MacBook Air display problem confirmed by leaked Apple memo

The Macbook Air 2020 has a display coating problem
(Image credit: Future)

Just when Apple fixed the MacBook Air's keyboard, its beloved laptop just got another possible controversy. In fact, this is an issue seen up and down Apple's entire line of Retina Display MacBooks, including the MacBook Pro and 12-inch MacBook — and this word has leaked out from Apple itself.

According to MacRumors, there's been a change to one of Apple's internal service documents, adding the MacBook Air to a list of laptops. It now reads "Retina displays on some MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro computers can exhibit anti-reflective (AR) coating issues," in which the AR coating wears off and looks like a smudge. The report doesn't specify which versions of the MacBook Air are affected.

This issue is referred to as "Staingate" and examples are have been posted on this site. We don't know which MacBook Air models are affected, and we can only hope it's not the MacBook Air 2020 model that was just announced last week. 

Either way, if your MacBook Air is displaying this distorted display issue, contact Apple's support team. Since all Apple Stores and many authorized repair providers are closed, you're going to need to start at the MacBook Air page of the Apple Support site.

The report states that Apple has long offered a repair program for this issue, but has done so quietly without explicitly outlining it on Apple websites. The program initially only supported the MacBook Pro (13 and 15 inch, from 2015 to 2017) and the 12-inch MacBooks from the same span of years.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.