Several users of M1 MacBooks are reporting that their screens have cracked during routine usage, without being touched, and without warning.
Reports that have arisen in recent weeks suggest that these screens – both the MacBook Pro M1 and the MacBook Air M1 – may be brittle enough to break during normal use.
Frustrated M1 owners have taken to Reddit, as well as Apple’s online support forum, to voice their concerns. Multiple users have responded to these threads, citing the same issues. These complaints had one overarching theme; namely that when re-opening their M1 after closing, the user would discover that their screen had cracked whilst closed.
One poster took to Reddit to complain, “I haven’t dropped it or put any pressure on it, [it was] simply sitting on my desk and I opened it. The screen is black with lines on it. How could this have happened? I literally bought it a week ago.”
A string of responses on the thread echoed identical concerns, with one user lamenting, “Just had this happen to me on opening my M1. It hasn’t moved from my desk since purchase and it’s only 15 days old.”
The issue appears to be affecting both the M1 Pro and the M1 Air equally. These breakages, however small, damage the display function of the screen. There is no known way to get the problem fixed, other than to get the entire LCD screen replaced.
It appears that Apple may be aware of what is happening, as many users have been offered repair services by the company free of charge.
Free repair services have not been offered to everyone affected, though, as some customers have been advised that contact-point cracks are not covered by the product’s warranty. To fix the issue, these customers have had to pay out to get their screens replaced.
No one yet knows for certain the root cause of this screen-cracking problem, but there are a few possibilities: firstly that the screen is bending when the laptop is closed – implying that the frame is just too thin to protect the screen from the force of closing. However, as the M1’s design is the same as the previous generation, this scenario is not likely.
The second – more likely – possibility suggests that the issue stems from debris on and around the keyboard. This debris pushes inwards towards the screen during closing, causing the screen to crack.
The issue of debris on the bottom section is a known risk with any laptop. However, owing to the thinness and brittleness of the M1’s screen, this risk appears to be amplified. Miniscule, unnoticeable specks that can barely be seen push into the delicate screen, causing the glass to fracture. This is especially likely to be the case if the user closes the laptop forcefully.
At present, it is not known exactly how many MacBook users have been impacted by this problem. However, owing to the large number of responses across the web citing the same issue, it seems as though a significant proportion of customers have been affected.
Apple have yet to comment officially on the issue.