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Apple blasted for defunct iMac LCDs, ignores users

updated 12:20 am EDT, Fri August 22, 2008

Users angry over iMacs

Apple is facing scrutiny for ignoring long-standing issues with the flatscreen iMacs, going back as far as the iMac G5, where vertical lines surface in the LCD displays of the popular desktop [2|3|4|5|6|7|8]. While some users were fortunately covered by either the limited AppleCare or AppleCare Service and Support Plan, others have been told to either cover the repair themselves or work out a compromise for living with the issue (such as purchasing an external LCD display).

A common answer heard by many is that technicians have not heard of the issue, despite the issue being felt by allegedly thousands around the world.

The issues could point to a design flaw, since the display is mounted to key structural points on the chassis, which users tend to hold to move the machine around.

Users are urging each other to band together as to create a voice that Apple will hear, since privately, it has dismissed many users complaints.

by MacNN Staff




  1. BWhaler

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The trend

    Apple has been shipping beta software and had manufacturing issues for a couple of years now. This has been ignored because Apple's small market share and loyal fan base.

    But articles like this are going to get more and more common now that the iPhone 3G & mobileme disaster has put focus on Apple's terrible quality. The only thing Apple has going for themselves is M$ is worse.

    I buy a ton of Apple products, both personally and as a CTO, and I really worry about quality. I love Apple's innovation and the company's service, but without quality, the party is going to end sooner than anyone can imagine.

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    alledgedly, etc.

    With the grumbles this story cites, are there any actual statistics that can give an idea as to how many people this effects. These "alleged thousands" of disgruntled customers don't tell us anything about actual numbers. Normally I'd suggest that the publication show a chart of forums and a round number of different persons speaking of complaints, but then again we can't forget this is MacNN.

    All the same, this goes to show that if a display is that important, maybe buying an "all-in-one" isn't as smart as you might have thought. Personally, I'd expect more from Apple. In my experience, they are very prompt about just replacing whatever is broke when it's under warranty, though I prefer to just take it to a local qualified apple repair store.

    In fact, that's what I'd suggest to all of these complaining persons. Qualified repair centers aren't directly affiliated with Apple and in my experience are quick to make warranty repairs and replacement where Apple would be more stringent. You don't get the whole "this is not covered because it doesn't appear to be an initial defect" line from them- they just do the work and bill it all to Apple. When they send the entire machine to Apple when they realize they can't do something (rarely happens, but it does) they've already approved it for repair under warranty, so their isn't any arguing.

    Anyone find such places different in policy?

  1. ViktorCode

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Vertical lines

    My lcd (non-Apple) has 1 vertical line. When it first appeared after about 5 years of use I researched the subject and it turned out that this is only lcd's fault, graphics board isn't involved.

    Google for "lcd vertical line" and you will see that the problem is far from rare. Apple specific? Not at all. ANY lcd could sport one.

    The question is to everyone and to BWhaler with his "The trend" post: why should Apple replace lcd with expired limited warranty for free, when everyone else in the world does not? If you wanted to see all Apple products covered with lifetime warranty, please say so. If you want to proove that this is a design flaw, please do. And please understand a simple thing: electronic circuits' components do age too, so they are going to break somewhere down their lifetime.

  1. todddixon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The real issue... that a specific contiguous serial number address range of iMacs is affected. This represents a faulty batch of LCD's being supplied to Apple. These are the same model LCD's that were supplied before and after the faulty batch therefore there is a solid legal case towards getting a free replacement by supplier or manufacturer owing to a demonstrably inferior production run of that model.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969



    That is the risk we take when buying all-in-one computers, the LCD is the weakest factor. Generally i had more problems with the pro models, every G5 tower had its issues it seems.

  1. Tenex

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Had it fixed

    This happened to me about a month out of the 1 year warranty. As the iMac had been in for a minor cosmetic repair a few weeks earlier Apple said they'd change the LCD. I got the impression this was based on two things: 1. I hadn't used AppleCare during the 12 months 2. the recent service. I strongly suspect that had the iMac not been in the shop within 3 months before the lines appeared they would have refused to fix it. However they did and I've ensured I buy AppleCare ever since. It really is pretty poor in an age when the same LCDs are getting 3 year warranties in other products that Apple doesn't institute a 3 year warranty for the screen but charge labour for fixing it if you don't buy AppleCare.

  1. ratpH1nk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Like someone else said

    this is a normal type of failure for an LCD, regardless of its form factor. I have had similar failures on a Nintendo DS, a cell phone and a mobile DVD player. This is no conspiracy, just normal hardware failure. Could "thousands" of iMacs LCDs failed? h*** yes. Have thousands of non-Apple LCDs failed in the same timeframe? Yes. This is a non-story.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This is the reason you're being money foolish if you don't buy the 3-year warranty on any computer with a built-in screen.

  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "HATE Apple" article?

    I always wonder when these "hit" pieces come out. Apple is ALWAYS at fault for not being perfect. There is no comparison to other companies and how they react, its just a b**** and moan approach.

    Just a thought, but I believe its called trolling for hits ???? LOL

    Just a thought.

  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    opps PS

    PS. Thanks to the posters above who actually researched the info or had actual experience and posted with an intelligent and professional approach.

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