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?