Discovered Flexgate, do I return 2018 MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by beernon, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. beernon macrumors newbie

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    Apr 5, 2019
    #1
    Hello, my girlfriend recently bought a refurbished 15 inch MBP from 2018 whilst not knowing about the whole flexgate display issue fiasco.

    I highly doubt it was manufactured after they started lengthening the display ribbon cable so I'm just wondering if its a good idea to return it whilst we can?
     
  2. Garage Battle macrumors regular

    Garage Battle

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    #2
    we're not sure exactly when cable length was revised. it is likely that yours has the revised cable but I dont like speaking authoritatively nor can anyone really.

    i think the better perspective is this - apple for, lets assume best case scenario, had a faulty length cable for 1.5 years and produced many laptops and yet hasnt addressed the issue publicly or offered an extended warranty. it eventually will plague most owners.

    I dont think Apple deserves anyones laptop money right this moment.
     
  3. Painter2002 macrumors 6502a

    Painter2002

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    #3
    Personally I would say no, you don’t need to return it. If there aren’t any issues with it you should be fine, however I would advise getting AppleCare if you have not already. You have 30 days from the day of purchase to get it, and considering the cost of repairs on these machines it could be worth its weight in gold *should* anything go wrong.

    We don’t have solid data, but it appears that the 2018 model of MacBook Pros had the longer cable design so you should be fine there. But it’s a personal choice, I personally would keep it.
     
  4. jerryk macrumors 601

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    #4
  5. Garage Battle macrumors regular

    Garage Battle

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    #5
    what you're saying is presumptuous - you, taking a minimal amount of information, have made a statement that may be partly or completely wrong.

    we have no idea when/if Apple addressed this internally. which models, which serial number range, which date of manufacturing. all we know is its possible that Apple addressed this with a revised part, possibly between 10/2017 - 03/2018 BUT WE ARENT CERTAIN BECAUSE WE HAVE VERY LITTLE INFORMATION TO GO ON, AND WE DONT HAVE DISASSEMBLED UNITS FOR MEASUREMENT/COMPARISON, AND WE HAVE TOO LITTLE OF A SAMPLING SIZE.

    its extremely important to not speak authoritatively on subjects we dont know about. Instead consider prefacing with a statement such as the one I listed on the post above:

    "we're not sure exactly when cable length was revised. it is likely that yours has the revised cable but I dont like speaking authoritatively nor can anyone really."
    anything else is simple irresponsible. the internet propagates ignorance - its optional.
     
  6. jerryk, Apr 7, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019

    jerryk macrumors 601

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    #6
    What other information do we have to base an estimate on when the cable was changed? IFixit tore apart 2018 units and found a longer cable.

    https://ifixit.org/blog/13979/apple...o-solve-flexgate-without-admitting-it-exists/

    Now someone shows a 2017 model year unit that has the longer cable and I reference their statement.

    I was very careful to point out that this was something I read and cite my sources so the reader can draw their own conclusion as to the whether or not believe the reference. I am not sure what more you expect an individual to provide. It is highly unlikely we will ever get a statement from Apple on what date they revised the part and why.

    Also, noticed I liked your comment. Just providing additional information
     
  7. Painter2002 macrumors 6502a

    Painter2002

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    #7
    This user has done this on several other pages, I wouldn’t waste my time trying to justify your posts when someone is clearing just trying to debate for the sake of debating.

    This is a forum, so there only so much evidence to draw conclusions from, especially since Apple isn’t going to tell us (why would they?!, lol).
     
  8. Boss0505 macrumors newbie

    Boss0505

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    #8
    Isn’t that what apple wants. Create a floppy product and expect you to pay extra for AppleCare.

    I don’t thinks apple deserves our money for the MBP for now. Avoid at all cost.
     
  9. ascender macrumors 68020

    ascender

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    Dec 8, 2005
    #9
    I didn't realise this was now a fiasco as well as a gate. Worrying times.

    Do we have any idea how widespread the issue actually is? Or what Apple's response is? If it does properly qualify as being a gate then will Apple not usually repair regardless of warranty? Do we even know when the dodgy cables start to be swapped out?

    So many things to worry about.

    Just use the laptop and enjoy it.
     
  10. doitdada macrumors 6502a

    doitdada

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    #10
    2018 has 2mm longer cable and shouldn't have the issue.
     
  11. Painter2002 macrumors 6502a

    Painter2002

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    #11
    To each their own, but many users have not had any issues with the newer model, myself included. I’m not saying there aren’t issues, but we don’t know the extent of the issues either, so to say a product is floppy is perhaps a bit misleading.

    Indeed the keyboard was a poor design in terms of reliability, and flexgate is an issue especially on 2016-17s, as far as we know at this point.

    OP is specifically asking about the 2018 model, which as of right now, based on iFixit’s teardown appears not likely to get Flexgate. The primary major hardware issue the most people will need to be worried about with the 2018 model is the keyboard.
     
  12. smirking, Apr 10, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019

    smirking macrumors 68000

    smirking

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    #12
    If she likes it, she can afford it, and it's performing well, I'd keep it. If it's stretching her budget or she can get by on a much cheaper computer, return it.

    There's a saying: Correlation does not imply causation.

    If you already know that bit of wisdom, it's a good time to think about what it means. If you're not sure what it means, I'll apply it to Flexgate.

    We know there appear to be a significant number of earlier model tbMBPs that have this "spotlight lighting" issue with their displays that eventually result in screen failures. When those machines were opened up, it was discovered that the cables appeared to be too short to handle the stress of opening the lid all the way. Therefore we conclude that the length of the cable was the cause.

    What's wrong with this conclusion?

    Most 2016 and 2017 tbMBPs that don't have this issue probably have the same cable length.

    Apple's certainly has stress tested their laptops during development. They have robots that will open the lid more times in a day than you'll ever do over the lifespan of long lived laptop. Simple risk factors like ordinary mechanical stress alone would likely have been identified during development. If the cable length is indeed as problematic as some believe, it's likely that it's not just the cable length and opening of the lid absent of other factors that cause Flexgate. For all we know, it could be due to bad cables sneaking through the supply chain, which would mean that there are good cables and bad cables floating around out there that are identical in length and appearance.

    People who say things like "it's only a matter of time before X fails" with only circumstantial browsing of the Internet to state their case violate the basic rule of statistical analysis above. I'm not saying that they're wrong to believe and I'm right to be skeptical, but I am saying they lack the basis to be so confident.

    If you're still not sure what I mean, here are some humorous examples of correlation and causation gone wrong.
    http://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

    I had a 2016 MBP for 29 months that was used daily without precaution and often with the lid open to the max. I didn't have flexgate. I didn't have serious keyboard issues either. With the exception of one stiff arrow key that was stiff from day 1, my keyboard worked fine.

    If you're going to get your wisdom from MacRumors and similar sites, repeat after me: Correlation does not imply causation.
     
  13. sosumi99 macrumors 6502

    sosumi99

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    #13
    The only person being presumptuous here is you. The poster you're replying to offered helpful information as well as additional means for the thread starter to perform their own research without ever presenting the information as "authoritative" or definitive. Try not to treat every post as an excuse to start a flame war.
     
  14. Boss0505, Apr 10, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019

    Boss0505 macrumors newbie

    Boss0505

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    #14
    Your rational had a lot of flaws here. Theoretically and statistically.

    I work in the medical field. And I believe this is true for most other field that involves mass production.

    When a product is designed, it’s not about the numbers that work. It’s about the number THAT DOESNT WORK. The negative value has more significance the the positive value. To say that yours is working is irrelevant because there are SIGNIFICANT numbers that does not work or have experienced flexgate ( myself included ).

    Extremely dissapointed with Apple’s product quality since Steve left. I never knew that losing one man can have this kind of impact.

    As for the post above, with the newer MacBook Pro. You can either take the risk and keep it. But keep in mind that the model and design is the same. There is only minor tweaking in the cable length. History has thought us that it usually repeats itself. Time will tell, risk is on you.
     
  15. Boss0505 macrumors newbie

    Boss0505

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    #15
    And what is significant and what is not ?

    That’s a matter of debate here. I consider that the 17000 people signing the petition as significant.
    It’s very Likely not all 17000 people are experiencing flexgate and it may be other screen issues. But the law of statistic dictates that for every report made there is likely a lot more that is unreported.

    I would consider debating that the numbers are insignificant if the issue here is like a burned hard disc or a spoilt ram. But the issue here is a physical problem that should not have arises in the first place : failure of hinges to work. I expect the values here to be extremelt little , not in the number of thousands.

    To give an example, I would say that if 5000 car “ X” breakdown from a engine failure as insignificant. But 5000 car “X” breakdown because of a door malfunction/ door unable to close as a significant manufacturing defect. It should not have happen in the first place.
     
  16. jerryk macrumors 601

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    #16

    So far so good on my 2018. Keyboard, display, touchbar all working like new. Had it since August, used daily.
     
  17. _Kiki_ macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    few months it's nothing, if we talking about durability after 3 years you can tell us about your MBP
     
  18. jerryk macrumors 601

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    #18
    That is not what people are saying. They are reporting failures in under a year, some in several months. Read back through the threads.

    Also, we do know (see iFixit report) that Apple used a longer cable in 2018, and perhaps in late production 2017 models.
     
  19. chrizzz09 macrumors regular

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    Germany
    #19
    Dude, that's the only metric we have on the Macbook Pro 2018 model. what do you want? Should people start recommending the 2018 model in 2021 after 3 years of testing?

    It's been 8 months of usage for this guys macbook pro, and for the 2018 models that's as long as it gets.
     
  20. smirking macrumors 68000

    smirking

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    #20
    I'm a former healthcare clinician myself. I'm not sure how what I said was invalid.

    Correlation does not imply causation
    isn't a prescription for how to interpret evidence. It's simply a warning that what seems obvious may not mean what you think it means in the end.

    I was actually thinking of healthcare when I said that because medical studies are famous for identifying the wrong root cause in the first go around because there are so many factors in play that are impossible to control for.

    My point is that we simply can't be sure it's all about the cable length. It sure looks likely, but it also seems to be something that would have easily shaken out during QA testing. I'm pretty confident that Apple has the mature processes to discover simple single factor points of failure that are easy to control for.
     
  21. _Kiki_ macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    you missing the point I'm talking about long term durability, at this moment I wouldn't recommend any MBP from 2016 to 2018 because similarity of design also I doubt to see any recommendation these models in future
     
  22. Painter2002 macrumors 6502a

    Painter2002

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    #22
    By that same philosophy nobody should ever buy a new product because there is no data to show that the product has no serious flaws... at this point we are all making points of of 8-9 months of data as others have pointed out.

    Any new product (completely new or a redesign) can have any number of problems at any point. Saying not to buy a product because there is not enough data proving it has a POTENTIAL issue isn’t a very great argument in my opinion. That’s like saying don’t go outside because I don’t have enough data to prove the sky ISN’T falling yet.
     
  23. Boss0505 macrumors newbie

    Boss0505

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    #23
    Your point is valid if the product is new and there is no real reasons to doubt it.

    But now we know that the product has an issue. Even worse, rectification have been done without acknowledging the problem. It only makes sense to wonder the risk VS benefits of buying the product.

    Once bitten twice shy. The proper example here is like doubting a new relationship with a new person ( unrational ) VS doubting a relationship where the partner has cheated you before (completely rational ). You have all allowances to doubt as it’s likely to happen again.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 10, 2019 ---
    Your point is valid if the product is new and there is no real reasons to doubt it.

    But now we know that the product has an issue. Even worse, rectification have been done without acknowledging the problem. It only makes sense to wonder the risk VS benefits of buying the product.

    Once bitten twice shy. The proper example here is like doubting a new relationship with a new person ( unrational ) VS doubting a relationship where the partner has cheated you before (completely rational ). You have all allowances to doubt as it’s likely to happen again.
     
  24. smirking, Apr 15, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019

    smirking macrumors 68000

    smirking

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    #24
    It's possible that they're even using longer cables when they refurbish 2016 units now. I just sold my 2016 MBP, but before doing so I sent it in for some screen repairs. I didn't have flexgate. I had a whole other odd screen issue that was none of the above. It did require a screen replacement though.

    To my surprise, Apple replaced more than just the screen even though flexgate was not an issue for me after over 2 pretty vigorous years of use. In the work order, they also listed that they replaced two "I/O cables". I don't know exactly what they're referring to, but it's possible that those are actually the display cables. I speculate this because there were two of them.

    If this is correct, then they're quietly upgrading older units with longer or stronger display cables when there's repair work that gives them any reason to touch the display.

    They also updated my TB3 ports to versions that have a lot more hold than the loosey ones that it had originally. My TB3 ports were always on the loose side, even brand new. The ones they gave me with this recent repair are like the ones in my 2018 MBP. I think this shows the older designs aren't necessarily set in stone... or it means that there are/were huge quality control issues in parts of the supply chain.
     
  25. jerryk macrumors 601

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    #25
    As I understand it, the display cable is solder on to the display, which is why the out of warranty replacement cost is so high (approx $600), and the price is part of why people are so upset. So the other cables may have been something else. But if they did replace your screen with the late 2017/2018 screen then you likely got the longer cable as part of the screen assembly.
     

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