Some early adopters complaining about screen burn-in on their Retina iPad mini

By , Nov 15, 2013

2013 iPad mini 2 (Retina, Four up, hand)

An unknown portion of the first batch of Retina iPad minis coming out of assembly line is apparently plagued with the screen retention problem, reports from disgruntled users claim. Every Apple product launch is marred with teething issues, though this one is more than skin-deep. As we reported, Korea’s ETNews blamed the issues last week on production woes with Sharp-made IGZO Retina panels.

Manufacturing issues have apparently prompted Apple to negotiate with Samsung Display for the supply of 7.9-inch Retina screens starting next year, as Samsung’s display-making unit “was the first to solve the technological problem”. At the heart of the issue is malfunctioning of Sharp’s thin-film transistor screen technology…

Acknowledging that the image retention issue was also present in many first-generation 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros, including the unit he had bought, Instapaper creator Marco Arment shared an unpleasant discovery on his blog yesterday: his personal Retina iPad Mini suffers from the image retention problem.

He determined this by running a simple test which fills up the iPad’s screen with a large black-and-white checkerboard pattern for a few minutes. “If the LCD panel has an image retention issue, a faint impression of the checkerboard will still be visible on the solid gray image, usually fading over the next few minutes,” he explains.

retina-ipad-mini-image-retention
That faint checkerboard pattern in the solid gray area is a sign of burn-ins.

You can run the test yourself by pointing your brand spanking new Retina iPad mini to Arment’s test page here. Just leave the checkerboard pattern open on your device for fifteen minutes and then switch to a gray screen.

As Sharp is reportedly responsible for as much as 40 percent of all Retina launch orders for the new iPad mini (the remaining 60 percent supplied by LG Display), many early adopters might think twice before picking up the device.

Some may even postpone their planned purchase until early-2014, when iPad minis outfitted with Samsung-made Retina screens will reportedly start rolling out of factories in Asia.

Those unfortunate enough to own a device that exhibits image retention should pay a visit to their Apple Store to have it exchanged for a new unit.

Did you notice any burn-ins on your Retina iPad mini?

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  • Skrilla

    Yep I didn’t buy one when I heard the screens where from LG = Low Grade

    • omrishtam

      LOL nice one

    • http://lucaskunert.com/ Lucas Kunert

      The issue is with the Sharp displays, not the LG.

  • AHWallen

    Probably going to end up buying the iPad Air instead. I knew the iPad Mini with retina was too good to be true.

    • Maxim∑

      Yeah I mean apple has no plans of fixing this /s

      • xinger

        I mean, they really can’t though… the problem is with the supplier.

  • Lance Baker

    Now I’m concerned. Mine is being delivered today.

    • Dan

      Apple is usually pretty good about waranty issues in my experience

      • mehrab

        In terms of customer service and warranty issues they are kings no one else comes close, like samsung but lg and htc are completely terrible

      • Dan

        Had to bash someone 0.o

      • mehrab

        Had a htc one with the speakers not working waited 3 weeks to change it
        Had a note 2 with horrible battery life took a week to change it
        My ipad 2 came with the home button not working
        Changed that in 2 hours :/
        Oh yeah i be hating lol if i didn’t had those experiences i would have never

  • Mohammed Sahib

    About time the image retention issue comes into the spotlight. Afaik only ipad 3 didn’t suffer from this issue, simply because the displays were made by Samsung. Gonna wait for mid 2014 to pick my new ipad, or else it is my ipad 2 issue all over again.

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    Lol, I saw it coming; wherever there’s LG, there’s gotta be complaints about the end product.

    • Abdl

      Now the blame goes to LG? O_o

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        That’s been my and other people’s experience with ALL their products; dumb phones, refrigerators, laptops, tablets, etc. What more do you need to prove to you that LG = Low Grade? Waiting for them to build your car too?

      • blastingbigairs

        My LG 3D TV is definitely not low grade, it’s blows away any LED TV I’ve owned and I own many high end displays including Sony, Samsung, and Pioneer. I would not likely buy a phone made by LG, buy they do make some good products.

    • Golden

      As mentioned, the retention issue has been found with the Sharp displays, not LG.

  • Jeff

    glad i bought the iPad Air :) I’m so happy with it.

  • Abdl

    Iv said it before. All the newer Apple devices are bunch of crap!! Yeah they are high-end but totally crappy! iPad Air= caught fire. iPhone 5s=Battery issues. And now retina ipad mini= Display issues? Wt*!! Gonna stick to my iPhone 5 and ipad 2

    • immovableobject

      The iPad Air did not catch fire. The initial report was in error. It was an older model. Nevertheless, it’s true that early adopters (of all brands of products) often end up end up dealing with a new product’s issues. But in this case Apple will cheerfully exchange your unit.

      • alaska99801

        Not only was not an ipad air, it is being investigated by Apple why they were using a non Apple charger.
        This happened in a Vodafone store, so Apple has no control what they all do in there.

        Just a clarification to all these misguide souls that live their lives in an alternate reality.

    • Maxim∑

      in total less than 10 devices out of half a billion failed like that oooh….

  • Max Kas

    That’s the great thing about Apple- one year free AppleCare

  • ConduciveMammal

    Apple: You’re using the display wrong :D

  • hkgsulphate

    buuuuuuuuuuuuuuurn

  • appleyay

    here we go again..lol

  • Taf Khan

    Mine seems fine. Loving the iPad min Retinain spacey grey..

  • http://www.idownloadblog.com Sebastien

    I took the time to go through this 10 minute test. Nothing happened.

  • Keith Green

    I just ordered mine. It better not be messed up!

    • alaska99801

      So lets say it is, which it wont, whats the difference? You take it in for a replacement.
      There is no electronic retailer as easy as Apple to give you a new device. So why are you worrying about an issue looking for a real problem….

      Just enjoy the thing. You will be blown out by the new display.

  • Bistee

    I have the same issue on my Ipad air. Are there any devices out there not suffering from this?

    • alaska99801

      You are lying! How do i know? Because if you did have this non existing problem, you would be on route to exchange instead of posting here.

      • Bistee

        The reason for posting is to find out whether it is worthwhile to exchange the iPad air, or I would end up with the same issue with the new product.. Judging by your comments, I will exchange it on Monday, as it is not possible over the weekend…

  • PereZ!

    This happens to my iPad 2. Let’s say I’m on safari for a while and I decide to close it, I can see like the app opened kinda like a shadow. You really have to pay close attention to it.

  • alaska99801

    I bought one yesterday and this display is amazing. Am i going to worry about, not burn in? its a different problem, its ghosting that last maybe a few seconds, supposedly if you do like the dummy that left a checkered pattern on his mini for 15 minutes…really? Who does that? Has he try testing all other tablets for this problem. I bet if i had a nexus or a kindle handy i could find a bunch of things by leaving it on for an hour or so with the same pattern, but oh well.

    By the way, it was Apple that announced that they were having problems with just the Sharp displays. Why the delay. Now, im pretty comfortable with Apple, always standing behind their products. Dont know about the others. I had a macbook air out of warranty by 45 days this year that Apple replaced with a new one for me. So if you want a retina mini, stop listening to these bozos that all they have to do is write articles like this to get clicks. Thats how they get pay.

    We know that the competition is capable of doing anything. They have proven that point many times.
    I just wonder how many paid posters transit the Apple forums? And dont forget that once someone mentions a problem, hundreds more will say they have it too. C’mon, the people that ios was supposed to be making sick? I am 100% sure that this stuff was made up. Why this crap only surface in the US. We have become such whiners.

  • xinger

    When it comes to these sort of things, Apple is #1 in terms of simply replacing your product if any sort of defect comes along.

    Or they’ll fix the problem for you.

    Either way, they’re good about it.

  • ProfessorX1®

    My Retina iPad mini screen is still working fine.

  • Storm Russel

    Cases are great but they’re just a little too bulky for me…I’d
    much rather protect my screen and get a GEARMAXX screen protector which sells
    on ebay for cheap but they’re high quality and durable!

  • Scott

    I got mine yesterday and have used it a lot since opening the box. I haven’t tried to purposely get image retention but I can tell you from normal usage looking at safari web pages, watching movies with the progress bar showing the entire time, et…, I have not had any problems with image retention. The retina iPad mini performs just like my previous iPad mini but smoother operation, less time to load the iTunes app or to perform any function that is.

    So far it has performed great. No complaints here.