iPad Mini Owners Report Image Retention Issues with Retina Display

retina-ipad-mini-image-retentionWhen the third-generation iPad first came out, there was talk of an issue where light appeared to be leaking into the screen. The light was only noticeable when you were on a dark page, like a black screen, and it was fairly difficult to see. My third-gen has the issue. At first, I was tempted to take it back and replace it with a new one. I decided against it and didn’t even think about it again until today, when reports began to surface that the new iPad mini with Retina display is suffering from image retention issues.

According to Macro Arment, creator of Instapaper, MacRumors reported that some iPad mini units are showing signs of retention, or “burn-in,” as it is being called. The report originally came from Japanese business newspaper Nikkei, and was further supported by Korea-based ETNews. The latter explained why this issue exists.

“The burn-in problem was caused by the drastic reduction of the pixel size. The resolution of the 7.9-inch iPad mini with Retina display is 2048×1536, about four times clearer than the existing 1024×768 products … The pixel of the smartphone display is smaller than that of the iPad mini Retina panel, but as the Low Temperature Polycrystalline Silicon (LTPS) technology is used, it can be produced stably. The pixel of the iPad mini Retina is the smallest among those products using a-Si.”

Macro Arment created a test page for retention issues back when the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display was rumored to have the same problem. His test lets you check your screen for possible issues. The first page shows a black-and-white image of a checkerboard. The second is a gray screen. If your tablet has image retention issues, after you switch from the first page to the second, a faint ghost image of the checkerboard will appear on your screen.

If your tablet does fail the retention test, it might be a good idea to trade it in. However, there is a chance that your new iPad mini with Retina display will have the same problem. When my iPad showed signs of light leaking, I didn’t trade it in and never had a problem with graphics or visuals. I never even noticed it again after a few months.

It is possible that users won’t even remember that they have retention issues on their tablets after a while.

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About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik

  • Apple_iOS

    I hope mine won’t have this problem when I get it. I just dropped $400 on this, I don’t want to have to return it and wait for the shipping to get a new one.

    • Juicy-J

      Just ran the test. Mine has it after 7 minutes of testing. I have a space gray 16 gb AT&T. Fades away after time though. I’ll probably keep mine.

      • Apple_iOS

        Cool, thanks! I rarely have my iPad on the same screen for more than 2 minutes (which is when the screen times out), so it shouldn’t be a problem then, I guess.

        • Juicy-J

          No problem. My wife has a silver 16gb that I have yet to set up but I’ll run the test on that one too. I’ll keep you posted.

          • Apple_iOS

            Ok thanks :)

          • Juicy-J

            Well, as I suspected! Her retina mini does not does not have image retention what so ever! I called Apple and the rep. I spoke to said they have no records of any issues. She advised that I take it to the Apple Store for examination. She did say that if it is defective its covered under the one year warranty. I typically don’t get Apple Care for iPads. This one has ATT ins. anyways.

          • Apple_iOS

            Ok thanks for the info! I got mine and just in normal use (games, reading, internet browsing, watching videos) I haven’t noticed any issues. Anyway, thanks again for keeping me posted!

          • http://www.sacramaniacs.com/ Lory Gil

            How did it turn out? Have your returned your iPad mini? Or did you decide to just keep it? If you returned it, how was the experience?

          • Juicy-J

            I decided to keep it. Being that its covered under the one year warranty I should be ok. I figured the Apple Store employees might turn me away anyways saying that its no big deal. I just find it strange that the one my wife has doesn’t display the same behavior.

  • emerson

    my mini ipad saying after 10 seconds ipad need to cool down before you can use it

    • http://www.sacramaniacs.com/ Lory Gil

      Your issue is not related to image retention. However, it does sound like it is overheating. Did you leave it in your car or in direct sunlight? Leave your iPad mini alone for about an hour, then try to turn it on again. If your iPad mini does not turn on at all after one hour, plug it into an outlet to charge it first. Let it charge for at least an hour and try again. If you still get the message, try turning your tablet off and back on again. If you still have the same issue, call Apple for tech support.