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Apple trimming notebook orders; plans fixes for new models

post #1 of 41
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Apple has decided to cut back on its notebook production for the current holiday quarter, according to one report. Meanwhile, the company is said to be working on a software fix for at least one issue surrounding its latest offerings.

MacBook production cut

The Chinese-language Commercial Times said Monday that both Apple and Asustek have recently reduced orders for notebooks that will be manufactured this quarter by 20 to 30 percent.

Quanta, which shares MacBook assembly duties with Foxconn, will absorb the impact of the cuts, according to the paper, which did not provide figures on how many units the company had initially ordered.

Also unclear is whether Apple is seeing reduced demand across the board, or if the cuts pertain to a specific model. It was reported last month that Quanta and Foxconn were splitting orders for some 300,000-400,000 previous-genration white 13-inch MacBooks, which the Mac maker now sells for $999.

It's possible Apple may be seeing lower than expected demand for those older systems as users gravitate towards the more premium offerings of the new unibody models, which fetch $300 more.

The Cupertino-based company admitted to seeing a drop-off in notebook demand in the weeks leading up to last month's introductions but said sales took off once the new MacBook lines were introduced.

"As you know, there were rampant rumors and lots of press reports about a potential portable transition and we saw some slowing toward particularly the final weeks of September and the initial weeks of October," chief operating office Tim Cook said during a conference call. "However, once announcing last week, we saw a considerable rebound in sales and we’re very, very optimistic about those results."

Software patch coming for display issues

Meanwhile, Apple is working on another software update for its unibody MacBooks to address external video glitches, according to one customer who spoke to the company's support teams.

Specifically, the customer was experiencing issues with his new MacBook Pro connected to an external display, where the display would sporadically lose signal for a second and flick back on.

"After not finding anything the technician put me on hold to talk to the engineers and then updated me that it is now a known issue that will be addressed in a software patch sometime in the future," he told AppleInsider.

The issue is said to be similar, but not identical to those experienced by other users attempting to use their new MacBooks with external displays. There's a thread on Apple's support forum from users who say their external video feed cuts in and out when attempting to playback QuickTime support media, and another where users say iTunes movies fail to display on external displays connected to the new notebooks over a Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter.

The new MacBook Pro's sleep functionality is also being cited as the source of two more widely reported issues. In one thread, users explain that their external displays connected via a DVI adapter routinely fail to come back on after a period of sleep unless they're physically unplugged from the notebooks and then reconnected.

Another thread is full of complaints from users who say sleep mode is malfunctioning, leaving users to find their notebook batteries drained and the systems running unusually hot when they should have been idle.
post #2 of 41
can a software update actually fix these problems, or are some of them hardware oriented? Are we, the new macbook pro owners, doomed to a life of short-in-functionality notebooks?
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post #3 of 41
welcome to R1.

a lot of us .always. wait for R2 or get the refurbished models much later down the road.

good luck with that.
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post #4 of 41
I always wait for the R2

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post #5 of 41
300-400,000 does sound like way too many of the older model (mind you I'm coming from a country with 4 million pop)! Personally I find it hard to see how they keep selling even the new ones so well when the market must be nigh-saturated with perfectly capable machines ... let alone relying on selling ostensibly an older model at that level when the newer competition is so much nicer

- it's $US300 for a much better screen and glass covering; a much nicer body with tougher materials; a lighter unit overall; way better graphics performance and the new workings on hardware acceleration (or whatever one calls the improved video via GPU); faster (potentially in the future) FSB and RAM and more RAM standard!

It's easier to see that happening than the further $US300 for 20% clock speed, a bigger hard drive and keyboard backlighting! The only possible thing I can see in favour of the $US999 is the FireWire!
post #6 of 41
[QUOTE=robb01;1338118]I always wait for the R2

R2 FTW!!! But it sounds like Apple will find a fix for these issues, at an rate.
post #7 of 41
External video glitches? What about the shitty displays on the MacBooks?
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post #8 of 41
People need to realize that there is nothing wrong with getting a Rev. A of an Apple product... first, hardware and software problems have come up in EVERY MacBook/MacBook Pro revision - even up to the last gen. MacBook Pros. This is not something that only 1st Ge. products see. Second, without people buying the Rev. A products, a Rev. B would never be released! It can be a good idea to wait for another revision... but don't knock on people for buying a Rev. A when they're the ones reporting all the issues that get fixed in the next version!

All that aside, I LOVE my new unibody MacBook. The trackpad issue is a little annoying, but a fix is coming... and I don't regret it one bit.
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

External video glitches? What about the shitty displays on the MacBooks?

My display is gorgeous... it all depends on what manufacturer you got to make the display in your MacBook. The displays by LG/Samsung/etc are great, but the unlucky ones that got that Chinese crap should send it back and try again. Apple needs to get the message and cut out this display supplier.
post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimUSCA View Post

My display is gorgeous... it all depends on what manufacturer you got to make the display in your MacBook. The displays by LG/Samsung/etc are great, but the unlucky ones that got that Chinese crap should send it back and try again. Apple needs to get the message and cut out this display supplier.

My unibody MB display is nice too. How can you tell who made the display?
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post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimUSCA View Post

My display is gorgeous... it all depends on what manufacturer you got to make the display in your MacBook. The displays by LG/Samsung/etc are great, but the unlucky ones that got that Chinese crap should send it back and try again. Apple needs to get the message and cut out this display supplier.

Apple has generally had four suppliers for MacBook displays ... LG/Philips, Samsung, Au Optronics, and Chi Mei. I've had direct experience with three of these -- the LG/Philips, the Samsung, and the Au Optronics.

The LG/Philips was superb in terms of colour reproduction (low amount of dithering).
The Samsung was horrible to the point that I'm surprised Apple even ships MacBooks with these displays (very rough, distracting dithering everywhere, even under menus, and it was dimmer).
The Au Optronics was as good or better than the LG/Philips for colour reproduction, and a touch brighter. Reports I've heard say that the Chi Mei is about the same.

So ... the "Chinese crap" actually is a decent display. In my experience, it was the Samsung that was unusable. I wrote sjobs@apple.com and they replaced my display in a hurry away from the Samsung.
post #12 of 41
for a moment only I was hoping that it meant they would now include firewire in the 13" version..
post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

My unibody MB display is nice too. How can you tell who made the display?

Here's an example of some last-gen MacBooks on how to find out the manufacturer. Everyone else agrees that the Chi Mei is the worst of the bunch... you'll have to do some more research to find out the info on the newest MacBooks, but the method to find the manufacturer is the same. I just don't know the numbers for the new machines and don't have time to find them.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=467198
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by robb01 View Post

I always wait for the R2

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And if we all waited for R2 Apple would go out of business!
post #15 of 41
Early adopters bare the brunt of glitches and pay an introductory price. Specs rise, prices fall, and bugs eventually get squashed. That's the reality.
I assumed AAPL had old MB parts in inventory or they would've discontinued that model. Now I'm curious which models their cutting back on.
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimUSCA View Post

Here's an example of some last-gen MacBooks on how to find out the manufacturer. Everyone else agrees that the Chi Mei is the worst of the bunch... you'll have to do some more research to find out the info on the newest MacBooks, but the method to find the manufacturer is the same. I just don't know the numbers for the new machines and don't have time to find them.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=467198

Excellent! I never thought there would be any real difference between screens of the same notebook model. It appears that I have the better of the two reported MB screens. WOOT!.

if I ever need it replaced, I wonder if I can get the MBA screen put in, which is clearly better than the MB screens.

More definitive date on the new MB displays...
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=596201
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post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by parky View Post

And if we all waited for R2 Apple would go out of business!

that is true

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post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tecknojoe View Post

can a software update actually fix these problems, or are some of them hardware oriented? Are we, the new macbook pro owners, doomed to a life of short-in-functionality notebooks?

Depends on the cause. It's possible that some software is polling the ports looking for a disconnect signal and tiny bits of noise is triggering it... and a software fix could poll less often or be less sensitive to noise. It's also possible that some bad soldering or fluctuating power is causing problems, which probably doesn't have a software solution. It sounds like they identified the root cause, though, and are confident they can fix it in software.
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by parky View Post

And if we all waited for R2 Apple would go out of business!

Or they would be responsible and put out a better Rev the first time.

I was beta with Gen 1 and 3G iPhone and I'm tired of beta testing Apple's crappy hardware/software.
post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ Web View Post

Early adopters bare the brunt of glitches and pay an introductory price. Specs rise, prices fall, and bugs eventually get squashed. That's the reality.

That's what people get for baring their brunts.
post #21 of 41
My new macbookpro dispay is fine and the case is real nice but the trackpad sucks and i went to a mouse as one out of five clicks don't register. bummer. otherwise, wonderful graphics speed.
post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tecknojoe View Post

can a software update actually fix these problems, or are some of them hardware oriented? Are we, the new macbook pro owners, doomed to a life of short-in-functionality notebooks?

No. I have one of those MacBook Pros and the control of the external monitor only seems to be a problem when the computer goes to doze state before the sleep light fades in and out, but after the screen saver goes out. Then the computer wakes from doze with the external monitor out but flashing occasionally. I can force the computer to sleep by closing the screen/cover and waiting for the sleep light to cycle. After it starts cycling, I can open the screen and the external monitor will work fine. I also noted that If I switch to the Nvidia 9600 module, it doesn't seem to have this problem, but it takes more power.

So, there is something awry with the way OSX relights the external screen after wake from doze. It's probably an easy fix. But since Apple has to run the fix through quality control, it takes a while to get it out.
post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandau View Post

welcome to R1.

a lot of us .always. wait for R2 or get the refurbished models much later down the road.

good luck with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robb01 View Post

I always wait for the R2

_____________

"Danger" is clearly not either of your middle names.
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimUSCA View Post

People need to realize that there is nothing wrong with getting a Rev. A of an Apple product... first, hardware and software problems have come up in EVERY MacBook/MacBook Pro revision - even up to the last gen. MacBook Pros. This is not something that only 1st Ge. products see. Second, without people buying the Rev. A products, a Rev. B would never be released!

I think you'll agree though that last gen revisions have less issues than first gen machines. If Apple didn't have such a bad track record for rushing stuff out of the door ready or not, people wouldn't hold off buying their first gen stuff (this applies to both software and hardware).
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tecknojoe View Post

can a software update actually fix these problems, or are some of them hardware oriented? Are we, the new macbook pro owners, doomed to a life of short-in-functionality notebooks?

Yeah, like, can a software update add a FW port?
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avon B7 View Post

I think you'll agree though that last gen revisions have less issues than first gen machines. If Apple didn't have such a bad track record for rushing stuff out of the door ready or not, people wouldn't hold off buying their first gen stuff (this applies to both software and hardware).

Apple is certainly higher profile than other CE companies so every little hiccup gets widespread coverage, but I've seen no evidence that Apple products actually have more issues than other products. Recently there was an independentyet limitedreport from an iPhone insurer that showed that the iPhone had less issues than the others they insure.

Anecdotally speaking, this year I've purchased 5 Macs, 2 iPhones and 4 iPods and the only issues I can recall are the iPhone power socket recall, the new MB trackpad software glitch which is annoying but not unusable, and torn plastic end of a MagSafe cable plug on a 2007 MB I had that was still under warranty. Not one of my issues was major and every single one Apple has taken care of promptly. I've also had issues with other companies CE, most deal with them jsut as well as Apple.

With CE their will probably always be a certain number of DOA devices or devices that fail too quickly or never work properly, but all companies are subject to this. There is so many different parts designed in one country, then manufactured in China, while being assembled in somewhere else and then finally put together into the final unit in another place and then shipped over seas. I'm surprised the rate of failure is as low as it is. Wasn't there an issue with a Space Shuttle part that was designed using US standard units but then built using metric units which created a very expensive problem? Even NASA has these issues.

PS: Some of you here may remember when you were kids that if something didn't work right you were pretty much screwed. There was no 1 year warranty and 30 day return policies. I recall Stephen Hawking mentioning this in one of his books about a train set he purchased as a kid.
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post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ Web View Post

I'm curious which models their cutting back on.

From Changewave...
"Notably, the split in demand may also favor Apple's high-end notebooks. Statistics haven't been given for the higher-end systems, but about 20 percent of the 33 percent skews towards the higher-end MacBook Air and MacBook Pro systems. A relatively small 7 percent of all notebook buyers are likely to buy one variant of Apple's 13-inch MacBooks, but nearly as many at 6 percent are willing to buy Apple's lone remaining plastic model. The reason for the near-equal divide is unclear but points to the $999 price of the older design almost equaling demand for the new model."
post #28 of 41
Sure there is nothing wrong with it and I am highly thankful for it. However, it typically is safer to get a product that was been around a while. I used to work in manufacturing. The manufacturing process is refined almost on a a daily basis to account for issues that come up after the product's Rev A release. For instance, on the last model Macbook initially there was some discoloring. Apple several weeks after the release modified the plastic formulation. With the current model some are reporting that the hinges allow the screen to fall sometimes. If so, Apple will likely correct that before the Reversion. By the time Rev. B comes around many small issues will be addressed thanks to Rev A buyers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimUSCA View Post

People need to realize that there is nothing wrong with getting a Rev. A of an Apple product... first, hardware and software problems have come up in EVERY MacBook/MacBook Pro revision - even up to the last gen. MacBook Pros. This is not something that only 1st Ge. products see. Second, without people buying the Rev. A products, a Rev. B would never be released! It can be a good idea to wait for another revision... but don't knock on people for buying a Rev. A when they're the ones reporting all the issues that get fixed in the next version!

All that aside, I LOVE my new unibody MacBook. The trackpad issue is a little annoying, but a fix is coming... and I don't regret it one bit.
post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimUSCA View Post

People need to realize that there is nothing wrong with getting a Rev. A of an Apple product... first, hardware and software problems have come up in EVERY MacBook/MacBook Pro revision - even up to the last gen. MacBook Pros. This is not something that only 1st Ge. products see. Second, without people buying the Rev. A products, a Rev. B would never be released! It can be a good idea to wait for another revision... but don't knock on people for buying a Rev. A when they're the ones reporting all the issues that get fixed in the next version!

All that aside, I LOVE my new unibody MacBook. The trackpad issue is a little annoying, but a fix is coming... and I don't regret it one bit.


HEAR! HEAR!

- i salute you and your ilk


thank you
post #30 of 41
Right now Apple has a massive issue on its hands with the screen condensation problems of the alu iMac. I hope this gets revised/cured for the next revision as this is proving to be a time bomb for users.

This is purely a design fault and I cannot figure out how this wasn't spotted before they ramped up production. I highly suspect that there were pressures to finalise the design in time for the rollout and they cut corners on testing.

What is worse is that in some cases Apple is telling users that the problem is a cosmetic issue and as such is not covered by the warranty. In other cases users are taking their units into to dealt with and techs are just taking the glass off and cleaning the stains only for the problem to re-appear down the road.

I hope Apple's solution to the problem is not to put a window on future iMacs to make cleaning easier.
post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimUSCA View Post

Here's an example of some last-gen MacBooks on how to find out the manufacturer. Everyone else agrees that the Chi Mei is the worst of the bunch... you'll have to do some more research to find out the info on the newest MacBooks, but the method to find the manufacturer is the same. I just don't know the numbers for the new machines and don't have time to find them.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=467198



thanks for the tip!

i've got a black macbook (11/2007) with a 00009C5B model # which = the samsung ; (


the only thing is, although i squint at my screen A LOT i don't know what exactly it is i'm looking for, in terms of: "oh, yes, that's clearly wrong"

...just getting sore eyes doesn't count!



ps: i've looked at this http://homepage.mac.com/mlostracco/M...oAlbum174.html
post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avon B7 View Post

Right now Apple has a massive issue on its hands with the screen condensation problems of the alu iMac. I hope this gets revised/cured for the next revision as this is proving to be a time bomb for users.

This is purely a design fault and I cannot figure out how this wasn't spotted before they ramped up production. I highly suspect that there were pressures to finalise the design in time for the rollout and they cut corners on testing.

What is worse is that in some cases Apple is telling users that the problem is a cosmetic issue and as such is not covered by the warranty. In other cases users are taking their units into to dealt with and techs are just taking the glass off and cleaning the stains only for the problem to re-appear down the road.


WOW i had a client with this exact same issue LAST YEAR!!!

they bought a 24" imac on my recommendation and waited for me to go over and set it up

i turned it on and went thru the setup then watched in *disbelief* as HALF THE SCREEN became covered in condensation internally : (

i called applecare immediately and they told me it was simply a "cosmetic issue" and would pass

(i thought the unit must have been improperly warehoused prior to shipping)


thanks for reading ; )
post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

That's what people get for baring their brunts.

I hope this is done behind closed doors and not in public!
post #34 of 41
How about a fix for a major hardware problem: The glass display not having an AR coating?

The thing is like a mirror! I have a DEC VT220 terminal from 1984 and even it has an AR coating on the screen so it reflects hardly any light at all.

It's not hard, Apple. Really.
post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacOldTimer View Post

Or they would be responsible and put out a better Rev the first time.

I was beta with Gen 1 and 3G iPhone and I'm tired of beta testing Apple's crappy hardware/software.

If you are so upset about it, stop buying their products, or at least wait. Seems like a simple solution to me. And to compare Apple's "crappy" hardware/software, just take a look at Dell as far as crappy hardware goes and no further than Vista as far as software is concerned. Three years into it, and people are still basically beta testers. I'm starting to be convinced that Vista is simply one big beta test for Windows 7, that's how crappy it truly has been.
post #36 of 41
I'm buying today the new MBP 1G obv. If it comes with issues typical of a 1G relase will them be covered by the warranty right? So where is the problem?
post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Engine[ITA] View Post

I'm buying today the new MBP 1G obv. If it comes with issues typical of a 1G relase will them be covered by the warranty right? So where is the problem?

The problem comes from having to deal with the issues and the downtime from having to ship it off to Apple for repair if needed. Though the chances of having a major issue is slim. My new MB is working except for the trackpad annoyance, which is a bit annoying, but nothing that would prevent me from buying the machine if I could do it over again.
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post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomQ View Post

Apple has generally had four suppliers for MacBook displays ... LG/Philips, Samsung, Au Optronics, and Chi Mei. I've had direct experience with three of these -- the LG/Philips, the Samsung, and the Au Optronics.

The LG/Philips was superb in terms of colour reproduction (low amount of dithering).
The Samsung was horrible to the point that I'm surprised Apple even ships MacBooks with these displays (very rough, distracting dithering everywhere, even under menus, and it was dimmer).
The Au Optronics was as good or better than the LG/Philips for colour reproduction, and a touch brighter. Reports I've heard say that the Chi Mei is about the same.

So ... the "Chinese crap" actually is a decent display. In my experience, it was the Samsung that was unusable. I wrote sjobs@apple.com and they replaced my display in a hurry away from the Samsung.

Yikes! I have a brand new, upgraded MacBook Pro I purchased being delivered on Thursday. I'm not sure which of these issues applies to the Pro. I understand the trackpad is an issue, but as far as the external display and determining who manufactured each particular machine's display, does this apply to the Pro too?

I don't want to anticipate problems now before I've even received it, but I'm pretty sure they will be resolved with patches or repair under warranty if so. I can't think of any way you could fork out a lot of $ for a new model MacBook Pro and be stuck with sub-par performance.
post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Engine[ITA] View Post

I'm buying today the new MBP 1G obv. If it comes with issues typical of a 1G relase will them be covered by the warranty right? So where is the problem?

Your warranty can't cover design faults. The iMac condensation issue is a design fault. AFAIK this still hasn't been corrected through a re-design of the product. Basically all iMac owners are sitting on a time bomb.

It seems (according to one tech) that the fans in the iMac have been poorly placed to prevent this issue.

Another issue is getting Apple to admit that there's a problem in the first place. How many times have we seen Apple say there isn't a problem, only for them to backtrack under pressure and admit issues?
post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWLinPHX View Post

Yikes! I have a brand new, upgraded MacBook Pro I purchased being delivered on Thursday. I'm not sure which of these issues applies to the Pro. I understand the trackpad is an issue, but as far as the external display and determining who manufactured each particular machine's display, does this apply to the Pro too?

I don't want to anticipate problems now before I've even received it, but I'm pretty sure they will be resolved with patches or repair under warranty if so. I can't think of any way you could fork out a lot of $ for a new model MacBook Pro and be stuck with sub-par performance.

That info only pertains to the MacBook, not the MacBook Pro (or MacBook Air.) The MBP and MBA have better screens, and even if there are multiple suppliers probably have much less variation in screen quality.
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