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MacBook Pro Retina Display — Screen Burn-In Problem Continues

On June 23, I reported a screen burn-in issue: a latent image “burns in” to the deskop when a window is left on screen. See another example further below.

The problem occurs in as little as 20 minutes; close the window and the desktop is left with a latent image; a ghost image of whatever text or graphic was in the window left on screen.

What would happen if left that way for a few hours? What happens after a year’s use?

Quitting the Finder or logging out has no effect, indicating that the problem is a hardware (screen) issue, not just a screen-bits (graphics memory) issue. After some minutes, the ghost image slowly fades away back to the background color (I use a dark gray desktop, so ghost images are easily seen).

There are other implications too— what if you are a photographer trying to evaluate images? This ghost image problem could lead to bad judgments about image brightness, contrast, or color. Yet another reason Why I Will Not Be Taking the MacBook Pro Retina Traveling With Me — Yet.

I don’t know if this means that my MBP Retina has a bad screen, or if this is a problem common to any Retina display.

Apple’s handling

I called Apple on June 22, but they would do nothing for me unless I reset PRAM and VRAM (I didn’t have the laptop with me). After resetting PRAM and VRAM, no change.

It turns out that the Apple representative tagged my MacBook pro as a 2010 model, even though I told him it was a brand-new MacBook Pro with Retina display received 3 days earlier. That guy was clearly out to lunch, but I guess it explains the reluctance to handle the issue as I had expected (a replacement).

Today (July 3, back from my trip), I called Apple, and the representative started quoting me “14 day return period” (ridiculous since I called on June 22, 3 days after receiving the computer). She told me she could not help, and referred me to a supervisor, who was much more understanding, and ultimately (after 33 minutes on hold and 3 phone transfers), Apple agreed to send me a replacement unit, predicted for August 6 (more than a month from now). I had to ask for “advance replacement”, otherwise it was “send back and have nothing for a month”.

Update: classic Apple underpromise but overdeliver (~1 month becomes ~1 week).

Classic Apple underpromise but overdeliver (~1 month becomes ~1 week)
Classic Apple underpromise but overdeliver (~1 month becomes ~1 week)

I’m surprised at how frustrating this experience was. In the past, it was “let’s get it done”. Not this time. And I have to say the stress level rose with the difficulty of hearing the representatives (I have excellent hearing), which sounded like garbled VOIP over to India.

There is a discussion thread on the burn-in/ghost image issue developing on this over at Apple, though that thread is now polluted with irrelevant chatter.

screen burn-in on MacBook Pro Retina display
The latent image
screen burn-in on MacBook Pro Retina display
The browser window that generates the latent image

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