(Photo: PC Service Dallas, via FrontPageTech) Last year, an unusual change was made to Apple’s support documentation. On July 2, 2020, the company warned users not to close the laptop with anything between the screen and the glass. According to Apple, anything more than 0.1 mm thick, or about the thickness of a single sheet of paper, can destroy the screen. A common strip of masking tape that some people used to cover the webcam is 0.15mm thick – 50 percent thicker than Apple’s maximum tolerance.
Today, Bursor and Fisher attorneys announced that they have sued Apple in a class action lawsuit for allegedly breaking the display on an M1. “The M1 MacBook is defective because the screens are extremely fragile, crack, darken or show magenta, purple and blue lines and squares or otherwise no longer work,” says the lawsuit. End users with broken screens are reportedly being billed $ 600-850 for repairs even though the M1 is under warranty as Apple claims the problem was a “user error.”
The law firm argues that Apple, with a second notification released on August 27, 2021, warning end users not to close their laptops with a camera cover, palm rest, or keyboard cover, acknowledges the problem without assuming responsibility.
Apple has lost its credibility with repair claims
There was a time when Apple’s credibility and reputation for quality products was ironclad, but it hasn’t been for years. The company’s repeated failure to resolve issues with its butterfly keyboard eventually forced it to revert to a modified version of the previous design – but not before treating customers with three separate iterations of faulty hardware, with keys jammed on a single grain of sand what requires replacing a $ 600 module.
Apple never recognized Flexgate, but it has quietly redesigned the MacBook to use longer cables after end-user displays failed. It shipped early Core i9 systems with a broken BIOS, causing the machines to throttle heavily. Its T2 processor is known to cause problems with USB audio devices. It has been known that charging some of his laptops on the “wrong” side degrades their overall performance.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro runs fine until you connect an external monitor. At that point, the GPU spins to overdrive, turning the machine into a jet turbine. The solution is to exploit a software bug in the macOS display settings. We saw Apple deliberately remove parts of iPhones and then lie to the public about how reliable they would be. It was caught reducing the performance of devices to hide the fact that defective batteries were being shipped.
Almost every company has shipped a lemon product before, but few have acted as arrogantly as this. An urban myth circulated for years claiming that Apple purposely slowed down iPhones when new versions of the operating system came out to encourage customers to buy a new phone. The truth was more prosaic.
Apple made relatively little effort to test its new OS versions on older devices at the time, and the poor performance reflected this. The company eventually stepped up its testing efforts and the experience of using a new version of Apple iOS on an older device improved significantly. So what did Apple do when a batch of batteries was accidentally exposed to air, reducing their overall lifespan? It introduced a hidden program to slow down user devices without notifying those users or allowing them to turn it off. There are urban myths about many companies, but few take deliberate steps to confirm the previously unsubstantiated allegations.
And after years of watching these things happen, it’s hard to argue that Apple deserves the benefit of the doubt when it comes to things like this.
Get to know the CrackBook Pro
What do the iPhone 4, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple’s butterfly keyboard fiasco, Flexgate and this (admittedly still theoretical) screen smash problem have in common? They all represent instances where Apple either didn’t foresee how its products would be used, or simply didn’t care one way or another.
The iPhone 6 Plus could bend if it were in your pocket. The butterfly keyboard practically had to be kept in clean room conditions and was designed in such a way that it would be unusable if it broke. Flexgate issues started appearing when people opened their displays wider than Apple obviously thought they should open. In each and every one of these cases, Apple either ignored the problem or blamed people for it until it was found that no, it was actually Apple’s fault.
Just because a lawsuit is filed doesn’t mean a company actually has a problem; Many class action lawsuits are filed on issues that never become real issues. Most Apple products – the vast majority of Apple products in absolute terms – are high quality designs. The problem, especially in the Mac family, is that many more systems fall through the cracks than was previously thought acceptable. Fragile laptops that require expensive repairs are starting to look like an Apple branded strategy.
I don’t know yet if Apple’s M1 MacBook Pro has a screen splintering problem. What I do know is that Apple previously warned about this issue, it has released very tight tolerances on the thickness of material that could fit between the laptop and the lid, and it has a history of covering up its own issues when shipping what I would argue effectively defective goods. It remains to be seen whether this particular issue is a hardware failure, but one thing we can rely on: If so, we probably won’t find out about it from Apple first. At least not, unless it can blame someone else.