Delusions of Quality

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by lord_flash, Jul 15, 2004.

  1. lord_flash macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2003
    Location:
    Brighton, England
    #1
    Ok, so I've not written anything for a bit, but I think it's time to point out that Apple Computer's "legendary reputation for quality" is absoloute bobbins. Nearly a year ago I bought a G4 PowerBook 15" – the lovely new aluminium one wveryone was making afuss about at the time – and I can honestly say that no computer I've ever owned has given me more trouble.

    For a start the screen quickly developed gruseome blotches which, frankly, don't look too good. Hardly the quality components that Steve Jobbs goes on about. Or was it, dare I say it, shoddy design? Either way, one off Apple's so-called specialities down the hole there.

    Then, the other night, the power adapter blew up with a loud bang and flash. Less than a year old. My 4 year old Sony Vaio, which has led a much harder life, still works fine by the way. It is also smaller. And lighter. No I don't like Windows much, but it has to be said that the Vaio - which cost exactly the same as the Mac - is looking better value for money at the moment. Screen is still very even too, by the way.

    So, in short, Apple's build quality is shoddy. The only legitimate claim against this is the Powerbook is sturdy. Course it is. It's solid metal. That's why it weighs so much. That's not design elegance, that's the durability equivalent of saying 'well, if we strap an inch of steel to the sides of this car, boss, it'll be bullet proof'. True, but not exactly an elegant solution.
    And the alluminium still scratches pretty easily.

    OK, I'm done, but well, I think I'm switching back next time.
     
  2. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #2
    The blotches on the screen is a known issue for rev. A 15" AluBooks. You should've contacted Apple and have the screen swapped. You didn't, so that's your fault.

    Dunno about the power adapter, though. That's a weird one.
     
  3. Ajmbc macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Location:
    Louisiana
    #3
    This isn't normal- Why don't you call AppleCare?

    The power adapter should be replaced too.
     
  4. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2000
    Location:
    54140
    #4
    Any computer manufacturer produces items with defects. When computers are made from components from different companies, assembled offshore, shipped here, there is bound to be the possibility that somewhere along the line, something goes wrong.

    Now, you're upset, and we can tell that. But as other people have mentioned: yes, the uneven screen/white spots on Al PowerBooks was, in fact a defect. That was an issue in *only* the first run of these computers. The problem was fixed, and hasn't surfaced since. You however, didn't get yours replaced. Don't complain.

    I recently purchased a PowerBook after owning an iBook since March, and recently purchased an iPod as well, and I have to say that they are the most perfect pieces of technology that I have ever owned. The fit and finish of every one of the parts was perfect. Every time. Apple's "Illusion" of quality isn't just mystical historical BS, it's the truth. Each piece is designed perfectly to fit with the other, not designed for maximum compatability like many other machines are designed. In all of my experience, it's been true quality, not percieved.
     
  5. ExoticFish macrumors 6502a

    ExoticFish

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Location:
    The inner depths of madness, aka Kent, OH
    #5
    i don't understand why people start trash talking like this when they've only had problems with one in particular item. sometimes you get a shoddy one, it happens. it's impossible for there to never be a problem. looks like you had a problem with one machine so you're calling Apple out. now personally i've got a huge beef with Western Digital hard drives. why? cause i work LAN Support and i've seen more Western Digitals die than anything else (i've got two dead ones on my desk right now). if one died i wouldn't call up WD and start yelling, but i've had a constant problem with them. the newer ones (120GB and up) seem to be a lot more reliable for me.

    anyway, please don't bitch and moan because you bought a rev. A machine and expect 100% no problems. Call Apple and they'll fix it cause it's still under warrenty.
     
  6. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #6
    I am not sure about the quality of the Viao's. Had one for work a couple years ago or so. The first went DOA after 2 weeks, got Best Buy to replace it. Then just after the warranty the CD drive goes south. Then a couple months later the power supply goes.

    Guess we all have bad units from time to time.
     
  7. paulypants macrumors 6502a

    paulypants

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    #7
    You're lucky that your sony hasn't blown up on you. It's ironic really, because I worked for VAIO tech support for over a year and quit along with othersbecause of the shear volume of quality complaints we had. IT WAS ASTOUNDING the amount of problems those things have. IMO sony should stop making cpus all together--they don't seem to care about quality control at all. I'd say a good 25% were DOA and the rest shoulda been.

    Sorry to hear about your troubles, but NO ONE is perfect in the electronics/tech biz...some are just worse than others.
     
  8. lord_flash thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2003
    Location:
    Brighton, England
    #8
    OK, well in general everyone has made fair points, and I'm calmer now having found out I can get a new power supply by "Monday-ish probably sir" but I'd contest the "I don't understand why people start trash talking... when they've only had problems with one item". The answer there is that, you know, £2000 is a hell of a lot of money to spend on a computer so the chances are they haven't had that many items. I'd say. And if yoou've only got one it's even more frustrating when it doesn't work! (Also, arguably the power supply is a seperate box, and both the Mac and the PSU are some way from perfect).

    Incidentally, Apple have been a bit sniffy about fixing the screen too. I want (for fairly obvious reasons) a new power supply straight away, but am not prepared to give the machine away for the length of time it'll take to get the screen done until after I've finished my current project - deadline 31st July. After which time I'd like to get the screen sorted since it's still under warranty and the resale value will be higher (towards my next PC - he said deliberately to antagonise you lot) ;). Anyway, the chap at the Apple Authorised whatever says that he can't fix the screen within a month of doing the PSU because Apple will assume the original fix (the PSU) was faulty and refuse to pay him for subsequent ones (the screen). Mental? I'd say.

    Finally, If you'd bought a fridge and it was 'rev A' would you mind if it didn't work? Why should I be any less justified in being annoyed that my computer doesn't work because I bought it early in it's life? You're effectively saying that the first people to buy something should be the testers.

    Even if you think this is OK, consumers as a whole won't. Apple should take more care over their reputation.
     
  9. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #9
    Why go through a reseller then? Deal with Apple directly. If they replace your LCD you'll have it back in under a week and they won't wait a month to start.
     
  10. ExoticFish macrumors 6502a

    ExoticFish

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Location:
    The inner depths of madness, aka Kent, OH
    #10
    sorry about my harsh reply earlier. it was early, i was cranky. ;)

    i just read a lot of noobie posts where they thought that everything <Enter Product Name Here> was supposed to be 100% and as soon as they have a problem they start complaining.

    it is a pain when you spend a lot of money for something that doesn't work right, but i hope you get you problems fixed soon and enjoy your PowerBook as much as i'm enjoying mine. :)
     
  11. applefan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Location:
    No. Cal.
    #11
    Over the last three years I've purchased an iBook, two PBs, iMac, an Airport, an Airport Extreme, and an iPod. The only problem I can report is the iMac had to have the logic board replaced about a month after purchase. Apple handled this promptly and to my satisfaction. All other equipment has meet or exceeded my expectations.

    Something to keep in mind, however; Apple manufactures few if any of its products. They are comprised of the same parts as its competitors products, and in many cases I'll bet they are assembled in the same factories, so why should anyone expect them to be so superior to other reputable manufacturers products?

    Apple will tell you its product are superior, and so will HP, IBM, GMC, Ford and everyone else. This is called puffing. We hear it all the time from everyone.
     
  12. slughead macrumors 68030

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #12
    Well that's the biggest load of crap ever.

    If apple has good quality they should've gone out of their way to contact every owner of the powerbook and told them there was a recall going on.

    No, that's not asking too much, it's actually THEIR fault, and now they've lost a customer.

    I'm no troll but I had no idea Apple hadn't contacted people about the 15"PB problems, that's the biggest load of crap ever.

    Now I'm pissed, I'm amazed at Apple's arrogance, and moreover the arrogance of mac users who think that if any time someone has a problem with Apple it's their own fault.
     
  13. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #13
    While in a perfect world Apple would have done what you have said. But in the real world most companies only do recalls when required to. Goodwill recalls happen when a majority of a product have issues.

    It is up to the consumer to call the company, and ask/demand that issues be taken care of.
     
  14. slughead macrumors 68030

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #14
    Well I certainly would have, but if I found out hundreds of other people had the same problem, I would do what this guy did: never buy another product from that company again.

    This represents a constant problem with Apple, whenever there's a defect it requires thousands of pissed off people to call them on it before they acknowledge there's a problem, and even then they still might not do squat about it.

    Anyone have the timeline on the iBook logicboard problem? how long did it take? How about the iPod battery debacle? The applescript-web exploit (which was known for 8 months prior)? How about 10.1.X not working with the beige G3s? That one actually effected me, I had to reinstall twice and read slashdot's comment section for an hour to find out that it wasn't me or my hardware that was the problem .. and I HATE slashdot!!

    And the fan-boys OOH the fan-boys.. they make stuff so much harder with their constant PICNIC attitude (problem in chair, not in computer).. I got burned when I downloaded 10.2.8 the first time and it fried my permissions to the point of not being able to boot (among other things). I had fan-boys breathing down my neck, including a developer from unsanity, telling me that it's "user error."

    It doesn't seem worth it just to be able to call these fan-boys out, considering I still had to put up with their crap in the first place. I should've gotten an e-mail, a letter, ANYTHING.. just for god's sake give me something.

    Every company makes mistakes, but every time Apple makes one it takes far too long for them to acknowledge it, this 15" thing is just another notch in the stick for the apple-haters. And they're right about one thing: there is barely anything we can do about it once we've bought into the proprietary niche.

    For the record, I just bought a DP 2.5, I didn't buy a year ago because I knew about Apple's history with new product lines--a precaution I should not have to take.

    [EDIT
    Because of Apple's position and the fact that nearly all of their products rely on good faith, they should bend over backwards to fix their mistakes and apologize whenever something happens ASAP. Since it has happened so many times in the past, they should really link their tech support lines directly to the engineers to tabulate results and how likely something is a defect and not a PICNIC problem. This is what they should do, even if they don't, I now know how to find problems with their products before I buy them--something many users don't know how to do.]
     
  15. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #15
    Apparently defects increased considerably as more products began to be manufactured in China instead of the U.S. Apple has done some shifting over there and the problems got worked out. Build quality problems probably will pop up again and get fixed again. While there are many manufacturers in China that build quality products, there are many more that do not. Unfortunately many businesses discover this fact too late or believe that they will somehow avoid such problems. Hopefully Apple will take serious action to get this under control or move production elsewhere.


    I used to work for a company that rebadged computer equipment from various suppliers in China. Only about one in seven units actually worked at all upon receipt but they cost so little that they were still the cheapest supplier. Most of the remaining products failed within a year after purchase by our customers, but that was seen as an opportunity to sell them a new model and make another sale. Overall quality has improved since then but still has a long ways to go.
     
  16. tjwett macrumors 68000

    tjwett

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NYC
    #16
    i have to agree, Apple has released some questionable hardware over the past few years. from the iBook Logic board issues to the iPod Mini problem to the MDD PowerMac power supply thing. i've owned two laptops in the past few years; a Titanium and a 12" PowerBook. these two machines were a big let down in a lot of ways. mostly the flimsyness. recently my 12" PB was bumped (and gently) on the back and the LCD turned into a lava lamp. meanwhile my sister's drop their iBooks to the ground on a daily basis and they keep on ticking. the PowerBooks are just too damn delicate. i won't buy another Apple laptop any time soon.
     
  17. ExoticFish macrumors 6502a

    ExoticFish

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Location:
    The inner depths of madness, aka Kent, OH
    #17
    i've had a titanium and not my new albook and i've never noticed any "flimsyness". they have been some of the most solid machines i've ever had (perhaps next to my old IBM 600E). i've dropped, bumped my PB plenty of times and it's never even thought twice about running nice and smooth.
     

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