I’m watching WWDC right now with Apple on my mind. Apple has built some amazing devices and a sterling reputation. It’s mostly deserved, but there are exceptions and unfortunately my start-up is living one of them.
In the last three years, we’ve purchased two iMacs and four MacBook Pros. Guess how many of them had device-breaking hardware failures?
One iMac, which thankfully occurred early enough that we got it exchanged.
Two of the four MacBook Pros. One just died today, thus this post, and the third is apparently on its last legs.
That’s 3 out of 6 Apple computers.
That’s a 50% failure rate.
Quoted costs to fix the MacBook Pro were knee-buckling, upwards of $500.
In case you think this is an isolated incident, Google “2011 MacBook Pro problem” and check out the results:
I’ll save you the trouble and quote a passage:
According to a 157-page thread on the Apple Support Communities forum, an increasing number of owners of early- to late-2011 MacBook Pros with discrete graphics cards are seeing what is being reported as hardware-related system crashes. And the problem appears to be getting worse.
With 206,237 views and 2,348 replies, the forum thread dates back to February 2013 with a steady stream of posts all citing issues with the discrete graphics card. Since the start of December, 53 pages of posts have been added to the growing discussion.
Many people who have posted to corresponding Internet threads are upset that Apple is not warrantying the problem. If the problem isn’t widespread and proves to be isolated to only specific users, Apple’s position is understandable and defensible. But if, as some users and sites are now suggesting, the problem is more widespread (one Redditor states the Apple thread addressing the issue exceeds 200,000 views), Apple will have a problem on its hands.
Come on Apple. There’s definitely something going on here — an anecdotal 50% failure rate 3 years out is just not acceptable.
Did we get the extended Apple Care? No, we’re a start-up and we didn’t think we’d need to plan on half our Macs failing.
Apple should do the right thing and offer some kind of recompense. They did it for the iPhone 5 and they need to do something similar here; else risk irreparable harm to their brand.
Already I’m watching WWDC with a big dose of cynicism. It just doesn’t feel as cool cheering for Apple with two dead Macs on the desk.
If your MacBook Pro’s screen looks like this, welcome to the club.
Update (October 28, 2014): And now it’s 4 out of 6 dead Mac computers. Terrible.