Print 53 comment(s) - last by mcnabney.. on Jan 15 at 1:47 PM

The latest illness to afflict Apple's iMac line is yellowed monitors. The new line, first released in November has suffered many quality issues of different kinds.  (Source: Gizmodo)
And it was all yellow...

The new iMacs are sleek and sightly.  They're filled with high-end hardware.  And reportedly, many of them are defective.

Apple's quality woes seem to only to be getting worse with the holiday season wrapped up.  First released in October, the iMac quickly began to show signs of trouble, with Apple's support forums overrun with unhappy users who discovered their Mac dream machine arrived with a broken screen or would not boot.

Such woes appeared to only be the beginning.  Gizmodo's Mark Wilson was one of many users who received a yellowed iMac.  He got a replacement, only to find that one was discolored as well.  Then to his dismay, he found Apple refusing to replace his unit again, instead suggesting he get it repaired.

He wrote:

I was informed that the company would not issue me another exchange straight from the factory. I'd, instead, need to get the iMac repaired at an Apple Store, lest I "want to waste the time and have to do this all over again." That's right, she basically admitted that everything coming off the line would be inflicted with the same disease.

Many other users have become frustrated with similar refusals.  Writes a user named Laura:

I want the imac purchasers, who have already paid their money AND spent countless hours being fruitless with their machine set-ups and troubleshooting attempts, to be put on the top of the list for receiving brand new WORKING machines. An added bonus would be for Apple to do this kindly, respectfully, and without any attitude. We should not be out of pocket, taking time off work and energy to lug these heavy ibeasts across town looking for a repair; it's a lemon, Apple — you made it, so please replace it. And please do it kindly, respectfully, and communicate to us the process, so that we can all stay in love with all things Apple.

As for Mr. Wilson's iMac, it is now dead and no longer will boot.  The problems that he and others are experiencing seem especially ironic giving Apple's long track record of bragging about its unparalleled monitors -- with the iMac being no exception.  Apple's website brags of the monitor, "The iMac display is designed to look great from almost any angle. A technology called in-plane switching (IPS) makes this possible. Whether you’re sitting in front of the display or standing off to the side, you’ll get a perfect picture with superb color consistency and no loss of detail."

Early reports indicate that users who do try to get their faulty displays repaired have suffered additional issues.  So it seems that currently the "ultimate display", as Apple calls it, is stuck in an infinite loop of problems, including faulty graphics, broken screens, failures to boot, and most recently, yellowed monitors.

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By MonkeyPaw on 1/14/2010 7:32:48 AM , Rating: 5
What dooms Apple are their prices. They charge top dollar for these shiny toys, yet people aren't getting better quality. If I paid close to $2000 for a computer, I would have very high expectations, too. The sad part is, I bought a new $400 notebook a few months ago, and it was the correct color when I opened the box, and the screen wasn't busted either. Sure, it doesn't look as cool, but at least I got what I asked for.

RE: Well...
By TEAMSWITCHER on 1/14/10, Rating: -1
RE: Well...
By Targon on 1/14/2010 9:14:11 AM , Rating: 5
Did you read the article? After getting defective machines, and returning them for a replacement, the replacements have problems. Apple is aware of the problem, but then suggests bringing it in for repair rather than replacing it.

If this was a simple problem with ONE of the suppliers, then wouldn't you expect Apple to do a QA run and make sure that what is being sent to customers is working as intended? Shouldn't a $2000+ computer be run through a QA process by Apple BEFORE it is shipped to customers?

RE: Well...
By Tim Thorpe on 1/14/2010 1:50:27 PM , Rating: 5
Apple is a trade off. I own a Mac, I enjoy my Mac, I've had issues with my Mac. People who adamantly bend over backwards to make excuses for Apple drive me insane. Am I a Mac Convert, absolutely.

I've had the dreaded cracking issues with my Macbook.

The way that I see it is this...
Proprietary hardware:
This is probably the biggest weakness for Apple. Not having competition in their market give them no incentive to ensure their product is above the rest. Apple completely fails dollar for dollar on the hardware side, you can get a much faster machine with a great deal more storage and ram for about half the cost of Apples hardware, which generally runs about 2 generations behind the current top of the line hardware. The only area where this deviates is when you get to the Mac Pro level. You have a decent upgrade path with the mac pro, but even then the currently available processors for the Mac Pro is out performed by the Core i7. Also when something goes wrong or there is a defective design issue with an Apple hardware product, you're screwed.

That said "generally" the hardware is solid and "well" designed...for the most part...I haven't seen another notebook made out of Aluminum, that doesn't mean they don't exist, I just haven't seen it. They are pretty...

On the flip side the proprietary hardware plays in Apples favor when it comes to software. They only have to program their OS and Applications to run on a very select range of hardware platforms. Previous versions of Windows didn't offer the stability and extensibility that OSX offered (Don't get me started on OS 9, that was a different beast). Apple made the right choice with the Mach microkernel and has a very solid OS (everything I can do in BSD I can do on my Mac natively). Windows 7 offers a very compelling and competitive challenger.

Previous to Win7 I restarted my windows PC daily, every time I reinstalled I had to go on the great driver hunt, any time I wanted to update drivers I had to go on the great driver hunt, I install the wrong piece of software and Windows had the potential to throw a hissy fit. The attack footprint of Windows is HUGE (this doesn't mean that Mac has better security however, my belief is that it is probably worse head to head with Win7.

Self explanatory, For what you get, it costs WAY too much. You're basically paying for the value of the OS when you buy a Mac.

Apple Zelots
They drive you insane, it is a huge turnoff and Apple has fostered and nurtured them. Their arguments are weak, abrasive and most of the time rude. Say something negative about a Mac and prepare for a pounding of intelligible, idiotic rants. Try to have an intellectual discussion with one, I dare you.

RE: Well...
By StevoLincolnite on 1/14/2010 9:15:06 AM , Rating: 5
I think that blasting Apple for a defect caused by one of it's suppliers is bit over reaching.

Why should Apple be immune to such treatment?
Everyone laughed at Sony's exploding batteries, everyone gives Microsoft "Hell" for Windows ME, Vista and the Xbox 360's RROD.

Nope, if a company releases a product with a high problem/failure rate, they should be doomed to ridicule.

All of these new iMacs are still under warranty, and will be repaired or replaced at no cost the owner.

Correct they would be, however Apple has been rather arrogant and demeaning towards it's customers, and instead of replacing the machines they are "ordering" customers to get it repaired in an arrogant manner.

Heck if I bought a product that was faulty on purchase, I don't want to send it off to wait weeks/months for it to get it repaired, I would want it replaced instantly.

Every company that sells products has to deal with the occasional defect, or damage caused by shipping and handling. To take one instance and say it is indicative of the entire company is unfair.

This is a differing opinion, these companies know the defect rates in there products, if it's not doing what it is supposed to do, then it should be replaced and the company blasted for it, otherwise they will keep cutting corners to cut costs and the consumer will never get anywhere!

Over the years I have owned many PC and Mac laptops and I can honestly say that my Macs have far outlasted my PC's, both in durability and usefulness. Today, my MacBook Pro is so far advanced, that I wouldn't even consider getting another laptop.

I am a little biased here considering I am strictly a PC user, however I have had machines lasted for over 10 years that did there job fine, whatever the technology that's a long time.

PC's have a potentially longer usefulness than a Mac.
Consider how easy they are to upgrade, plus the parts are cheaper in general, and you have a larger variety of choice, hence they can stay modern for a long time.

Your MacPro might be "Advanced" - Just remember however, that it *does* use PC components and it is actually a "PC" - as in "Personal Computer".
With that fact in mind, and because it uses PC components off the shelf a Mac will never be more advanced than a PC, and you will be limited to Intel processors should AMD get a performance edge.

RE: Well...
By tmouse on 1/14/2010 9:22:32 AM , Rating: 2
What is being said is Apple is aware that a portion of the product being shipped from this line is defective. If they cannot even secure a population of units to provide as replacements which they can be relatively sure are not defective then yes that is a problem that Apple should be held responsible for. It's their job to identify and correct problems their suppliers cause, to tell people they have to bring the units to a repair center is just plain stupid. Clearly they are counting on the repair centers to do the screening for them and give the customer a good unit. That suggests that this is a reasonably large problem. A person should have a reasonable expectation that the item they purchase is defect free and if it is not (as there is always some problems in the best of cases) a simple replacement will fix it with no cost to them. This is not happening and Apple should take the heat until they get it under control. First they have to find the source and correct it, then they should recall all units produced during that run and retest them to sort out the bad units. To allow defective units to still be in the consumer pipe lines is their fault. The least they should do is require all of their resellers to test units before they sell them (and of course the resellers should get some reimbursement from Apple for the extra effort).

RE: Well...
By AstroGuardian on 1/14/2010 9:25:55 AM , Rating: 4
"Repaired or replaced at no cost to the owner"?

Are you blind? They aren't replacing it. The suggest you go, find a service and ask them to repair it. Transport costs, lost time, lost effort explaining what is wrong with it, coming back to retrieve it and all over again is no cost?
Not to mention the stress and anger causing damage to people's health. That is "no cost" to you?

Well sorry mate, you are one hell of a loser claiming that!

RE: Well...
By steven975 on 1/14/2010 10:00:56 AM , Rating: 2
not to mention running down the return window clock!

RE: Well...
By Natfly on 1/14/2010 12:08:19 PM , Rating: 3
Absolutely, if they wouldn't replace it with what the consumer ordered, they should just return it. Why should a brand new laptop have to go to "repair" right after coming out of the factory?

RE: Well...
By mcnabney on 1/15/2010 1:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
That is odd.

Competing products from Dell and HP at those pricepoints typcially come with in-home service/replacement. I guess Apple knows that their customers aren't going anywhere.

RE: Well...
By meepstone on 1/14/2010 12:05:44 PM , Rating: 4
Over the years I have owned many PC and Mac laptops and I can honestly say that my Macs have far outlasted my PC's, both in durability and usefulness.

I can honestly say that you spend way too much money on your mac laptops and since you bought what in your mind you think is superior it is now more useful when they are infact the same thing.

RE: Well...
By PetesEscapade on 1/14/2010 12:59:20 PM , Rating: 2
I think that blasting Apple for a defect caused by one of it's suppliers is bit over reaching.

Once again, an Apple apologist fobbing the blame off on someone else. The bottom line is that the defective item is an Apple branded product sold by Apple. They are responsible for the QC/QA of their finished goods, regardless of who makes the components of their finished goods.

RE: Well...
By drycrust3 on 1/14/2010 1:48:15 PM , Rating: 2
All of these new iMacs are still under warranty, and will be repaired or replaced at no cost the owner.

Incorrect! That is what this article is all about!
Then to his dismay, he found Apple refusing to replace his unit again, instead suggesting he get it repaired.

Not being familiar with US consumer legal rights it is hard for me to know what those rights are, but what is interesting is Apple seem to suggest there is nothing wrong with the computer and that when it is "not working" it is working in the way it was intended. If that is correct, then it means a "repair" is actually a modification of the computer, which means it violates the normal warranty process. Thus, Apple are within their legal rights to not give any warranty support to the computer.

Interestingly, in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy there was a company called the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation which had only one division which actually made a profit, and that was the complaints division.

RE: Well...
By nikon133 on 1/14/2010 6:04:19 PM , Rating: 2
... every gadget can have factory defect, but there is Heaven and Hell in-between how company reacts to complain.

I've got LG LED 200Hz TV for Christmas. It is back LED, not edge LED, it is not slim and not as expensive as edge models.

TV was functioning perfectly, but there was a gap between lower right corner of front bezel and screen itself. We called LG, sent them an email with photo of the "problem" and got replacement TV the next day. Not only that we got it without any questions asked, delivery guy disconnected and dismantled old unit (LG told us not to do that on our own because if something goes wrong, it is better for him to be responsible than us), assembled and plugged everything to a new one.

Additionally, LG was doing promotion here in NZ where you purchase 42" and receive 32" second TV via redemption. LG advised on promo material that up to 4 weeks will be required for the whole process. Our 32" arrived in a week time.

So for very reasonable price (compared to other products in the same class) I've got 2nd TV and perfect service and support , just as it should be.

I'd really have problem to expect anything less from premium priced product and company with excellent support record. Defective product out of the box should be replaced with brand new product - period. Otherwise, I'm paying premium price for second hand product because for me, DOA computer that needs service out of the box is second hand product.

Will I be buying LG products in the future? Hell yes.

Am I tempted to purchase Apple products in the future? Hell NO.

RE: Well...
By rudy on 1/14/2010 9:42:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yours should have been more expensive than edge lit models, edge lit models are easy to manufacture full back lit ones should be local dimming and more expensive. Edge lit is what is in all the cheapo netbooks.

RE: Well...
By nitrous9200 on 1/14/2010 8:15:58 PM , Rating: 1
While your whole post is laughable for reasons already mentioned, the most ridiculous part is the last paragraph. Once any Mac is, say, two OS versions out of date, it’s already on the path to uselessness. It’s hard enough finding up to date apps for Tiger, and anything before that is just plain worthless (not to mention those machines are slower than comparable PCs). On the other hand, I have a now 10-year old Compaq business laptop upgraded to XP, and is still usable for most basic tasks. A cheesy plastic iBook from that era can only run OS X 10.3!
On top of that, the Compaq is built like a tank and solid as a rock, much more so than most laptops built today. I just replaced the original hard drive last year and the original battery still gets three hours on a charge. While doing a little research, I found that just about every Apple model has at least one major design flaw, not to mention various other quality issues. iBooks, PowerBooks, iMacs, MacBooks, or MacBooks Pros, you name it, it’s got a problem. All manufacturers have some lines that are lemons occasionally, but Apple’s track record is just ridiculous. Seems like all the extra money spent on an Apple computer doesn’t go into building better hardware.
Have fun with your MacBook Pro in a year when everyone else will leave you far in the past. Your laptop may be nice now, but it’s no more powerful than any “PC” laptop and progress doesn’t stop for anyone. PS – I spent $1000 on my Sony FW that doesn’t have any quality issues and is more powerful than an Apple laptop that costs twice as much. And yes, it too will be obsolete. That's just the way technology is.

RE: Well...
By Phynaz on 1/14/2010 10:29:25 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, sure seems like Apple is doomed, I mean look at their sales numbers.

RE: Well...
By Agentbolt on 1/14/2010 11:48:54 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, sure seems like Apple is doomed, I mean look at their sales numbers.

EXACTLY. Look, I'm an Apple guy. I'm sitting here typing this from my Macbook Pro. But even the most fervent, rabid Apple fanboy has to admit that Apple is a big bully when it comes to stuff like this.

Before this I owned an Ibook G4. Airport card was dead and the speaker stopped working. This was something that affected a lot of people. Then I got a different one, and it wouldn't boot at all. Took it in, motherboard was dead. THAT particular problem was one that was affecting a staggering percentage of Ibook G4 notebooks, and an absolutely horrifying percentage of Ibook G3 owners. Did apple ever accept that there was a problem? Yes, for the Ibook G3, literally YEARS after the warranty had ended. They extended it to 3 years, but even then it was so late a lot were still out of warranty.

I like Apple's stuff because it's trendy and when it works, it's very well designed. But when/if it breaks, God help me.

RE: Well...
By stirfry213 on 1/14/2010 1:03:55 PM , Rating: 3
And you are a perfect example of why Apple has customers.

I can accept that products can have issues. However, the process that the company takes to resolve these issues forms my opinion on whether to buy their product anymore.

Why do people openly admit serious faults with Apple yet continue to worship them?

RE: Well...
By mattspeer01 on 1/14/2010 3:26:24 PM , Rating: 4
I like Apple's stuff because it's trendy...

That's a great reason to buy a computer...because it's trendy. Nevermind it's inferior performance and ridiculous cost.

RE: Well...
By MonkeyPaw on 1/14/2010 12:56:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, sure seems like Apple is doomed, I mean look at their sales numbers.

Yes, doomed. Remember when Gateway was considered the best? Remember when everyone wanted a Dell? Both of these companies once held the same prestige that Apple holds today. Then they cut quality, the news spread, and now they are considered average at best. Apple charges premium prices for products that look pretty good but quality control appears to be lacking. Right now, Apple has this appearance of quality, but anti-Apple stories are on the rise (and going beyond tech news sites), especially when the "screw you" customer service takes over. If left unchanged, this is what will doom Apple. At least in Dell and Gateway's case, less quality came with a lower sale price. Apple charges thousands for their products, only to have their customers see them overheat, fail, discolor, and break under normal use. They may get there faster than Dell and Gateway at that pace.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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