Retina MacBook Pro owners plagued by supposed screen coating damage, call on Apple to take action

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 70
    Hi. I have two laptops, a Retina MacBook Pro from three years ago, and a Retina MacBook Pro from two years ago. The younger laptop has had the screen coating rubbed off much like the above picture (altho it isn't as bad as the picture), and the older laptop shows no damage whatsoever.

    What seems to happen on the younger laptop is that the keyboard comes in contact with the screen when I carry the machine around in a soft-side protective laptop container, which in turn is also inside a backpack. The older laptop is carried in the same backpack but in a different soft-sided laptop container.

    The younger laptop keyboard keys more easily come in contact with the screen than the old laptop. The result is rather like teeth grinding, except that the keys show no damage while the screen coating rather literally shreds away.

    I don't know if apple made the newer laptop shell a bit thinner by reducing the space between the keytops and the screen.

    I treated the two machines pretty much the same; when the screens got dirty, I used an optical cloth to wipe them. And I note that I've had the machine without screen coating damage a year longer than the other one, but it is the newer machine showing the damage.
  • Reply 22 of 70
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member

    The speed with which people on these forums jump to deny that anything could be problematic with an Apple product is pathetic.  Apple aren't perfect you know, they have manufacturing issues like everyone else.  The fact they get reported is a function of Apple being so big and selling so many units.

     

    I actually have this problem on my retina Macbook (it seems to be "reflecting" the keys, so I assume it's something that's happened when it's closed).  I basically never clean the screen (frankly it's disgusting), so the immediate defense of people on here claiming it must be the users rubbing the screen too hard or using the wrong chemicals is clearly not the case for me.

     

    With all that said, it doesn't make a difference when the screen is on, and I pretty much always work with my Mac connected to a couple of Thunderbolt displays, so it makes no real difference to me.  That's not to say there isn't some sort of issue here though.

    kk3n
  • Reply 23 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post



    Horse-shit. No way the above photo happened through natural causes or proper care. Clearly the person was rubbing the hell out of it with God knows what. Also, less than 2K signs in 6 months? That's meaningless. A big percentage of those probably aren't even legit, and signed by trolls who don't even own the product. Yeah, this isn't a thing, no matter how hard blogs try to push it, including sites like this.

    17" iMac and PowerBook screen failures started out small too.

     

    Seriously, get a grip. If it's an issue it will get fixed, if it's not it goes away.

     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by crenelle View Post



    Hi. I have two laptops, a Retina MacBook Pro from three years ago, and a Retina MacBook Pro from two years ago. The younger laptop has had the screen coating rubbed off much like the above picture (altho it isn't as bad as the picture), and the older laptop shows no damage whatsoever.



    What seems to happen on the younger laptop is that the keyboard comes in contact with the screen when I carry the machine around in a soft-side protective laptop container, which in turn is also inside a backpack. The older laptop is carried in the same backpack but in a different soft-sided laptop container.



    The younger laptop keyboard keys more easily come in contact with the screen than the old laptop. The result is rather like teeth grinding, except that the keys show no damage while the screen coating rather literally shreds away.



    I don't know if apple made the newer laptop shell a bit thinner by reducing the space between the keytops and the screen.



    I treated the two machines pretty much the same; when the screens got dirty, I used an optical cloth to wipe them. And I note that I've had the machine without screen coating damage a year longer than the other one, but it is the newer machine showing the damage.



    This has been an issue with PowerBooks on and off for a while. The G3's had the issue too, as did the later iBooks IIRC. It's not exclusive to Apple; Nintendo can't seem to get a 3DS manufactured that doesn't rub the top and bottom screens (part of why I have a 2DS).

  • Reply 24 of 70
    maztecmaztec Posts: 6member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    The cover glass is laminated to the panel. For water to get underneath it in the middle, the glass would have to be broken, not just scratched.

     

    People have also repaired this damage by polishing the entire screen.  That implies it is an outer covering coming off, not the inner coating behind the glass.

     

    As for mine, the glass was broken.  It was pockmarked from the inside out, you could tell the damage was from the LCD side outward and not going inward.

  • Reply 25 of 70
    nousernouser Posts: 65member
    This recently happened to me with my 2 year, 11 month old MacBookPro. I am anal about care of my screen and avoid frequent cleaning. The damage I observed was only around the periphery where my fingers would touch the display to open the laptop. Maybe I need to put on a pair of white cotton gloves to open the lid, LOL. I took it to an Apple Genius before my AppleCare was finished and they sent it in and replaced the display. While they had it, Apple replaced the logic board, battery, keyboard and trackpad as well as the bottom shell of the unit as a rubber foot was loose. In the service they installed a 16 GB logic board in place of an 8Gb logic board. As far as I can tell, the only thing that remained from the original MBP was the hard drive. I love Apple's support.
  • Reply 26 of 70
    indyfxindyfx Posts: 321member

    Originally Posted by friedmud View Post



    No way. I work on a computational science team of 50. We are exclusively Mac based: both laptops and workstations.



    Over the years we've owned several hundred Mac laptops. We've already owned ~100 Retina Macbook Pros (we stay current because our computers are our main tools).



    That's not a huge sample size... but I can still say that I've never seen anything like this. There is simply no way that this is "normal" in any sense of the word... and it definitely isn't approaching "gate" status.



    However this was done they definitely did it themselves.

     

    True... bit in reality none of the "gates" actually represented actual problems that significant % of users were having

    Antenna gate simply demonstrated that (all) cell phones reception can be affected by wrapping your hand around them. (like that was a mystery) 

    This "small cadre" of users has damaged their screen by applying something to it (hydrofluoric acid?)

    Why they did this is questionable, that they aren't admitting that the damage was inflicted (while other purport that this is "normal" when it isn't) I find rather -dubious-

  • Reply 27 of 70
    kkapoorkkapoor Posts: 22member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by IndyFX View Post

     

     

    True... bit in reality none of the "gates" actually represented actual problems that significant % of users were having

    Antenna gate simply demonstrated that (all) cell phones reception can be affected by wrapping your hand around them. (like that was a mystery) 

    This "small cadre" of users has damaged their screen by applying something to it (hydrofluoric acid?)

    Why they did this is questionable, that they aren't admitting that the damage was inflicted (while other purport that this is "normal" when it isn't) I find rather -dubious-




    It's quite a stretch (assumption) to think that all the people reporting this problem have damaged the screens themselves by applying something to it. What rational person would apply HCL to clean a screen. Preposterous! I clean my retina 15" screen with the cloth that came with my iPhone and water. I have this issue. I've owned about 10 mac laptops and never had this problem before. Obviously this is a manufacturing issue on some of the screens.

  • Reply 28 of 70
    pogo007pogo007 Posts: 43member
    Apple has problems just like everyone else. Some people that don't know what they're talking about will always come in to defend Apple in saying it's always the users fault. These machines are made in China just like all other computers. Issues are bound to happen. Apple should cover them period, especially at the price these machines go for.
  • Reply 29 of 70
    dedomandedoman Posts: 3member

    I have a late 13' mac book pro 15" model.  This is actually happening to mine.. and I will say, I keep my macbook clean and pampered (no chemicals and only lint free dry cloths for cleaning). 

     

    Its at the bottom 1/2" portion of the screen and is not visible when the computer is on.. which really is the saving grace of this whole issue.  

     

    While I'm not demanding repair or replacement, it would be nice for Apple to ensure this isn't a error on manufacturing via a specific batch or group of machines... an earlier poster called a "BS" on the issue and I am here to let you know, it is legitimate. 

     

    just my 2cents... 

    Thanks

  • Reply 30 of 70
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,240member
    maztec wrote: »
    People have also repaired this damage by polishing the entire screen.  That implies it is an outer covering coming off, not the inner coating behind the glass.

    As for mine, the glass was broken.  It was pockmarked from the inside out, you could tell the damage was from the LCD side outward and not going inward.

    LCD display pixels don't "burst". And they certainly don't fail with anything approaching the pressure required to break glass.
  • Reply 31 of 70
    Happened to me, apple just replaced it.

    I used some water and a cloth to wipe the screen. It fell apart especially in the trackpad area.
  • Reply 32 of 70
    charlesncharlesn Posts: 321member
    Oh, THAT"S right, it's the weekend! Which means, of course, that the normally terrific "Apple Insider" turns into "AI: Clickbait Edition."

    Geez. The word "plague" is normally used in reference to a widespread affliction or disease of epidemic proportions. In other words: 500 sigs on a long-running petition don't remotely suggest that Apple Macbook Pro Retina owners are "plagued" by anything. What they do suggest is that scores of people don't know how to safely clean their screens, and want Apple to pick up the tab for a user-caused problem. Let's do some hard thinking here: 99% of MBP Retina owners report no issues, but a few are claiming repeated staining issues, even after screen replacements. Hmmmmmmmmm.... how might that be happening?

    More than 2.5 years after I bought a 27" iMac with AppleCare, I encountered a widely documented screen-staining issue myself. Note the key words "widely documented." So I took it to an Apple Store and 2 days later I had my iMac back with a brand new, 27" screen. (Oh, and when it was later discovered that the factory hard drives on this same iMac had high failure rates, Apple replaced it for free more than a year after my Apple Care expired.) Over the years, I have found Apple to be terrific about fixing widely documented problems.
  • Reply 33 of 70
    indyfxindyfx Posts: 321member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kkapoor View Post

     



    It's quite a stretch (assumption) to think that all the people reporting this problem have damaged the screens themselves by applying something to it. What rational person would apply HCL to clean a screen. Preposterous! I clean my retina 15" screen with the cloth that came with my iPhone and water. I have this issue. I've owned about 10 mac laptops and never had this problem before. Obviously this is a manufacturing issue on some of the screens.


    Im sorry I just don't buy that . A tiny percentage has splash marks (obvious in that photograph) on the screen and it's a manufacturing problem???? Occam's razor tells us to make the lest amount of assumptions for any given scenario. For this that means; the most likely scenario is that the tiny percentage (what a tiny fraction of 1%??) of users likely caused the damage.

    (and no, wiping antiglare treated glass with water and a soft cloth won't cause damage. Remember that this kind of coating isn't new, high end CRT's have used this type of antiglare technique for 20+ years)

     

    That they are being sooooo vocal (rather than just getting it fixed) and the bloggers (and then the tech press) quickly picking it up makes me distrust this entire story.

  • Reply 34 of 70
    kkapoorkkapoor Posts: 22member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IndyFX View Post

     

    Im sorry I just don't buy that . A tiny percentage has splash marks (obvious in that photograph) on the screen and it's a manufacturing problem???? Occam's razor tells us to make the lest amount of assumptions for any given scenario. For this that means; the most likely scenario is that the tiny percentage (what a tiny fraction of 1%??) of users likely caused the damage.

    (and no, wiping antiglare treated glass with water and a soft cloth won't cause damage. Remember that this kind of coating isn't new, high end CRT's have used this type of antiglare technique for 20+ years)

     

    That they are being sooooo vocal (rather than just getting it fixed) and the bloggers (and then the tech press) quickly picking it up makes me distrust this entire story.




    As stated previously, the photo in this article is not representative of the issue. It is an extreme case. Most people reporting this issue in Apple Support forums or on other forums report that they have a small patch here or there on the screen. I also have this issue and have just ignored it. But it is a legitimate issue. Your 1% argument works the other way as well. It is quite possible that there is a defect on 1% of the screens. However, 1% of mac notebook sales is still a hell of a lot of machines. In fact this issue has only gained traction after 1 year. I first noticed people complaining last summer. Logically as more and more people face the issue the traction on the issue increases. However, accusing all users facing this issue of being dishonest is a little ridiculous. It's no big deal. Apple is fixing the problem on some computers under warranty and refusing coverage on others. They need to be consistent on how they approach the situation. I'm sure as they collect more data the issue will be resolved. Apple is usually excellent when it comes to customer service.

  • Reply 35 of 70
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  • Reply 36 of 70
    I bought my laptop the first day they became available and I have the exact same problem, despite the fact that I mostly use my laptop closed, connected to external displays both at work and at home. Therefore, this is a real issue, not something invented by some lawyers looking for a big pay day.

    It is true that this is not an issue when the screen is lighted on, but still, I am planning on selling my laptop as soon as we get new processors from Intel and this will make it harder for me to find a buyer.
  • Reply 37 of 70

    Horseshit? Cleaning it wrong? Not likely. The only thing that's ever cleaned my screen is the apple supplied cloth that came in the same box as my late 2013 mac pro.

    It may have only just hit the media, but it has been in apple support forums for months and months. I know this cause I've been trying to figure out what the hell to do about mine since half the screen is now covered. 

    It's now at 2,500 unhappy customers and counting....

  • Reply 38 of 70
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,419member
    Quote:



    Originally Posted by dklebedev View Post



    Apple clearly said not to use liquids on the screen. You're cleaning it wrong.

     

     

    People like to mock Jobs by repeating "you're doing it wrong" comments that were never actually uttered by the man. Back during antennagate (the likely source of this meme), he clearly demonstrated how the "scandalous" reception issue affecting the iPhone 4 was a) common to every other phone on the market, b) easily avoided by adjusting your grip or using a case, and c) had virtually zero impact on the number of user complaints and returns. In other words, the scandal was a load of BS.

     

    Having said that, I would never have guessed that using a moist cloth to clean a screen could have this effect. I always assumed that any warnings against the use of liquids were there to prevent the liquid from entering under the display assembly at the edges and damaging the underlying electronics, rather than the liquid itself visibly and permanently damaging the antireflective coating.

     

    Does Apple warn users not to use water when cleaning Macbook displays?

     



    No, they don't. They warn against applying any liquid directly to the screen and against using the Macbook near any "sprays, solvents, abrasives, or cleaners containing hydrogen peroxide". 

     

    With this in mind, if these reports are true and the display coatings can be damaged merely by using a damp cloth (as instructed by Apple documentation) then Apple should immediately repair or replace any affected units free of charge. They should also change their documentation, not only to warn against the use of a damp cloth, but also to explain exactly why. 

     

    Finally, a damp cloth is actually a terrible way to clean any precision optical surface like glasses, camera lenses, etc. The best way to clean these is with a high quality microfiber cloth, which is often the only way to remove smudges and fingerprints from a surface. Apple should include an appropriately sized microfiber cloth with every product they sell with a display of some sort.

  • Reply 39 of 70
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    freediverx wrote: »
    People like to mock Jobs by repeating "you're doing it wrong" comments that were never actually uttered by the man. Back during antennagate (the likely source of this meme), he clearly demonstrated how the "scandalous" reception issue affecting the iPhone 4 was a) common to every other phone on the market, b) easily avoided by adjusting your grip or using a case, and c) had virtually zero impact on the number of user complaints and returns. In other words, the scandal was a load of BS.

    Having said that, I would never have guessed that using a moist cloth to clean a screen could have this effect. I always assumed that any warnings against the use of liquids were there to prevent the liquid from entering under the display assembly at the edges and damaging the underlying electronics, rather than the liquid itself visibly and permanently damaging the antireflective coating.

    Does Apple warn users not to use water when cleaning Macbook displays?

    <img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="60904" data-type="61" src="http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/60904/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 252px">



    No, they don't. They warn against applying any liquid directly to the screen and against using the Macbook near any "sprays, solvents, abrasives, or cleaners containing hydrogen peroxide". 

    With this in mind, if these reports are true and the display coatings can be damaged merely by using a damp cloth (as instructed by Apple documentation) then Apple should immediately repair or replace any affected units free of charge. They should also change their documentation, not only to warn against the use of a damp cloth, but also to explain exactly why. 

    Finally, a damp cloth is actually a terrible way to clean any precision optical surface like glasses, camera lenses, etc. The best way to clean these is with a high quality microfiber cloth, which is often the only way to remove smudges and fingerprints from a surface. Apple should include an appropriately sized microfiber cloth with every product they sell with a display of some sort.

    Sorry but that is way to sensitive for my taste, if I cant use a damp cloth to clean my machines with, well, their useless to me. That being said, I have never had a problem in the the last 25 years using this method to clean my Powerbooks or MacBook. Fiber cloth, yea okay, like that is ever going to happen.
  • Reply 40 of 70
    maztecmaztec Posts: 6member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by spheric View Post





    LCD display pixels don't "burst". And they certainly don't fail with anything approaching the pressure required to break glass.

     

    My mistake, sorry, let me rephrase the issue with the appropriate reality distortion field:

     

    Random portions of the exterior glass on the display have experienced a mystery force that has applied a sufficient amount of energy to create a crater in the exterior glass that has an origination point at the interior of the glass and the maximal width and spread of conchoidal fractures at the outside terminus upon the exterior surface of the glass.  As a result, this mysterious force appears to have originated from the interior of the display rather than being an application of force from the exterior.  Furthermore, the "MF" also known as "Myst Force" or "Mysterious Force" has caused a small block of pixels (i.e., more than one) to turn permanently black.  The MF projection's crater can be readily felt from the outside as a "rough spot" on the exterior display and is viewable under magnification.  

     

    The MF projection damage appears to primarily impact the interior of the glass on early generation retina displays.  It is possible to hypothesize several potential causes, most of which stem back to minor manufacturing flaws that trapped some type of matter that allowed for an uncontrolled increase of energy, primarily in the form of heat, in that area which in turn caused sufficient pressure to weaken the glass and allow for an outwardly directed eruption.

     

    Happily it appears that this is a relatively uncommon issue, but since it results in generally non-functioning pixels it qualifies for the replacement of the display.  

     

    Note, an MF crater can be confused with a KF (known force) crater that originates from the exterior of the glass and points inward.  However, the direction of the crater in a KF situation will result in conchoidal fractures that originate in a point on the exterior and spread outward toward the interior of the glass.  Luckily physics dictates that the direction of the crater in relationship to the application of force is a known fact that has a regular appearance, with the widest portion of the crater on the side opposite from where the force was applied.  As a result, KF's typically have a tiny damage area on the exterior, while MF has a larger damage radius on the exterior of the display.

     

     

    However, the method of initial damage to the screen is not particularly relevant to the issue being discussed in this thread regarding the screen's coating.  The reason I brought up my particular situation with the allegedly "exploding pixels" or as properly posited "mystery force", was to highlight that the coating damage appears to originate at a point of imperfection or damage to the coating.  This damage initial damage allows for some form of non-solid (most likely a liquid, but potentially a gas) to slowly spread beneath the coating and cause it to separate from the exterior of the glass, which results in a minor "fogging".  This fogging gets worse in places with more "damage" and appears as "double plus ungood".  Over time this ungoodness can spread across the screen.  Typically it originates at the exterior, where the protective edge is separated by excessive rubbing, but it can also originate near scratches, MF eruption zones, and KF damage points.  

     

    I noted three primary items when I visited the Apple Genius Bar over three separate visits to fix a handful of problems with my laptop:

      (a) After replacing the keyboard and commenting that my screen had several dead pixels and should be replaced, the Genius cleaned the screen in front of me by spritzing it with a bottle containing an unknown fluid and rubbing it down.  Over the following weeks the "delaminated" area spread substantially.

      (b) When reviewing the computer for logicboard issues, a second Genius put down that the screen should be replaced as well due to the delamination and dead pixels.  At the time I was told the logicboard would take up to two weeks to repair and I could turn off several features to keep the system from crashing, so I put it off.

      (c) When I took the laptop in for a third time, this time to replace the logicboard as I had sufficient time to wait for its return, I was told they would replace the display at the same time.  However, as the logic board replacement required it to be returned to the central repair facility (whatever they call it), the laptop was shipped off.  When it was returned, the delamination was even worse (it appeared they had cleaned the display again), but they refused to replace it as it was just "cosmetic damage".  Frankly, a dead pixel is merely "cosmetic damage" when that definition is applied.  Anyway, I pointed out that the work order had requested a display replacement and the Genius responded with the statement that the central repair folks had made the decision that the damage to the display was not sufficient for replacement.  I then showed them the numerous dead pixels (by that point I had the two MF zones plus half a dozen more manlfunctioning pixel areas in the center of the display) and asked them to review it further.  They took it to the backroom and decided to replace the display, but only because of the malfunctioning pixels.

     

    Standard, potentially pointless disclosure:  IANYL (I am not your lawyer) and IANAYFTL (I am not applying your facts to law).  If someone who actually has this problem and wants to file a lawsuit actually reads this, I do not know enough about your individual situation to formally create an attorney-client relationship with you.  Therefore, this is not intended as individualized legal advice: instead it is an armchair generalized review of the principal facts in my own situation that likely may not apply in your situation, but if you think it does you should hire an attorney who is authorized to practice law in your jurisdiction rather than read into the statement of some random person on the internet.  

     

    The response from Apple creates an interesting question, under the warranty contract what is "cosmetic damage":

      

    Quote:

    This warranty does not apply: (a) to consumable parts, such as batteries, unless failure has occurred due to a defect in materials or workmanship; (b) to cosmetic damage, including but not limited to scratches, dents and broken plastic on ports; (c) to damage caused by use with another product; (d) to damage caused by accident, abuse, misuse, liquid contact, fire, earthquake or other external cause; (e) to damage caused by operating the Apple Product outside Apple’s published guidelines; (f) to damage caused by service (including upgrades and expansions) performed by anyone who is not a representative of Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (“AASP”); (g) to an Apple Product that has been modified to alter functionality or capability without the written permission of Apple; (h) to defects caused by normal wear and tear or otherwise due to the normal aging of the Apple Product, or (i) if any serial number has been removed or defaced from the Apple Product.


     

    Within the warranty "cosmetic damage" is demonstrated through several examples: "scratches, dents and broken plastic on ports".  These are all examples of types of physical damage that "do not prevent a computer from operating or functioning correctly." Bovino v. Amazon.com, 13-cv-02111-MSK-MJW (June 1, 2015, Dist. Ct. Colorado) (non-binding, non-precedent, but the quickest case on point I could find).  Similarly, "damage caused by accident, abuse, misuse, liquid contact, fire, earthquake or other external cause[]", is also exempted from the warranty.  Apple may defend itself in regards to any litigation on this particular issue (whether it is delamination, damage to the coating, or whatever it is ultimately called: hereinafter, "delamination") on the basis of these two warranty exemptions and may even throw in the "defects caused by normal wear and tear . . . normal aging" exemption.  In fact, by not repairing this type of damage and apparently instructing its repair centers not to repair this damage, Apple is taking a position that it is either mere cosmetic damage or potentially accidental damage caused by the user.  

     

    In regards to accidental damage due to "liquid contact", a user will probably have to point at Apple's recommendations on how to clean a screen.  Apple may respond by claiming that the user did not clean the screen as they recommend.  That is going to create an argument about how to prove the method by which a user cleaned the screen and whether excessive force was used.  Apple will argue that the user must have used a chemical or caused some other type of damage that in turn caused the delamination.  The user will point out Apple's cleaning policy and argue that the user strictly followed those guidelines.  In regards to a "notebook" or "laptop" computer, the guidelines are as follows:

    Quote:


     To clean the screen on your MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air, first shut down the computer and unplug the power adapter. Then use a damp, soft, lint-free cloth.


    This differs slightly from Apple's cleaning recommendations for displays:

    Quote:


      If additional cleaning of the display panel or case is required use a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth. Avoid getting moisture in openings. 


    And it also differs from what they do in their stores, which varies from spraying directly on a lint-free cloth and rubbing on the screen or, as I have experienced, spraying directly on the center of the screen and then rubbing it down with the lint-free cloth. The key thing with cleaning displays is the list of do nots:

    Quote:


    Don't use window cleaners, household cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, ammonia, abrasives, or cleaners containing hydrogen peroxide to clean the display.



    Warning: Don't clean the screen with a cleaner containing acetone. Use a cleaner intended for use with a screen or display. Never spray cleaner directly on the screen. It might drip inside the display and cause damage.


    Note, the main reason for not spraying cleaner on the display appears to prevent dripping into the display and causing damage.  Furthermore, cleaning the display on a notebook recommends the use of a "slightly damp" cloth, but does not specify what it should be damp with.  Based on the other information provided for displays, we know what it should not contain, but we do not know what it should contain.  However, one could probably assume a cloth damp with water should be acceptable.

     

    Thus, a user would argue that a damp cloth is allowed.  Apple may want to inspect the damaged screen and would be prepared to argue that more than a merely dampened cloth was used.  

     

    One of the hurdles of a class action would be to argue that at least the principal plaintiff had followed all the rules in the normal course of cleaning and therefore the damage was not accidental.  However, most attorneys would be careful to pick a plaintiff who appeared very truthful and would be more likable and believable by a jury or fact-finder on how that plaintiff cleaned the notebook display.

     

    The other issue, and one that would be more intriguing from a purely legal policy framework, is whether this type of damage is merely cosmetic or whether it "prevent[s] a computer from operating or functioning correctly."  Apple may argue that the notebook is still usable as the damage does not interfere with the use of the computer.  While the plaintiff may argue that it does, as it interferes with the ability to clearly see the screen -- a particularly strong argument for a graphic designer or similar.  This is the type of issue that would be wholly decided by the fact finder, but would likely be tested on summary judgment.  

     

    As for a class action, if there are enough people this could be a class action.  A class action does not have to be any particular percentage of the potential group, but rather a number of people that fully satisfies FRCP 23(a) and (b).  It is based on the impracticality of including all people negatively impacted.  Nonetheless, my opinion is that the value of a class action is minute for the potential class plaintiffs, but has broader long-term value:  unless a settlement or judgment requires repair, the result is often that the users get very little return for the damage caused or receive it years after the need for remuneration has passed.  However, the company is put on warning to fix their product and keep that issue from happening again: primarily through a financial penalty.  If the penalty is not large enough -- and often it isn't -- a class action is often tallied up as merely "the cost of doing business".

     

     

    Summary:  Yes, this is a complicated issue.  Yes, it might be fixable with a lawsuit.  Yes, it is a real problem.  No, the cause is not always the same.  Yes, not all users who have this problem are truly innocent operators: some people caused the damage by not cleaning their screens properly, but for others it was abnormal wear and tear based on normal usage.

     

     

    Finally, implying people have limited intelligence, are lying, or do not understand the facts because you do not have the same experience as them and have not directly seen the issue happen is a waste of everyone's time. 

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