I'd like the editors on this article to note this:
"Apple has determined that some AMD Radeon HD 6970M video cards used in 27-inch iMac computers with 3.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 or 3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processors may fail, causing the computer%u2019s display to appear distorted, white or blue with vertical lines, or to turn black. iMac computers with affected video cards were sold between May 2011 and October 2012."
This is identical to the reports given on the MacBook Pros made at the same time using the same GPU family. Repairing the iMacs consisted of replacing a daughtercard. Repairing the MBPs would require a technician removing the GPU from the logic board and reballing it with lead-based solders (which are not RoHS-compliant but more stable for ball-grid-array surface mounts).
Apple chose to recall the iMacs but has nothing to say about the MBPs.
If this had happened to a run of low-end MacBooks, we'd chalk it up to cheap manufacturing for a college student's first laptop. Unfortunately the MBP demographic spends between $2-3,000 for what they consider to be a durable portable workstation they don't have time to worry about in the field. Most are professionals whose jobs depend on uptime and do not have fallbacks. In my case, a deadline at work was incomplete because I spent a day I didn't have migrating my profile and apps to another, older MacBook Pro in the office (one with nVidia graphics). Those who have disabled the GPU in software (either through utilities or by moving the drivers/kexts out of their folders) have had very limited success. Some have fried their internal graphics (I suspect the MBPs that didn't have discrete graphics have either software or firmware settings that these users didn't know to also tweak) leaving them with useless computers.
People have emailed Tim Cook, encountered clueless Genius Bar employees (unless the employee had the same 2011 MBP), and generally been ignored by Apple. The sole exception is the forum moderators consistently deleting all posts mentioning petition websites, and some posts mentioning class action lawsuits.
Also notice that only one current MBP even offers a discrete GPU as an option and it's prohibitively priced at the top.
I've been using Macs since 1985 and this level of stonewalling is unprecedented. The MBPs in 2008 whose GPUs had problems were out of warranty and still covered by Apple's recognition of responsibility to their product. What they're doing now effectively justifies hackintoshing. If they can't be responsible for their product's quality, the users will bypass their hardware.
It shouldn't end like this.