iPad 2 Has Massive Screen Bleeding

Last week, I decided to sell my ‘old’ Apple iPad in favor of an Apple iPad 2. While I love the performance enhancements and size reduction of the newer model, I was shocked the first time I rebooted the device. As soon as the screen went to black, there was massive screen bleeding along the edges of the device, most notably on the side with the Home button.


Below are two sample images of my Apple iPad 2 device. (Click on the images for full-size versions.) I took the photos in a dark room with no flash, primarily because with lights on in the room, the overhead light reflected on the surface of the display.

I am not alone

Some news websites, such as MacRumors, have started reporting this issue. Other users have also provided samples which indicate the problem varies among units.

Where to go from here?

As an owner of the original iPad, I can honestly say these bleeding issues are much more severe on the iPad 2 than they ever were on the iPad 1. I’ve considered returning the device but since it is out of stock in many places, I am not sure when I would get a replacement. Also, since I bought it at Best Buy, do I go there, or since it is protected by AppleCare for the first year, do I go to the Apple Store? Do they cover screen bleeding at all? Given the bright fluorescent lighting of the Apple store, though, I’m not sure how easy it will be to demonstrate the bleeding in person. Either way, this is not the kind of quality I have come to expect from Apple.

Update #1 [3/13/2011]: Apple Store refuses exchange despite having new ones in stock!

While most Apple Stores are sold out of the iPad 2, they did inform me they had plenty on hand for “DOA” replacements. In other words, if the device is totally broken they will give you a new one, even though they are not selling them. When I told them I had purchased it from Best Buy, though, they retracted their offer and told me it would have to go through Apple Care to order “a replacement part” (that is, the entire device), and that I could not take one of the items in stock. I may just return it to Best Buy and wait for stocks to refill around the country.

Update #2 [3/22/2011]: Returned iPad

Following TheServerSide Symposium, I decided to return my iPad 2, despite the fact that is no place to buy a new one. I loved the device, but would prefer one that doesn’t have severe bleeding. Now, it is just a matter of waiting for the mad rush to end, before attempting to buy a new one.

Hands on with iOS 4.2 [iPhone4/iPad]

I upgraded both my iPad and iPhone 4 to iOS 4.2 this afternoon, and with few exceptions, the results are quite positive. In short, “Find my iPhone/iPad” is awesome but creepy, AirPrint is seriously lacking, and the iPad updates are a long time coming. The only big downside is that Apple went ahead with its plan to eliminate the landscape/portrait lock button on the iPad, instead replacing it with a mute feature. Read on for more details of my hands-on experience with iOS 4.2 on both the iPhone and iPad.

iOS 4 on the iPad at last

One of the most long-awaited features for the iPad is the ‘missing’ iOS 4.0 updates that arrived with the new iPhone back in June. Five months later, Apple finally released updates to the iPad that have been available on the iPhone for months — including multi-tasking, Game Center, and folders to organize applications. Although some reviewers, myself included, have criticized the “faux” multi-tasking available in iOS 4, it is nice to see these updates finally released on the iPad.

New Feature: Find my iPhone/iPad

One of the newest, and possibly the most unexpected, feature is the new, free “Find my iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch” service, which previously was only available for paid MobileMe subscribers. Unfortunately, iPhones older than the iPhone 4 appear to be excluded from this service.

In order to use this feature, you must have an AppleId. If you purchase music on iTunes, you can use that same account. Once you have installed iOS 4.2 on one of your devices, you need to navigate to Mail/Contacts/Calendars, and add a MobileMe account using your AppleId. Once added, you just use a single click to enable this feature.

To track the device, remote-lock it, or remote-wipe the data, you can log in from the Apple MobileMe portal, again using your AppleId. You can also download the “Find iPhone” application and track the device from another iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

One issue I did notice is that you have to have your AppleId match your e-mail address. When I tried to set up my iPhone with an AppleId that was a nickname and not an e-mail it came back with a message saying “This AppleId does not support this feature”. Fortunately, you can log in to the Apple website, and as long as your e-mail isn’t attached to a different AppleId already, you can change the AppleId to match your e-mail.

One ‘creepy’ side effect of all of this is that since my wife and I both have an iPhone 4, they can actually be set up to track each other. In other words, you can always find out where your spouse is. For children, though, this would be an excellent feature, since you can find out where they are without interrupting them. The only problem is there’s no way to lock this feature as ‘always on’. Your children can easily turn this feature off and a stranger who finds your device can disable it before you have had a chance to remotely wipe your personal data. One major improvement would be a password requirement to enable/disable this feature on the iPhone.

Update 11/28/2010: One reader pointed out you can enable “Restrictions” under “General” settings that allows users to fully use the iPhone but prevents them from adding/removing accounts. This essentially allows you to keep the MobileMe tracking feature enabled at all times. In the event of a loss, the phone can be reliably wiped remotely although this does not prevent the user from wiping it themselves with iTunes. It does give you piece of mind, though, that you can block access to your personal data even if the iPhone is never returned.

AirPrint: Where’s Bonjour support?

Although Apple did add print capabilities with the iOS 4.2 update, they are limited to “AirPrint compatible” printers connected to a computer, of which there are few. Surprisingly, printing to a Bonjour printer connected via an Airport Extreme router is not supported. Also, direct printing via IP address to a networked printer is not supported. I am mystified that Apple released WiFi printing without either of those two obvious features, but we’ll have to wait for future versions to get more useful print options.

iPad: Screen-locking switch, we hardly knew ye

The most disappointing feature of the update is Apple reconfigured the screen lock button on the side of the iPad, the one that keeps it in the same orientation now matter how you hold it, to be a volume mute button. I have already heard feedback from friends that agree this was a terrible idea. Trying to use the iPad in bed can be problematic as holding any direction but right-side-up can cause the orientation to change. I would not have minded this change if they had at least left a software option to switch it back, but so far no such option exists. It’s a shame, as I suspect my iPad will be a lot less user-friendly without it.


Overall, the iOS 4.2 adds welcome additions to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. I considered not updating the iPad to keep the screen-lock feature, but decided in the end that the benefits outweighed what I was losing. I really like the free tracking service, since losing an iPhone is not uncommon and it gives me some peace of mind that there’s a chance my iPhone will be recovered if I were to send a message to the phone offering a reward. AirPrint is a nice change to the architecture and should allow more fluid printing across the iOS devices, with Apple likely rolling out additional support in months to come.

Apple should Develop a Flash Compiler

One interesting solution to the continuing public battle between Apple and Adobe over Flash support on its mobile platform would be for Apple to release its own Flash compiler, one that would allow a developer to create Flash applications without ever purchasing an Adobe product. Before you laugh, hear me out.

Neither company is open
What bothers me about the whole public fiasco is that both companies have been arguing that they support open formats – Apple in its preference for HTML5 and Adobe in its desire to publish its own applications freely to the iPhone – while both basing their own technology on extremely proprietary and closed formats, as seen in Apple’s recent closing of the iPhone and Adobe’s tight control of its Flash product.

The truth is, neither company wants their products opened for the world to use, but both companies demand the other open their platform. If Adobe was really serious about Flash as a ubiquitous platform, then they should donate Flash to a standards community that would open it to the world. Likewise, if Apple wanted anyone in the world to be able to develop on the iPhone, they would have created it as such and declared it an open standard.

Unfortunately, I agree with Apple
While I personally would love to develop iPhone applications using Adobe’s Flash-to-iPhone compiler (I really would!), I fully support Apple’s right to close the platform. Above all else, mobile platforms must be secure and Adobe’s iPhone compiler seriously threatens that security. The iPhone, like many other mobile platforms, is not open for the world to develop on, nor should it be.

There are many whispers that the government is investigating anti-trust violations over Apple’s blocking of Adobe’s iPhone compiler, but that would be ridiculous, since Apple does not have a monopoly on smart phones. In fact, the Android recently surpassed the iPhone in sales, leaving Apple in third place among smart phone manufacturers. Apple would have to be in first place with a clear monopoly on the market before I would support any government intervention telling Apple what it can and cannot do with its mobile platform.

Apple’s Flash Compiler
Since Adobe believes it has the right to freely develop on the iPhone while at the same time arguing Flash should be supported everywhere, one interesting twist would be for Apple to develop its own Flash compiler and even run-time. That would very likely upset Adobe and lead to a very interesting argument over proprietary platforms. Adobe could claim only they have the right to develop Flash applications, something Apple currently asserts over its iPhone application. On the other hand, Apple could claim that if the Flash platform is everywhere then it should be open for anyone to develop applications on, something Adobe likewise states about the iPhone platform.

And as an added bonus, Apple could develop this compiler as an iPad/iPhone application!