How Rare are MBP issues REALLY?

CaptRB

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 11, 2016
885
916
LA, California
I have an answer.

I work out in LA, but I have several close friends working with the board of Ed. in NYC. MacBooks are given to faculty on loan. They don't get to keep them!

Recently my friend got kicked upstairs and is in charge of buying MacBooks. Most have been the new Touch Bar models. A few were Airs.

Most significantly there have been thousands purchased. According to her, she's had zero returns. Not one came back as defective. No clicking keys or uneven screens or trackpad issues. That's a pretty good sign of good quality control.

Now here in LA I work with clients who are editing movies, writing screenplays, still shooters (like myself) and many of us have the new machines. I have yet to hear of a single problem from anyone.

What this proves, at least to me, is this:

1) Forums like this will attract people with genuine issues. This will give the appearance that problems are more common than they truly are.

2) Forums like this will also attract non-owners and folks with an agenda. This makes #1 appear even worse.

3) MacBooks are pretty darn reliable.


R.
 

CaptRB

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 11, 2016
885
916
LA, California
The only MacBook failures I've seen were on older models, but they WERE OLDER and owed little to their owners. Sooner or later it's time to upgrade.

R.
 
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bevsb2

macrumors 68000
Nov 23, 2012
1,748
626
No significant problems with my Apple products over the past 7 or so years since I got my first MacBook.
 

Tsigaro

macrumors newbie
Jun 1, 2017
8
2
What you guys say feel reassuring. Because I'm about to buy my first Mac computer ever and to be honest, I was afraid about new Macbook Pro 2016 issues. I still don't really trust this first gen of new Macbook Pro (and that's why I'm waiting for the refresh) but I agree with the fact that forums like this will attract people with genuine issues and can frighten people like me.
 
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ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,155
Issues happen - quite a few come on for repairs, but considering Apple has like 10% market share that is expected. What's notable is that a big portion of those that come in for repairs are older, and many give a long service life before needing the initial repair. A large portion of those we check in for repairs are in fact upgrades in RAM or SSDs, or battery replacements, instead of component failures. With the exception of bad model years, like the dGPU 2011s, most MBPs have solid service lives.

Quantifying the exact amount would be very difficult. We would have to offset for abuse, wear items like batteries, and upgrades, and then be able to compare it to other Makers by model-level tiers. Additionally, one should expect to see more Apple repairs because one may just outright replace a PC given the lower purchase price, which can artificially inflate the appearance that Apple has more issues compared to other brands than it actually does - hence the importance of comparing matching pricing tiers. Then of course the consumers themselves of Apple versus PCs can differ greatly, and their own habits can certainly affect system reliability. Thus far, I've not seen a study with substantial methodological rigor to speak in statistical terms.

So the best I can say is that they are reliable, they seem to outlast most other brands, they do have issues, and lemons do exist. On the PC side, Lenovo and Asus also seem to come in a lot less for hardware failure than other Makers. Ultimately, there is a huge amount of brand loyalty for both Apple and higher-end Lenovo systems - a Maker cannot cultivate that brand loyalty unless they make consistently solid products!!!
 
Last edited:

Mr. Dee

macrumors 68020
Dec 4, 2003
2,495
3,664
Jamaica
Well, its only been 9 months. My screen lamination issues started happening in the second year after purchase. So, lets see first. Not to mention, these are expensive computers, you are going to treat them with tender loving care.
 
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invisibleshoes

macrumors 6502
Sep 20, 2014
289
296
I've owned 3 variations of the MacBook; Pro/Air/12" and never had an issue. That's not to say that problems don't occur, but if they do, people tend to voice or troubleshoot on public forums.
 
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Mefisto

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2015
1,340
1,643
Finland
I had my 2010 MBP for close to seven years, and it ran flawlessly, albeit "a little slow" at the end of it's life. I sold it for close to 200€, and after upgrades (to some of my upgrades) I hear it's still going strong.

I got the 2016 MBP in January, I think, and it has been flawless thus far. Sure, I had to buy a dongle and a USB-C flash drive, but other than that smooth sailing. The people that I know that have the 2016 MBP have not complained about it (to me, at least).

In conclusion: I like Apple laptops. They do what I need them to do, and they do it all day long.
 

SteveJUAE

macrumors 68040
Aug 14, 2015
3,412
3,479
Land of Smiles
I have an answer.

I work out in LA, but I have several close friends working with the board of Ed. in NYC. MacBooks are given to faculty on loan. They don't get to keep them!

Recently my friend got kicked upstairs and is in charge of buying MacBooks. Most have been the new Touch Bar models. A few were Airs.

Most significantly there have been thousands purchased. According to her, she's had zero returns. Not one came back as defective. No clicking keys or uneven screens or trackpad issues. That's a pretty good sign of good quality control.

Now here in LA I work with clients who are editing movies, writing screenplays, still shooters (like myself) and many of us have the new machines. I have yet to hear of a single problem from anyone.

What this proves, at least to me, is this:

1) Forums like this will attract people with genuine issues. This will give the appearance that problems are more common than they truly are.

2) Forums like this will also attract non-owners and folks with an agenda. This makes #1 appear even worse.

3) MacBooks are pretty darn reliable.


R.
I think you forgot to add what you are prepared to accept when something is given to you free :D

Whilst all the Mac's and PC's I have bought over the years I have had relatively little problems since 1986

Crap happens with any OEM goods premium or otherwise and I agree you may well see a disproportion of issues here

However what is indicative in my perception is an increase of possible issues on changes of design over previous models that had similar design points with fewer issues posted with the most noticeable of these being the new KB designs on rMB and MBP others like case and TB are far harder to guess at IMO
 

eyeseeyou

macrumors 68040
Feb 4, 2011
3,051
1,430
My 2nd hand 2014 macbook has had 0 issues aside from the screen needing to be replaced(for free) due to a manufacturing defect.
 

William Payne

macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2017
931
359
Wanganui, New Zealand.
I find generally that people who have a problem with something are way more vocal then those who are happy.

My boss is a good example, great guy but if he is happy generally he won't be vocal about it but if he is unhappy you will absolutely be told about it.
 
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Miltz

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2013
657
311
New York
I have an answer.

I work out in LA, but I have several close friends working with the board of Ed. in NYC. MacBooks are given to faculty on loan. They don't get to keep them!

Recently my friend got kicked upstairs and is in charge of buying MacBooks. Most have been the new Touch Bar models. A few were Airs.

Most significantly there have been thousands purchased. According to her, she's had zero returns. Not one came back as defective. No clicking keys or uneven screens or trackpad issues. That's a pretty good sign of good quality control.

Now here in LA I work with clients who are editing movies, writing screenplays, still shooters (like myself) and many of us have the new machines. I have yet to hear of a single problem from anyone.

What this proves, at least to me, is this:

1) Forums like this will attract people with genuine issues. This will give the appearance that problems are more common than they truly are.

2) Forums like this will also attract non-owners and folks with an agenda. This makes #1 appear even worse.

3) MacBooks are pretty darn reliable.


R.
Listen, people come to the forums to mostly talk about problems... as of late it's gotten worse. No product is perfect, but the forums are definitely misleading to prospective buyers.
 

William Payne

macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2017
931
359
Wanganui, New Zealand.
Another thing is down here in New Zealand Apple stores do not exist. So Apple is sold in the same stores as all the Windows PC's and laptops. I know some people who sell computers and Apple returns compared to other brands is generally pretty negligible.
 

CaptRB

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 11, 2016
885
916
LA, California
Listen, people come to the forums to mostly talk about problems... as of late it's gotten worse. No product is perfect, but the forums are definitely misleading to prospective buyers.


When apple makes one or two changes, the mud flies and haters come out in force.

The new MBP with Touch Bar changed so much that we saw a disproportionate swell of crying! Some was based on experience and ownership and a good deal wasn't.

Misery loves company and people crave a conspiracy. i.e. "my keyboard is bad, so they must all be bad!"

Happens all the time. For two months we had two regular posters bashing the new machines and lying about owning them. They made a lot of noise, but what can you do?

There's a mentality that enjoys tearing down products and people. So when the short battery life issue came up, these people piled on. When it was fixed, they became frantic and went back to bashing keyboards and ports. My assertion is that some is real, but a lot are not.

So with obviously thousands upon thousands of issue-free machines out there, what are the chances that ONE person gets 3 or 4 defective ones in a ROW??? I mean...really? What are those odds? Or is it user error, a lie or someone with emotional problems? We can only read these tales and ponder while enjoying (most of us) the best MBP machines to date.


R.
 

Sterkenburg

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2016
421
358
I agree they are less common than you'd guess by reading these forums. The Internet always offers a very biased perspective because of how much negativity it attracts. Most people have no problems whatsoever, but they won't come here and tell us "Hi guys, my computer is working flawlessly today! Just sayin'!".

It's very obvious that issues do exist and Macs are not immune to them, but overall I have always found Apple products in general to be very reliable and solid. I have owned a 2009 MBP, a 2016 MBP, two iPads, two iPhones and many other accessories. I had very few problems, and all the devices still work fine.
 

SteveJUAE

macrumors 68040
Aug 14, 2015
3,412
3,479
Land of Smiles
The new MBP with Touch Bar changed so much that we saw a disproportionate swell of crying! Some was based on experience and ownership and a good deal wasn't.

Misery loves company and people crave a conspiracy. i.e. "my keyboard is bad, so they must all be bad!"

Happens all the time. For two months we had two regular posters bashing the new machines and lying about owning them. They made a lot of noise, but what can you do?

There's a mentality that enjoys tearing down products and people. So when the short battery life issue came up, these people piled on. When it was fixed, they became frantic and went back to bashing keyboards and ports. My assertion is that some is real, but a lot are not.

So with obviously thousands upon thousands of issue-free machines out there, what are the chances that ONE person gets 3 or 4 defective ones in a ROW??? I mean...really? What are those odds? Or is it user error, a lie or someone with emotional problems? We can only read these tales and ponder while enjoying (most of us) the best MBP machines to date.

R.
Whilst most of us are capable of sorting out the chaff and spotting the more biased opinions posted it just par for the course with forums and within reason you should give the benefit of the doubt else we would be calling out every post :)

It was also quite clear that also in the 2 months you note there were other posters who tried to the point of distraction and almost a monopoly of replies to counter any MBP negativity. I leave it to your own judgement if these posters were sponsored in someway but if their meteorically rise and equally sudden death is indicative then there is no smoke without fire IMO
[doublepost=1496478533][/doublepost]
It's all the threads talking about how easily the retina display gets scratches is what get's scary.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/macbook-pro-2016-display-scratches-easily.2024791/
That's the point I was making if there is more of these types of complaints over previous years then that can be indicative of a greater chance of issues but obliviously subjective but none the less worrying

I guess the problem is more for casual members who have not followed or researched previous years of postings and can get a more skewed opinion
 

Merkava_4

macrumors 6502a
Sep 4, 2010
564
49
California
That's the point I was making if there is more of these types of complaints over previous years then that can be indicative of a greater chance of issues but obliviously subjective but none the less worrying

I guess the problem is more for casual members who have not followed or researched previous years of postings and can get a more skewed opinion
If you run a search under "retina display scratches," the amount of threads pertaining to that issue are alarming. It makes you think that Apple put a very fragile anti-glare film on the retina MBP and merely breathing on it causes scratches.
 

SteveJUAE

macrumors 68040
Aug 14, 2015
3,412
3,479
Land of Smiles
If you run a search under "retina display scratches," the amount of threads pertaining to that issue are alarming. It makes you think that Apple put a very fragile anti-glare film on the retina MBP and merely breathing on it causes scratches.
Or maybe a tolerance issue with screen to KB clearance

That's why many touch screens can offer better more durable screens IMO with typically Gorilla glass layer and its not all about nits and colour some of the Super Amoled screens are very pleasant to use
 

ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,155
Some people just also outright hate Apple and everything they do.
I work with a few guys like that whom I love to death, but they hate anything Apple with a passion. If Apple developed a vaccine for HIV, they would refuse it & denounce it on the basis that it originated in Cupertino.

They have far more technical knowledge than I - and my reason for liking Apple is admittedly primitive, which is that I turn it on and it works. No BS to deal with, no complex UI, no failed updates, sleep issues, "Please Wait", or any of that - it simply turns on so I can do my work and not have to deal with any crap, and I can be quite confident that it will do the same tomorrow, the day after, and so on.

A few days ago one of them admitted that Apple has a solid track record of mostly reliable hardware and it took the help of three other coworkers to pick my jaw up off of the floor.
 
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thalazy

macrumors regular
Jul 6, 2012
143
12
In a van down by the river.
My first Mac was a 2012 Retina Macbook Pro which gave me a few issues. It was the base model with 512gb SSD drive, The motherboard had to be replaced and some other issues. Bought it brand new and was disappointed.I was glad I did buy Applecare. I eventually sold it and got a retina iMac (1st gen). No issues whatsoever with that and got Applecare with it. Recently took the plunge to get back into their laptops and bought the base 2016 13 inch MBPro. I wanted something light, portable and good battery. Since it didn't have a dedicated GPU, I figure I wouldn't have any issues even though I realize not all Macbook Pro's have issues,
Not even sure if I will get Applecare for this one though. I am still on the fence. So far I am 2 for 3. If these two last me a long time then I can make a completely informed opinion.
 
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