'Flexgate': 2016 and Newer MacBook Pro Users Report Display Issues Due to Fragile Flex Cables

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    An increasing number of users have experienced backlight issues on 2016 and newer MacBook Pro models, particularly those with the Touch Bar, often resulting in a so-called "stage light effect" along the bottom of the display.

    Image via MacRumors forum member SourceSunTom

    According to the repair website iFixit, which highlighted the issue today, the underlying cause is Apple's use of thin, fragile flex cables that connect the display with the display controller board on 2016 and newer MacBook Pro models, as opposed to the more durable wire cables used in previous generations.

    iFixit's Taylor Dixon explains:
    In a nutshell, the normal, repeated opening and closing of the display lid can result in the thin flex cables becoming fragile and breaking over time. And since the issue takes time to manifest, the affected MacBook Pro models are often outside of Apple's one-year warranty period when they start exhibiting symptoms.


    Many examples of the issue have been documented on the website Flexgate, in the Apple Support Communities, and in the MacRumors discussion forums. It's unclear how many users are affected, but the number continues to increase.

    The problem gets worse when affected customers take their MacBook Pro to Apple for repair, as iFixit claims that the flex cables are integrated into the display and cannot be replaced individually. Instead, the entire display assembly needs to be replaced, turning a cheap repair into a costly $600-plus one.

    While some customers without AppleCare+ have managed to get a free or reduced-cost repair, it appears many have been required to pay in full.

    Apple has not launched a public-facing repair program for this issue, and we're not aware of any internal one either. A petition urging Apple to launch such a program has amassed over 2,200 signatures. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but we'll update this article if we hear back.

    Article Link: 'Flexgate': 2016 and Newer MacBook Pro Users Report Display Issues Due to Fragile Flex Cables
  2. Aluminum213 macrumors 68040


    Mar 16, 2012
  3. AngerDanger macrumors 68040


    Dec 9, 2008
    Weird flex, but okay.
  4. macloverHK macrumors member

    May 16, 2018
    Hong Kong
  5. lars666 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2008
    The first picture reminds me of the lightning of my old iPad Pro 12.9".
  6. ignatius345 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2015
    This is what the relentless pursuit of "thin" gets you.
  7. MakeAppleAwesomeAgain macrumors member


    Nov 21, 2016
    It just never stops, I think even Apple at this point wishes a real Time Machine would exist so they could undo all this 2016 and later MBP crap. I can't imagine them refreshing the MBP this year with the same enclosure or sales would drop even further. I would love to replace my 2013 Air, don't care how much it would cost me but I just can't take a risk this high. It's a shame.
  8. Ghost31 macrumors 68020


    Jun 9, 2015
    oh my freaking god. We are in 2019. Can we just make a laptop that works without all these damn gates and issues
  9. MrGimper macrumors 603


    Sep 22, 2012
    Andover, UK
    There are so many issues with so many products nowadays. Makes AC+ a necessity.
  10. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Cutting corners while raising prices. Keep doing this and see how long you stay in the black, Apple. I dare you.
  11. magicschoolbus macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2014
    wish Apple would swallow their pride and redesign this machine. keyboard issues and now this.. im staying away until it gets a major redesign.. even if that means another 5 years.
  12. ilikewhey macrumors 6502a


    May 14, 2014
    nyc upper east
    sheeesh apple just can't catch a break, first the keyboard, thn the t2 chip, and now this.
  13. vicviper789 macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2013
    No wonder why they were so heavily discounted over the holidays...
  14. BJMRamage macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007
  15. SecuritySteve macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2017
    Well this is annoying. I hope I am gentle enough to my 2018 MBP to not see this until I am ready to replace it anyway. Luckily I always buy AppleCare +.

    I might be in the minority here, but I like my 2018 MBP better than my 2015 MBP (model and design wise). I've started to evolve my setups to moving away from USB-A cables into USB-C, and now only one of my devices that I ever use on my MBP is USB-A.

    Times change.
  16. Rafterman macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2010
    So...the parts get cheaper, but the Macbook Pro prices get higher.
  17. dumastudetto macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2013
    In this case I believe it to be true.
    People opening and closing the lid too often and with too much force will eventually cause the problem. It's nothing to do with Apple cutting corners, it is people using the product improperly.
  18. dumastudetto macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2013
    This is a design decision and not related to price.
  19. ThatGuyInLa macrumors 6502


    Oct 26, 2012
    Glendale, Ca.
    Mine lives mostly docked. I plan on keeping it this way. I look at the fact that it’s a mobile workstation for emergencies only.
  20. Spock macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2002
    This is unacceptable for any notebook at these price points. Apple really seems to be losing it with the MacBook, glad I still have my 2015 retina.
  21. AngerDanger macrumors 68040


    Dec 9, 2008
    Mine looked more like this:

  22. robbietop macrumors regular


    Jun 7, 2017
    Good Ol' US of A
    This is why I ALWAYS buy AppleCare. Some people cheap out on it and then this happens and what would have been free is now $600.

    ALWAYS buy the extended warranty.
  23. KPandian1 Suspended

    Oct 22, 2013
    Apple's external cables were always fragile - designed to last about a year - especially the 30-pin and Lightning cables. And, overpriced.

    Now, they have taken it inside the device.

    From the time they soldered the SSD and memory onto the bother board, these laptops have not much second life, or repairability. Now they fuse the connector to the display! That is a loss for them when they repair under warranty - a loss to the shareholders. Add this to the keyboard-topcase mess.
  24. SnarkyBear macrumors regular


    Apr 24, 2014
    It seems more and more that Apple products are going down in quality. I still occasionally use my 2009 MacBook (White Plastic) with no issues (other than being stuck with on older OS 10.11).

    Sad to see so many issues on Macs these days.
  25. sofila macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2006
    Ramtop Mountains
    And I don't see this as a good sign. One thing is to look forward (s**t happens). Needing a further insurance while you pay a premium price for a product that may show up as badly designed...too.much

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