M1 MacBook Air reports of self-destructing displays are piling up — and users are baffled

MacBook Air (M1, 2020)
M1 MacBook Air (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

A growing number of M1 MacBook Air users are reporting that the Apple laptop's screen is spontaneously cracking and they're baffled over what's causing the display to self-destruct.

Towering reports of MacBook Air cracked-screen issues can be found on Reddit and Apple's Community forum, followed by a flood of "same here" responses from users who are perplexed over this purported problem (via FrontPageNews).

M1 MacBook Air cracked screen issue reports are piling up

In a thread titled, "MacBook Air M1 screen crack for no apparent reason," an Apple Community forum member with the alias "laura8lx" expressed frustration over their alleged self-destructing screen on a MacBook Air they purchased six months ago.

MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

M1 MacBook Air (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

"I left my computer on the top of my desk during the night and the next day I opened it the screen had 2 small cracks on the right, which damaged the functioning of the screen," laura8lx said.

They went on to say that they contacted Apple to rectify the issue, but the company said that the warranty could not cover the repair because it is likely a "contact-point crack." In other words, Apple concluded that a small artifact left between the screen and the keyboard caused the crack.

"It is absurd," laura8lx said. "I have nothing like [this] on my desk and the computer was properly closed as usual and didn't move the whole night. More than the price of repairing it, it is frustrating that Apple doesn't believe its customers."

Others chimed in reporting the same issue: "Same thing happened to me. The laptop was sitting on my desk and when I opened it was broken, and showing bars," scoobany said. 

"Happen to me as well !!!!" another said. "They are not willing to take responsibility ! I am not planning to give up. Doesn't make any sense that a computer that is brand new and sitting on the desk can break this way. If they have problems with the retina screen, they just need to admit that."

MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

M1 MacBook Air  (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

A Reddit user posted a similar issue, stating that their M1-equipped MacBook screen cracked a week post purchase, which also prompted an inundation of "me too" reports.

"Just had this happen to me upon opening my M1. It hasn't moved from my desk since purchase and it's only 15 days old," xxcherrillxx said. 

"Same thing happened to me," another Redditor said. "I opened my laptop earlier this month and there were colored lines across the bottom and right side of the screen. Their latest models of Airs are absurdly sensitive, it seems."

Is this the advent of another displaygate?

This isn't the first time Apple's been in hot water for its faulty displays. In early April, we reported that a federal judge alleged that Apple knowingly sold MacBook Pros with defective displays, and as a result, he decided that a class-action lawsuit against Apple had sufficient merit to move forward. This display fiasco was dubbed "flexgate."

Flexgate was a PR disaster for Apple that involved some 2016 (and later) MacBook Pros that suffered display backlighting issues due to thin, easy-to-break flex cables. It was an expensive redesign mistake that prompted Apple to launch a free repair program for flexgate victims.

If more M1 MacBook Air owners come forward with the same display issues recounted by the Apple Community forum member and the Redditor, Apple could be headed for another dreadful cycle of class-action lawsuits, reputation-damaging PR and repair programs.

Prominent Apple leaker Jon Prosser, on the other hand, doesn't buy the screen-cracking claims, adding that the owners must've closed the unit in a damaging manner or allowed dirt to get pressed into the display.

"I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet that some of these 'reports' are from users who shut their MacBook screen onto a keyboard with a bunch of Doritos crumbs stuck in it," Prosser said.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!