Apple's dead pixel policy for iPhone, iPad

Ever wonder how many dead pixels you have to have on an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, or Mac before Apple will issue you a replacement? Well it looks inside sources has given BGR the answer. What you see above is leaked document that appears to lay out general guidelines for Apple Retail Stores, and it seems they're set by screen size.

An iPhone or iPod touch can have as little as 1 dead pixel, and that'll warrant you a replacement. An iPad will have to have 3 to warrant a replacement, as less than that is considered acceptable. MacBook Airs will have to have at least 8 (ouch), and most iMacs or Cinema Displays would have to have at least 9 to 16 in order for a replacement to be warranted (double ouch).

Apparently it is noted that a replacement is up to a Genius at the end of the day. They can warrant replacements even if you fall within the normal tolerance. I don't know about you, but if my 27" iMac had 15 dead pixels, I think that should warrant a replacement, no questions asked. A friend of mine had an issue with a dead pixel on an iPad (just one) and had it replaced, as the pixel was located right where you'd typically type web addresses into safari (in another words, you saw it ALL the time). Maybe placement matters as well. I've never had issues with Apple myself and the guidelines for smaller screen sizes seems pretty fair. I'm not too sure about the larger sizes though. At the end of the day, these are just guidelines. If you've got dead or stuck pixels, I'd still say it's a safe bet to try your luck at your local Apple store.

What do you think?

Boy Genius Report

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.

20 Comments
  • I think...that I don't have a local Apple store.
    But yeah, I agree with your assessment.
  • I think the policy is really how much you complain about it. Just as with the cases for the antenna.
  • I had a dead pixel when I had an iPhone 3G and they just replaced the screen and it was gone.
  • Are you sure? I work for Apple and this repair was done like unit to unit exchange. If you say true You have unoriginal display now. Sorry man.
  • Those aren't bad. I had a dead pixel on my 3G. It was so small I couldn't make it out unless the phone was on the black screen either going through startup mode, or I was watching a video. And when watching a video that's what I was doing, I wasn't looking for dead pixels. For some reason it was right up near the signal bars but it wasn't visible unless the screen was black. In which case the dead pixel was white. But it was about half the size of an iPhone period (.) Now 15 dead on a huge screen like that would suck.
  • But this is only if you're within your warrantee right? I wouldn't be able to get anything replaced on my iPhone 3G would I?
  • @Gregg
    What you had there was actually a stuck pixel. Instead of being off all the time (dead) it was "stuck" on. I'm assuming Apple's guidelines would be the same for stuck pixels.
  • I had several dead pixels and some dark spots with my 3G and went into the Apple Store (My first visit ever) and they replaced it, no problems.
  • had one on 3g iphone and lived with it, none on my iphone 4
  • I took an iPad with one bright pixel back to the apple store last weekend. They replaced it. No questions asked.
  • oh if I spent $600 on an iPad and they told me 2 dead pixels were acceptable I would throw it at them and throw a temper tantrum while I'm at it. ONE dead pixel on ANY size screen is unacceptable.
  • I hate to have any dead pixels. They tend to stand out like a sore thumb.
  • I guess Victor proves all iOS owners are spoiled brats.
  • I had 3 dead pixels on my iPhone 3G and i realized that they were there a day after I got the phone. I went bact to the apple store and the guy that was helping me had the b@lls to tell me " I do t see anything". I got so mad and I told him that I wanted to speak with a manager and right away he change his mind " ok I'll change the screen .
    This policy Is screen size is f**king stupid if I had 1dead pixel in my 27in Mac I would take it back there and I would make them change the pc or I would return the whole thing
  • If 3 dead pixels are acceptable on a iMac. That is for you apple for me 1 dead pixel is unacceptable
  • What happens once you know you have a dead pixel.... You always look at it cuz you know is there and every time you turn your device you always look at the dead pixel
  • To say one dead pixel on any size screen is simply ridiculous. I had one on my original iPhone and never noticed it unless I was specifically looking for it. On my 20" iMac I have 3, but again, I can't see them unless I'm looking for them. As high res as most screens are now, one or two dead pixels out of the millions total that make up the display is nothing.
  • Look at all these whiners who are too good for even one minuscule little broken dot on their screen. Do these people not realize the technical challenges in lighting up screens that literally have millions of these pixels?
  • My MBP had a dead pixel right out of the box; they exchanged it with no hassle.
  • In my opinion, and I believe most of you would agree with me, Apple has to replace or at least repair its product if something as annoying as a dead pixel is present. It doesn't matter the amount of dead pixels, the screen size, location or whatever. It's a very annoying defect! My ipad 2 has one dead pixel and I am getting it replaced no matter what. It's so frustrating as it's my 2nd replacement already. The first one was due to a bright spot at the bottom of the screen (also a LCD problem). Not surprised as it is made in China. Well, Apple has to do some work to keep their position as the top tablet seller. Don't you agree?