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Apple replacing some discolored MacBooks

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Some Apple MacBook owners who have seen portions of their shiney white notebooks discolor prematurely are finding success in getting those machines repaired.

According to AppleCare support representatives, Apple has been investigating the matter but has not been able to determine the source of the problem.

Nevertheless, the company's support divisions in some regions have been offering to replace affected MacBook enclosures with few questions asked. Customers are typically sent an Apple case number and the necessary materials to ship their notebooks to Apple's repair depot.

Meanwhile, one MacBook owner took complaints about his notebook's discoloration and "odd fan noises" directly to an employee at the company's Brea, Calif. retail store and was pleasantly surprised with the response.

"He didn't even look at the MacBook to see the discolorations, he just gave me a new one," the customer wrote in a post on Apple's MacBook support forums. "I was so impressed that I used the money I was planning on using to pay restocking fees and invested into the applecare 3 year warranty."

The orange-ish discoloration has been affecting the palm rest and other areas of some of the new Intel-based Apple notebooks. Users around the Web have reported that the first signs of the issue appear after 2-3 weeks of use, on both the white 1.83GHz and 2.0GHz models.
post #2 of 13
I bought a White MB on the first day of release, and promptly returned it for a Black MB the next day, seeing that it was yellowing around the track pad. So no, it does not necessarily take days or weeks. This was all in less than 24 hours.

And yes, my hands were freshly cleaned every time I used it during that 18 hour period.

Both the white and my current black MB had no noise issues and ran warm, but nowhere near the processor temps of the MBPs of the time. The machines were both almost dead silent. Despite my issue with the white turning yellow (which I am sure they will sort), I recommend these laptops without hesitation. They really are great.
post #3 of 13
Maybe Apple wanted them Orange at first and then changed their minds and sprayed them white???

What do you reckon.

That or maybe sweat reacts with some chemical in the paint.
post #4 of 13
It's great to see Apple responding so promptly and not trying to cover up the issue.

I think the cause of the problem is heat causing a chemical reaction in the plastic. It would be interesting to know if the affected areas are hotter than the rest of the laptop.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally posted by Cubert
It's great to see Apple responding so promptly and not trying to cover up the issue.

I think the cause of the problem is heat causing a chemical reaction in the plastic. It would be interesting to know if the affected areas are hotter than the rest of the laptop.

Interestingly, this is not an area where the MB generates any significant heat.
post #6 of 13
I doubt is has to do with heat b/c of the fact those are the cool areas of the laptop. Because only a select number of people seem to be having the problem it must have something to do with the composition of their sweat. Maybe the pH? Some people have very acidic sweat. Fortunately I have yet to see any stains on my 4 week old white macbook.

Mike B
Macbook Pro 2.2 Ghz
4 gigs RAM
320 gig HD
Apogee Ensemble
Reply
Macbook Pro 2.2 Ghz
4 gigs RAM
320 gig HD
Apogee Ensemble
Reply
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally posted by Cubert
It's great to see Apple responding so promptly and not trying to cover up the issue.

I think the cause of the problem is heat causing a chemical reaction in the plastic. It would be interesting to know if the affected areas are hotter than the rest of the laptop.

In my case the palm rests are the coolest parts of my macbook, it only gets really hot near the magsafe. But mine hasn't turned orange.....yet! lol it only has 5 days though...
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally posted by Cubert
It's great to see Apple responding so promptly and not trying to cover up the issue.

I couldn't agree more. Apple is doing the right thing, and should be aplauded for that.
post #9 of 13
I wish that Apple still had their own factories. If they had, they could more easily resolve quality issues at the assembly line. If there is contamination involved of the plastics, it now takes much longer to correct it. Apple now has to go through the outsourcing channels. Oh I hate that everything has to be outsourced. Okay, prices have gone down, but Apple has got to put quality control on their agenda.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally posted by wanea
In my case the palm rests are the coolest parts of my macbook, it only gets really hot near the magsafe. But mine hasn't turned orange.....yet! lol it only has 5 days though...

Run a test for us, and keep your hands on the hot portion for a few hours to see what happens to both the color of the plastic, and the color of your skin.

If the plastic stays white, but your hands also turn white from the blisters, then we will know that everything is normal.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally posted by Cubert
It's great to see Apple responding so promptly and not trying to cover up the issue.

I think the cause of the problem is heat causing a chemical reaction in the plastic. It would be interesting to know if the affected areas are hotter than the rest of the laptop.

uhh... the top of the notebook is one of the coolest areas-- even with the temperature from someones hand... its definately NOT heat related. More likely its pourus (sp?) plastic absorbing dirt or oil or some kind of weird chem reaction.
post #12 of 13
How widespread do you suppose this problem is? Are we talking about a small bad batch, or more extensive? My local Apple Dealer has a white MacBook on order for me. Hopefully mine won't have this problem.

Kansas
post #13 of 13
On the phone with Apple right now about a mild red discoloration on the right palm rest of my MacBook, and they are telling me that they have instructions to have all such machines sent in to have their top cases replaced. Sadly, I'm leaving for a month abroad tomorrow so I don't know what the actual resolution will be. Also having some strange video and startup problems with this MacBook, but they instantly wanted me to send it in for repair just for the discoloration, so it seems they're fully aware of the problem now.
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