How normal is it to have a defected iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by misho73, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. misho73, Dec 18, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014

    misho73 macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2014
    I am still waiting for my retina iMac 5K replacement after receiving a defected unit (Faulty screen)
    Seeing this amount of people suffering from defective units all-over the forum makes me wonder how common it is to have a faulty iMac?
    It is my first iMac ever. I've been working on computers of all kinds and shapes since I was a kid (for more than 26 years now) and I have never ever got a defective computer (Since my first Sinclair).
    Adding my experience to others on this forum makes me question Apple reliability?
    Is this common with Apple Computers? is it exclusive to this particular 5K model?
    Your thoughts?
  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Nobody can answer that unless they have access to a large body of data and can do proper statistics. It is unavoidable that some products will arrive with defects.

    As to Apple's reliability, they have been among the best on the market for years. This is a recent study of notebooks:

    Apple takes place 4 here, but note how its only 11% (relative) behind the top result. In comparison, Lenovo with its place 6 had an 38% increase in hardware failures.
  3. steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    Wow. These failure rates for all manufacturers are shockingly high. Wouldn't anybody think a one in five chance of failure by year three unacceptable?
  4. misho73 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2014
    This is the reputation that brought me to Apple. It is understood that it is unavoidable to have the perfect line of product.
    My question is mainly for these who have history with Apple products (on this forum) to tell me whether it's normal and they have been noticing this over the time. or Maybe it's not and this particular product is faulty and reports ( on this forum) are more than usual.
    Honestly with this price bracket, I expect more. Even for this report you posted about notebooks. it is questionable how come Apple falls behind Asus & Toshiba???? come-on, compare the price tags.
  5. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I purchase Apple products (laptops and desktops) for a small university department. This year we have purchased around 20 machines. None of them had any defects on delivery. Then again, anecdotal evidence is anecdotal.

    First of all, the price has nothing to do with the reliability. Apple's laptops cost more because they are lighter, better designed, more ergonomical, have better screens and better batteries. If you want a comparable performance/mobility/battery from another manufacturer, prices are around the same.

    Second, the absolute ratings without taking standard error in the account are quite meaningless. E.g. if the test used 10000 machines for each brand, then Asus 99% confidence interval for failure rate lies between 14.6% and 16.5%. Apple's 99% confidence interval for failure rates lies between 16.4% and 18.4%. As you can see, these still intersect. So we can't really confidently conclude that Asus is more reliable than Apple — it is quite likely that the first 5 brands have more or less the same reliability. Now, HP is a different story, with its 99% confidence interval being 21.7% to 30% — that is indeed clearly worse than the top competitors.

    As final note: I believe that it is possible to design a laptop that would have a 3 year failure rate under 10%. But that laptop would need to use an outdated CPU, oversized power supply, maybe a redundant storage module. And it would cost an arm and leg. In fact, I think that under 20% 3-year failure rate is amazing, given that that the typical usable lifespan of a computer is 3-4 years.
  6. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2012
    Also to be fair, a retail customer (i.e. domestic user) might well reject a iMac because of a bit of screen tint or backlight bleed or something like that, whereas that sort of defect might very well (almost certainly?) not be rejected in a work environment. People tend to be much less fussy about equipment they don't actually own themselves and also they are less likely to be (a) looking for problems and (b) using the equipment in an environment where the problems will manifest themselves. You'll never see backlight bleed in a bright office, for example.
  7. powerslave65 macrumors 6502


    Mar 21, 2011
    Sherman Oaks CA
    Best ways to minimize the chances of a DOA computer.

    1. Buy in a store

    2. Buy used and inspect it first.

    Lastly if you had it shipped to your house it may not even have been defective when it left the shipper.

    Whenever you have a computer shipped to your house there is always a chance that it can be damaged. Drops, moisture, static electricity, extreme temperature, etc. One of the main reasons to buy in a store is that returning is a little faster and easier.
  8. mercuryjones macrumors 6502a

    May 31, 2005
    College Station, TX
    26 years and not a single defective machine? Your luck was bound to run out at some point then.
    I mena, if every single PC you've had has run with no issues, why even switch? That seems like a solid company that you would want to stay with for the long haul.
  9. misho73 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2014
    I will have to disagree. When it's double or triple the price you expect a premium product. which includes reliability. I am not sure why you excluded reliability out of the equation?? specially when you price a product in the market higher than most of the competition.

    You might be right (in some conditions). I am new to Apple. plus getting the configuration you want isn't available in store. this also frustrates me. how on earth Apple store cannot provide customers with their needs? another question mark? if the have stocking problems they must work on this issue.

    You switch not because you buy defective machines. you switch because you seek superior performance which Apple and OS X provide (when working properly). when you upgrade from Fiat to BMW you do this not because Fiat is a defective car.
  10. Sirolway macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2009
    Bear in mind that Apple sell a lot of machines so, even if their defect rate were tiny, there is likely to be a lot of defect stories on the web ...
  11. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I understand your position, but unfortunately, our current technology is not that advanced. I know that you expect higher reliability, but it does not mean that higher reliability is technically possible and/or economical. Apple and the competitors use the same exact electronic components and technologies, so reliability will not be that different. Again, Apple laptops are priced competitively to other laptops with a comparable feature sets.

    To put it in a different perspective, demanding for more reliable computers is like asking for a car that can go 1 million km without inspection. A neat idea, but simply not doable with our materials and technology. Given the complexity of the product, only 15% of failure within three years is a VERY good result. Again, while it should be possible to improve this score, the tradeoff would be too severe.
  12. misho73 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2014
    Understood, the discussion took turns just for the sake of the argument. But my main concern was the fear of having another defective replacement.
    I received it Last night, so far so good. Some backlight bleed (that wasn't there at the previous unit) but will accept it as is. I hope no other underlaying conditions.
    This is my third BTO Machine in 3 month. First I bought the late 2013 ver. then couple of weeks later they introduced the 5k so I had to go through the replacement process, I receive a defective one and again had to go through the replacement process. The process is not very friendly and time consuming and it involves lots of down time which adds to the frustration. I wouldn't bother much if exchanging is easy as, go to store replace and get back home with the new replacement.
    I wish if Apple store can provide customers with variety of configuration in their stock. I guess that would please everyone and customers will have much more tolerance with the defective rate.


    Forgot to add, the 2013 one had a horrible backlight bleed
  13. MiniMoke macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2009
    My 2007 MacBook Pro is still going strong after having the board changed in 2010 because of the dreaded nVidia bug.

    My iMac 17" from 2006 still chugs along nicely.

    A white MacBook 13" from 2006 does it's occasional job for my daughter.

    A 2007 MacMini had to have it's Superdrive changed after under 2 years - warranty job. Don'tknow it it's still running as I sold it in 2010.

    The 2010 Mac Mini is fine, thank you and my new iMac, 2 Months old is OK.

    I guess either I have been VERY lucky or the OP was not.
  14. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    One should keep this discussion objective.

    People post here with questions, but not often when they think everything about their Apple device is perfect.
    What about the hundreds of thousands that experience no problems? Most times, they don't post here. Why would they?
    You have to think that with a large number of total units sold, some will have defects of some kind.
    The number of questions, as posted here, will not likely give you an accurate picture of the real percentage of faulty units - it's easy to get a skewed idea that reports of defects means that most units are affected. That's just not the case.
  15. misho73 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2014
    Makes sense.... Thanks
  16. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    To just throw this out there, all the Apple products I've ever owned (see sig and those products replaced other Apple products) I've yet to have a hardware issue. Nor has anyone else I know to the best of my knowledge.

    Only issues I ever hear about are from people online.

    All that doesn't mean much but it leads me personally to believe they make good products overall. I'll change my opinion when I or someone I know is personally affected.
  17. rainydays macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2006
    People mainly post on these forums when they run into trouble, few people jump here to describe the perfection of their machine. :)
    So issues are over represented that's for sure.

    That said, I've had lots of issues with macs. From getting faulty products out of the box to products breaking down within a year. So from my experience they aren't very reliable. But I know people who has never had issues so I obviously had bad luck.

    I've had many computers over the years and apart from an old Nokia CRT being DOA I've never had a single issue with anyone except the Apples.

    I think that one reason for this might be that Apple generally use a lot of custom designed hardware where most of the others use standard well proved solutions.
  18. powerslave65 macrumors 6502


    Mar 21, 2011
    Sherman Oaks CA
    I have owned 16 Macs since 1995 and I have had 2 hardware failures since then and only one of which seemed to be an Apple issue. The first was my ex wife had a logic board that failed on her G4 tower. Opened it up and it was filled with cat hair. Beware the cuddling cat! The second was a faulty cable on the display of a Powerbook G4. I fixed that myself. In my world that works out to a 6.25% failure rate. I can live with that.


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