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liammarcrobshaw Level 1 (0 points)

I bought my first MacBook Air just over a month ago and couldn't have been more careful with it. I used a case everytime it went anywhere and didn't bang it on anything, drop it or knock anything against it. So I was obviously confused/annoyed when a relatively small crack appeared on the LCD behind the screen literally out of nowhere and without anything happening to it. At my local Apple reseller/repair store they took a look at it but like me didn't have a clue how it happened. Anyway we contacted Apple and a replacement was sent.


So I've had this new Air for around three weeks and this time I've been even more careful with it, with nothing at all happening that should have caused damage (trust me, I'd have remembered if even the smallest thing had happened!).


Just now I've noticed a crack that looks exactly the same as the one before but on the oppisite side of the screen. Like before I was just sat with it infront of me, the crack wasn't there one second and then suddenly it was.


I haven't had the chance to contact Apple yet, but I highly doubt the guarentee will cover this again.


Has anyone had similar problems? If the MacBook Air is so delicate that damage happens this easily, literaly without anything to cause it, then it's just crazy and a massive design flaw.



MacBook Air, iOS 4.3.3
  • SP Forsythe Level 5 (5,370 points)

    It's hard to say. I am "careful", and have never had a problem.


    One person's "careful", is another's "brutal". I have seen a few people who say they "baby" their machines, which are full of dents and scratches they don't even notice!



    Can you clarify your level of care?

    Do you put the unit in a backpack or case wherein other items in the case/backpack might hit, compress, touch, lean-on, or put pressure on the lid?


    I would classify the MBA as fairly "delicate". I use an incase perforated hardshell case, and transport in an incase nylon sling sleeve. I still am very careful, as if any drop or hit is probably going to damage it. In other words, I treat it like a live human baby.

  • liammarcrobshaw Level 1 (0 points)

    Totally understand what you mean about the fine line between 'careful' and 'brutal'.


    I definitely have been extremely careful with it (verging on the live human baby type of care!), even more so after the crack on my previous Air.


    It's been in a backpack a few times but always only when in a well-padded case and never with anything at all heavy.


    The thing I understand the least is how the screen can be completely normal one minute and then suddenly have a large crack the next, without anything happening to cause it. I'm sure it's getting bigger too, even with me not using the computer.


    I'll contact Apple tomorrow but I'm not sure if the guarentee will cover this type of damage, especially as it will be difficult to prove I haven't done anything to cause it.


    Thanks for your reply!

  • danielfromerskineville Level 1 (0 points)

    Ive hadsame exact problem, though the small crack isnow a rather large crack going off in many directions. Super dissapointing as I love the MBA, but would think twice about getting another. Ive not taken it in to Apple yet, but will this week.

  • liammarcrobshaw Level 1 (0 points)

    I contacted Apple again a couple of weeks ago and now I've got my second replacement. So they're great when it comes to replacements, but I'm obviously just hoping the same thing doesn't happen a third time. I was told there wouldn't be a problem getting another refund/replacement if it does.

  • deh2k Level 4 (1,765 points)

    When you open and close the lid, do you hold it by a corner?  I stongly recommend holding it in the center.  Same goes for adjusting the tilt.  It seems to me that you could be putting a strain on the screen that could be causing cracks along the side.

  • cpickrell Level 2 (260 points)

    If the LCD is cracking behind the display, it is likely because of force applied to the lid (around the Apple Logo). A possible culprit would be placing the Air into a case next to something that presses against the lid. This could be the power block, a cell phone, car keys, etc.

  • mingshen Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for sharing here, was getting worried about the problem on the Air i bought end-July. My screen, only when displaying a black/dark color would show these horrid vertical black streaks like someone took a paintbrush to the display. On closer inspection with a flashlight, shining from left/right, i'd see tiny hairline cracks or lines along those "brush" lines.


    Does anyone happen to have the same issue?


    I was concerned that Apple might not replace this, but it sounds like i might have a chance.

  • Aaron H. Level 1 (0 points)

    It appears my 2011 11" MacBook Air screen somehow has cracked right before my very eyes.  I've not left my chair at all and suddenly noticed what I thought was a weird watermark on the website I was viewing.  Upon closer inspection it appears to be a crack behind the display (screen itself is perfectly smooth).  It is especially obvious on dark backgrounds and not something I would have missed with regular use for the past hour.


    I am ridiculously careful with my stuff and would definitely cop to something but I haven't even been out of my chair for an hour and this suddenly appears. I'm quite baffled (and relatively certain it's going to cost me a pretty penny to replace the screen on my 3 month old laptop).

  • Nthop Level 1 (0 points)

    The exact same thing just happened to me today. The computer is not even a month old, I take incredibly good care of it, and I have absolutely no idea how this could have happened. Since it is "impact damage" my warrantee won't cover it, which means I have to pay $500 to have it fixed. The forums seem to indicate that this is not a super rare thing.  It is unacceptable to have screens this fragile not covered by warrantee.

  • jinn_baba Level 1 (0 points)

    Same here...I have July 2011 MBA 11" and I am very careful in using it. I put it in messenger bag yesterday and this morning I noticed the crack. Went to local Apple Store and folks at genius bar told me that it was accidental damage though I have no idea how it could have happened. They were asking north of $350 to fix it. It still works fine but the small crack is very irritating..No idea what to do...

  • Xandris Level 2 (160 points)

    You guys have to remember that the screen assembly on the Air is INCREDIBLY thin.  Even though it is made of aluminum, it still has flex to it.  ANY pressure that is exerted on the screen assembly might be enough to crack the screen, as it is made of GLASS.  If you are putting the Air in a bag, or backpack, perhaps you should invest in a little protection in the form of a hard plastic shell case?  I know its not much, but it might be enough to additionally protect your $1000+ investment from getting a cracked screen. 


    Also, consider the orientation of your computer when you put it in your bag.  I use my Air at college, and accordingly, carry my computer in a backpack.  MY backpack has a dedicated computer slot that is between my back and the carrying compartment where I keep my books and things.  When I put my Air in my bag, I am ALWAYS mindful of putting the display part of the computer FACING my back, so that the body of the Air is facing the carrying compartment.  This way, there is nothing that is oddly shaped pressing into the thinnest part of my Air.  The screen assembly is always resting against the padding that is between my back and the Air. 


    Maybe this really makes no difference in the end, but it SEEMS to me that it COULD matter, in my case at least.

  • Macaby Level 3 (910 points)

    As with other Apple rants, I suspect this problem is only effecting a small number of users.  Otherwise, it would be big news in "tech reviews", etc.  I have a friend who bought the first MBA and has now upgraded to the new one.  This friend is a real traveler (several airline trips annually) and his MBA's have not had this problem. 


    Therefore I would assume that most of the cracked screens mentioned in this thread were either caused by manufacturing defects or careless handling.  While a person might treat their MBA with "kid gloves", who knows how their friends or family members handled the computer.


    And I totally agree with opening the lid by pulling up in the middle of the screen  where the notch is rather than torquing the screen by pulling up on the front edges.  I've seen several of the MBAs tooling around airports or inflight.    


    However, if my screen suddenly cracks with my gentle care, I'll be singing a different tune.

  • suchaSADday Level 1 (0 points)

    I am now added to the victim list of macbook air screen cracks. Completely spontaneous in the top left corner. I baby my MBA, and I have the whole mac family. Not only have I raved about mac for years, I have converted many many PC users. Now, when I have my very first mac issue, I am told that the crack required excessive force and is not covered by apple care. I have bought at least 3 new screens with all of the apple care purchases for all of my toys, and never once tried to make a claim or even had a major problem. Minor problems have always been dealt with perfectly. Now, I am told that my screen crack was my fault. It was not - I was there. This crack just spontaneously appeared. The MBA is only 6 months old - the crack goes all the way across the top, and has even spilled pink and blue colour down the left edge.


    More than the crack, I am disappointed by the accusation that it is my fault. I am disillusioned and frustrated with mac in general. The cost of a new screen is close to $800. After reading all of the other stories - clearly this is a design flaw, and clearly the number of people affected is adding up. My theory: The bottom line cost of fixing this is too much. Plus, it opens the door for all screen cracks (excessive force or not). More importantly - It doesn't go this way in a Steve Jobs world. It is disappointing that the single company I thought was different, and actually looking out for it's customers is not. The romance is over for this kid - it is my only play. New phone (Android), new lap tap, new desk top, new tablet. It is over, and I have no plans of ever going back. It is going to be a hard road after over a decade with this OS. A hard and lonely road. Does anyone have a suggestion as where to start with my new laptop?

  • AndyO Level 6 (17,050 points)

    I have every sympathy. Being accused by an almost-faceless corporation of what amounts to willful misuse or crass stupidity with a piece of equipment which to them is virtually worthless and to you is a significant investment of your own money is - at best - insulting. While it's inevitably true that some users do cause screen faults because they simply are not careful with their equipment (or other peoples') and Apple are right to be wary of warranty claims under these circumstances, to be tarred by the same brush as part of a broad policy is fundamentally wrong.


    However, while not excusing Apple in any way, there are two pieces of information pertinent to this issue which you do not have and which they do: the torsional rigidity of the display panel (ie, how easy or otherwise it is to break) and the proportion of MacBook Air models sold which have been reported to suffer one or more screen fractures. These two pieces of information tell Apple what the balance of probabilities is that a screen crack may be caused by component fault or mishandling, and likely is influenced by where the crack has appeared, and also whether or not there is a design weakness with the product.


    In the latter instance it seems reasonable to believe that some structural rigidity was compromised for weight and thinness, but with a product that has been on the market for almost 4 years now, it is highly unlikely - most improbable in fact - that the level of faults reported would show a failure of design or a proclivity to structural weakness. There has been a lot of time to correct an issue such as that with successive models, and there has been no correction.


    In terms of the screen itself, if the crack in the screen fits the profile of a mishandled system, they will deny warranty cover in the interest of both themselves and other customers.


    Put in that position myself, I would be as upset and angry as anyone else, but in the end neither that, nor the 'I-will-never-buy-another-Apple-product-EVER' attitude will help get the problem sorted. I would call Apple Customer Service and explain what has happened and why you are upset and feel that you are being unfairly accused of damaging your own property, and have basically been called a liar by staff in the store whom you had approached to help you resolve a problem that was not of your own making. Further, that while you know it won't impact on Apple's bottom line, this incident and the failure of the product makes it very difficult for you to justify any further purchase of Apple equipment - which is a shame because you've been a committed user for years because the products have always been better suited to your needs than those of the competition. Ask them if they can help you resolve this problem, and if necessary ask for it to be escalated if the first respondent cannot.


    You may end up with the same answer, but you may not. Apple does have legendary customer service as regular surveys have shown, but it isn't flawless.


    Again, if it were me (and who knows, one day it might be because I'm typing this on a MacBook Air) if that didn't get me a satisfactory outcome, I'd buy a new display panel off the internet and repair it myself - closer to $200 than $800. And I might just consider asking a lawyer to mutter the word 'defamation' into Apple's corporate ear into the bargain too.

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