MacBook Pro 2018 Screen Flicker - RF Interference

joe73

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
6
1
I have a MacBook Pro - Summer 2018 model with Radeon Pro 560X graphics. Overall this machine has been ok, but has already required service once for a trackpad issue (under Applecare at the Apple store). I noticed an unusual behavior a few weeks ago. When my iPhone Xs is placed near the screen there is occasional screen flicker that would appear to be related to RF interference. The screen stutters and/or flickers momentarily. This can occur both when the iPhone screen is in use or when it is just sitting near the screen. This is not a constant behavior and the phone can be sitting next to the screen for many minutes without this occurrence. In no other circumstance have I observed any screen issues with my Mac, and the unit appears to be functioning well otherwise.

I hadn't had occasion to put my iPhone that near to the screen in the past, but was manually copying some material from the phone to the Mac and therefore placed the phone on the back right-hand portion of the keyboard propping the back of the phone against the outer aspect of the screen on the right. The base of the phone was just above the touch-id/power switch.

This is not always present, but is reproducible on a regular basis. Has anyone seen a similar behavior on their screen?

Thank you in advance for your input and thoughts on this issue.
 

MacDonaldTrump

macrumors 6502
Nov 28, 2018
300
707
Brisbane Australia
I wouldn't think the placement of the phone would cause it.
Do you have anything external set up? A monitor via HDMI?
Does the screen flicker after you wake it up from sleep?

Some others have experienced these screen related flickers, you may have just caught one of these while your phone was close.

I am having screen flicker issues with Vega MBP when connected to external via HDMI, it is being swapped on Tuesday at apple after a few tech support chats.
 

joe73

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
6
1
I wouldn't think the placement of the phone would cause it.
Do you have anything external set up? A monitor via HDMI?
Does the screen flicker after you wake it up from sleep?

Some others have experienced these screen related flickers, you may have just caught one of these while your phone was close.

I am having screen flicker issues with Vega MBP when connected to external via HDMI, it is being swapped on Tuesday at apple after a few tech support chats.
[doublepost=1544888617][/doublepost]Thanks for the reply!

At present the only device attached to the computer is an apple mouse via bluetooth. When this has occurred, I was not attached to the power supply. The screen flickers when actively using the unit rather than on wakeup....typically, I've been typing for a bit (most recently on MS-Word), but it could also be with other routine use. My unit does not have and HDMI port, rather the 4 USB-C ports (2 on either side).
 

MacDonaldTrump

macrumors 6502
Nov 28, 2018
300
707
Brisbane Australia
[doublepost=1544888617][/doublepost]Thanks for the reply!

At present the only device attached to the computer is an apple mouse via bluetooth. When this has occurred, I was not attached to the power supply. The screen flickers when actively using the unit rather than on wakeup....typically, I've been typing for a bit (most recently on MS-Word), but it could also be with other routine use. My unit does not have and HDMI port, rather the 4 USB-C ports (2 on either side).
sorry to confuse, mine also has USBC x 4, I was using an adaptor to HDMI. So it seems yours is flickering with no peripherals attached, I was thinking it’s a usbc thing. I did read another post people seem to think may be software related amd apparently apple know of it (not sure on accuracy of this however)
 

joe73

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
6
1
sorry to confuse, mine also has USBC x 4, I was using an adaptor to HDMI. So it seems yours is flickering with no peripherals attached, I was thinking it’s a usbc thing. I did read another post people seem to think may be software related amd apparently apple know of it (not sure on accuracy of this however)
In follow-up to this thread, I called apple support and ran some tests with them. I am using the latest MacOS 10.14.2 and have been able to reproduce this issue both running that version and in OS recovery mode.

The way I've been able to consistently reproduce this is making a Facetime audio call to the phone from another device with the phone placed on the Macbook's case as described herein. The screen intermittently has horizontal purplish lines during the call and for a second or two afterward. This is similar to to the screen changes I've seen on occasional with just the phone placed on the Mac and not in use for a call or facetime event. This leads the Apple technician on the phone to believe that this is likely RF interference rather than a software issue

Whether or not this is unique to my Mac, I don't know, but I'm going to take it to the local Apple Store later this week to speak with a technician.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MacDonaldTrump

MacDonaldTrump

macrumors 6502
Nov 28, 2018
300
707
Brisbane Australia
In follow-up to this thread, I called apple support and ran some tests with them. I am using the latest MacOS 10.14.2 and have been able to reproduce this issue both running that version and in OS recovery mode.

The way I've been able to consistently reproduce this is making a Facetime audio call to the phone from another device with the phone placed on the Macbook's case as described herein. The screen intermittently has horizontal purplish lines during the call and for a second or two afterward. This is similar to to the screen changes I've seen on occasional with just the phone placed on the Mac and not in use for a call or facetime event. This leads the Apple technician on the phone to believe that this is likely RF interference rather than a software issue

Whether or not this is unique to my Mac, I don't know, but I'm going to take it to the local Apple Store later this week to speak with a technician.
Mine was only occurring when I plugged in HDMI monitor via USBC. I tried to reproduce it without the monitor connected but could not.
I was only experiencing flickering on the MacBook screen, not on the monitor.

Swapped it over today and so far, 1hr connected to HDMI/usbc, not one flicker. Feeling good about this one.
 

lifeMacer

macrumors newbie
Jan 23, 2019
1
0
In follow-up to this thread, I called apple support and ran some tests with them. I am using the latest MacOS 10.14.2 and have been able to reproduce this issue both running that version and in OS recovery mode.

The way I've been able to consistently reproduce this is making a Facetime audio call to the phone from another device with the phone placed on the Macbook's case as described herein. The screen intermittently has horizontal purplish lines during the call and for a second or two afterward. This is similar to to the screen changes I've seen on occasional with just the phone placed on the Mac and not in use for a call or facetime event. This leads the Apple technician on the phone to believe that this is likely RF interference rather than a software issue

Whether or not this is unique to my Mac, I don't know, but I'm going to take it to the local Apple Store later this week to speak with a technician.
Not unique to you! I have the exact same problem. If the iPhone (X) is near the screen there's all kinds of interference. Somewhat intermittent, but pretty consistent. Late 2018 15" model w Touch Bar running 10.13.6.
Gotta be HW, not software.
 

joe73

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
6
1
After several support calls with apple and an in-store Genius Bar session, I sent the Mac back to Apple repair under my warranty (I have AppleCare +). The turn-around was very quick and since that time I've not had further issues. The support ticket notes that my screen was replaced under the warranty program. Though it was no fun to have a machine that was not behaving, Apple did support the product well and provide a fix with minimal hassle.
 

jerryk

macrumors 601
Nov 3, 2011
4,848
2,398
SF Bay Area
How did this appear on your screen? Mine (same spec as yours) will flash black, and then come back after 200-300 msec. Is that what yours was doing?

BTW, mine is not caused by phone interference, my phone is kept in a drawer 10 feet away and is a Galaxy S8.
 

Charrison

macrumors newbie
Mar 5, 2019
1
0
How did this appear on your screen? Mine (same spec as yours) will flash black, and then come back after 200-300 msec. Is that what yours was doing?

BTW, mine is not caused by phone interference, my phone is kept in a drawer 10 feet away and is a Galaxy S8.
Mine is doing the exact same thing and I am wondering if it is worth sending it to get fixed or just keep it and not put my phone against my screen... if I can save money I would rather do that but obviously I am not happy that my brand-new MacBook is acting like this...
 

notfipher

macrumors newbie
Mar 22, 2019
1
0
New York, USA
I experienced a similar issue. I casually laid my phone on my 2017 MacBook Pro and my screen started to flicker. I was unsure if was actually my phone but every time I did the same thing the screen would flicker. Pink, purple and blue lines. It was pretty scary.
 

jp4571

macrumors newbie
Jun 28, 2019
1
0
FYI: I have a 2018 MacBook Pro 15 inch. AppleCare service just replaced the screen and now I have the flickering screen issue. I have always placed the phone next to the screen and never had this problem in the past. Thought it might be an internal grounding issue but not sure. Technician says that he has never heard of the issue.
 

leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,968
4,551
I've observed very infrequent flicker on the 2016, 2017 and 2018 models. It looks as if the contents of the screen are desynronized for a seconds. I believe it's one of those difficult to catch driver bugs.
 

Bunnyy

macrumors newbie
Sep 13, 2019
1
0
I have a MacBook Pro - Summer 2018 model with Radeon Pro 560X graphics. Overall this machine has been ok, but has already required service once for a trackpad issue (under Applecare at the Apple store). I noticed an unusual behavior a few weeks ago. When my iPhone Xs is placed near the screen there is occasional screen flicker that would appear to be related to RF interference. The screen stutters and/or flickers momentarily. This can occur both when the iPhone screen is in use or when it is just sitting near the screen. This is not a constant behavior and the phone can be sitting next to the screen for many minutes without this occurrence. In no other circumstance have I observed any screen issues with my Mac, and the unit appears to be functioning well otherwise.

I hadn't had occasion to put my iPhone that near to the screen in the past, but was manually copying some material from the phone to the Mac and therefore placed the phone on the back right-hand portion of the keyboard propping the back of the phone against the outer aspect of the screen on the right. The base of the phone was just above the touch-id/power switch.

This is not always present, but is reproducible on a regular basis. Has anyone seen a similar behavior on their screen?

Thank you in advance for your input and thoughts on this issue.
I bought the 2018 model with touchbar and touchid macpro, Have been using it for 2-3 months and sometimes I'm seeing a blue screen flicker for some milliseconds, it's about half the screen height. I just observed it happens sometimes when I use my Redmi note7 pro mobile phone close by the macpro.

I'm confused if I should get it checked at the service center or not use my phone near it.
 

dfdy_

macrumors newbie
Sep 14, 2019
1
0
I had precisely this problem.

I took my MBP 13" in to Apple and they replaced the screen under warranty. Unfortunately the problem persists, and while intermittent, is getting worse.

I have booked in my MBP for another round of diagnostics at Apple, which is quite annoying as they seem to want to keep my laptop, which I need for work, two weeks every time.