Buying Macbook Pro 2016 Now - less chance of hardware problems?

Abaganov

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 30, 2016
369
237
Hey Guys

Thinking of grabbing 15 inch 2016 model but being a bit scared from all the horror stories and many different issues that members here posted about.

My worry is mainly since I live in Thailand and there is no official apple store here - so returning a defected unit will be a major headache and will take a lot of time.

My question is - would ordering now, many months after the release will be somewhat more safer? did apple perhaps saw the many issues users had and changed something on the production line?
or at least increased their quality control?

Or my chances of getting a defected unit will be basically the same as if I order it the first week of release?
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,694
2,121
Hey Guys

Thinking of grabbing 15 inch 2016 model but being a bit scared from all the horror stories and many different issues that members here posted about.

My worry is mainly since I live in Thailand and there is no official apple store here - so returning a defected unit will be a major headache and will take a lot of time.

My question is - would ordering now, many months after the release will be somewhat more safer? did apple perhaps saw the many issues users had and changed something on the production line?
or at least increased their quality control?

Or my chances of getting a defected unit will be basically the same as if I order it the first week of release?
No one knows, that simple, the horror stories are just that stories of a few people with a few issues out of the million of units sold. Any time you buy electronics the possible problems are there... Apple have some of the best QC in the business and the some of the best customer support but some things will always get through. Nature of the beast I'm afraid.
 

Dave245

macrumors 604
Sep 15, 2013
7,923
5,678
The "problems" you have been reading on this forum (and possibly others) are from those people with complaints, you rarely hear people posting positive comments so it kind of makes it look like the MacBook Pro (or most tech) have problems when they are very far and few between. Apple has the best customer service so if you have any problems you can always contact them. If you need the machine now buy it now, but if you can wait I would wait and see what gen 2 brings in a few months time.
 

Naimfan

Suspended
Jan 15, 2003
4,669
2,013
Either wait if you can or get a 2015.

The 2016 15" models in particular seem to have more teething problems than earlier variants; and some problems, notably keyboard failures, seem to be popping up well after the standard 2 week return period.

Apple has moved to a regressive, but highly profitable, cycle - they introduced Skylake models right before Kaby Lake came out; so you're purchasing older technology at an inflated price. Why they did that, only Apple could say, but it makes it impossible to recommend the 2016 models when other companies have been shipping Kaby Lake models for a month or two now. For the overwhelming majority of people, there is no performance difference between a 2016 and even something like a Late 2013 model.

'You pays your money and you makes your choice,' as the saying goes.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,985
5,492
Apple has moved to a regressive, but highly profitable, cycle - they introduced Skylake models right before Kaby Lake came out; so you're purchasing older technology at an inflated price.
Are you saying that Apple is getting a special discount off Intel's official pricing because they are buying older CPUs?

Why they did that, only Apple could say, but it makes it impossible to recommend the 2016 models when other companies have been shipping Kaby Lake models for a month or two now.
Its not rare to Apple to be out of sync with the CPU manufacturers with updates. By your logic, almost any Mac produced within last few years cannot be recommended for purchase.

And frankly, how do you imagine an alternative strategy for Apple? If they have updated to Kaby Lake in Feb., imagine the outcry of all the people who have purchased a new laptop in November or December. Or should they have waited with a refresh until February in the first place? While getting under more and more pressure to release one and missing a massive sale opportunity over the holidays? Running a business means making choices, and often these choices are not trivial.
 

coraregina

macrumors newbie
Mar 10, 2017
13
5
I thought about that. 4-5 months seems a lot though
What are you currently using?

I have a 2010 MBP and I'm waiting. I figure if I've waited seven years, what's a few more months if it means (hopefully) giving them a chance to sort out the bugs. Or give me a chance to find a 2015 with a user-swappable hard drive. The 2015 units are becoming more and more difficult to find from reputable sources.
 

Sanpete

macrumors 68030
Nov 17, 2016
2,596
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Utah
they introduced Skylake models right before Kaby Lake came out; so you're purchasing older technology at an inflated price. Why they did that, only Apple could say
And anyone else who knows about the minor differences between Kaby Lake and Skylake, the long gap in updates, and the importance of holiday sales.

but it makes it impossible to recommend the 2016 models when other companies have been shipping Kaby Lake models for a month or two now. For the overwhelming majority of people, there is no performance difference between a 2016 and even something like a Late 2013 model.
Sheer, bitter silliness.
[doublepost=1489764847][/doublepost]
I thought about that. 4-5 months seems a lot though
Could well be seven months, if they do October like they did last time. If you're particularly sensitive to keyboard sounds, you should probably wait. The vast majority of complaints about the keyboard are about some keys clicking more than others. Otherwise, you're likely to be fine, but you never know, with this or any other model.
 

darkmaxdevil

macrumors member
Aug 28, 2011
73
31
Tokyo, Japan
My worry is mainly since I live in Thailand and there is no official apple store here - so returning a defected unit will be a major headache and will take a lot of time.
You have Apple Online Store which is the next best thing. You have the same 14 days return period like the rest of the world and take no time at all, DHL will pick your laptop up and that's it.
 

ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,155
The frequency of the QA issues appear to have definitely decreased in volume in the past few months. That makes me think that Apple has made an effort to improve in this area, to reduce the number of stupid things that should be caught prior to passing a product's final inspection before sale. Software updates have fixed most of the biggest annoyances with the computer, and most people who have them like them very much. If you like the current design, then I think you should buy it. While there are no guarantees with any electronic product, I think the most likely outcome will be it works correctly, is cosmetically perfect, and you are happy with it.

Apple did seem to be having somewhat more frequent stupid issues, and with such a big change this seems somewhat expected (I've noticed it with other brands, and the first generation 2012 retinas had some quirks as well.) This happens with mass-produced items, and seems to happen more when major shifts in manufacturing occur. But that certainly doesn't excuse blatant QA failures and make things better for those who have to suffer from an issue. Apple (and any reputable company for that matter) can take internal actions for QA improvements throughout a product release cycle to make progressive improvements (rather than doing nothing and staying static.) I believe that has occurred here. They want happy customers, they take pride in their name, and they will always pursue continuously better quality assurance methods.

If getting service is virtually impossible or you are tremendously worried but need a MacBook ASAP, 2015 models may be of interest, as they have been on the market longer. Or, if you are not in a hurry, you could wait until the next refresh is released, and then decide whether to purchase the current generation for a discount, or the new generation at full price. By then, there will be more information on the longevity of the current generation.
 
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leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
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The frequency of the QA issues appear to have definitely decreased in volume in the past few months. That makes me think that Apple has made an effort to improve in this area, to reduce the number of stupid things that should be caught prior to passing a product's final inspection before sale.
What makes you think that? Isn't it possible that the frequency of complains has decreased simply because the frequency of sales has decreased? There were a lot of people buying these laptops in the first two months.
 
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Hieveryone

macrumors 603
Apr 11, 2014
5,171
2,060
USA
Hey Guys

Thinking of grabbing 15 inch 2016 model but being a bit scared from all the horror stories and many different issues that members here posted about.

My worry is mainly since I live in Thailand and there is no official apple store here - so returning a defected unit will be a major headache and will take a lot of time.

My question is - would ordering now, many months after the release will be somewhat more safer? did apple perhaps saw the many issues users had and changed something on the production line?
or at least increased their quality control?

Or my chances of getting a defected unit will be basically the same as if I order it the first week of release?
I basically ran into some issues with my brand new 13" ntMBP. The screen started flickering. My strategy now is to just get one that is refurbished in hopes Apple checked it out before selling it to me, potentially avoiding issues.
 
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jerryk

macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
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What are you currently using?

I have a 2010 MBP and I'm waiting. I figure if I've waited seven years, what's a few more months if it means (hopefully) giving them a chance to sort out the bugs. Or give me a chance to find a 2015 with a user-swappable hard drive. The 2015 units are becoming more and more difficult to find from reputable sources.
Drives have not been easily user swappable since the 2012 cMBPs. The rMBPs use a proprietary drive. Upgrade options are Apple or OWC, and OWC is speed limited and a reverse engineered product.
 

SteveJUAE

macrumors 68040
Aug 14, 2015
3,290
3,375
Land of Smiles
Hey Guys

Thinking of grabbing 15 inch 2016 model but being a bit scared from all the horror stories and many different issues that members here posted about.

My worry is mainly since I live in Thailand and there is no official apple store here - so returning a defected unit will be a major headache and will take a lot of time.

My question is - would ordering now, many months after the release will be somewhat more safer? did apple perhaps saw the many issues users had and changed something on the production line?
or at least increased their quality control?

Or my chances of getting a defected unit will be basically the same as if I order it the first week of release?
Buy online or from a good store will ensure better support

else

As with all consumer products there is always a risk and little to suggest that hardware wise the risk is diminished after a few months of production
 
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ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
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What makes you think that? Isn't it possible that the frequency of complains has decreased simply because the frequency of sales has decreased? There were a lot of people buying these laptops in the first two months.
That's a good point I didn't consider.
 
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thesaint024

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2016
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suspension waiting room
IMHO, I assume it's correct to believe there will be less issues on MBP's coming later in the production cycle. Reason being these defects, regardless of how frequent or infrequent, cost Apple money. Therefore, it would be in their best interest to find the sources in the supply chain that are producing defects and cut down on them (or address in software fixes). I have a first run model (first week) and have no problems, but it would be reasonable to assume there are fewer issues now due to investigating and punishing suppliers and manufacturers that defects can be traced to. How much of a decrease only Apple knows, but I'm sure they know and are tracking. Their PM's and ops guys are most definitely incentivized by quality control and costs.

But regardless, OP should have nothing to worry about as many have said. It is so easy to return and it's pretty obvious you have an issue in the first 30 days and base warranty period of one year. Apple is one of the better companies in taking care of their customers if anything major happens. More importantly if you need a laptop, you need one. Wait as long as you can, but get it when you need it.
 
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coraregina

macrumors newbie
Mar 10, 2017
13
5
Drives have not been easily user swappable since the 2012 cMBPs. The rMBPs use a proprietary drive. Upgrade options are Apple or OWC, and OWC is speed limited and a reverse engineered product.
I'm well aware of that, but I'd still rather have that option than, "Oops, your drive died a month after your AppleCare expired and since we took the brilliant step of permanently attaching it to the board, you have to pay to replace them both, hey, why don't you just buy a whole new machine! We know your last one lasted over seven years but you really should start viewing $3000+ computers as disposable commodities, stop living in the past."

If it were proprietary but still detachable and I only had to pay them to replace the drive that'd be one thing, but as things stand I'm looking at nearly $1000 in repairs (1TB upgrade) just because a single component dies and they decided to permanently affix the stupid thing, if the ~$550 figure someone quoted somewhere for the lobo replacement is accurate. (Not sure if it is, it seems low given what that replacement used to cost.)

Since we don't have any sort of longterm reliability data for the new drives, I think I'm understandably wary about the prospect. YMMV. The ability to stick in any standard SSD of my choice (two, technically) is part of why I've clung to my 2010 for so long, in spite of its terrible 16:10 screen and sorely outdated processor.
 

Abaganov

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 30, 2016
369
237
What are you currently using?

I have a 2010 MBP and I'm waiting. I figure if I've waited seven years, what's a few more months if it means (hopefully) giving them a chance to sort out the bugs. Or give me a chance to find a 2015 with a user-swappable hard drive. The 2015 units are becoming more and more difficult to find from reputable sources.
Late 2012 retina 13 , it does make sense to wait a few more months.

is it hard to find a 2015? you mean a second hand one? where I live apple still sale it on their online store
[doublepost=1489819226][/doublepost]
You have Apple Online Store which is the next best thing. You have the same 14 days return period like the rest of the world and take no time at all, DHL will pick your laptop up and that's it.
That's true but the lack of physical location means everything will take longer , including getting stuff fixed or getting replacement when everything needs to be shipped to and from Singapore

I see you are from Bangkok , did you had any experience with defected unit?
 

coraregina

macrumors newbie
Mar 10, 2017
13
5
Late 2012 retina 13 , it does make sense to wait a few more months.

is it hard to find a 2015? you mean a second hand one? where I live apple still sale it on their online store
Lucky! They've been greyed out where I live (US) for a good long while. As has been mentioned, the options for swapping drives on the 2015 models are incredibly limited (that's the nice thing about the 2010, I can use any drive I please), but at least you wouldn't be stuck paying for the entire board and drive to be replaced when one or the other died a month after AppleCare (that Apple doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to make a five-year program) ran out...

Alternatively, waiting a few more months to see what the next model will offer probably sounds more difficult than it'd actually be. And, it will give them a chance to work out the issues that have been cropping up with the 2016 models. It's not a true first gen like the original MBP was (I was an early adopter, returned mine within days, and went back to the PBG4 until they'd gotten their act together), but there are a lot of new things that aren't up to snuff and that seem to be recurring themes when it comes to problems.

It seems like people are still getting problematic units even months after the initial release. I'd go ahead and just wait a few more months, although that line of thinking can easily turn into waiting for years in the hopes that something you consider worthwhile will come out (meanwhile the goalposts keep moving).
 

Abaganov

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 30, 2016
369
237
Lucky! They've been greyed out where I live (US) for a good long while. As has been mentioned, the options for swapping drives on the 2015 models are incredibly limited (that's the nice thing about the 2010, I can use any drive I please), but at least you wouldn't be stuck paying for the entire board and drive to be replaced when one or the other died a month after AppleCare (that Apple doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to make a five-year program) ran out...

Alternatively, waiting a few more months to see what the next model will offer probably sounds more difficult than it'd actually be. And, it will give them a chance to work out the issues that have been cropping up with the 2016 models. It's not a true first gen like the original MBP was (I was an early adopter, returned mine within days, and went back to the PBG4 until they'd gotten their act together), but there are a lot of new things that aren't up to snuff and that seem to be recurring themes when it comes to problems.

It seems like people are still getting problematic units even months after the initial release. I'd go ahead and just wait a few more months, although that line of thinking can easily turn into waiting for years in the hopes that something you consider worthwhile will come out (meanwhile the goalposts keep moving).

That last part is to true , waiting to see whats the next gen will being is always tempting but its endless loop..
but in this case and sense gen 1 always going to have more issues - might be a good idea.

So yes i was considering ordering the 15 inch from the apple store (still kind of am) but that price for 2015 laptop just feels too high for me (about $2000) so I'm still pondering about it.
Also I really dig the new MBP keyword - was trying it in the store a few times and i just type so much faster on it.

on the other hand - big reason that the 2015 15 inch model is tempting for me is the lack of dedicated GPU, as I am going to spend a lot of time using windows 10 on bootcamp, from what I saw and understand is that the new machines while on bootcamp windows mode are 100% of the time running on the GPU which really shorten battery life.
 

darkmaxdevil

macrumors member
Aug 28, 2011
73
31
Tokyo, Japan
That's true but the lack of physical location means everything will take longer , including getting stuff fixed or getting replacement when everything needs to be shipped to and from Singapore

I see you are from Bangkok , did you had any experience with defected unit?
My MacBook Pro is flawless but I had experience where I have to file DOA for a 2016 MacBook because there is a key that got stuck and wouldn't bounce back. DHL came to pick it up and drop a new one for me. I also had an experience for an unsolvable problem a few years ago with a 15" 2011 MacBook Pro which they had fixed the same problem several times (not related to graphic card) and decided to give me a new one. Same, DHL came to pick it up with a brand new MacBook Pro in their hand to swap. The only downside is that if you need to send it for fix, you will be without your laptop for two weeks, but if you stubborn enough (in my case I have to call to Apple Support call center), they will give your laptop back in unfixed condition and call you to come in to replace the faulty part when the part arrived at their service center.
 
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Abaganov

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 30, 2016
369
237
My MacBook Pro is flawless but I had experience where I have to file DOA for a 2016 MacBook because there is a key that got stuck and wouldn't bounce back. DHL came to pick it up and drop a new one for me. I also had an experience for an unsolvable problem a few years ago with a 15" 2011 MacBook Pro which they had fixed the same problem several times (not related to graphic card) and decided to give me a new one. Same, DHL came to pick it up with a brand new MacBook Pro in their hand to swap. The only downside is that if you need to send it for fix, you will be without your laptop for two weeks, but if you stubborn enough (in my case I have to call to Apple Support call center), they will give your laptop back in unfixed condition and call you to come in to replace the faulty part when the part arrived at their service center.
That's some great info - thanks a lot.

I live in Chiang mai and the only experience I had was last year when my 12 inch Macbook charger stopped working, had to wait about 10 days for a replacement charger to come all the way from Singapore.
[doublepost=1489822378][/doublepost]
Lucky! They've been greyed out where I live (US) for a good long while. As has been mentioned, the options for swapping drives on the 2015 models are incredibly limited (that's the nice thing about the 2010, I can use any drive I please), but at least you wouldn't be stuck paying for the entire board and drive to be replaced when one or the other died a month after AppleCare (that Apple doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to make a five-year program) ran out...

Alternatively, waiting a few more months to see what the next model will offer probably sounds more difficult than it'd actually be. And, it will give them a chance to work out the issues that have been cropping up with the 2016 models. It's not a true first gen like the original MBP was (I was an early adopter, returned mine within days, and went back to the PBG4 until they'd gotten their act together), but there are a lot of new things that aren't up to snuff and that seem to be recurring themes when it comes to problems.

It seems like people are still getting problematic units even months after the initial release. I'd go ahead and just wait a few more months, although that line of thinking can easily turn into waiting for years in the hopes that something you consider worthwhile will come out (meanwhile the goalposts keep moving).
I just looked out of curiosity and the 15 2015 MBP is still up for sale in the US store
 
Last edited:

Naimfan

Suspended
Jan 15, 2003
4,669
2,013
Are you saying that Apple is getting a special discount off Intel's official pricing because they are buying older CPUs?
Amusing idea. Kindly point to where I wrote that? Correct - I did not. The 15" MBs are overpriced, absurdly in my opinion, for the performance and quality they offer.

Are you saying that Apple didn't release them three months before Kaby Lake was available for use? Or that Skylake has not been officially out of date since Kaby Lake started shipping? Or that Skylake is somehow magically better than Kaby Lake? Because that would be tilting at windmills.


Its not rare to Apple to be out of sync with the CPU manufacturers with updates. By your logic, almost any Mac produced within last few years cannot be recommended for purchase.

And frankly, how do you imagine an alternative strategy for Apple? If they have updated to Kaby Lake in Feb., imagine the outcry of all the people who have purchased a new laptop in November or December. Or should they have waited with a refresh until February in the first place? While getting under more and more pressure to release one and missing a massive sale opportunity over the holidays? Running a business means making choices, and often these choices are not trivial.
Sigh. Apple should have updated the prior design to Skylake when Skylake became available a year ago, and then released the redesign with Kaby Lake when available. Instead, it waited over a year, and then released a product that has alienated a significant number of Mac users, for reasons ranging from poor quality control to absurdities like the touchbar, the atrocious keyboard, the absurdly large trackpad, and the ridiculous pricing. $2399 for 256 GB storage, with no way to supplement it as was possible with an SD slot? For a machine that's on par, at best, with the prior version? Imagine what Apple could have done by using the same chassis, with a 99.5 w/h battery.

But, but, but . . . USB-C! 40 Gbps! PCI-e SSD! True. And utterly meaningless for the overwhelming majority of people - but they sure do drive the price up. Exactly how many TB3 peripherals are available? What's their average cost? And how many people even know what TB3 is? Better speakers? On a laptop? Be serious.

The 2016 model is an abomination.
 
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