Posted on March 21, 2013 by

MacBook Pro with Retina Issues

So after several weeks with my MacBook Pro lid shut and using a $150 cheap external monitor for work I decided to resume my crusade to see if Apple will replace my MacBook Pro with Retina.

Currently the display has such bad image retention that the display is hard to use and the cheap external monitor I have is actually a far better display to work on.

The timeline for my issues are approximately as follows:

  • Sunday, August 19, 2012: Purchase of MacBook Pro with Retina. Finally did a big upgrade and went all-out, upgrading everything I could.
  • Friday, September 14, 2012: Visit Apple Store in Sydney to have my display tested. While Apple have no record of this, my good friend Nic attended the store with me and can attest to this. The display was deemed “fine” and I was told there was nothing to be done about it.
  • Wednesday, October 24, 2012: Wrote a letter to Tim Cook, CEO of Apple.
  • Friday, October 26, 2012: Received a letter back from James Chang, Executive Relations at Apple. This began several weeks of phone calls, me writing a website to test (below) and providing proof by way of photos of the screen. I was told at this point that I would need to attend a store and my only option at this point would be to have the device repaired, even though I am a freelancer and this would mean several days without my only computer. At this point I gave up arguing with Apple.

My first forum post about the issues:

I bought a new MacBook Pro with Retina on August 20 (51 days ago) and I’ve just recently started noticing some pretty intense ghosting. Most notably when switching between apps with light backgrounds (text editors etc.) to apps with dark backgorunds (video/dashboard etc.).

Now after doing some reading around it seems like I am not the first person to have this issue. In fact, it seems quite well documented. My problem, however, is that I am a freelance web developer and I use my computer constantly for work — I absolutely cannot send it away for repair since this would mean losing a significant amount of income.

So what happened when you dealt with this? Or do you know anyone who has? I am reading a lot of mixed reports, hearsay and guessing so I’d love to hear some first-hand reports.

My follow up post:

A while ago I wrote this post about my brand new MacBook Pro with image retention and I have since spoken to apple and wanted to share my experiences.

Firstly I went to the Apple store for my appointment at the Genius Bar. I was greeted by a typical Apple store employ – someone cool and trendy with a moderate level of computer literacy. I described my problem and offered to show him the symptoms but he completely ignored me and proceed to insist we run an approved diagnostic (even though at the time my screen had my wallpaper pretty well burned into it after only a few minutes).

The diagnostic they run for this problem is pretty simple. They display a checkerboard of black and white for 3 minutes then fade to black. At this point the Apple Genius says to me, “can you see the grid?” My only reply was, “No.” I was then dismissed as the computer was not faulty and told to try the test again at home if I wished.

I was in a rush and not interested in making a scene, and also feeling kind of embarrassed so I left. That afternoon I proceeded to go home and replicate the test myself (I am a web developer and I was confident I understood how they had programmed the test) to see if there were any issues. I replicated it and still could not see an issue, even though the issue was still quite obvious. I then tweaked the test to fade to red, blue, grey and a variety of colors — all of these colors showed the issue in all it’s glory.

Point: Apple’s test is flawed and likely their choice to fade the grid to black is a way of reducing the image retention. At this point I feel kind of scammed.

At this point I depart the city I am in and I am now over 300 miles from the nearest Apple Genius Bar so I proceed to write Apple an email. I do something I would never normally do and write it directly to Tim Cook and pray, only to receive an email a few days later. I discussed the problem at length, provided then with photographic evidence and provided them with the code for the test, but they were not satisfied. My screen did now qualify for repair unless it failed their flawed test.

So while I am still in the process of pursuing this I thought I might provide a small update to you all and also provide a link to my test and code should anyone wish to try it themselves and see what they find. I would be very interested if anyone else finds this test shows up flaws in their screen.