PDA

View Full Version : Is Apples product quality dropping??


iGav
Nov 12, 2003, 10:55 AM
Okay then, I ask this because of recent experiences of not only myself but also my brother and one of my closest friends.

I'll just list in order of these experiences since I purchased a 500MHz Titanium in early 2001.


500MHz PowerBook G4:

After 3 months the HD died and required replacement.

After 7 months required new screen because of a cluster of 50 stuck pixels smack in the middle of my screen.

Flickering of the screen in the bottom left hand corner.

After 11 months, DVD drive develops intermittent read problem.

Return of screen problems.



700MHz eMac G4 (I recommended it to my PC using brother):

1st day, problems getting it to start up straight out of the box.e.g. the start button didn't always start it up...

2nd day, I was reinstalling OSX in the hope of fixing the starting problem, when it's started smoking from the rear vent, and quickly filled the room (and it's a big room) with smoke and the nastiest of burning smells)

Brother was less than impressed.



1GHz PowerBook G4:

1st day, totally screwed Graphics Card, cluster of dead pixels in middle of screen.

1st Replacement PowerBook:

large scratch on lid (unfortunately also had a perfect screen, the first time ever on 3 PowerBooks, and 4 screens)

2nd replacement PowerBook:

fine.... until...

After 3 months, SuperDrive dies.

After 6 months, screen develops more and more stuck pixels, the dreaded greying area above the 'PowerBook G4' logo.

Also begins to develop crazy liney interference on the screen, likely due to a dodgy logic board.

After 9 months, the bottom case cover becomes loose on the right hand side, with no screw underneath to tighten it up.

Also develops battery fault, not always recharging when plugged in, or begins to recharge, even though the battery is fully charged after been plugged in all day.

After 10 months, begins to freeze after the screen starts displaying the crazy horizontal interference. Or if you move it by a couple of mm when switched on.



Dual G5 (Friends machine):

Delivered with massive scratches, gouges and general dinks, dents on the sides of the case.


Anyway you put it, the above is an astonishing strike rate by any standards... :rolleyes:

Today my 1GHz PowerBook went back to Apple in the hope of having all the problems fixed, I have 4 Case numbers, and the girl on the other end couldn't believe it when I was telling her... :rolleyes:

WinterMute
Nov 12, 2003, 11:06 AM
Nah Gav, Apple hates you that's all, they wait till you order a machine and then go to a special box marked "Utter lemons for iGav" and that's what you get...:D

My 17 PB was toast when it first arrived, buut Apple replaced it and it's been a diamond ever since.

We haven't sent a single G5 back DOA yet, and we're into triple figures now, we sent one back cos it got run over by a tea trolly (no joke):eek:

I think you've just been a bit unlucky, these forums tend to feel like every Mac is a dud, cos people with problems make noise, count the number of "I love my Mac" messages.

yellow
Nov 12, 2003, 11:10 AM
I've been supporting Macs for 10 years now. I've had approximately ~400 of them pass through my hands. In comparision to my Windows counterparts at my job, I spend a fraction of the time fixing/IDing hardware problems that they spend on 1/10th the amount of machines.

There's 1 of me for 250 Macs.
There's 2 of them for 40 Dells/Gateways/home-builds.


That should tell you something.

Espnetboy3
Nov 12, 2003, 11:14 AM
i luv mac

toughboy
Nov 12, 2003, 11:52 AM
I adore my mac...
j'adore mon mac...
mac'ime tapiyorum...

I wish I could say it in different languages other than English, French and Turkish.. :)

7on
Nov 12, 2003, 11:56 AM
"Also develops battery fault, not always recharging when plugged in, or begins to recharge, even though the battery is fully charged after been plugged in all day."

That's usually normal. Batteries tend to drain constantly, so Apple programed the Books to not charge unless power is < 95% therefore saving the battery. Not always recharging when plugged in does happen to me occasionally. But mostly it's prolly due to calculating the battery time to determine if a charge is necessary.

iGav
Nov 12, 2003, 01:13 PM
Originally posted by WinterMute
Nah Gav, Apple hates you that's all, they wait till you order a machine and then go to a special box marked "Utter lemons for iGav" and that's what you get...:D



heheh, I wouldn't be at all surprised you know....


It's just a tad worrying that when I, or in a couple of cases my bro and mate have got a Mac, and there's been serious issues with all of them, and in my case replacement products have had faults as well.... the above list, is I find quite worrying.

7on, it's not just the usual, normal drain though.... it's never happened in any previous PowerBook I've owned.... For example, I can use the PowerBook plugged in all day, then after say 6 hours use, I'll notice that the adapter has turned from green to orange, then I check the battery status in the menu bar and it'll usually give a figure upwards of 1 hour 30 remaining until full, and it's got 2 lights on the battery only.... this is not normal, say I was having to go someone and expeced to use my PowerBook on the battery, then it'd only be half charged, even though it's been plugged in all day... not very handy I can tell you... :eek: :p :p

billyboy
Nov 12, 2003, 01:57 PM
Do you have the same "luck" with cars? The sort whose never had an accident but seen loads in his rear view mirror!

iGav
Nov 12, 2003, 02:12 PM
Originally posted by billyboy
Do you have the same "luck" with cars? The sort whose never had an accident but seen loads in his rear view mirror!

heheheh... no.... :p ;)

you probably don't want to end up sitting in the same plane as me though.... just incase :eek: :eek: :p :p

caveman_uk
Nov 12, 2003, 02:17 PM
iGav, you seem to have had really bad luck. I've bought a PMG4, 17" studio display and an ibook in the last year and they've all been perfect when purchased - not a single dead pixel either.

Note I say 'when purchased' as my ibook went back to Apple today as it's absolutely ****ed. Black screen nearly all the time on boot. When it does boot it goes for about 30 seconds then lines appear and it locks up. Sounds like the logic board of death to me. Sadly from what I've read this is likely to recur even when the part is replaced. Hmmmm....Hopefully it will either be a one off or it will die again quickly and I'll get nearer to a replacement ibook (G4 please). It's in warranty and I also have Applecare :rolleyes:

iGav
Nov 12, 2003, 02:39 PM
Originally posted by caveman_uk
Note I say 'when purchased' as my ibook went back to Apple today as it's absolutely ****ed. Black screen nearly all the time on boot. When it does boot it goes for about 30 seconds then lines appear and it locks up. Sounds like the logic board of death to me. Sadly from what I've read this is likely to recur even when the part is replaced. Hmmmm....Hopefully it will either be a one off or it will die again quickly and I'll get nearer to a replacement ibook (G4 please). It's in warranty and I also have Applecare :rolleyes:

yeah, my PowerBook went back today aswell, I think the logic board is the cause of most of my probs too..., well except the loose case that is :rolleyes:

I'm on an eMac 700MHz with 640MB at the mo, so it's not too bad.... I've promised myself though as soon as PowerBook G5's are released I'm buying... I'm hoping they'll be released the same time as Dual G5 3GHz PowerMacs as I really do need a high end back up machine judging by the fact that I'm actually on first name terms with a couple of the staff in Cork, and now know a couple of goods bars to frequent if I'm ever there because I use AppleCare so often... heheh ;) :D

LethalWolfe
Nov 12, 2003, 02:44 PM
It sounds like you just have had run w/Apple. I had the same problem a few years ago w/portable CD players (not matter what I did, or which brand I purchased they all died w/in a year).

My 1.5 year dual gig QS is still running like a champ, as is my parent's 15" iMac w/superdrive. We also have 10 or 11 QS here at work (running as either audio or video workstations) and besides the occasional permissions fix they haven't need any serviceing at all.

It's just one of those things. All companies have lemons hit the market, you just seem to be a lemon magnet. ;)

Lethal

patrick0brien
Nov 12, 2003, 02:51 PM
-iGAV

Well, you raise a pertinent point. I feel that Apple's quality of software release and hardware design has indeed appeared to have slipped a tad. I have, this year made two personal purchases of Apple Hardware and haven't suffered from some of the stories I have heard.

There are several possibilies as to what is happening to boost stories of QA disaster-nature.
- Apple is selling more software and hardware than ever before in it's past - forget percentages, think pure numbers.
- The are working faster than ever before on R&D, new stuff every six months, new version of OS every year.
- In a shallow, but drawn out recessionary U.S. economic condition...
- During a Global slowdown.
- There are more new users than ever before.
- They are heavily reported upon in the media.
- Judging by accepted economic behaviors, Apple should not exist at all - they are an anomaly
- Expectations of both new customers, and returning customers are higher than ever before.
- Apple continues to be the inventor of the industry. After inventing the Personal Computer, the CD-ROM drive, Firewire, the PDA, and being the first to introduce the GUI*, among all of the other things we love to harp about, they are still the one to watch.

All of this amplifies the tiniest mistake, dent, bug, misship that occurs. It is entirely possible that Apple's Quality has actually never been better, but all of the scrutiny will make mountains of molehills.

There will always be a box that gets past QA. I feel for you that it seems that thes boxes are always destined for you. I think a QA guy has strong dislike for you :D

(*PS to all- I hate having to, but if you wish me to back up the specifics of these, I can readily - but then, that wasn't my point, was it?)

me_94501
Nov 12, 2003, 03:37 PM
I've had mixed luck with Apple's newer hardware:
-My iMac G3 had some issues booting early on. Those problems have since died down. This might've been software, since I haven't had any trouble since upgrading to 10.2.
-My iBook is only 4 months old, but has already had an adapeter replaced, as well as the hard drive and logic board.

Harry K.
Nov 12, 2003, 03:37 PM
I love my Apple iBook, but the only major problem I've had is with iPhoto 2.0 recently. After having it on my computer for several months, it somehow lost all of my photographs. I couldn't reload the Library. So I had to go back y add all of my pictures back and after several atempts, it began working again!

caveman_uk
Nov 12, 2003, 03:51 PM
Originally posted by iGAV
yeah, my PowerBook went back today aswell, I think the logic board is the cause of most of my probs too..., well except the loose case that is :rolleyes:

Maybe they'll meet up and it'll be the start of a beautiful relationship for them:eek:

Seriously, the return box was sent to Dunstable (Near Luton UK). I presume that's a forwarding centre as I didn't know Apple had a repair centre in Dunstable?

jefhatfield
Nov 13, 2003, 01:30 AM
overall i think things have dropped but compared to the major PC makers, one is still better off with apple

as for operating systems, 10.3 had problems, major problems, but i think 10.3.1 will solve that to make initial bad feelings of panther go away

apple could take a few lessons from dell when it comes to customer service

in the end, no company is perfect or even close to it:mad:

i would like a perfect panther os x, dual G5 speed, microsoft's market share, dell's service, emachine's price, and a line of printers which could be made by apple that could rival hp and who knows if apple is headed that general direction or not in the next ten years

if quality speaks for itself, over time apple inc should increase market share

mj_1903
Nov 13, 2003, 02:08 AM
Well, with my run in with Macs in the last 3 years, I would have to say that quality has been quite high.

iBook broke because I broke it.
PowerMac has been perfect.
PowerBook 15" AlBook has no issues. (bought 3 weeks ago in the middle of the screen fiasco).

iPod 40gb - Perfect
iPod 15gb - Perfect
iPod 5gb - Perfect

Other machines:
PowerMac Sawtooth - Perfect
iBook 900 - Perfect
iBook 800 - Dead power adapter
iBook 600 - Perfect

Friends:
PowerBook 15" AlBook - Perfect
PowerMac - Perfect
iBook 500 - Perfect
iBook 700 - Perfect

I would expect issues to come up on my machines because I run them so hard, but I also take good care of them (not to accuse you of not taking good care).

On the other hand, I have been talking to people close and in Apple and they have said that the motto right now is "Innovate now, fix bugs later". The marketing department is pushing Apple to get new releases on or before time to impress the industry and that has been causing slippages (aka Firewire, FileVault, 15" AlBook). Once they get in a groove though as more engineers are hired (look at this next quarters earnings forecast) then we will really see Apple start shining again.

f-matic
Nov 13, 2003, 02:13 AM
just speaking entirely from my own experience, i have two powerbook g3's, both of which have never given me any problems (save for a hard drive dying after i dropped one about 5 feet!) and are still up and running great. for fun i picked up a powerbook 2400, which is going on 7 years old, and it's in fantastic shape with no problems.

contrast that to two friends, one whose powerbook g4 550 does a strange screen flickering thing and has chips falling off it, and one whose ibook 600 has a malfunctioning trackpad and speakers... not to mention the various problems with panther, powerbook 15 screen issues, etc.

granted, some laptops are just lemons. but when i purchased my g3 back in 1999 i remember thinking that apple's products were undeniably sturdily built and better quality than their PC counterparts. now i feel less comfortable saying the same thing..

iGav
Nov 13, 2003, 04:35 AM
Originally posted by caveman_uk
Seriously, the return box was sent to Dunstable (Near Luton UK). I presume that's a forwarding centre as I didn't know Apple had a repair centre in Dunstable?

it's a forwarding centre as far as I know... the packages are checked there, then forwarded to Apple in Frankfurt which has always been the destination for my repairs.

If it's a basic repair, like when my SuperDrive died, it was picked up Wednesday afternoon, shipped to Frankurt and was returned to me Friday morning.... and this was to Coventry... that was very impressive, so fingers crossed they can zoom it through this time.

Yours should be an easy fix if it's just the logic board, mine however is going to take alittle longer me thinks because of all the problems....

<edit> got my dates wrong, the SuperDrive issue was picked up Wednesday Afternoon and returned Friday morning.... stormingly quick service!!

snickelfritz
Nov 13, 2003, 06:36 AM
I owned and loved my 7600 for over 6 years, and hated to part with it.
There's something timeless and enduring about the original PCI Powermac design that transcends advances in speed and technology.
They were living, breathing icons in the DTP and education markets, and are true classics.

That said, my first impression upon opening my new 1ghz G4 Powermac(and my daughter's new iMac) was that the quality and packaging of the product was actually better than in the past. This is especially surprising considering the significant reduction in price.

I'm not sure this design will ever achieve the same kind of "classic" status as the older designs, but it's a helluva nice machine, and that goes triple for the stunning new G5.

Good Job Steve!

iGav
Nov 13, 2003, 11:02 AM
Originally posted by patrick0brien
I feel for you that it seems that thes boxes are always destined for you. I think a QA guy has strong dislike for you :D

strong dislike.... anyone would have thought I'd have slept with his wife/mother/sister.... :eek: :p :p :p

jefhatfield
Nov 13, 2003, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by mj_1903


On the other hand, I have been talking to people close and in Apple and they have said that the motto right now is "Innovate now, fix bugs later".

oh great, bit hat, no cattle:rolleyes:

hey let's go put out the shiniest doorstops!!

i guess no demming award for apple inc

firewizard
Nov 13, 2003, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by iGAV
strong dislike.... anyone would have thought I'd have slept with his wife/mother/sister.... :eek: :p :p :p

maybe he thinks you did all three, is there a daughter in there somewhere?

jefhatfield
Nov 13, 2003, 02:04 PM
Originally posted by firewizard
maybe he thinks you did all three, is there a daughter in there somewhere?

yeah, lisa, the inspiration for the computer by the same name

i don't know of any sisters or legal wife for that matter...i know he lived with a woman but as for the actual legal marriage, i don't know...it would kind of be counter to his counter culture:p

manitoubalck
Nov 13, 2003, 04:50 PM
I have a new theory as to why apple products cost so much:

Because so many of there products are returned faulty, they have to jack the price to compensate for the number of duds they ship, and hence have to replace free of charge.

patrick0brien
Nov 13, 2003, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by manitoubalck
I have a new theory as to why apple products cost so much:

Because so many of there products are returned faulty, they have to jack the price to compensate for the number of duds they ship, and hence have to replace free of charge.

-manitoubalck

You may be right. I think there is some cost-sharing in AppleCare for this purpose as well.

However Apple uses premium, proven OEM parts - no skimping - always has. This is the primary driver of the cost.

MacFan26
Nov 13, 2003, 05:39 PM
I think Apple is at the best quality they've ever been at, remember, they actually shipped laptops that would catch on fire. We just have really high expectations for their products.

jefhatfield
Nov 14, 2003, 06:09 AM
Originally posted by MacFan26
I think Apple is at the best quality they've ever been at, remember, they actually shipped laptops that would catch on fire. We just have really high expectations for their products.

while the apple gear now is better than the early to mid nineties, it is not as good as the gear from 1999 to about mid to late 2001 when the imac, ibook, g3 and g4 powerbooks, and emac came out

some not up to par macs have been 15 inch alubook, many icebooks, and osx 10.0 and 10.3 incarnations, and of course the classic os9 mode in osx

MacFan26
Nov 14, 2003, 12:21 PM
Originally posted by jefhatfield
while the apple gear now is better than the early to mid nineties, it is not as good as the gear from 1999 to about mid to late 2001

You're right that it's gone down in the last couple of years, hopefully they can get it back up again. There would be so many more switchers if they could see that the quality was that good.

jefhatfield
Nov 14, 2003, 12:42 PM
Originally posted by MacFan26
You're right that it's gone down in the last couple of years, hopefully they can get it back up again. There would be so many more switchers if they could see that the quality was that good.

in those days i was in techie school and a techie and those late 90s macs up into 2001 never had any issues...i never had to go on any calls to fix them

but shortly after that, people starting having issues, starting with the os x beta and on after that, and then those logic board problems in various mac models...i don't know what happened but my guess is that apple inc found a cheaper vendor for some of those things and the incresing problems are the result of that

i would still buy ANY mac over ANY PCs unless i had to buy a PC due to software title or programming environment/compiler (apple quality is definitely in the worst slump since 96 or 97 but that can't last forever and when apple rebounds, the quality of mac vs PC won't be the gray area it seems to be now)

i think i will possibly have to do a lot of coding for windows, windows software patches, and other PC stuff, for instance and make up drivers for PC parts so my next computer purchase will have to be a PC and i don't much care which company it is but i am leaning towards a compaq or hp since the price is right and i don't need the gaming strength of an alienware laptop or the multimedia prowess of a sony vaio laptop

and i don't have the money for an ultra expensive mini laptop like some sonys and fujitsus or a super durable outdoor laptop like a panasonic toughbook

when my use of PCs is over after school, i will probably go for a 12 inch powerbook or ibook. but that is many years down the line so by then both models will be sporting G5s or G6s and carry 8 GB of ram out the door

mpopkin
Nov 14, 2003, 01:11 PM
Powerbook quality i believe is indeed dropping, they say over at macworld that 3 out of 6 powerbooks they recieved had problems with them.
I have a Dual G5 and already Apple had to replace a faulty Processor whose thermometer broke, for those who have g5's this means you would be hearing your G5 like a hurricane with fans running at full power and man the fans are powerful, if you thought a vortex fan was good think again this baby could cool your room in a sec. That was the only problem with my Dual G5 so far.

MacFan26
Nov 14, 2003, 07:59 PM
After all the problems with the new powerbooks, I was happy that I just went ahead and bought the 15" 1 GHz Titanium. Since they have such a huge cash reserve, maybe they could work on raising the quality of their parts a little.

Sun Baked
Nov 14, 2003, 08:18 PM
Originally posted by iGAV
heheheh... no.... :p ;)

you probably don't want to end up sitting in the same plane as me though.... just incase :eek: :eek: :p :p Lottery drawing is tommorrow night, there are 52 numbers (Pick 5 - 1to52) in the first batch and 42 in the second (Pick 1).

Could you please choose $9 worth of lottery numbers. (the 5 + 1 for each $)

I think I'll choose my numbers out of whatever numbers iGAV decides not to use.

iGav
Nov 16, 2003, 10:57 AM
Originally posted by MacFan26
After all the problems with the new powerbooks, I was happy that I just went ahead and bought the 15" 1 GHz Titanium. Since they have such a huge cash reserve, maybe they could work on raising the quality of their parts a little.

it's the last TiBook revision that is giving me major hassle.... :rolleyes:

I don't think Apple ever really nailed the quality 100% on the Titanium, and the Aluminium seems to be suffering similar problems... :(

jefhatfield
Nov 16, 2003, 11:14 AM
Originally posted by iGAV
it's the last TiBook revision that is giving me major hassle.... :rolleyes:

I don't think Apple ever really nailed the quality 100% on the Titanium, and the Aluminium seems to be suffering similar problems... :(

this is sacrelidge but with the spots on the screen due to pressure of tightness inside the lcd unit and the pitted lcd due to the design pushing up against the keys, maybe apple should make the powerbook ten percent thicker

Les Kern
Nov 16, 2003, 11:17 AM
I've purchased over 5 million dollars worth of Apple product over the last 6 years, everything from airports, the various laptops and desktops and other gear.
To answer your question in a word: No.

caveman_uk
Nov 16, 2003, 11:35 AM
Originally posted by Les Kern
I've purchased over 5 million dollars worth of Apple product over the last 6 years, everything from airports, the various laptops and desktops and other gear.
To answer your question in a word: No.
You've got a bloody big house then...;)

jefhatfield
Nov 16, 2003, 06:50 PM
Originally posted by caveman_uk
You've got a bloody big house then...;)

one of my high tech clients bought hundreds of PCs and macs in the mid 90s for their workforce to modernize them and in short order they got obsolete...gee, surprise, huh ;)

they are still using these machines because they are not paid for yet

they told me it occured to them, on that scale, that leasing was the better option because chairs, carpets, and cafeteria equipment last longer while computers, as shiny as they can make them look, get obsolete very quickly

another client i have leases their machines and they have kept up fairly decently and when a machine reaches 24 months old, they just turn it in, get a replacement and continue to pay the same rate of rent so that way they never go obsolete

they are up to mirror door G4s running os 9.2 and will stay there for another year and when they migrate to os x, it will be with g5s :)