Apple releases 2nd potential fix for flickering 27-inch iMacs

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Apple on Monday released a second firmware update that aims to address screen flickering that has plagued some users of the late 2009 model 27-inch iMac.



The update, entitled 27-inch iMac Display Firmware Update 1.0, is a 294KB download available direct from Apple. The accompanying description states the update will "address issues that may cause intermittent display flickering.



The update requires Mac OS X 10.6.2 or later, and applies to all 27-inch models. It comes more than a month after Apple issued the 27-inch iMac Graphics Firmware Update 1.0 in late December.



Monday's update confirms reports from last week, when various posters on the Apple Discussions forums said they were told by AppleCare representatives that a new update to address flickering issues was forthcoming. A week later, it arrived.



Earlier Monday, a new rumor suggested Apple has halted production of new big-screen iMacs as the company looks to address screen flickering issues that have persisted since the new desktop launched last October. Last month, shipments of the 27-inch iMac were pushed back three weeks. Current orders also face a three-week delay.



Publicly, Apple has insisted that the delays are not due to hardware issues. Rather, they say the company has had trouble keeping up with demand for the new system, which was the best-selling desktop in the U.S. in the month of October. In December, the company formally apologized for shipment delays, stating that the hardware has been a "huge hit," and they have struggled to fill orders.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    tekstudtekstud Posts: 351member
    Who in their right mind would buy one at this point? Wait for the next iteration and remember - never, ever buy a first gen Apple product- ever. Hear me iPad salivators?
  • Reply 2 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TEKSTUD View Post


    Who in their right mind would buy one at this point? Wait for the next iteration and remember - never, ever buy a first gen Apple product- ever. Hear me iPad salivators?



    I couldn't agree more. Your first question was exactly what I was thinking. Only a gluten would buy one of these at this point.
  • Reply 3 of 37
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TEKSTUD View Post


    Who in their right mind would buy one at this point? Wait for the next iteration and remember - never, ever buy a first gen Apple product- ever. Hear me iPad salivators?



    I have always bought first gen and NEVER had a problem, nor has anyone I know. The 27" iMacs in the studio all arrived as ordered and all work beautifully, no issues at all.



    If a few million units are made, it is the nature of the beast that a few will be damaged in a transit and a few will be faulty - these things don't like being thrown around warehouses and delivery depots. Let's try and keep things in perspective.



    Problems are bad, and I sympathise with everyone who has had an issue.



    However, it's a few units, not every unit shipped, not even a significant minority.



    So let's keep it in perspective. I imagine that Apple were hard pushed to find one in-house experiencing the same issue(s) and it's taken them a while to discover if there is a common cause, and a common fix. Cracked glass is obviously a delivery issue, the packaging is so minimal now that these things are not getting the protection they need in transit. The flicker issue, they've not isolated and found a fix, the yellowing issue is a seperate issue. I believe the first firmware sent out was meant to help the yellowing, this second fix the flicker. We shall wait and see.
  • Reply 4 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nkhm View Post




    If a few million units are made, it is the nature of the beast that a few will be damaged in a transit and a few will be faulty - these things don't like being thrown around warehouses and delivery depots. Let's try and keep things in perspective.



    If the number of units affected were only a few, Apple would NOT be considering halting production.
  • Reply 5 of 37
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,557member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by estolinski View Post


    If the number of units affected were only a few, Apple would NOT be considering halting production.



    Depends on the cause and the long-term prognosis. If failure rates are trending higher, you want to be careful. Re-tooling to make a change can require a production halt if it is in the wrong spot.
  • Reply 6 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nkhm View Post


    If a few million units are made, it is the nature of the beast that a few will be damaged in a transit and a few will be faulty - these things don't like being thrown around warehouses and delivery depots. Let's try and keep things in perspective.



    Problems are bad, and I sympathise with everyone who has had an issue.



    However, it's a few units, not every unit shipped, not even a significant minority.



    It's more than that. A number of posters on http://discussions.apple.com/thread....04398#11004398 have received as many as 3 faulty machines in a row as replacements.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nkhm View Post


    I believe the first firmware sent out was meant to help the yellowing, this second fix the flicker. We shall wait and see.



    No, both updates were targeted at the flicker.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nkhm View Post


    The 27" iMacs in the studio all arrived as ordered and all work beautifully, no issues at all.



    I challenge you to go and check how many dead pixels you can find in the iSight camera (best way is to hang the cleaning cloth over the camera). I bet you it's around 10 dead pixels, of various colours, on average.
  • Reply 7 of 37
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by estolinski View Post


    If the number of units affected were only a few, Apple would NOT be considering halting production.



    estolinski did not say what it looks like what he said '

    so i was in error and so 1 deleted my post from before



    may gpd bless apple
  • Reply 8 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TEKSTUD View Post


    Who in their right mind would buy one at this point? Wait for the next iteration and remember - never, ever buy a first gen Apple product- ever. Hear me iPad salivators?



    I consider myself to be in my right mind and I purchased an iMac 27" i7 and received it in November. And I have no regrets about the purchase. Mine has been happily running along 24x7 since I got it with no problems so far. Like anything else you pays your money and you takes your chances. Until Apple releases some solid numbers on sales for the unit you have absolutely no idea how prevalent the problem is. Anyway, I am quite happy with mine.
  • Reply 9 of 37
    crankycranky Posts: 163member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by steviet02 View Post


    I couldn't agree more. Your first question was exactly what I was thinking. Only a gluten would buy one of these at this point.



    I am glad, more and more so each day, that I have decided to wait to get my i5.



    btw - it's glutton. Gluten is a wheat product used in baking. but then that's me just being picky. no insult intended.
  • Reply 10 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cranky View Post


    I am glad, more and more so each day, that I have decided to wait to get my i5.



    btw - it's glutton. Gluten is a wheat product used in baking. but then that's me just being picky. no insult intended.



    Time for me to be picky; gluten is a protein found in flour that forms when flour is mixed with water. It isn't something you add as an ingredient to bake with.



    If Apple actually packed the oversized computers properly there would be no yellowing issues.



    And at this point, I'd be less skeptical of Apple if they would just admit the stupid issue instead of saying, "We can't fill orders quick enough."
  • Reply 11 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cranky View Post


    I am glad, more and more so each day, that I have decided to wait to get my i5.



    btw - it's glutton. Gluten is a wheat product used in baking. but then that's me just being picky. no insult intended.



    i'm glad you did it, not me. but it would be nice if all these brilliant poster people also knew how to spell.



    also, the french use gluten in their bagels to make up for the lack of certain usa ingredients that can always be found in nyc.
  • Reply 12 of 37
    aaronjaaronj Posts: 1,594member
    OK, I know this question may make me look like an idiot (not difficult to do, really), but here goes:



    I have a 27" iMac that I've had for months, and I've never had a problem with it. I'm still supposed to install this update, right? Or not?



    Sorry for the dumb question.
  • Reply 13 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TEKSTUD View Post


    Who in their right mind would buy one at this point? Wait for the next iteration and remember - never, ever buy a first gen Apple product- ever. Hear me iPad salivators?



    I bought one as soon as it was announced. 2.8 GHz intel Core i7 with 8 GB 1067 MHz DDR3. It was delivered as promised. Never had or noticed flickering or discoloration.

    I am totally satisfied with it.

    Hear me iPad first buyers. Apple does look after you should anything go wrong.
  • Reply 14 of 37
    asciiascii Posts: 5,614member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Charel View Post


    I am totally satisfied with it.



    I also have an 27" with no screen issue, and apparently that makes me a wheat product. It's all very confusing. I think I knead to lie down.
  • Reply 15 of 37
    I received my 27" iMac in the first air shipment of i7's, and have not had problems to date. I am sure there are plenty of stories of frustration and enough display problems to be a concern for Apple, but those people are much more likely to be making noise than those of us who are enjoying a great new Mac.
  • Reply 16 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post


    OK, I know this question may make me look like an idiot (not difficult to do, really), but here goes:



    I have a 27" iMac that I've had for months, and I've never had a problem with it. I'm still supposed to install this update, right? Or not?



    Sorry for the dumb question.



    You should just trust Apple, let the auto updates occur whenever and instal what they wish. If you had an immediate problem, you'd want to prompt it for the update, but you don't so just leave it to sort itself automatically. You trusted Apple to build your wonderful machine, why stop now?



    I have an i7, by the way. Perfect. Just took A Zebra's challenge to someone else, I now know I have two dead camera pixels that I wasn't aware of and can't see unless I try hard. Probably the last I'll ever think of it. My wife's 27" Duo is perfect. As are the 2 other's I know of. I reject the extrapolation of observed failures, so must reject my own observation of success rates. But, just as someone saw '3 bad in a row' above, so I'm reporting '4 good in a row' here. Stories of bad machines do gain traction once an individual gets successive failures, but these results are still somewhat skewed since when most of us get a good one, we stop buying!
  • Reply 17 of 37
    [QUOTE=dangermouse;1564578]You should just trust Apple, let the auto updates occur whenever and instal what they wish. If you had an immediate problem, you'd want to prompt it for the update, but you don't so just leave it to sort itself automatically. You trusted Apple to build your wonderful machine, why stop now?





    I don't disagree with Dangermouse. I have compulsively trusted and installed Apple's Updates until this newest Firmware update for the Display. I feel that Apple should first make clear that this is an Update that is appropriate and safe for all] 27in iMac users including the great majority of us who have had perfectly beautiful, flicker-free displays from Day 1!
  • Reply 18 of 37
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Ironically, after a good two years of having horrendous problems with Apple equipment, the two i5s that I bought recently are the most reliable setups that I've ever owned.



    I've had numerous MacBooks, MacBook Pros, 24" LED Cinema Displays, 30" Cinema Displays and Mac Pros ? none of which worked as advertised. To give you and idea of the scale of the problems I experienced, I've just finished running through my bookkeeping with my accountant, and in the respective 18 month period I've purchased £20k worth of Apple kit and returned £18k for a full refund. On each occasion, I've received a full refund without question, because whilst Apple will never admit it publicly, the Apple staff know damn fine that there are problems with the products.



    So I for one, am absolutely gobsmacked that the two i5s work perfectly!
  • Reply 19 of 37
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    I also have an 27" with no screen issue, and apparently that makes me a wheat product. It's all very confusing. I think I knead to lie down.



  • Reply 20 of 37
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,815member
    Apple sold over 10 million Macs last year. If 1% of them had a defect, that's 100,000 defects. If 1 percent of the people with defected units post in the apple discussion forum, that's 1,000 posts in the apple discussion forum, which seems like a lot, but really isn't.



    It simply is not possible for us to figure out what percentage of iMacs have this problem from looking in Internet discussion forums and reading rumor sites (not that I have anything agains rumors -- they can be fun, so long as we don't take them too seriously).



    One of the frustrating things about Apple is that they are so secretive about these things. But, on the plus side, you will never hear an AppleCare person say "oh, that's not our problem, you have to call the graphics card company about their drivers". Apple will ultimately take responsibility for their products and fix any defects.
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