Apple says MacBook Air with Retina display can cause light reflection issues, unclear if eligible for free repair

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Apple says MacBook Air with Retina display can cause light reflection issues, unclear if eligible for free repair

Apple acknowledged earlier this week that its MacBook Air with Retina display may have anti-glare coating, as noted in a note shared with Apple’s official service providers and acquired by MacRumors.

“Retina displays on some MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro computers can cause anti-reflection (AR) problems,” the memo states.

Apple’s internal service documentation on this issue previously only mentioned the MacBook Pro and eliminated 12-inch MacBook models with Retina displays, but MacBook Air has been mentioned at least in two places. Apple added a Retina display to the MacBook Air in October 2018, and all notebook models have since been released.

Apple has a free anti-glare patch program, but MacBook Air models have not yet been added to the list of eligible models, despite being mentioned elsewhere in the documentation. However, if Apple at least acknowledges that the MacBook Air can report the problem, customers may have a valid argument for at least a non-warranty repair.

The eligibility list is currently unchanged as at December 2019:

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, early 2015)
  • MacBook Pro (15inch, mid 2015)
  • MacBook Pro (13 inch 2016)
  • MacBook Pro (15 inch 2016)
  • MacBook Pro (13 inch 2017)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)
  • MacBook (12-inch, early 2015)
  • MacBook (12-inch, early 2016)
  • MacBook (12-inch, early 2017)

Apple began the repair program in October 2015 after some MacBook and MacBook Pro users experienced problems with anti-reflective coating on the retina screens or the deposition. Apple has never published a patch program on its site, but has preferred to keep the issue quieter. Therefore, mileage may vary.

Over the years, the issue has resulted in an online petition with nearly 5,000 signatures to a Facebook group with more than 17,000 members, as well as complaints from Apple support communities, Reddit and our own MacRumors forums. The so-called “Staingate” site was set up to share photos of affected Mac notebooks.

Apple stores outside of China and many Apple Authorized Service Providers are currently closed, but customers can find support and support at support.apple.com.