Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ghosting Defect in Macbook Pro's Retina Display

I have been an Apple fanboi since 2001. I bought a new Macbook Pro 15" with the Retina display in July 2012. After a few months of use, I started noticing a strange "ghosting effect" in the display. I told myself "oh no, here we go again!", expecting a long drawn battle with Applecare and eventually getting my display fixed replaced.

Searching the Internet revealed that I am not the only victim of such "ghosting effect" display problems. Reports on Apple's Discussion Forums, a completely bullshit Apple Support solution, complaints on MacRumors, reports on AppleInsider, Extremetech, and a few YouTube videos too.

My journey has just begun. I took it to the nearest Apple authorised reseller (we don't have Apple stores in India) where I got a lecture on how my settings were not configured properly. They said there's no defect and it is all a result of my imagination and settings.

So here's some proof. I tried a test. I decided to get some inspiration from Steve Jobs' iconic photograph. After about 4 minutes of having his photo displayed in my browser, I invoke Expose to clear all the windows and reveal the desktop. And there you have it - the GHOST OF STEVE JOBS!

Steve Jobs on my Retina Display MBP 
Windows cleared but the Ghost of Steve Jobs still hangs around

And finally, here's a video demonstrating this in action - direct link if you can't view it in your browser.

Dear Apple, you clearly let your top-of-the-line laptop display slip through some very poor quality control. What shall we do about this?

Note: I shall keep posting updates on this issue here on the "Ghost of Steve Jobs" blog. If you have encountered this problem, please help get the message across through Facebook, Twitter or any other social networks. If you have had any success in getting your display replaced, please also let me know via the comments page.

Oh, and the hardware specs. I finally found out how to obtain the display type. Mine is a "LP154WT1-SJA1". Run the following command in Terminal.app:

ioreg -lw0 | grep \"EDID\" | sed "/[^<]*</s///" | xxd -p -r | strings -6

Thank you.


  1. For all the Indian people who have bought rMBP with the super sad IR feature there is a little hope to get your money back though you haven't purchased from a Apple Store like the people in the US.

    Here is my story. I bought rMBP back in July, was super excited with the machine and how beautiful everything looked on the screen. A week later I see lines on the display (IR)I contacted the reseller I purchased from and setup a replacement. Got my second machine and again was super excited to use it but 2 weeks later BAM IR. Contacted the seller again, he said he couldn't do anything, I then decided to write to Apple India Sales Manager. I explained the problem I was facing and he escalated my issue to Singapore Apple . A lady was given my case, she was good enough to understand the problem I was facing and could set up a replacement. I asked for a refund but she gave an explanation saying I bought it from a reseller so I can't get a refund. I quietly accepted the replacement . The third machine arrived, saw IR in the first 5 min, wrote an email back to her . She said she would invesgiate this issue deeper and get back with a solution. A few days later I get a call from her and was given two options 1. Refund :D 2. Classic MBP. I chose refund . Can't be any happier.

    So all you have to do is somehow reach someone at Asia support center (Singapore ) and get in talk with them. The Indian support center doesn't seem to handle replacements and refunds , all that they told me was please go to an Apple Service Center .

    I seriously hope apple fixes this issue ,otherwise this is the most machine ever.

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