Print 47 comment(s) - last by rudy.. on Feb 21 at 1:57 AM

Apple's "lemons" -- iMacs with yellow monitor discoloration -- continue to roll off the line. Apple seems no closer to a fix for the issue, and recent tests indicate the LEDs used for backlighting are not the culprit, as previously suspected.  (Source: Gizmodo)
An apple is an apple and a lemon is a lemon, but sometimes an Apple is a lemon

Apple's latest quality issue with its new iMacs concerns reports of yellowed screens.  On top of a host of other issues -- flickering, failure to boot, broken screens, and other headaches, many of the latest crop of sleek Cupertino desktops appear to be looking, by their display color, more like a bunch of lemons than Apples

The color of the image on screen is tinted yellow.  The severity varies, but in some cases is reportedly bad enough to render the computer essentially useless.  That's an especially big problem considering the desktops relatively high pricing, which starts at $1,199 for the lowest spec 21.5-inch model and can retail for well over $4,000 for a fully loaded 27-inch model.

Apple has reportedly been trying to force customers to take the repair road, rather than returns or refunds.  However, most customers afflicted with the problem are reporting that repaired units continue to have problems, frequently ceasing to function altogether (as was the case with a unit at Gizmodo); apparently its hard to make a lemon back into a proper Apple.

However, many customers are discovering even returns aren't working out, due to the volume of problem units.  Out of desperation, one customer who had returned his lemon only to receive another defective unit fresh off the line contacted Apple CEO Steve Jobs, himself, about the problem.  Mr. Jobs is known to personally respond to customer emails on occasion, a relative rarity in the corporate world.

Mr. Jobs responded, but apparently admitted that even he could not assure that the problem would be rectified.  The customer writes:

I mailed It worked. In a way. I was promised that I could essentially have as many replacements as I wanted until it was fixed, but it was clear that there was no way to guarantee that my new machine would be problem free, much as the {Gizmodo] experience with the Apple people in [Gizmodo's] third article.

One Gizmodo reader has been doing some extensive testing on a pair of the defective units and has drawn some very interesting conclusions.  While many commenters here at DailyTech and elsewhere have dismissed the problem as merely defective LEDs (used to provide backlighting for the screen), the LEDs, according to this professional's testing were fine, indicating problem was more complex.  According to the expert, the LEDs on the faulty units had a color temperature of around 9300K (blue light, not yellow), and within expected thresholds of +-10mcd brightness, +- 20nm in color.

Customers used to Apple's tradition of tighter quality control are becoming extremely frustrated with the sad state of current affairs.  Writes one customer, "I feel that after sixteen years of possessing various Apple computers that never gave me one day's interruption, I am being taken advantage of by Apple."

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Yellow monitor
By axias41 on 1/21/2010 7:51:02 AM , Rating: 3
Another useful feature from Lem, ehm, Apple: yellow monitors! It's not a bug, it's a feature!

RE: Yellow monitor
By jonmcc33 on 1/21/2010 8:41:57 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah, according to the AppleCare training, the owners should just RTFM and deal with it.

RE: Yellow monitor
By WUMINJUN on 1/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: Yellow monitor
By BBeltrami on 1/21/2010 10:29:49 AM , Rating: 5
Didn't you know?

The bourgeoisie lacks the capacity to acknowledge art when they see it.

RE: Yellow monitor
By Motoman on 1/21/2010 1:08:22 PM , Rating: 5
...then nail the effing things to the wall and purchase an actual computer. Problem solved.

RE: Yellow monitor
By Akrovah on 1/21/2010 5:27:21 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Yellow monitor
By CHAOQIANG on 1/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: Yellow monitor
By jhb116 on 1/21/2010 5:55:54 PM , Rating: 1
BUT, BUT, BUT It's an apple - "It just works..."

RE: Yellow monitor
By MGSsancho on 1/21/2010 6:18:52 PM , Rating: 3
Oh it still works, its just yellow =)
They never made promises on colors.

RE: Yellow monitor
By Alexvrb on 1/21/2010 9:12:01 PM , Rating: 2
What about the ones that don't work at all? Sounds like Dragonlance Gnomes have taken over the Apple assembly lines!

"It just works... except when it doesn't."

RE: Yellow monitor
By akse on 1/22/2010 5:33:23 AM , Rating: 2
Well all these extra features can be seen in the price ticket.

RE: Yellow monitor
By OKMIJN4455 on 1/24/10, Rating: -1
RE: Yellow monitor
By cmontyburns on 1/25/10, Rating: 0
Blasphemy! Apple is perfection!
By Motoman on 1/21/2010 9:37:21 AM , Rating: 5
...if your Apple product does something you didn't expect it to, then your expectations are imperfect. If your iPod explodes, or your iMac turns yellow and stops working, then it is by design and this is the proper thing for such devices to do.

You actually don't want an .mp3 player that doesn't explode, just like you don't want Flash on your iPhone. And you also don't want an iMac that doesn't turn yellow and die. Unless you get one that doesn't do that, which in that case would also be proper.

So say we all.

RE: Blasphemy! Apple is perfection!
By BBeltrami on 1/21/2010 10:32:10 AM , Rating: 4
You forgot to wave your fingers and add the obligatory, "These aren't the droids you're looking for."

RE: Blasphemy! Apple is perfection!
By vapore0n on 1/21/2010 11:11:05 AM , Rating: 5
more like
<waving fingers>
"This is the Mac you are looking for"

RE: Blasphemy! Apple is perfection!
By Motoman on 1/21/2010 1:06:47 PM , Rating: 3
..."I wanted to buy a computer though..."

"No, you want a Mac."

"Oh. Take my money please."

By sc3252 on 1/21/2010 8:20:32 AM , Rating: 5
Seriously its worse than some cars, you can't just take these things apart and replace one part on your own. You have to go back to apple for the repair and what if they finally say "Your warranty is up, we won't fix this anymore".

This reminds me very much of the xbox 360. Yeah they will keep sending you replacements, but what happens when that warranty is up, you have to just buy a new one or send it in to be fixed at the cost of a new one(experience from xbox 1).

By mindless1 on 1/22/2010 1:19:11 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, besides it being an Apple there isn't likely to be anything more difficult about repairing the monitor subsection than there would be repairing any stand-alone monitor.

You've got PSU, input board, and panel itself. What some enterprising person needs to do is pop open two of them, one yellowed and one not, mixing and matching the panel and input board.

By MrWho on 1/22/2010 3:25:45 AM , Rating: 2
Unless the not-yellowed one is marked to turn into a lemon later on. In that case, your repairing skills didn't do much good, since the repaired monitor will also get tinted.

By mindless1 on 1/25/2010 3:08:07 PM , Rating: 2
Not necessarily true, any good repairman, and I try to be one too, doesn't just try to repair something to be just like it was new, instead they look at the cause and try to repair to not have the same fault again.

Simple example: When my old Antec power supply had capacitor failure, I did not seek the low grade Chinese capacitors they used, I put higher quality capacitors in.

In the case of an all-in-one with monitor failure, I would pick a different LCD panel. As I wrote previously they are a bit modular, you do need compatible parts but you don't necessarily have to pick the same brand and model of power supply board, input board, or panel to mate with the other 2 of 3 parts.

Granted with the input board you may find the casing plastic doesn't have the right cutouts for it if not physically port-placed the same, but these specifics are tackled if and when they arise, often no such issues exist.

I wouldn't expect it of an Apple end user though, particularly not one buying an all-in-one box to be able to do this kind of repair or repair-substitution, but it is possible and worth mentioning should someone need a push towards solving their own problems since as you wrote it is possible that until (if ever) the problematic design is fixed, it may leave people taking matters into their own hands to improvise fix it.

By stapleton87 on 1/21/2010 9:16:15 AM , Rating: 5
Looks like they might need some lemon-aid! Sorry, had to do it.

Screen or Plastic?
By Mitch101 on 1/21/2010 9:33:37 AM , Rating: 2
I'm confused is this the plastic that is discoloring or the screens discoloring? Or is it both? This article seems to say the screen when prior articles I thought the plastic was discoloring.

Either way it sounds like a heat issue but I have seen cigarette smoke so thick on a screen it takes several wipe downs and some elbow grease to clean even then it feels dirty.

RE: Screen or Plastic?
By Smilin on 1/21/2010 10:56:35 AM , Rating: 3
This is display discoloration, not plastic.

Pystar 2?
By drycrust3 on 1/21/2010 10:02:30 AM , Rating: 5
Maybe it is time to suddenly rollout Pystar 2 and sell a operating system that runs on a normal PC. Then if there are any defects you just blame the PC manufacturer.

By masamasa on 1/21/2010 10:56:48 AM , Rating: 5
Haha....about time. How ironic since Apple is constantly bashing Windows and PCs. Nothing but a bunch of two-faced, mud slingers.

By BruceLeet on 1/21/2010 7:46:02 AM , Rating: 4
Thought you might have used the Golden Delicious apple, or the "yellow apple"

By swaaye on 1/21/2010 6:13:25 PM , Rating: 2
Reminds me of my SNES and lots of other old beige/white computer parts. :D

RE: heheheh
By mcnabney on 1/21/2010 7:28:53 PM , Rating: 2
It isn't the plastic case that is yellowing. The actualm image on the display is turning yellow, which is 100% unacceptable.

this is bad...
By The0ne on 1/21/2010 10:06:17 AM , Rating: 2
This defect/issue is pretty bad but it appears not too many are upset about it. Very strange crowd.

I'm Confused or have been Mislead
By btc909 on 1/21/2010 11:17:03 PM , Rating: 2
I thought or so I was constantly told that Mac's don't have problems like those foul, disgusting, uncool, beige box PC's. Was I Confused or Mislead?

Uneven colour across imac screen
By sgavin on 1/25/2010 3:37:54 PM , Rating: 2
On Friday I took delivery of an imac. It was brilliant, everything worked, it found the wireless connection and all software worked. I was very happy until I put a white page across the screen and was astonished to see that the left-hand side was bluish white and that the right-hand side had a distinct warm (yellowish) cast. Changing the colour of the desktop showed the same problem. Sadly, I'm going to send it back and get a refund. I will only have one now if I can see it working first. To order on-line again would be too risky. Is this being dealt with? I'd love to use an imac.

It just works
By superPC on 1/21/2010 8:15:39 AM , Rating: 1
Not so this time huh? well when apple i mac don't work, time to change the name to lemon i mac. now we know lemon i mac just works.

Dell Laptop Batteries
By hiscross on 1/21/2010 10:44:24 AM , Rating: 1
By djkrypplephite on 1/21/10, Rating: -1
RE: subtitle
By eyebeeemmpawn on 1/21/10, Rating: -1
RE: subtitle
By jonmcc33 on 1/21/2010 8:42:52 AM , Rating: 2
Anal retentive grammar troll strikes again!

RE: subtitle
By Digimonkey on 1/21/2010 8:59:32 AM , Rating: 1
Well if you insult someone for their grammar or misspellings you should probably make sure your insult is grammatically correct without misspellings.

RE: subtitle
By StevoLincolnite on 1/21/2010 9:05:09 AM , Rating: 3
You should really go back and take a look at what he said, the miss spelling was intentional.

RE: subtitle
By Kurz on 1/21/10, Rating: -1
RE: subtitle
By AstroGuardian on 1/21/2010 10:00:05 AM , Rating: 2
What's the point in correcting him? It's Apple who sucks not that random guy....

What the hell is wrong with Apple? Putting refurbished screens??? For that price? What kind of ***** would buy an Apple?

RE: subtitle
By superflex on 1/21/2010 10:15:46 AM , Rating: 2
I thought graphics professionals likes Apples. You know, the kind who rely on accurate color reproduction from the monitor.
Sounds like a heat issue to me. Heaven forbid Apple puts a cooling fan in their failure boxes which actually cools the case.

RE: subtitle
By redbone75 on 1/21/2010 10:28:16 AM , Rating: 2
Heaven forbid Apple puts a cooling fan in their failure boxes which actually cools the case.

They can do that, but then they'd just have to make sure it boots.

RE: subtitle
By blueeyesm on 1/21/2010 10:29:44 AM , Rating: 2
Do these screen have any kind of anti-glare coating on them?

I also wonder if the majority of these screens are exposed to UV light at all. If it's not the LED backlighting, then maybe it is a combination of things that are affecting these screens.

RE: subtitle
By rudy on 2/21/2010 1:57:12 AM , Rating: 2
I think it is the H-IPS panels there are reports that dell e-ips panels are having a yellowing issue. I think people just need to be really careful with these new low grade IPS panels now. I guess you area really screwed if you buy a stupid all in one computer.

RE: subtitle
By yuhong on 1/21/2010 10:47:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, it dates back to the Apple III and the early Macs, where Steve Jobs insisted on no fan in them.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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