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MacBook Air display issues confirmed by internal Apple memo

The newly-updated Apple MacBook Air laptop could be prone to a longstanding Retina display issue that can leave screens with a smudge-like appearance.

In a memo sent out to Apple Authorised Service Providers, Apple cops to an issue with the anti-reflective coating on the Retina displays of MacBook Air models for the first time.

“Retina displays on some MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro computers can exhibit anti-reflective (AR) coating issues,” the memo obtained by MacRumors says.

Apple had previously admitted this was the case with the 12-inch MacBook and some MacBook Pro computers, but previous guidance hadn’t mentioned the MacBook Air models.

The Air first got a Reina display in 2018 when it was first rebooted. The range was updated just last week with a more powerful option for 2020, along with the much-preferred scissor-shift keyboard mechanism, but the same Retina display.

Related: Best Mac 2020

Apple currently offers free repairs for the eligible models, but has not added the MacBook Air to that list yet. It currently reads as follows: 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).

Interestingly, there’s nothing beyond 2017.

It’s likely to be an oversight on Apple’s part and we’d imagine the company will offer free repairs to those affected MacBook Air models too. The repair program has been in effect for more than four years, following complaints that the anti-reflective coating was delaminating on affected displays. Some users called it “staingate” and in the worst cases made displays pretty much unusable.

The fact the issue is apparently affecting laptops released in 2018 (and possibly 2020) suggests the the delamination problems haven’t been fixed in the interim. We’ve heard no reports from MacBook Air 2020 users struggling will this issue to date, but it’s certainly one to keep an eye on moving forward.

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