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Apple recognizes, will repair discolored MacBooks

post #1 of 42
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Apple Computer customers who've experienced premature discoloration on the casings of their glossy white MacBooks may finally see some restitution, AppleInsider has been told.

In an internal bulletin earlier this week, Apple for the first time acknowledged that a problem exists with some of its white 13-inch MacBook notebooks, where the casings of the computer may inexplicably turn shades of orange after very little usage.

"Some white MacBook computers may exhibit discoloration on the top case after some use," the company wrote in a note to its retail sector and service partners. "If this issue occurs [...] and the computer meets certain requirements, Apple will cover replacement of the affected parts under warranty."

In order to be eligible for the extended warranty repair, a customer's MacBook must have a serial number that falls within the range of 4H617XXXXXXXX to 4H627XXXXXXXX. The notebook must be irresponsive to approved cleaning solutions.

In replacing the top case -- the affected portion of the computer containing the palmrest area -- Apple will also replace the display bezel, people familiar with the repair process say.

The warranty extension is being made available to MacBook customers in all of Apple's major markets, including the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Japan.

Customers afflicted by discolored MacBook syndrome should contact an Apple Care support representative by phone (1-800-800-2775 in US) or bring their computer to a local Apple retail store to arrange for diagnosis or repair.

Widespread reports of discoloration began appearing only weeks after Apple introduced the new Intel-based MacBook notebooks, which are available in both white and black (not affected). Since then, some customers have had success in getting their stained MacBooks replaced or repaired through a variety of avenues, while others have not.

It's still unclear precisely what causes the discoloration, however speculation on the Web suggests a bad batch of plastics may be to blame.







post #2 of 42
Yea, 5 people complain about the discoloration and it turns into a "wide-spread" issue since it was posted on a website. Ooh smackdo!
post #3 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by crees!
Yea, 5 people complain about the discoloration and it turns into a "wide-spread" issue since it was posted on a website. Ooh smackdo!

It doesn't matter how many people complain. There's clearly a fault with some machines. Spend over a grand on a computer and you expect it to last more than five minutes.

Yet again more problems with new Apple hardware - what the f*** are they doing in quality control?
post #4 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by crees!
Yea, 5 people complain about the discoloration and it turns into a "wide-spread" issue since it was posted on a website. Ooh smackdo!

What are you saying? That Apple should ignore it?

I'm glad they're acknowledging the issue, no matter how small it is.
post #5 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Shaun, UK

Yet again more problems with new Apple hardware - what the f*** are they doing in quality control?

what on earth is apple's quality control supposed to do to catch a bad batch of chemicals at a chemical manufacturer?
post #6 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Shaun, UK
It doesn't matter how many people complain. There's clearly a fault with some machines.

...

Yet again more problems with new Apple hardware - what the f*** are they doing in quality control?

So it doesn't matter how many... ANY number of problems is bad quality control?

What Apple is doing with quality control AND support is the following: better than most other manufacturers See the stats from Consumer Reports, for instance.

If you think Apple has a problem, I highly suggest you never consider any other brand. Apple may be the best of a bad industry, but they ARE the best. Any online forum for ANY product will make you think failure (discoloring?) rates are higher than they are--because it's human nature to report when you have a problem, not when you don't.

You will find no brands that have zero warranty claims. Case in point: Dell's laptops-on-fire fiasco that they've been trying to keep quiet (which is probably easier than for Apple: Dell news is just not the attention-grabber Apple news is). http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060721-7325.html
post #7 of 42
The question is, will they replace my PowerBook that has the same problem?
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post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
What are you saying? That Apple should ignore it?

What are you saying? Did you actual read and understand what I said?
post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by baranovich
The question is, will they replace my PowerBook that has the same problem?


If you're talking about the "discoloration" I suspect your talking about: discoloration from wear on the metal (or black plastic). Forget about it.
post #10 of 42
Actually, I saw a MacBook at the Apple store in the Galleria here in Houston with the discoloration problem.
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
Yes I did, I thought you might have an underlying point. But i guess you didn't.

No, I was referring to the article here saying "Widespread reports of discoloration began appearing..." It's one of those things where one person makes the complaint on several sites, creates a free blog and posts pictures, then someone else is like.. "oh me too, I have this problem" and then the whole online community is in an uproar. Granted I don't know how many machines land within the range of those serial numbers but everyone, especially these rumor sites, jumps the gun on these situations.

Some kid takes his nano out of his back pocket and sees that the screen is cracked so he then goes online and complains in the same manner. An uproar ensues. Needless to say the kid SAT on his nano with his fat ass and that's why it cracked.

Issues as such need to be more heavily scrutinized and weighed before posting.
post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by nagromme
You will find no brands that have zero warranty claims. Case in point: Dell's laptops-on-fire fiasco that they've been trying to keep quiet (which is probably easier than for Apple: Dell news is just not the attention-grabber Apple news is).

I, for one, would expect a Dell computer to catch on fire during normal use.

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post #13 of 42
Mine is discolored and does not CLEAN out. I am happy that Apple is offering to replace these componnents as it is unsightly.

They know it affects people's buying decisions down the road and don't want any mental blocks when it's time to decide on new gear again. It would also affect Apples brand image on second hand sales.

Well done Apple!


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post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by crees!
No, I was referring to the article here saying "Widespread reports of discoloration began appearing..." It's one of those things where one person makes the complaint on several sites, creates a free blog and posts pictures, then someone else is like.. "oh me too, I have this problem" and then the whole online community is in an uproar. Granted I don't know how many machines land within the range of those serial numbers but everyone, especially these rumor sites, jumps the gun on these situations.

Some kid takes his nano out of his back pocket and sees that the screen is cracked so he then goes online and complains in the same manner. An uproar ensues. Needless to say the kid SAT on his nano with his fat ass and that's why it cracked.

Issues as such need to be more heavily scrutinized and weighed before posting.

I totally agree about the nano. The only difference with this discoloration stuff is that there's no way the people were at fault. The Chemical manufacturers are totally to blame.

But hey, at least the people with this problem aren't demanding a new iBook and stock options in the company!
post #15 of 42
So much for my Cheetos theory.....
post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by SpamSandwich
I, for one, would expect a Dell computer to catch on fire during normal use.

Agreed.
post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
I totally agree about the nano. The only difference with this discoloration stuff is that there's no way the people were at fault. The Chemical manufacturers are totally to blame.

Agreed.
post #18 of 42
nice. good job, apple.
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by crees!
Yea, 5 people complain about the discoloration and it turns into a "wide-spread" issue since it was posted on a website. Ooh smackdo!

It's clearly more than 5 people, or else Apple wouldn't offer to repair them. Even if it were just 1 person, Apple should still repair it.

$1000 is a lot of cash. A defective product is a lot of crap.
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post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Gene Clean
It's clearly more than 5 people, or else Apple wouldn't offer to repair them. Even if it were just 1 person, Apple should still repair it.

And Apple wouldn't? Apple repairs one-time problems all the time, that's what warranty is for. If your machine goes bad, they fix it. If the issue is not covered by warranty (like this cosmetic issue) then Apple STILL has the discretion to fix it--and they did for some people even before a formal policy developed. I've had cosmetic changes fixed for free on a 3-year-old PowerBook on the last day of AppleCare! They don't have to do it, but sometimes they will. And they certainly should, regardless of the warranty terms, if the product is brand new.

The number of instances (or as the case may be, the amount of hype) is not what makes Apple repair something--it may, however, make them give more info to their support people, and create a specific policy.

The fact that Apple is repairing them tells us nothing about the number of people affected.

BTW, I think it's cool that Apple's replacing the upper bezel too, even if that doesn't get handled the same way. Then you're sure of a plastic match.
post #21 of 42
According to hardmac.com:

"We have obtained some additional and exclusive information:

Apple has identified the problem. The plastic composition used in the past has been modified, and new cases are being produced. However, not all CMAA have received the new case, so do not rush to get your MB case exchanged, you might get the same problem again, or your notebook might be stacked for days or weeks before the modified case arrived.
In a couple of weeks, the case exchange will be performed in a couple of hours."

http://www.hardmac.com/news/2006-07-25/#5778
post #22 of 42
So Apple will replace or fix Mac's with a bit of discoloration.
Meanwhile, over 50,000 people are screaming because their iShuffle's blow up a day or two after the warranty expires.
Apple's response to that... "Really, we've never heard of that before".
They must be hiring new staff every few minutes to not have heard of this problem.

I guess it goes to show it's all about image with them. Can't have people looking at discolored macs... but don't have to worry about people packing around, showing friends their iPod's that don't work.
post #23 of 42
What kind of redress is typical for issues like this within the manufacturing industry? Will Apple get a truckload of new cases with the correct chemical formulation for use as replacements at little or no charge? Certainly the manufacturing contract had language about meeting specs, no?

gc
post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by rain

Meanwhile, over 50,000 people are screaming because their iShuffle's blow up a day or two after the warranty expires.

Really, I've never heard of that before.

No.....really.
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post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by rain
Meanwhile, over 50,000 people are screaming because their iShuffle's blow up a day or two after the warranty expires.

...

I guess it goes to show it's all about image with them.

While I'm unfamiliar with the iShuffle (and its habit of exploding?), I'm curious to know more. Where does your 50,000 figure come from?

Also, the reason for not fixing something once the warranty has passed could be related, not to image, but rather to the warranty having passed. Still a real shame if your iShuffle (is that a case?) is one that detonates, but how many manufacturers fix things outside of warranty?

Actually, one I know of is Apple. They have repeatedly given warranty extentions in the past when a bad component has been found to fail late on a large scale.

So if the iShuffle is an Apple product, and if your 50,000 number is not a fiction, then you may still have hope of getting a new one out of Apple eventually even though your warranty is over.

If not, then however bad Apple is, they're still better than the rest. Which is NO excuse--Apple should not be let off the hook.
post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by rain

Meanwhile, over 50,000 people are screaming because their iShuffle's blow up a day or two after the warranty expires.

ishuffle? that must have had something to do with those iShoes that Richard Reid couldn't get to blow up on Flight 63
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post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by nagromme
And Apple wouldn't?

You'd be better off just reading what I quoted, and then read my post in the context of that. This way, you understand what I said before going on on a crusade.

Quote:
If the issue is not covered by warranty (like this cosmetic issue) then Apple STILL has the discretion to fix it--and they did for some people even before a formal policy developed.
The fact that Apple is repairing them tells us nothing about the number of people affected.

This is not a cosmetic issue. I expect my newly purchased, $1200 computer to not lose its color within 2 weeks of using it. It's like buying a pair of pants for $100 dollars, and having the pants just completely lose their color within 2 weeks (and no, you didn't wash them!).

What, is that a cosmetic issue as well? Please.
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post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Gene Clean
This is not a cosmetic issue. I expect my newly purchased, $1200 computer to not lose its color within 2 weeks of using it.

I expect the same, and Apple agrees, but yes, it IS a cosmetic issue Don't shoot the messenger
post #29 of 42
So long as you insist that it's a cosmetic issue when it quite clearly isn't (as evidenced by Apple fixing "cosmetic" issues) then you're not the messenger. You're arguing that it is. A messenger doesn't argue. He only relays what others have told him, and since Apple appears to tell a different story...
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post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Gene Clean
So long as you insist that it's a cosmetic issue when it quite clearly isn't (as evidenced by Apple fixing "cosmetic" issues) then you're not the messenger. You're arguing that it is. A messenger doesn't argue. He only relays what others have told him, and since Apple appears to tell a different story...

well, it really depends upon in what sense people are using the word "cosmetic". One definition of the word is: "lacking depth or significance; superficial", another is: "serving an aesthetic rather than a useful purpose".

So, if someone were to say that this discolouration problem is a "cosmetic issue" meaning that it is not important, then I would disagree.

However, if they meant that it is an issue with the machines' cosmetics, then, duh, that's exactly what it is: a problem with the aesthetic (appearance) of the computers, not their function.
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post #31 of 42
Are only the white Macbooks showing this discoloration? Or are the black ones also having the same problem?
post #32 of 42
are they replacing or fixign the black macbook's as well?
post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Elixir
are they replacing or fixign the black macbook's as well?

I'm curious how this problem looks on the black Macbooks?
post #34 of 42
This problem does not affect black MacBooks.

From AppleInsider's article (emphasis mine):

"Some white MacBook computers may exhibit discoloration on the top case after some use,"
it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H

However, if they meant that it is an issue with the machines' cosmetics, then, duh, that's exactly what it is: a problem with the aesthetic (appearance) of the computers, not their function.

With the difference that this problem does not develop naturally under normal use for some reasonable time span (in which case the adjective "cosmetic" would be justified), but very abruptly in a matter of days, showing thus a construction or material defect.
post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by nagromme
While I'm unfamiliar with the iShuffle (and its habit of exploding?), I'm curious to know more. Where does your 50,000 figure come from?

Also, the reason for not fixing something once the warranty has passed could be related, not to image, but rather to the warranty having passed. Still a real shame if your iShuffle (is that a case?) is one that detonates, but how many manufacturers fix things outside of warranty?

Actually, one I know of is Apple. They have repeatedly given warranty extentions in the past when a bad component has been found to fail late on a large scale.

So if the iShuffle is an Apple product, and if your 50,000 number is not a fiction, then you may still have hope of getting a new one out of Apple eventually even though your warranty is over.

If not, then however bad Apple is, they're still better than the rest. Which is NO excuse--Apple should not be let off the hook.

Ok, I'm not sure if the number is exactly 50,000 at this moment, but it soon will be.
EVERY SINGLE ISHUFFLE is disposable. Do a search on google for "blinking green and orange lights" or iShuffle wont connect.
You will find thousands of forums with hundreds of post's of how it just stops working one day. (won't connect to computer, just blinks green and orange).

There has been a lot of media coverage on this as well. MSN, CNN, MacAddict, ... the list goes on and on.http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/...46,pg,1,00.asp
*for one example*
And the discussion board on Apple's own site has thousands of threads as well. (yet they still state that they are "unaware" of the problem.
Some people reported that they have had 4 of them just die on them, and they just keep sending them back to Apple.
The two I owned both died... both a few weeks after the warranty ran out, as thousands of others have also posted.

Several sites are already gathering names for a class action lawsuit.

I guess when the problem is large enough, Apple waits for the big nasty law suits, and is forced to action, rather then opting to deal with it.

I don't have time to go and spend days gathering links and exact numbers, but this will be the next class action suit against Apple.
If it matters that much to you, research it for youself.
Oh... and don't buy an iShuffle.
post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by rain
Ok, I'm not sure if the number is exactly 50,000 at this moment, but it soon will be.
EVERY SINGLE ISHUFFLE is disposable. Do a search on google for "blinking green and orange lights" or iShuffle wont connect.
You will find thousands of forums with hundreds of post's of how it just stops working one day. (won't connect to computer, just blinks green and orange).

There has been a lot of media coverage on this as well. MSN, CNN, MacAddict, ... the list goes on and on.http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/...46,pg,1,00.asp
*for one example*
And the discussion board on Apple's own site has thousands of threads as well. (yet they still state that they are "unaware" of the problem.
Some people reported that they have had 4 of them just die on them, and they just keep sending them back to Apple.
The two I owned both died... both a few weeks after the warranty ran out, as thousands of others have also posted.

Several sites are already gathering names for a class action lawsuit.

I guess when the problem is large enough, Apple waits for the big nasty law suits, and is forced to action, rather then opting to deal with it.

I don't have time to go and spend days gathering links and exact numbers, but this will be the next class action suit against Apple.
If it matters that much to you, research it for youself.
Oh... and don't buy an iShuffle.

If you are going to complain about a product then at least get the name right.

It is not called an iShuffle it is called an iPod Shuffle.

Ian
post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by rain
Ok, I'm not sure if the number is exactly 50,000 at this moment, but it soon will be.
EVERY SINGLE ISHUFFLE is disposable. Do a search on google for "blinking green and orange lights" or iShuffle wont connect.
You will find thousands of forums with hundreds of post's of how it just stops working one day. (won't connect to computer, just blinks green and orange).

There has been a lot of media coverage on this as well. MSN, CNN, MacAddict, ... the list goes on and on.http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/...46,pg,1,00.asp
*for one example*
And the discussion board on Apple's own site has thousands of threads as well. (yet they still state that they are "unaware" of the problem.
Some people reported that they have had 4 of them just die on them, and they just keep sending them back to Apple.
The two I owned both died... both a few weeks after the warranty ran out, as thousands of others have also posted.

Several sites are already gathering names for a class action lawsuit.

I guess when the problem is large enough, Apple waits for the big nasty law suits, and is forced to action, rather then opting to deal with it.

I don't have time to go and spend days gathering links and exact numbers, but this will be the next class action suit against Apple.
If it matters that much to you, research it for youself.
Oh... and don't buy an iShuffle.

Using your figure of 50,000 failures (which is not confirmed) and the article you linked to which states Apple sell around a million iPod Shuffles a month, that means the failure rate is very low.

It works out at a 0.27% failure rate which for electronic items is low.

Now if we take what is a more realistic view i.e some of these failures are actually caused by user misuse and that the number os actually more like 10,000 then it comes down to a tiny 0.05%

Ian
post #39 of 42
I rest my case :-

From MacNN :-

"The internet community has continued to question durability of Apple's iPod line, leaving some consumers to question whether the popular portable media players are built well enough to withstand the normal everyday wear and tear. Apple has acknowledged some issues in the recent past, offering battery replacements to some and free Nano replacements to those customers who purchased the tiny players with easily-cracked or scratched LCDs. Other problems remain, however, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune, and its virtually impossible to determine how widespread the problems actually are, as Apple is the only reliable source for data; however, Apple spokesperson Natalie Kerris says that iPods have a failure rate of less than 5 percent, which is "fairly low" compared to other consumer electronics. "The vast majority of our customers are extremely happy with their iPods," Kerris said, noting that iPods are designed to last four years.
Rob Enderle, principal analyst for Enderle Group in San Jose estimates that 15 percent of iPods will fail within one year. The analyst noted that a 15 percent failure rate is roughly comparable to other small electronic devices.

One online survey suggests that Apple's iPod failure rate is around 14 percent--half of which were battery related and half of which were related to the hard drive found in Apple's larger-size iPods. Some industry watchers, however, believe that sheer numbers--which are quite large as Apple has sold over 40 million units total--are responsible for most reported iPod troubles.

"Any time you have that many of anything," some will fail to function properly, according to Bob O'Donnell, vice president at IDC.


As you can see at a 15% failure rate which is the industry norm there would be over 2.7 million faulty iPod shuffles, which is clearly not the case. So your 50,000 looks very very small.

Ian
post #40 of 42
Apple is fixing the issue so everyone be glad and be thankful. Every product has issues that can be fixed. So the story ends...
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