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iPad mini 6 display problem is angering customers [Update: Apple says it's normal]

iPad Mini 6 vs. iPad Air 4: Which should you buy?
(Image credit: Apple)

Update on Sept 29, 2021: Apple told Ars Technica that the jelly scroll effect on the iPad's display is "normal behavior for LCD screens." Ars says the issue occurs because lines on one side of the screen are refreshed a split second before those on the other. Interestingly, the effect is noticeable on the iPad mini but not on other LCD panels, like those on the iPad Air or iPad. Because Apple believes this to be normal, it will not attempt any hardware or software fixes. 

The iPad mini received a long-awaited overhaul, but not everything is going according to plan for the new tablet. Owners of the now available iPad mini 6 have noticed a strange effect on the display while scrolling in portrait mode.

Disgruntled iPad mini users are calling the issue "jelly scroll" because the screen appears to jiggle when you scroll down a page with the tablet positioned vertically. We don't know for sure what's causing the problem, but it appears as if one side of the display is responding faster than the other.

When scrolling up or down a website, the left side of the screen moves a fraction faster than the right. The right side then jumps up or down to catch up, creating a distracting waviness to the text or images on the page. 

It's not clear how many units the issue impacts or if this is a problem with every iPad mini. Several media outlets replicated the problem and folks speaking to 9to5Mac say it occurs on Apple Store demo units, suggesting the problem isn't limited to a bad batch of slates. The Verge's Dieter Bohn captured the issue in a slo-mo video (see below tweet).

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In real-time, the effect is so subtle most people won't notice it, but if you do (apologies if this article is the reason), it's the sort of thing you can't unsee. 

According to Ars Technica, the "jelly scroll" is also seen in landscape mode with the tablet positioned horizontally, however, it is much less noticeable in this position. All iPad mini 6 owners can do now is hope the problem isn't hardware-related and can be resolved in a software update. Otherwise, the line to see Apple's repair team will be as long as it is to buy the new iPhone 13

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.