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View Full Version : Problems with the new MBA???




Rsrchr123
Nov 4, 2010, 10:10 PM
So I currently own a Mac Mini from about two years ago and have been recently toying with the idea of getting a "more capable" Mac to do some video/photo editing. I was dismayed when the iMacs with the screen/heat issues came out and then I saw today they are having problems with the MBA's. The brand new ones. I was very disappointed to see this, especially from a company that claims to be elite in the computer segment.

I read another thread on here where people were praising Apple for being on top of this so quickly, but here's my question: why did it happen at all? That makes no sense to me. I've seen things like this happen before when companies grow too fast. Usually what happens is that the "MBA-types" demand the engineers do things faster and faster - usually at the expense of quality - and this same thing happens. The MBA's who have an inferiority complex around engineers walk away from meetings feeling good they torqued the engineers who in turn walk away mumbling obscenities about MBA's who couldn't spell capacitor.

...OR...this is intentional because it allows them to showcase they are working on stuff, which engenders good will because people view it as positive customer service.

Either way, those of us who pay extra for a Mac get played. I don't want to hear fifty comments saying "mine's fine" because if Apple is actually working on something, that means there is an issue. I've been using Windows 7 for about a year on two separate machines and no problems. The bottom line for me is that my Mini, however limited it may be, is the only Apple computer I will own until they get their QC problems under control.



hcho3
Nov 4, 2010, 10:15 PM
First of all, apple is not perfect and they already have acknowledged that many times in the past. Any electronic devices are possible to be defective. As long as apple remains to be quick and honest enough to their mistakes and fix the problems, then I am fine with that. You can easily exchange your MBA at your local Apple store under your warranty time for any of your issues. If you not happy with that, then don't buy it. Go with someone else.

dmelgar
Nov 4, 2010, 10:42 PM
These devices are complex as is the software which drives them. It is difficult to test every scenario before shipping. Apple does remarkably well at this with the iPhone 4 antennagate as the notable exception.

gonzoguy24
Nov 4, 2010, 11:08 PM
I am one who has gotten a lemon MBA. It has pissed me off to no end BUT Apple basically gave me 100 dollars back and did everything possible to help me out. Lemons happen. To think that EVERY MBA will not have issues is ignorant. I am an Engineer who is constantly being pushed by the MBA (the degree not the computer) types and honestly this is just the nature of the beast. It is like this in every company.

Earlier when i had to send my MBA back I was not in a good mood. Since then I have calmed down and realized the simple truth, that it is just a measly possession and Apple took care of it. Plus I will get to unbox my MBA again!

Altered3
Nov 4, 2010, 11:27 PM
Sure it's annoying that these defects exist, but it's inevitable there will be some issues in any large batch of products. That's why I like the Apple refurb program. Wait a few months and get a refurbished model for a discount, with a full warranty, knowing that Apple has gone over it with a fine toothed comb. I've gotten 2 refurb units, both flawless.

pfjellman
Nov 5, 2010, 01:37 AM
you try manufacturing and shipping 200,000 complex laptop computers in a week and have every single one of them be perfect! the bottom line is, buying any tech is a gamble, especially a 1.0 product. at least with apple, you know you're backed by someone who actually cares about its customers. if the product does not work as advertised, they will fix it!

hell, i just sent in my 15" MacBook Pro from 2006-07 that developed a screen glitch. never had applecare on it. they sent a box, fixed the issue and had it back to me in 3 days. they didn't have to. but they did. that's service right there!

Rsrchr123
Nov 5, 2010, 08:29 AM
you try manufacturing and shipping 200,000 complex laptop computers in a week and have every single one of them be perfect! the bottom line is, buying any tech is a gamble, especially a 1.0 product. at least with apple, you know you're backed by someone who actually cares about its customers. if the product does not work as advertised, they will fix it!

hell, i just sent in my 15" MacBook Pro from 2006-07 that developed a screen glitch. never had applecare on it. they sent a box, fixed the issue and had it back to me in 3 days. they didn't have to. but they did. that's service right there!

Have you not heard of Six Sigma or Kaizen? Plenty of companies whose products I buy utilize those methodologies because they work. It IS possible to cut out some of the glaring errors and Apple is not the only computer manufacturer who cares about their customers after the sale.

Rsrchr123
Nov 5, 2010, 08:32 AM
These devices are complex as is the software which drives them. It is difficult to test every scenario before shipping. Apple does remarkably well at this with the iPhone 4 antennagate as the notable exception.

It's not just antennagate. It's how fragile the glass on those phones turned out to be. I could have overlooked the antenna issue but there has been an 80% increase in damage claims for insurance on those phones. Not cool. There are the yellow screen issues on iMacs and I am still reading way too many instances of where they overheat. Oh, and the white iPhone...

Scepticalscribe
Nov 5, 2010, 08:48 AM
Sure it's annoying that these defects exist, but it's inevitable there will be some issues in any large batch of products. That's why I like the Apple refurb program. Wait a few months and get a refurbished model for a discount, with a full warranty, knowing that Apple has gone over it with a fine toothed comb. I've gotten 2 refurb units, both flawless.

I agree.

Moreover, I'd argue that whenever a new - as in completely innovative - product is first produced, there is a period when quirks and problems may manifest themselves; that is why I never buy any totally new product when it first comes out, for it may take a company a few months to become aware of, and devise solutions to, unexpected glitches and problems.

Cheers

aristobrat
Nov 5, 2010, 08:53 AM
I read another thread on here where people were praising Apple for being on top of this so quickly, but here's my question: why did it happen at all? That makes no sense to me.
Makes perfect sense to me.

Who else in the market is doing all-in-one computers with 27" IPS panels?
Who else in the market is doing sub-notebooks w/ their own flash storage design that does instant on after hibernation?
Who else in the market is doing a smartphone w/ the dimensions/weight of the iPhone that has the same battery life?
Who else in the market is doing MagSafe?
Who else in the market is using an aluminum unibody design?
Who else in the market is using a touchpad that supports the full-range of multitouch motions?

I agree with you that Apple definitely has a checkered pattern with it comes to QC, but it's almost always in regards to some new technology or design that they're trying out (that will be copied by the rest of the industry several years later).

But the way I see it, your beloved HP is a follower when it comes to innovating new designs and features. They play it safe. Yes, their kit may have faster components in it, but when it comes to the design, they're almost always reusing the same boring, needlessly big plastic boxes. That has a definite upside, as you point out -- almost perfect QC.

And when other PC manufacturers do try something new and Apple-like, like the Dell Adamo, they very rarely turn out a product with perfect QC either.

So that's Apple. Almost always trying something new, often making mistakes, fixing them (in a slow and uncommunicative manner that I don't agree with, but usually fixing them none-the-less), and moving on. If that causes you angst, definitely stick with another manufacturer.

neteng101
Nov 5, 2010, 09:00 AM
HP? HP laptops have huge failure rates, makes the 8600GT Nvidia-gate seem trivial in comparison.

From all I've seen here, there's no pandemic with the MBA and its actually one of the least problematic releases for Apple. The recent MBPs had more issues given the numerous i7 heat complains, plus the OSX software auto switching issues between the Intel HD/Nvidia GPU.

The iPhone 4 is unfortunately beautiful but flawed. Apple has huge visibility so even a small number of defects causes alarm, but HP is MUCH WORSE, so is Dell, and a whole bunch of other PC laptop manufacturers. But by far, HP is definitely the black sheep - I'd rather buy an Acer/Dell vs. any HP.

P/S - 3 of 3 of my colleagues that have new HP laptops at work have had hardware issues with them. The ones with new Dells are doing ok.

alias99
Nov 5, 2010, 09:02 AM
Most of the posts on here seem to come from long time mac users. As a long time PC user and soon to be converted to Mac when my Air arrives, I can say that Ive heard of far more stories of PC laptop makers having problems than apples. I have many friedns with macs who have had no problems for years.

On the PC side Ive had numerous laptops in the past and barley any of them last long. Most of them seem to have a lack of cooling, use plastic parts that get damaged easily, build quality is extremely low, battery life is terrible and drops in performance significantly over time. I dont just buy cheap ones before someone brings that up, I have had all sorts from cheap to the most expensive.

Customer support in general isnt great from manufacturers such as HP, Acer, Toshiba etc.

Yes that mac can have some problems but name me another company that builds laptops with 100% working rate when with the end user. Fact is that electronics can have problems! and if you do with apple its a simple fix, you take it back to them and you get a replacement or a repair!

Also as a student to be able to buy 3 year car for 40 GBP is fantastic as its cheaper than most alternatives and Apple support seems to be far greater

With the Iphones, yes it was a massive **** up, but when i was deciding weather to get one or not I realised that im going to have a case anyway (buying a 450 GBP phone and not having any protection is silly) and that the case would solve the antenna problem, therefore it made no difference to me whatsoever. I get perfect signal always full bars with 3g

Thats just my opinon

chrono1081
Nov 5, 2010, 09:03 AM
Have you not heard of Six Sigma or Kaizen? Plenty of companies whose products I buy utilize those methodologies because they work. It IS possible to cut out some of the glaring errors and Apple is not the only computer manufacturer who cares about their customers after the sale.

No offense OP but you seem to be combatting everything everyone throws at you. If you don't want a mac, dont get it but they have a lot less failure rate then many other electronic companies out there.

Also Circuit City did the whole "Six Sigma" thing which just like every other corporate methodology, is a joke. Companies try and hide behind those to prove to customers their product is superior, but in the end, actions speak louder then words. Apple giving me refunds for my "inconvenience" to the tune of $179 for a defective ACD and overnighting me a new one says much more than any corporate methodology.

aristobrat
Nov 5, 2010, 09:06 AM
It's not just antennagate. It's how fragile the glass on those phones turned out to be. I could have overlooked the antenna issue but there has been an 80% increase in damage claims for insurance on those phones. Not cool.
FWIW, here's the summary from the report you're quoting from:

The aluminosilicate glass seem to crack at least as often as the old glass, and there is now twice as much surface area to break.

Despite this troubling increase, it's important to take the accident rate into perspective. Overall, the iPhone is still a very well constructed device, with a non-accident malfunction rate much lower than most other consumer electronics.
http://www.squaretrade.com/pages/iphone4-glass-study

bowlerman625
Nov 5, 2010, 02:01 PM
Had mine since Monday. So far everything is great. I get more impressed every day!

Rsrchr123
Nov 5, 2010, 03:36 PM
FWIW, here's the summary from the report you're quoting from:


http://www.squaretrade.com/pages/iphone4-glass-study

What matters to me though on this is not how it compares to other consumer products but how it compares to the product it was supposed to replace. In that regard, it seems to be worse.

diablo2112
Nov 5, 2010, 06:56 PM
What matters to me though on this is not how it compares to other consumer products but how it compares to the product it was supposed to replace. In that regard, it seems to be worse.

How fortunate for you! The iphone 3Gs is *still* being sold by Apple. You can easily buy it instead! Problem solved.

Rsrchr123
Nov 6, 2010, 06:40 PM
How fortunate for you! The iphone 3Gs is *still* being sold by Apple. You can easily buy it instead! Problem solved.

Couldn't agree more. Still on the fence about getting it, because I'm not sure that I want to be locked into a contract if the next iPhone is better than 4. However, I'm not sure they will get rid of the glass back on the next one. In fact, I've considered buying the iPad for Christmas because I am concerned the glass back might make its way over to that device, which would make me want nothing to do with it.

I wasn't surprised by the voracity of pro-Apple comments in response to my thread nor was I intending to start a flame war. In fact, as I sit here right now, my Mini is exporting a slide show into QT. There is another thread on here wherein an MBA owner whose computer died voiced frustration and said they are not first-gen devices. You can split hairs all day long on whether it is or is not a first-gen device. What matters is that there are problems that IMO should not have seen the light of day. If that is innovation, I will pass. If enough people had that attitude, Apple would be focused on fixing issues instead of rushing things out the door in the name of innovation. It's not as if the MBA is going to drive my car and brush my teeth for me.

I would just like to see them getting things right to begin with, or at least to the point where I could be confident enough to upgrade my Mini. Until then, I'll keep using my iPhone and Mini, along with my PC.

Rsrchr123
Nov 6, 2010, 06:47 PM
No offense OP but you seem to be combatting everything everyone throws at you. If you don't want a mac, dont get it but they have a lot less failure rate then many other electronic companies out there.

Also Circuit City did the whole "Six Sigma" thing which just like every other corporate methodology, is a joke. Companies try and hide behind those to prove to customers their product is superior, but in the end, actions speak louder then words. Apple giving me refunds for my "inconvenience" to the tune of $179 for a defective ACD and overnighting me a new one says much more than any corporate methodology.

No offense taken. I share your skepticism on "corporate methodologies" but I'm not sure that one failed company invalidates a particular methodology.

The point of this article is that I DO want a new Mac but I'm not confident enough in their QC to buy one. Having to lug a new iMac back to the mall, or having a MBA die on me would be the end of my patronage for their computers. I am typing this on a Dell Inspiron box right now that I have had for almost four years with no problems whatsoever. I am using an adjustable height HP monitor with HDMI. While I know there are plenty who've had issues with Dell & HP, so far, fortunately, I am not one of them. So as I debate shelling out > $1000 on a new Mac, I am asking if it will be as reliable as what I've had. When I see yellow screen iMac stories, overheating iMacs, and faulty MBA's, it makes me want to stick with what I have in the way of Mac because I'm not sure that something new won't come with more headaches.

sectime
Nov 6, 2010, 06:56 PM
you try manufacturing and shipping 200,000 complex laptop computers in a week and have every single one of them be perfect! the bottom line is, buying any tech is a gamble, especially a 1.0 product. at least with apple, you know you're backed by someone who actually cares about its customers. if the product does not work as advertised, they will fix it!

hell, i just sent in my 15" MacBook Pro from 2006-07 that developed a screen glitch. never had applecare on it. they sent a box, fixed the issue and had it back to me in 3 days. they didn't have to. but they did. that's service right there!
If you have a NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT video card and it caused the problem there is a repair program. We pay a premium for Apple products partly because of the customer service. My Macpro 8 core is on its second motherboard, first in warranty, second one handled one phone call. Luv the:apple:

sectime
Nov 6, 2010, 07:08 PM
No offense taken. I share your skepticism on "corporate methodologies" but I'm not sure that one failed company invalidates a particular methodology.

The point of this article is that I DO want a new Mac but I'm not confident enough in their QC to buy one. Having to lug a new iMac back to the mall, or having a MBA die on me would be the end of my patronage for their computers. I am typing this on a Dell Inspiron box right now that I have had for almost four years with no problems whatsoever. I am using an adjustable height HP monitor with HDMI. While I know there are plenty who've had issues with Dell & HP, so far, fortunately, I am not one of them. So as I debate shelling out > $1000 on a new Mac, I am asking if it will be as reliable as what I've had. When I see yellow screen iMac stories, overheating iMacs, and faulty MBA's, it makes me want to stick with what I have in the way of Mac because I'm not sure that something new won't come with more headaches.
Well if a failure rate of what .01 percent or so, if you count forum postings, and they are all truthful, it is the internet after all. Then thats not what is stopping you. How to do deal when your car or toaster breaks down?? Early adopters choose the risk of product kinks. I have dealt with it as a "feature" You seem to live by one strike your out, not a reasonable position to take in today's market.

ImperialX
Nov 6, 2010, 07:10 PM
There is no QC problem.

Rsrchr123
Nov 7, 2010, 07:58 AM
If you have a NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT video card and it caused the problem there is a repair program. We pay a premium for Apple products partly because of the customer service. My Macpro 8 core is on its second motherboard, first in warranty, second one handled one phone call. Luv the:apple:

Okay, fair enough, but my PC is still on its original parts?? My Mini is still on its original parts, which is why I'm going to keep what I have for now.

We can go back and forth on whether there is or is not an actual QC problem but the reality is that perception plays a big role. There seems to be an issue on some of their things and it's disappointing because I don't want to take a chance on loading everything up only to find a problem.

Incidentally, along the same lines of things that I feel should have been caught, I noticed my phone didn't update to daylight savings time. Then I saw this article in the Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/07/AR2010110700374.html
You can praise them for doing something about this but how long has the iPhone been out without a fix for this? As smart as their people are, I don't buy that they didn't test/think about this.