Newer MacBook Air models suffer from Retina display issues, Apple admits

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

MacBook Air (2018 and newer) owners should take a careful look at their laptop screens because some units are suffering from the same anti-reflective coating issues seen on the MacBook Pro and the now-discontinued MacBook, according to a memo sent to Apple Authorized Service Providers as reported by MacRumors.

The issue causes the anti-reflective coating on the displays to delaminate and wear away. The recurring problem, previously dubbed "Staingate," eventually led Apple to create a free repair program for eligible devices (note: it is only available internally unlike the program for the infamous Butterfly Keyboards). 

Apple acknowledged the problem exists on the newer MacBook Air with Retina display models in the memo, but it has yet to officially add them to its internal eligibility list. If they are added, covered devices will receive a free screen repair for 5 years following release, which currently includes the following laptops:

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2015)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 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)

The MacBook Air with Retina display was introduced in October of 2018. It is unclear at the moment whether the issue affects the original 2018 model or also the MacBook Air 2019 and the brand new MacBook Air 2020. As you will note, there have been no new MacBook Pros added to the list since 2017, so it's concerning to see this popping up with newer models.

You can't visit Apple stores currently due to closures caused by the coronavirus, so the best course of action is to simply contact Apple support if you feel that your screen is affected.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.