A1708/EMC 3164 — Released June 2017, this entry-level MacBook Pro retains its traditional function keys (as opposed to the OLED Touch Bar).

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Stage Light Effect on Display Screen

With my horrendous luck I noticed this issue just a week after the 1 year warranty of my Macbook Pro ended.

According to my research this issue can stem from 3 things:

1) a faulty LED-Backlit display in which case will need to have the whole display replaced

OR

2) LVDS 'graphic cable' issue, either it needs to be

--replaced

--or just repositioned

At this point in time I'm leaning more towards bringing it to an accredited Apple center for repair.

My question is, can anyone tell me the range for fees and for how long the repairs would be for each scenario mentioned above? Just a minimum/estimate would be fine so that I won't be quite shocked when I do bring it over to the center ><

And is this an issue that I can just ignore, practically speaking? Would it get worse if I leave it as is(like bigger shadows or whatnot overtime)?

On a side note, I also noted keyboard issues popping up after this. Sometimes the letter 's' would have a lag, won't be functional or would double type. Same with the no. 2 key. I'm not sure if this is related or an entirely different problem with the display -- no other functions seem affected

MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)

Processor: 2 GHz Intel Core i5

Memory: 8 GB 1867 MHz LPDDR3

Graphics: Intel Iris Graphics 540 1536 MB

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- picture taken at the lowest screen brightness

- increasing it appears to lessen the shadows but they're still visible even at maximum brightness

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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FYI - The cable is just called a display cable now as the signaling is no longer LVDS it's now using internal Display Port (iDP). All Retina displays use this newer signaling method.

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@skmm post some pictures of what your display shows. Use this guide Adding images to an existing question for that. It could be that the error is on the logic board.

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just1ed - Here's an image of the cables that interconnect the display to the logic board I call them cables, Granted they are more spring than cable but they are the means the electrical signals move between the display & logic board on the newer Function Key models. These are the failing pieces. The single cable you are talking about from the displays logic board to the main logic board it's self might also be a possible failure point but these two cables are more at risk of damage.

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Here’s a clearer picture and commented with descriptions of the parts:

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I'll try and see but these two cables do not connect to the logicboard. These connect to the display, and are held in place to the Macbook's metal frame with screws at the spring areas. No signals are transferred from the logicboard to the LCD. It'll be strange if they are the ones causing the issue but I'll teardown and see what goes.

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@danj I have down a teardown. The information given by you is incorrect.

1. The two cables you have circled which have the spring mechanism do not connect to the logicboard. They connect to the display's IC board and are soldered on.

2. They are not removable.

3. There are two smaller ones, one which is responsible for the LED light, are removable only on the LCD I/C board but are not removable from the LCD side.

In summary, I am high suspect Laptopblue.vn fixed the user's issue by changing any LCD cables.

@danj If you have fixed the issue by replacing the display and not the LCD cables, giving advice about a query I made on LCD cables is redundant.

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Your own image below states differently!

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I reseated the connections and that worked! Thanks for posting this.

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Most Helpful Answer

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As shown here, the cables mentioned by @danj cannot be swapped out. I have pried open the clutch cover which is glued to the LCD bottom panel to investigate.

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These are the components, labelled, with clear explanations of what they do and how they are connected.

This should answer anyone's queries about whether the LCD cable can be changed. The part that can be changed is not the answer. The parts that might be the failing ones, cannot be changed.

Conclusion:

1. Apple needs to initiate a recall.

2. LCD display change is the only solution for now.

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I think you misunderstood what I stated!

"The problem is either in the display (expensive repair) or the backlight LED driver chip has a problem (again an expensive repair)."

I stated very clearly the complete assembly needed to be replaced. My point was to explain what failed not that the cables could be replaced.

The bottom line here is we both agree! And this is a design defect which Apple needed to cover under warranty!

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Got it. I think the misunderstanding was due to the statement you made there are " two cables that interconnect from the lid logic board to the main logic board" and posted the reply to the question I asked Tyler about which cable was replaced. That's incorrect though. The two cables that you have circled do not connect to the logic board at all. They are merely mounted on the case.

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My 2016 MBP 13" retina display has just failed at 18 months due to one of these cables going open circuit. It showed the "stage light" effect for a while before that.

Looking at the design of the connections, it seems marginal to me. The bend radius of the flexible PCBs is about 2.5 mm, and from the design literature I could find, you need to be doing everything exactly right to get a long life connection with this radius - i.e. one layer of the thinnest feasible Rolled Annealed copper placed exactly at the neutral point of the bending axis may give you an mean life of around 1 million flexes. If anything is slightly off in the design or manufacture (such as the copper not quite being at the neutral point), then the mean life drops dramatically, maybe to 100000 or even less. If you are unlucky as well, and land somewhere away from the mean on the normal distribution failure curve, then maybe it will fail at around 10000 flexes, which would seem to be my situation.

This would be less of a disaster if the cables were replaceable.

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This is the kind of engineering a trillion dollar company is producing. It is very widespread, even more so than the keyboard issues. I am surprised there's no class action suit launched against Apple, and that there's no product recall or free out of warranty replacements.

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I'm not sure I'd blame the engineers - it's more likely a product design and management decision for a company to compromise reliability in favor of thinness, and something that doesn't have a direct impact if your warranty is only 12 months. (In my view a 5 year warranty would be more reasonable for a top-of-the line laptop or phone.)

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Stage light effect is usually caused by a loose or broken display cable. Sometimes it can be resolved just by reseating it. I think that if the display cable is bad, you would most likely looking at a whole new display assembly.

The keys however, are the design flaw of the 2016 MacBook Pros. Usually they replaced the keyboard under warranty. Sometimes keys can be remedied by blowing them with a compressed air.

Take it to Apple and try to get them fix the machine.

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Agreed the keyboard issue should still be under the extended warranty program Apple has for the keyboard.

As for the Display thats a bit iffy... Unlike the older generation the cable is less likely to shift. Review the MacBook Pro 13" Function Keys Late 2016 Teardown Step19. More likely the cable is severed! That will require a new display. I would think Apple would cover that as well!

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Yeah, I'm bummed now because I also just got a reply from an Apple Accredited Service Center and they immediately told me that the whole LCD would need to be replaced -- which they estimated to be around $600 with labor.

Unfortunately for me the 1 year warranty ended just last February 4, I forgot to purchase Apple Care which I was planning to do, so now I'm in deep doo-doo >:(

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You should still try to get it covered! I would go to an Apple Store as they tend to be more willing to cover these types of issues. Go in mid morning on a Tuesday or Thursday as these times they seem to be less stressed. Be pleasant but firm. Focus on the keyboard issue (dim the screen so the screen issue is less visible). If they cover the keyboard problem your golden! Then when you pick up the system raise the screen brightness to see if they fixed it, if not bring it to their attention for a re-work.

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@danj @oldnewstuff Does this issue escalate the longer it goes on? Like the shadows worsening and lengthening? I mean, I guess I could live with it, as long as the shadows stay low on the screen then it doesn't really bother me much compared to the ~$600 i would cash out for the repair. Otherwise, i won't have a choice but to have it repaired if by some time the issue would extend beyond the lower borders ><

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@skmm - The problem is either in the display (expensive repair) or the backlight LED driver chip has a problem (again an expensive repair). If you let the warranty expire its going to cost you $$

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FYI, I just got mine fixed at a MacBook Pro repair shop in Saigon, Vietnam (big shout out to Laptopblue.vn aka Applefix.vn).

The most amazing thing was they found out that only the display cable was damaged, absolutely nothing was wrong with the LCD screen itself. They did a great job and my screen is working as good as new again. The cost was $50.

Prior to going to this shop, I went to two Apple Authorized Service Providers and they both wanted me to replace the entire display assembly as some of you here had encountered. I suspect this was a strategy employed by Apple to extract more money from their loyal customers. Shame on you Apple!!! I will never buy another device from them ever again.

I know some of you may encounter this issue in the future. You don't need to replace the LCD, you'll just need to fix the display cable.

Don't give Apple $600 of your hard earned money. They don't deserve this.

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@Tyler+P. May I know exactly which cable was replaced? Many of my customers have this issue, except that their issue is accompanied by an issue where the screen goes to black when it is pushed up after a certain angle.

We have tried new LCDs with the existing LCD cable and it isn't an LCD cable issue. The LCD cable itself does not flex or move (it is secured in place horizontally by screws) .

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@tyler p . bro i am having the same issue with my macbook A1708 , screen goes blank after opening the lid beyond 30 degree angle. i took it to icare and there are asking for a screen replacement cost $700. please share if you have found a solution. thanks

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@just1ed .bro i am having the same issue with my macbook A1708 , screen goes blank after opening the lid beyond 30 degree angle. i took it to icare and there are asking for a screen replacement cost $700. please share if you have found a solution. thanks

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Same issue here and they also want me to pay 700 to change the whole display. Trying to take it up the food chain to see if <i can get an exception or if we can start a repair program... Any updates on what has happened to other folks?

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Ok guys, I’ve just published a petition on change.org: https://www.change.org/p/apple-fix-all-n...

Let’s make Apple to launch extended warranty program regarding this issue together.

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This is my experience, my MacbookPro 13" Touchbar 2016 just started having this backlight issue at the bottom of the screen right after a few months of warranty.

Also when I recalibrate the screen, I found out that the maximum brigtness has decreased to a max of 165-175 cd/m using a i1 Display Pro (i1D3) with their supplied i1Profiler.I always calibrate my screen to 120cd/m, when I first got it, 120 cd/m is about 65-70% screen brightness using the slider in System Preferences > Displays. Now 120 cd/m is about 90% screen brightness.

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I’m going to give @Tyler+P. vendor a shot since I’m currently in town as well.

p.s: I know for fact that once I take it to Apple or even if Apple decides to offer repair program on this I’ll be out of luck as they will blame that it’s related to this cosmetic crack caused by a headphone jack left sandwiched between the lid and the body.. F this.

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With further investigation the cable is soldered to the LCD assembly and can't be replaced discreetly. Of the two display units I've pulled apart the ribbon cable was damaged and could not have be saved. Sadly you have little recourse here other than replacing the complete assembly.

I suspect Tyler+P had a dirty or loose connector interface which is why he was lucky. This is becoming a big problem for Apple right now as too many systems are encountering this failure across both the Touch Bar and Fn models across 2016 onwards, as they all use the exact same design (both the backlight & data cables are failing). Review Just1ed pictures for the details.

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I'll report about my case later after taking it to a known repair shop in town. Does anyone else notice a decrease in peak brightness as well?

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@longpvo - I got a fix for that damage ;-} The chin plate is just stuck on and can be replaced! Here's a guide someone made for the 15" model Replace the LOGO Baffle on the screen with the MacBook Pro 15 "Touch Bar 2017 logo. Here's the needed part Display Chin Plate. I would fix this first so the cosmetic issue is not visible to them.

The brightness loss is do to the fact only 1/2 of the backlight LED's are not working.

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That’s neat. Thank you Dan. I already had that replacement part around, last time the repair guy thought it’s too fragile of a job to perform have so he recommended not to.

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So my repair shop fixed it for 100$ bucks without taking the display apart, it's still a significant saving.. Peak brightness came back too 500 nits. They didn’t dare to take off the Display Chin Plate so I ended up cutting some 3M tape and did it myself.

I really think Apple should acknowledge this like the keyboard issue ffs. It's a known issue.

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So I have this issue too. I asked for an exception from Apple and they basically told me to go &&^& myself. I shared this thread with them to show that this is a very widespread issue. Didn’t care.


The most amazing thing though was the excuse they conjured up to not pay. They took pictures of the LCD cable which is obviously completely &&^&@@. They then send these to me and say that it’s ‘accidental damage’ and therefore there’s no way they can help me because they only cover functional damage. I ask how it could be possible that I accidentally damaged an LCD flex cable that is inside the housing of the machine. Their answer? That it must have been opened up by some mysterious third party and damaged maliciously. I emailed them to say this is completely absurd, and they just ignored me.


Roll on the lawsuit I guess.

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I hope you can escalate to a senior advisor, they cannot prove whether it's been tampered by a third party unless a third party person reassembled the machine poorly or third party parts are found in there. If it's accidental damage, there must be exterior signs as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2_SZ4tf... (similar repair but older model, my guy just did something with the cable)

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skmmanuel will be eternally grateful.
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