Apple MacBook Retina Displays Prone to Screen Smearing Stain Problem

By Gerald Lynch on at

They may be beautiful to look at when they're working properly, but it appears that Apple's Retina MacBook line has a significant fault when it comes to its screens. An increasing number of users are complaining that their laptop displays are becoming ruined by blotchy, stain-like patches that progressively grow, making the screens unusable.

Thousands of similar reports of smear-damaged screens have been made, with those affected banding together under the "Staingate" banner at www.staingate.org. More than 2,500 people have approached the website with the fault, according to the BBC, and a Facebook group with more than 1,700 members has users sharing details of their own "Staingate" problems, too.

It's an issue that not all Apple stores seem willing to acknowledge either – while some Apple stores are said to be willing to carry out the repair work without charge, others are apparently telling customers that the problem is merely cosmetic and, depending on the MacBook model affected, charging as much as $800 (£519) to have the repairs made. With some reporting the same issue on multiple machines, they worry that once their AppleCare warranty program runs out, Apple will no longer offer any chance of a free repair.

A Change.org petition, amassing almost 2,300 supporters, has now been set up, urging Apple CEO Tim Cook to "take immediate action" to rectify the issue.

It's a fault that I too have experienced in a minor way, so can vouch for how annoying it can be to have your pristine Mac screen seemingly self-destruct. Thankfully my issue sits in my MacBook's black border screen bezel, rather than the main display itself, though it seems to be creeping into a larger issue. It's easy to see how it would be a big problem in terms of legibility when using the computer. In my experience, it seems that touching the display anywhere near the mark only makes the problem worse, so for those affected I'd suggest making an extra effort not to prod the screen. [Staingate]