Apple Plans to Replace Peeling Displays on Some MacBook Models

The company has not publicly announced the repair program but reportedly has issued internal communications about the problem.  

Apple MacBook, MacBook Pro, peeling display, anti-reflective coating, defective display

Apple will replace defective displays on MacBook or MacBook Pro machines fitted with Retina displays that are experiencing peeling of their anti-reflective coatings, according to reports.

Apple has not publicly announced the replacement program, but it is reportedly underway according to information in an internal service bulletin that was disclosed in an Oct. 19 article in RedmondPie.

The problem coatings have been peeling in small amounts or "simply coming away from the screen completely" on the affected machines, the article said. Under the repair process, owners of MacBook or MacBook Pro machines with peeling Retina displays should be able to take their defective machines to an Apple Store or to one of Apple's authorized service centers to find out if their device is covered by the repair program, the article explained.

"The company will cover affected machines for three full years from purchase, or for a year from Oct. 16, 2015, whichever happens to be the longest timescale," according to the report.

Reports about peeling anti-reflective coating problems on some MacBook and MacBook Pro machines have been heard since earlier this year, the article said. "Some have noticed that it appears to be related to the way the screen touches the notebook's keyboard when closed, and Apple has had problems in that regard before."

It's not unusual for computer makers to have problems surface with their products, which then have to be corrected later.

In July 2010, Apple dealt with antenna issues on its then-new iPhone 4 that were inspired by consumer complaints of poor call quality when they held their phones. Called Antennagate by the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the time, the problem was the location of the antenna inside the devices, which was solved with an add-on thin rubber case.

Other computer makers have also had problems and even massive recalls of charging cords and adapters, and myriad other issues.

In September, Apple had to quickly issue an emergency update for iOS 8 after a prior update turned out to have code defects that caused problems for many users, according to an earlier eWEEK story. The emergency update was issued only about 36 hours after Apple's first iOS 8 update was quickly pulled back on Sept. 24 due to major problems that caused some new iPhone 6 smartphones to lose their ability to make phone calls.

The swift action by Apple to get a working update out to replace the flawed code was impressive, but the release of the flawed code in the first place had many critics online discussing how such a glitch would never have occurred under the leadership of Jobs in the first place.

Before the fresh iOS 8.0.2 code was unveiled late on Sept. 25, Apple provided a workaround so that affected users could take several manual steps to undo the errant update's effects. Users whose phones were disabled were advised to reinstall iOS 8 through iTunes until a working update was released.