Last year saw Apple debut the first ARM-powered macOS laptops with the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. The excited early adopters of the Apple Silicon laptops pushed sales figures for the Mac platform higher than ever.
But is there a sting in the tail with these new machines? And will it give consumers reason to think again about a purchase this summer?
“Just closed and opened my MacBook pro and it was cracked while it was just sitting. Apple decided it’s my fault.”
“…noticed this with mine as well last night. No sign of impact on case side, or screen side, but the inner LCD is definitely cracked about 4″ long.”
“Just had this happen to me upon opening my M1, it hasn’t moved from my desk since purchase and it’s only 15 days old, apple must have a know issue as support immediately said they would repair it for free but it will take a while…”
Although the external design of the current MacBook Pro laptops has remained static, internal changes would have been made to accommodate the new chip architecture and other electronic design elements, You would assume that all of these would be in the lower case, but as with everything the entire design has to be considered.
A number of suggestions have been made as to the final trigger on the breakages, with foreign objects being trapped between the screen and the keyboard base, and excessive torque being imparted on the screen when the unit is closed. No doubt Apple has the data from the damaged units it has repaired or replaced to understand the causes, but as yet nothing has been communicated directly to consumers.
This is not the first time that Apple has faced issues with its MacBook screens. A spate of failures starting in 2016 dubbed ‘fluxgate’ saw a design flaw in the MacBook screen assembly placing too much strain on the ribbon cable that would eventually degrade over time. iFixit’s Whitson Gordon:
“Apple, in an effort to make their laptops even thinner and sleeker, is using thin, fragile flex cables to connect the display to the display controller board beneath the touch bar. In this space-saving design, the thin cable wraps around a small circuit board where it is pulled taut as the laptop opens and closes. After a year or two of opening and closing the laptop, the cable will wear down, causing the display to start failing with a distinctive stage-light effect.”
Many MacBook users will be looking at their new M1 powered MacBooks and wondering if another design flaw has crept into the laptop display as Apple continues to chase the idea of thinner and thinner laptops. No doubt they will also be wondering if Apple will take as long to acknowledge the issue and address it under warranty.