iPad mini retina image retention

I first read about image retention on iPad mini retina on Marco Arment’s blog. His iPad mini retina had a slight case of image retention which he discovered by [creating and] running an image retention test on his iPad. I used the word slight to describe Marco’s case because his was a minor problem, something had he not run the test explicitly would not have noticed during normal use. Because it didn’t seem something that would get in the way of enjoying the beautiful screen of the new iPad mini, I didn’t give it much thought.

The very first thing, after hooking it up online, I did on my new iPad mini retina was run Marco’s image retention test. It passed, which elated me and squashed what little fears I had. In hindsight I forgot to run the test for ten minutes, hastily choosing a minute instead. I basked in the magnificence of the retina screen and the weightlessness of the device for two whole weeks. It was the perfect tablet: light-weight, just the right size, with a beautifully sharp and crisp screen, a lot of computing power packed inside a small form factor, and a lovely OS to make it all work seamlessly. Then, one unfortunate night after work when I pulled out the iPad from inside the drawer I keep it in when away, I was dreadfully shocked to look at the mess the screen had become. The image retention clearly visible on the screen was horrible. There were crooked lines everywhere, and swiping on the screen caused them to flicker grotesquely. If Marco saw it, he would jump up his chair.

Home screen on my iPad mini with severe image retention.

Home screen on my iPad mini with severe image retention.

I managed to get the iPad returned to Apple. To my surprise, and a little disappointment, Apple outright refunded me the device.

Macro in his post explained why he thought the issue was there. Apple buys retina panels from a couple of manufacturers. Panels from at least one manufacturer exhibit image retention. I think Apple is fully aware of it, and it’s the reason why iPad mini with retina displays are in short supply.

I loved that thing. I cannot emphasise that enough. I will buy it again, when the next batch from manufacturing hits the market.

3 thoughts on “iPad mini retina image retention

  1. Sorry for your trouble. I got a Mini, passed Marco’s test, I liked it but I over thought it and got an Air. Way too heavy for my uses, so I got a new Mini R, but it failed Marco’s test badly. Went to a different Apple store in the hopes of getting a Mini from a different screen batch. Apple was great, new Mini passed perfectly. I love the Mini now. You should get another, test it right there in the store. An amazing device. I hope Apple dumps whichever supplier is causing this.

    • Hey. Thanks for chipping in. I loved the mini retina, really. And I want another one. But after reading about more and more people having issues with multiple swaps of the device, I’m becoming discouraged. The major hurdle for me is that Apple hasn’t officially released iPad and iPhone where I live, and it is a pain to claim any Apple device under warranty.

      But, yeah, I really hope Apple gets around to this issue.

  2. Hi there, I feel for you. I myself have bought mini retina lte 128gb (which are said to be affected much more often) and encountered image retention. Writing this post on the 3rd replacement (4th device), it still has the issue.
    When is the new batch available? Or how long do you intend to wait?

    Thanks for answer :)

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