AppleCare a necessity! $1,600 in repairs - 2.5 years

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by techmonkey, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. techmonkey macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #1
    I bought my MacBook Pro summer 2007. About a year later I had to send it in, Logic Board replaced, $700. Early 2009, battery replaced, $130. Last month, display assembly replaced, $700. Today, power adapter replaced (no frays, kinks, just didnt work anymore), $80.

    I take care of my gadgets and my MBP hardly ever leaves the house. Bad quality control? I love Apple design but Im not sure if I will ever buy another Apple laptop again.

    I know I may get hell for this post, just a bit disappointed that I needed so many repairs done. I bought my wife a $550 Compaq R3000 laptop about 5 years ago, its still going strong with no issues...

    Summary: If you buy a Apple laptop, buy AppleCare!

    FYI - The prices above were taken today from iFixit.com. Could cost more or less depending on who repairs it, labor not included.
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    Apple QC has gone to **** since around the time they switched to intel chips. Sucks but what can ya do?
     
  3. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #3
    It would have cost you $1600, it cost Apple <$100 ;) Making a shed load of profit by charging people to fix something that was your fault to begin with, capitalism at its best.

    Apple still have some of the best quality, lowest failure rate products in the industry. At the end of the day its complete luck of the draw. Apple ship millions of units around the world, about 10% of them are going to have some fault and about 10% of that 10% are going to fail multiple times. That's just how it is with computers, a lot of opportunity for failure.
     
  4. techmonkey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 8, 2007
    #4
    You mean "their" fault, right?
     
  5. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #5
    Actually it started in around 2002 when Apple outsourced everything to China. Now Apple build absolutely none of their own products (believe Asus or Foxconn currently manufacture the laptops for example).

    There were a few problems in 2006 with the Intel switch, they switched to an entirely new architecture, lot of niggles to iron out. But mainly because Mac sales started to increase around 50% a year, work it out and that makes it around 3.5x as many people buying Macs now as in Jan 2006 (think compound interest), that means 3.5x as many complaints.

    But despite all that, I stand by my previous statement, still one of the best QC in the industry. Look at the new Unibody laptops, no metal warping, plastic cracking etc. Not as fully featured as some would like, but certainly the best built laptops Apple has put out since forever.

    No. I said that from Apple's shoes, "Your" being Apple, not you.
     
  6. Music_Producer macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    #6
    Absolutely agree - production moved to china which meant relatively cheaper Apple computers for all of us - sacrificing QC - but like the poster mentioned - still one of the best QC in the industry.

    And my Averatec laptop purchased for $1250 went dead in 2 years - really doesn't mean anything. I don't trust any electronic device - which is why, like you mentioned - always buy an extended warranty!

    Just last week a SSL console went *kaput* in one of the studios I work in - brand new, $500k+ console - absolutely dead within a week. I've seen this happen twice within 6 months - so yup, pretty much buy any electronic device with the assumption that it will fail and to be ready for it.
     
  7. techmonkey thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #7
    I agree, the case design is the best, even the older MBP like mine.

    Apple is #4 on this list, pretty good

    http://www.engadget.com/2009/11/17/laptop-reliability-survey-asus-and-toshiba-win-hp-fails/
     
  8. Takashi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    #8
    Applecare is the SOLE reason why macs are so stupidly expensive compared to PC. People buy applecare because Macbooks are so $$ to replace. Why?

    Let's look at it this way (pulling numbers off my head).
    10 people buy 10 macbook ($1000) + apple care ($300). Total sales = $10,000 in machines + $3,000 apple care.

    Let's pretend that Apple makes 0 on the Macbook and Macbook have 20% failure rate in 3 years.

    Out of that 10 people, 2 people will require new macbook which will cost $1,000 to apple per machine. End result, Apple will loose 2,000 from applecare claims but pocketed the remaining $1,000.

    What happens if prices of computers are lowered to $700 to $400 to as low as $100 like iphone. Would you still buy applecare? I am sure some will, but most will not because it is probably cheaper just replace the unit with a new one.

    By lowering the price of the computer, apple not only loose profit on computer, they also loose profit on applecare warranty. To get people to buy applecare, apple raise the $ on the machines to get people to buy applecare so customers won't get stuck with an $$ computer repair bill. This is one of many apple's strategies to maintain profit for the peace of mind of the company.

    I always say NO to extend service plans especially with items that depreciate faster than its worth.
     
  9. Takashi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    #9
    There is also another thing many apple lacks: Quality from the R & D process.

    Quality control is important, however, you can't produce quality at the end of the production line. Quality has to be build from the R & D process. In other words, Apple did not take the time to design their products from a quality perspective. Chances is that products were released before sufficient testing was done. If you don't believe me, go to the review section of the apple website. Here are some of things that apple didn't take the time to design:

    1. Time capsule -- unit dies after 1 year of continuos operation. The concept was awesome "backup via the network" but the design was not so awesome when customers were left with a dead time capsule.
    2. Magsafe adaptor -- I was going to buy an additional one until I found out that the wires are prone to shot circuit and the socket is prone to melting and getting stuck to the computer. I thought the macsafe was supposed to be useful. The funniest thing is that I have PC laptop that date back to 1999 and the power plugs are still working strong.
    3. Unibody macbook shell -- How many macbook pro owners have dropped their macbook and found that the Unibody flexes at the ethernet port? Out of all the years of using a PC laptop, I have never heard that one has to buy hard plastic shell or casings to protect the macbook pro from damages (cellphones? Yes; computers? No). I am sure drop test was done in apple's R & D laboratory. They should have noticed that the ethernet port is a weak spot on the macbook pro and corrected the issue before releasing the computer to customers.
    4. Macbook pro removable battery - Does anyone own a macbook pro where the battery budges out of its casing like it's getting ready to explode? Apple puts the blame on Sony without hesitation but was it entirely Sony's fault? Perhaps if Apple did some quality testing before installing the battery into the computers apple would have caught the defect first.
     
  10. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #10
    I've already made out like a bandit on this deal. A couple of dead pixels and some screen splotches means the whole screen got replaced. Then my audio board died. Other than that i've gotten a new wireless keyboard (over one year old) and a new mighty mouse (over one year old). I also got a new battery because I suppose im one of the few (outside of MR members) who know that if your battery shows under 80% and it's less than 300 cycles it's defective. Already had one replaced and i'm just about due for a second as my freshly calibrated battery is hovering on 83% w/ 77 cycles. Few more repairs and i'm on my way to a quad core MBP :D

    Honestly though I wish it didn't have issues. I'm extremely picky and apple service is great but.... It've swapped out my SSD so many times I know the entire procedure by heart and can do it in ten minutes. It's not particularly difficult but it's second nature now.

    LoL seriously? Should apple switch to military grade bullet proof armor just on the off chance that your macbook pro accompanies you to the combat zone? In all my years of owning laptops i've never thrown mine on the ground and then complained that it wasn't robust enough. The softer aluminum is their version of a G force detector that many hard drives employ to alert the company that the drive has been abused (should there be a warranty claim).
     
  11. techmonkey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 8, 2007
    #11
    @EddyIsGreat

    I agree, didnt put it in my original post, Apple customer service is excellent!
     
  12. Winters macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    #12
    I actually read a few time that apple wasn't the most reliable anymore and here is one of the link (page 6) that says that apple is 4th in reliability behind 3 other asian pc manufacturer (asus,toshiba,sony) although they are close. The less reliable one is hp :p
     
  13. tomjleeds macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #13
    The rest of your post may have some merit, but this bit caught my eye. Many, many different manufacturers used Sony batteries that later went bad - Sony are to blame on this front, not Apple.
     
  14. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #14
    Other companies test their laptops for their performance through falls. Dell designs their Latitude line to be able to survive a 5 foot fall and keep working (obviously sans HDD). Most Apple notebooks wouldn't survive a 1' drop.

    And therein lies the issue. Consumer electronics get thrown around, and normal usage over the course of a few years will include a drop or two. Dell et al can account for it, but Apple tells their customers "Up yours".

    I just hope you never drop your laptop a foot and end up with $1000 in repairs:eek:
     
  15. A.W.E.S.O.M.-0 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    #15
    Hehehe, you don't need Applecare to get for that amount of money replacement parts.

    Of course, here in Europe, we are taken up the **** hard by all sorts of taxes and duties which affects the value of the replacements. Then again, the Euro is at $ 1,40 now?

    On my 2007 SR the score so far:

    no1. Battery € 140,-
    no2. Matte Screen € 650,-
    no3. Logic Board € 900,-

    This makes a sweet total of € 1690,-

    By the way, in The Netherlands there is a 3 year warranty on laptops that companies have to give, by law. It might give some extra discussions with the guys at the Apple Store but hey, it's for free. And it better should be, it's ridicilous that they want to charge you in the first place for something that, with normal usage, should not break down in the first place!

    That said, Apple's service has been brilliant on all repairs on my SR.
     
  16. Takashi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    #16
    It is true that most people don't throw their laptops onto the ground. The cabinet of the macbook pro, bare minimum, should be able to withstand a drop from the table onto the floor without deformation.

    The battery is only part of the equation. There is the charging system and the cooling system. The charging system and the laptop cooling system (during charging) is beyond the control of Sony. You can have the best laptop with a good battery; however, if the charging system malfunctions or if the battery overheats when charging and the electronics was not designed to detect it, it is in due time that your laptop might catch fire during charging. It is not as simple as it sounds like.

    I am almost certain (although reluctant to say this) that apple and many other manufacturers did not throughly test the parts from different suppliers before installing them into their products.
     
  17. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #17
    I hope I don't either. I have a hardcase on my new MBP because I dropped my old one about 4 feet. Pretty good sized dent :D but Apple still did warranty claims for unrelated issues.

    But my reaction when I dropped it and saw the subsequent dent was
    Not
    And i've never dropped my new one after two years. Hoping to make it to the big 3.
     
  18. pacers721 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    #18
    The 8600M GT graphic cards are defective. I also have a mbp from 07 that had to have the logic board replaced. At the time I had to pay for it, but I called them a few months ago and they issued me a refund. I definitely recommend calling them about that.
     
  19. hippo206 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    #19
    Well, at my work we have six 07 mbp (four 15 inch, two 17 inch). One (mine :() has had a gpu failure that was fixed free by Apple, all the rest work flawlessly. All of them travel >30 miles per day 5 days a week. Actually, two of the people travel more than 3000 miles per week.

    So, if none of them fail within the next 4 months, then I would have saved my company $2100. Basically, the price of another machine.

    I could also add to this by saying all my personal computers are apple products, and I have never had a issue besides the one stated above and one problem with a battery for my wifes mbp.

    My summary: don't really need Applecare.

    *Edit answered my own question
     
  20. techound1 macrumors 68000

    techound1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    #20
    In several years of Apple ownership (mostly refurbs, btw - it's that 2nd QC check that makes all the difference :p), I've never bought nor needed it.
     
  21. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #21
    The design element of Apple products does often seem to be a flaw. MacBook Airs with failing hinges, plastic MacBooks with plastic that cracks off, stuff like that. Apple does tend to be pretty good at fixing these design-related flaws, even outside of warranty, though I would never buy an Apple computer without AppleCare.

    As for other failures, well, no figures I've seen suggest that Apple is significantly worse than any other manufacturer. However, coming back to design, this factor does often mean Apple computers are significantly more expensive to repair. Again, AppleCare.

    Personally I would hate that Apple blunt their design flair for practicality (even 'quality') purposes. I find the current balance just right.

    Watch me eat my words when my 27" iMac comes tomorrow.
     
  22. Macdicted macrumors regular

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    Jan 22, 2010
    Location:
    NYC > Tampa Bay
    #22
  23. JacaByte macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    #23
    Dude, there's a 2% difference between Apple and the #1, Asus. You know what that means? Out of 200 laptops, 100 being Asus laptops and 100 being Apple laptops, 16 of the Asus laptops are likely to fail after 3 years (the study fails to mention what a "failure" is, by the way) and 17 Apple laptops are likely to fail after 3 years. (rounded to the nearest whole number because we can't ever have half a laptop)

    Taking into consideration that A) there is no guarantee that these results are 100% correct, due to the ever present margin of error, B) the laptops tested were bought in early 2007, which was not a good year for Apple Macbooks or Macbook Pros, and C) the test only takes into consideration laptops which were taken in to SquareTrade for repairs, this means that Apple is still one of the best laptop manufacturers in the market and it confirms that HP sucks big time. Period.

    This means there were (not "maybe") laptops which failed and the owners just said "forget it," and/or laptops which were brought in to other warranty dealers/the manufacturer for repairs. Reliability is a p***poor front to barrage Apple on, in my opinion. It also confirms that if you want to gamble on Apple without Applecare, the odds are in your favor; you'll have a 5 out of 6 chance of having a laptop that lasts 3 years without major repairs, Applecare or no, and a 1 out of 9 chance of having a laptop that fails while under warranty. (a good thing, in my opinion)
     
  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #24
    In general (and it applies to Apple), at first companies designed and manufactured their own products. Then they went to OEM (still design, but outsourced the manufacturing).

    Now, it's all outsourced. Apple comes up with the industrial design (case) and a spec sheet, but the actual circuit design and manufacturing are all outsourced. The cost per se, is control = poor QC from beginning to end.

    They get a few systems to develop/test OS X on. And it's all rushed, as the goal is to get a product shipped. They presume problems can be sorted later.

    See above. Apple does seem to still do their own R&D (i.e. interface patents,... articles you see on the front page recently).

    But when it comes to designing the actual product (circuit design, PCB layouts, ...) they don't do that any longer. They outsource to Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision is the actual company name; Foxconn is their retail brand).

    Given what they charge for the same circuits as anyone else, Mac users should demand more. The current QC issues are unacceptable for that kind of money, and seem to be getting worse lately from what I can tell (more and more problems reported lately across different lines).
     
  25. Macdicted macrumors regular

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    Jan 22, 2010
    Location:
    NYC > Tampa Bay
    #25


    Keep it real ....out of 100 ...that is 15 Asus and Toshibas , 16 Sonys , 17 Apples and 18 Dells

    SquareTrade does a VERY large amount of the other 4 brands. AppleCare does 100x the repairs that SquareTrade does on Macs so the odd's are that the failure rate on Mac is HIGHER than reported by SquareTrade. Apple would never release those numbers though so we will never know.

    Like you stated those numbers are from 3 yr old computers. They arent going to change my mind. I just thought Mac would of been in the top 2 if not 1 , thats all.

    Im ready to buy a new computer and am buying a Mac for the first time. Im leaning toward a refurb to not only save a little money but also the thought of knowing the computer has been retested and up to speck to me is a plus. Im waiting for Wednesday and maybe the current Pro's will drop a little more in the refurb dept if there is a NEW Pro.
     

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