now a year later the same issue has reappeared on both screens that were replaced. Unfortunately the warranty on my personal laptop is expired and Apple only offers me their $310 flat rate repair. I should not have to pay for a screen that was defective from the start. What poor quality for screens to have this defect and suffer from these tiny craters.

Apple just started a repair extension on these laptops for video issues, I wish they would do the same for these screen defects.
 

fenderbass146

macrumors 65816
Mar 11, 2009
1,340
2,051
Northwest Indiana
I've had a similar experience as well on two different MBPs at the same time from the 2013 generation (one is work, one is personal). They both developed a pin hole sized crater in the glass and the pixel underneath looked discolored- not sure if the pixel was damaged or it was the crater that caused the discoloration.

Although both covered under the warranty the Mac Genius at the local Apple Store did not want to fix it, he claimed it was due to dirt and so it would not be covered. Of course I complained to the manager and since I was at the time a Joint Venture member they finally agreed to repair both laptops.

Now a year later the same issue has reappeared on both screens that were replaced. Unfortunately the warranty on my personal laptop is expired and Apple only offers me their $310 flat rate repair. I should not have to pay for a screen that was defective from the start. What poor quality for screens to have this defect and suffer from these tiny craters.

Apple just started a repair extension on these laptops for video issues, I wish they would do the same for these screen defects.



I am in the exact same boat. I bought a Retina 15" with LG screen used. It was a great deal so I am still happy with it but it has dead pixels, image retention, mara spots and small craters. I just figured the screen was damaged because the dead pixel could be felt on the screen like a scratch. Now is the first I am hearing about it being a defect and not damage. I can't believe how bad these screens are. Apple told me the same $310. I actually just purchased my own screen for $260 on eBay and will replace it myself then sell the crappy display for hopefully $150. Cracked ones are going for $90. Mine still works at least somewhat.

This whole thing is crap that they haven't acknowledged it. I am hoping they will down the road like with the graphics issue they finally admitted to. Sadly I dont think they will because the laptops are still usable, unlike the computers with the graphics issues.
 

JL-DK

Suspended
Mar 13, 2015
5
0
Sorry to be so late. But yes, we are now many with this problem. The discussion thread on Apple's Support Forum was closed down today - maybe due to spam-like activity from a few enthusiastic users who wanted to raise the awareness by increasing the number of posts. So The "Support" Team closed it.

We hope they re-open. But we should expect nothing.
Meanwhile check here for threads and then we can refer you also to the group on Facebook, called Macbook Retina STAIN ON DISPLAY / damaged AR coating.

If you haven't already given up and changed to another operating system, then participate and contribute with the rest of us.

Many greetings
Joakim Larsen, Denmark / Ethiopia
 

FuNGi

macrumors 65816
Feb 26, 2010
1,122
33
California
I've got some exploded pixels that showed up in the first 2 weeks of receiving my late 2013 rMBP. I've chosen to not send it in for repair and the problem at least has not grown. Pic attached of the pixels. You can feel them with your fingernail and viewed under a 10x handles it appears to be 4 pixels that popped out the glass. This is not damage I have inflicted.
 

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foreignconcepts

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 31, 2008
42
0
Hey guys! I'm sorry I don't remember getting any of the notifications for these replies in 2015. ?

Ultimately my screen problem was resolved in March of 2014 when I got a replacement MacBook Pro from existing stock at the Apple Store in Tampa: strangely enough that one was fine - no "exploding pixels", and none of the other issues I'd had with it's predecessor (hard drive failures, etc). It's screen did get replaced coincidentally for an unrelated staingate issue in October of 2015, but there were fortunately no exploding pixels issues after that replacement either.

Fast forward to almost exactly 8 years after my original post, I'm living in a different country (Canada) and a completely different part of North America (PNW), and this problem re-occurs on a 16" intel MacBook Pro that I had been given for work a few weeks prior. I was using it in clamshell mode connected to a LG Ultrafine 5K display running Docker and Xcode and noticed several(!) spots on my screen one night. These were big spots: they were much worse than what I had seen in 2013, one was actually a visible hole in the screen that was probably 1/4 of a millimetre in diameter, with a ripple around it. I took it into my go-to Apple Store in early 2022 and the spots was dismissed as "accidental damage" (funny how that can happen with the lid closed). The Genius offered me the $129 service fee for replacing the screen under warranty - to which I told him no thanks - but he also mused that if this wasn't accidental, it would be a shame to replace the screen and have it continue to happen so to "keep an eye on it" before moving forward with an out of warranty replacement. I did just that and within a few weeks, more spots had shown up, and when I had put an older 15" MBP under similar working conditions (I had installed my dev environment so I could ideally send the 16" off for repair), spots started to show up on it's screen too :eek:.

At this point I knew it could not be accidental damage, as I had been able to replicate it on a second machine and eventually realized that the issue may be heat. Our computers dissipate built up heat rather quickly through the aluminum - if we pick up a warm computer, within a minute or so it has cooled. What about the screen though? I went as far as opening each of the computers up and immediately pressing my cheek against the screen to feel the temperature and it was nice and hot (also now with a cheek print, which was later cleaned). Also, I noted the bulk of the spots were scattered around the side where the thunderbolt cable was plugged into the USB3 port. This was definitely a heat issue.

Armed with this information (and both MacBook Pros), I went back to my favourite Apple Store, but I had the unfortunate luck of getting the same Genius who said that would be the first time he heard of heat damaging a screen, but "call AppleCare and explain the issue", as he wouldn't be able to do anything about it. I left it sit for another few weeks, as I was burnt out from a heavy stretch of work and personal stresses and not able to summon the energy it would take to call AppleCare. Finally at the end of April, on a whim I decided to go to another Apple Store in the city and make my case. This time I got a Genius who was also a software developer, and she said, "Yes - your keyboard has an air intake. When you're working the computer this hard in clamshell mode and it's trying to draw air in to cool itself, it's basically trying to suck your screen in." She consulted some of the guides and said it would be covered under warranty. Unfortunately the computer is now at the repair facility waiting for a screen, where it has been for 4 weeks.

So heat might be your culprit (although from the sound of the replies, it sounded like this may have been minimal heat stress plus poor coatings on the early generations of MacBook Pro screens). For me, in the original context of this post, I have absolutely no idea what could have caused a possible heat issue when I lived in the US (Florida) in 2013/2014, as I was in a completely different line of work. I worked in an air conditioned co-working space at the time and had air conditioning at home, the computer was usually in the trunk and in a bag out of direct sunlight for the 10 minute drive home. The only overlap to corroborate the heat issue then may have been rendering imagery with Photoshop/Lightroom, but this would have been with the lid open as I didn't have a monitor at the time.
 
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