Thousands of MacBook Owners Outraged Over ‘Staingate’ Display Damage

As highlighted by ZDNet, a large number of MacBook owners have grouped together to express their frustrations over screen damage affecting Apple’s displays on a website named “We are a group of Apple customers that paid more than 2000 USD/EUR for a Macbook that is showing horrific stains in the screen,” writes the group. The worst affected MacBooks appear to be those sold in 2013 but it seems that the problem dates back to 2009.


The stains can start as early as 7 months after the purchase. There is no clear pattern as to how it starts, as some experience it in small spots around the edge, while on other screens it appears in the middle as large patches (as shown above). According to Apple, this is “cosmetic damage” and as such it is not covered by the warranty, leaving owners facing repair costs that can total up to $800. 

On the face of it the damage appears to be afflicting the antireflective coating applied to the display. Something – and that something could range from user abuse to a manufacturing defect – seems to have caused the coating to decay, leaving behind what appears to be an ugly stain.

The group says it has been contacted by more than 3,000 people so far, and US law firm Whitfield Bryson & Mason has contacted the organization’s Facebook group offering to help. 

The report notes that the law firm has already begun collecting data, and Apple may soon be hit by a ‘Staingate’ lawsuit.

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  • Chrome262

    kind of crappy if it is the coating, it should be covered as a manufactured defect.

  • FragilityG4

    I actually had this problem with my mid 2007 MacBook. It was a dot the size of a pinky nail in the right corner of the screen. When the screen was active you couldn’t notice it but when it was off you defiantly could see, much like the above photo. I never took it in as it really didn’t bother me, and it didn’t affect me selling the MacBook seven years later. The more pressing problem was the polymer case cracking where my hand would land for the trackpad … Of course this happened after the warranty had expired.

  • Pete

    I have this on my mid 2013 rMBP. I’ve never used anything but water to clean it and I’ve only done that a handful of times. I usually just use the cloth that i came with. It’s a real bummer that it happened 1 month after my 1 year warranty ran out. Wishing I had opted for Applecare, but I figured my credit card company would cover it under their additional warranty, but they won’t because they say it’s cosmetic. 🙁