This has been an issue that has bothered me for quite some time, but I have stayed quiet about my frustrations as far as writing for TekGoblin goes while complaining to my friends, and even to AppleCare. Many people that have an iPad 2 have been discussing on Apple’s forums for a long time now about their troubles with light leak issues on their iPad 2 screens. I myself experienced this with two units. The first iPad 2 I purchased had severe light leaks in each of the four corners and slightly less noticeable light leaks on the sides. This is the reason for the exchange that I mentioned in my GelaSkins review, resulting in me taking my GelaSkin off of my first iPad 2 and adhering it to the new one with substantial success. However what I failed to mention in that article is that once I got home with my new iPad 2 unit, I discovered that it, too, had light leaks. Less severe than the first unit, but still, for a product that costs nearly a thousand dollars, I expect perfection.
My original plan was to call AppleCare and have them register the fact that I was experiencing light leak issues with my new unit also, and then exchange it for a new one later on when the issue with their displays had been resolved. To my surprise, the AppleCare representative I spoke to refused to acknowledge that there was a problem, insisting that “What is discussed on the Apple Support forums is not necessarily based on fact, it is based on the opinions of the people writing,” despite my telling him that what is documented in photographs and can easily be seen is, in and of itself, a fact and not an editorial opinion. He kept insisting that it was not a widespread problem with iPad 2 units and that people claiming that they had exchanged up to four or five iPads before getting a perfect screen were simply stating their opinions. When I went to the Apple Store to exchange my iPad 2 for a new one, which is the only way that they can help the issue with the light leaks, the employee told me that since I had already exchanged it once this time would be my last chance as they do not just keep swapping out iPads, saying “The display on the next one could be better, it could be worse, but it would be your last chance to exchange it, so you would be stuck with it.” I asked for a full refund on my product and received it, and then when I called AppleCare a second time to get a refund on my Protection Plan, I was told that the employee I spoke to at the Apple Store never should have said that to me, especially given the fact that the iPad was less than a month old and I had AppleCare Protection on it. They should exchange it for me as many times as I like until I am satisfied with the quality of the display. Sadly, this still left me without an iPad 2.
Despite the first AppleCare Support specialist’s refusal to admit that this is a common problem with the iPad 2 displays, rumors about light leak issues affecting LG’s ability to meet the demand for iPad 2 display units were all over the internet months ago, laying the fault of the low supply of the iPad 2 at LG’s feet. New articles state that the problems continue to plague LG and have forced Apple to look to other companies such as Chimei and Samsung for supplementing displays to boost the iPad 2 supply. Rumor has it that they are still keeping LG on as their main supplier for the displays, so long as they fix their quality issues. It is very gratifying to me that finally, Apple seems to be willing to recognize that they have a problem and are attempting to fix it. Now my only dilemma is this: Whether to try and get an iPad 2 with a quality screen sometime soon, or wait for the next iPad to come out, whether it is the iPad 2 HD or a full-fledged iPad 3? I’m thinking that I will probably wait on this one, what with all the rumors that it could be as soon as fall. Even if I have to wait until spring to have what is hopefully a quality-assured product, I think it is worth the wait. In the meantime, I found a cheap iPad to hold me over, and though it is slightly thicker and only a little bit heavier than an iPad 2, it seems exactly the same to me in every way except for one thing: The display is perfect, without any light leaks at all.