Is Apple Quality going down?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hagar, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. hagar macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    I was wondering if the quality of Apple products is going down? I have the feeling it does. I use Mac since Tiger and I feel both hardware, but especially software quality is going downhill.

    I remember when I switched from XP to Tiger I was impressed by the overall reliability of the hardware and the OS. I never looked back. However, when Leopard was released, I noticed a lot (!) of bugs and issues. I hoped the many updates and SL would be the cure, but I feel it actually got worse over time…

    These are some of the issues I'm experiencing all the time:
    - Time machine (and Time capsule) are extremely unreliable and get stuck all the time. It takes 10 minutes for the GUI to get responsive, backups take hours, indexing gets stuck, ...
    - My iMac 2008 speakers get distorted every 10 seconds when playing iTunes music. All other audio sources play fine.
    - SL Finder crashes or gets stuck a lot.
    - MobileMe: don't get me started on that one.
    - iTunes is so overloaded it gets unusable at times: it syncing, streaming, playing, …
    - Safari 4 was slow, safari 5 is even slower: if I open a new tab, the screen gets garbled up and it can take up to 10 seconds. I saw this was fixed in some SL update, but apparently not for me.
    - When I watch movies on my Apple TV that are streamed from my iMac, the iMac goes to sleep after a while, cutting off the movie.
    - Opening/Saving dialog boxes in all my applications can be very slow. Especially if Time Machine is at it again.
    - SL does not feel snappy (yes, I have 4Gb of RAM).
    - If my Macbook Pro awakes from hibernate (not sleep!), my mouse is unresponsive for up to 5 minutes (after the screen has restored)
    - …

    Maybe I should do a clean install (again) of my iMac and Macbook Pro, but the point is I shouldn't have to. Yes, I checked permissions. Besides, I'm not sure it will fix my issues.

    Of course I also had my share of hardware issues: broken superdrive, issues with my iPhone 3G screen, dark lines on my Macbook Pro screen, stuck mighty mouse scroll-ball, failing batteries, time capsule that fails service, but I guess everybody has those?
  2. Kieranic Guest

    Apr 23, 2010
    I'm gonna guess you just have bad luck.

    It works perfectly fine on mine, Occasionally it would garble up but that was only when I was doing intensive stuff like ripping a dvd or playing a game or having Flash open in a lot of tabs.

    So? Tell your mac to stop going to sleep? Preferences > Energy Saver > Move the two sliders to the far left. If you still want your iMac to go to sleep when it's not streaming movies, then just change the options.

    I think there's an option somewhere in iTunes to stop screensavers or something when playing media (I think, I'm not 100% sure).

    If things get really slow or stuck, check the Activity Monitor to see if anything is being data-intensive etc.
  3. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    It certainly seems that way but then this is a forum, you tend to hear more from the people problems than from the people who are just happily and quietly getting on with enjoying their stuff. Also, with the growth of their product sales comes a higher percentage of failures, which you then hear more about.

    I think they have stopped caring as much about their quality control and testing but that's just my unproven opinion. I'm much less impressed with them in recent years.
  4. Dyango macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2010
    Man, if there is something like karma out there then you must have killed a whole family to get such a bad one :p

    My two cents. I haven't experienced any serious problem neither on software nor hardware, yet, I have been seeing -as everyone on this forum I guess- some strange issues from 2009 on I think, hardware wise mostly. MP audio playing issue, yellow tint on 27" iMac, the switching between the graphics on the new MBPs -yeah, that's software probably-, the iPhone 4 signal stuff -I'm not that convinced this is software related...-.

    Anyway my personal experience is that the machine is kind of solid, only had once a problem with audio out that forced me to format, annoying but not too worrying.
  5. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    You mean, has the quality decreased from the eMacs which had a 40% failure rate on logic boards (don't know if that's official numbers, it's what my coworkers who fixed tons of them say, though), or the iBooks which dropped logic boards like flies. What about the old power ports on the laptops that would break off inside by just regular use?

    I think overall Apple's Quality Control has improved, but there's always going to be some things that slip through. The recent problems have been minor compared to several products from the G3/G4 era that had major, widespread issues (note: most products from that era were good too, they just had several that were bad).

  6. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2009
    Try reinstalling SL...that should fix your problems..
  7. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    Unibody construction was about 1000 steps forward.
  8. quakertone, Apr 8, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013

    quakertone macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2013
    True Story

    From my personal experience with Apple mac products (Owned a Bondi Blue G3 with monitor/ Mac Mini / 2 x Macbook White laptops and now the pro + various peripherals) I would say that the quality of the hardware has definitely taken a dive.

    Here is why I say this:

    I have an 1 year, 1 month old Apple Macbook Pro, and already its keyboard is starting to act up. Besides this, the power supply is dead and recently, the 1/8th inch jack broke - now sending output in mono.

    Nothing too major - but this compared to my old entry level macbook white which is still running perfectly is surely evidence of the latest build quality being a bit worse.

    The old macbook white I am comparing it to has been through a lot more - and is 6 times the age - of the Pro.

    The Macbook White a cheaper and older model vs the new pro and the quality of the older hardware clearly trumps that of the new pro!?

    Also worthy of noting is that with any of my previously owned macs I never had anything break - not a single thing. Was I simply lucky?

    I have been using Apple products for a long time, there is still no alternative for me, but somehow it feels like the love for building good solid reliable machines has been lost somewhere along the way.

    For the sake of the users, and the company's future - I sincerely hope that someone at Apple starts saying - "let's just make it as good as we can" again.

    Thank you for letting me voice this on your forum.
  9. Macmonter macrumors regular


    Aug 14, 2008
    Vermont, USA
    Apple Quality?

    Apple, just make your products worthy of the prices you charge for them!
  10. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    I beg to differ. The unibody MacBook Pro is great. I have had no issues, and I'm making my way into the second year with this one and am soon going to upgrade my RAM once I can afford it.

    The original 2006 model was horrible. The bezel on the display was prone to warping, the top case itself was too fragile, and the keyboard coating was a disgusting mess. If you used it for a few hours, and then touched the keyboard, there would literally be warm spots that you could feel through it. Not only that, but the coating they used on the machine itself, would react to some types of skin, so mine quickly started peeling at the side of the keyboard. It was literally worthless three years later. The Genius even broke some of the snaps inside the casing when I had my SuperDrive replaced.

    The coating on my new machine is great. It looks brand new still even. The black bezel also doesn't have the warping issue.

    My Apple Remote still looks great too. I still have the first model too, and while it still looks okay, you can feel the wear and tear.

    I can also say the same thing about the iPods. I REALLY like that they've done away with the reflective backing that was prone to so much scratching. Out of my iPod 3rd generation, iPod Video, and iPod Nano 7th generation, I can easily say that the Nano has been the best. The scratch resistant plastic they used for the screen is awesome too. I'm really enjoying it so far.

    For things that are MEANT to be carried around everywhere, the quality is much, much, much better today than it was years ago.
  11. r0k, Apr 8, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013

    r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I agree with you and also beg to differ with the OP. I have a late 2011 MBP which had been giving me nothing but trouble. I even created a thread here asking if it could possibly be a lemon. During the course of the thread, more and more questions came up about 16GB the Centon RAM I had installed. I pulled the stuff out and haven't had a problem since.

    I've owned Apple gear since about 2005 (not counting ipods and stuff). I started with a Mac mini. I was a reluctant windows user and an ardent Linux user. Once I got my hands on OSX and realized it was Unix based, my Linux usage began to decline and the clock started on my eventual shift away from windows permanently. By 2009, every computer in our house was either OSX or a Linux box. I've seen Apple's build quality over a relatively short period (compared to some users here) but I've seen a marked improvement. I am much more impressed with the build quality of the MBA and MBP line than the plastic Macbooks that preceded them.

    There are a few caveats, though. To me the jury is out on the Retina series of computers. They are beautiful and all, but it bothers me to have a computer that is so much like an iPad or an iPhone in that I cannot upgrade either the internal storage or the RAM. If Apple had pricing parity with Crucial or OWC for storage and RAM for rMBP it wouldn't bother me as much but feeling forced to buy RAM and SSD from Apple ad build time feels a lot like an Apple Tax. In fact it feels a bit like Apple hasn't made their mind up on this issue. For instance, opening my 2005 Mac mini required 4 putty knives and a lot of muscle. Opening my 2010 Mac mini only requires a phillips screwdriver which is all that is required to open my MBP. OTOH, Apple has made opening their retina series of computers much more difficult.
  12. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
  13. palmharbor macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2007
    Basic functions NOT a priority for Apple

    Since 2009, on 3rd Mac Mini....this one is about six months old.
    Had to reinstall 10.8 24 hours after i got it.
    Had to reinstall 10.8 last week due to beachball spinning and delay in typing.
    Apple has not updated copy/paste since 1996. Mail has persistent problems with failure to save settings...outgoing server....passwords...Apple could care less. Quick time will record on line video but NOT the audio...Geeks decided "why would anyone want to record audio with video??"
    Their focus is interaction between iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Facebook...nothing more.:confused:
  14. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    Yes, Apple is going downhill. Ipod lineup is crap now, iphone 5 is crap, the next ipad will be crap, and current OS X is crap when compared to SL.

    If you have:

    ipod 2011 generation
    iphone 2011 generation
    iPad 2012 generation
    Snow Leopard Mac

    Keep this way forever
  15. weez999, Apr 11, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013

    weez999 macrumors member


    Jan 4, 2009
    We all have our opinions on this one but how about this:

    Perhaps you have a bad RAM chip or chips??

    My wife's 08 macbook started to experience a lot of these same issues so I bought brand new RAM and it all went away. I am a Network Engineer of 17 years and it just seemed like a RAM issue to me and I turned out to be right. Who know's maybe you have deeper problems than memory but hopefully, it is simple to fix. Try changing the RAM.
  16. bols59 macrumors newbie


    Jan 8, 2014
    Pacifique du Nord
    It Started Out a Happy Marriage

    Now all I want is a divorce from the old ball and chain! The list is legion. But when my father told me my attitude had become 'combative' I knew it was due to the POS I'm typing this from.

    I first went MAC in 2010. Loved it. Just loved it. Fast forward to January 2015. Every time, not every day; every time I log on there is a problem of one variety or another. Yesterday VLC had no volume. Yes I know VLC is not MAC but I still blame my MAC for that. I fixed the VLC issue. Then I opened a playlist in VLC but the finder window froze and anything I opened was obscured by the finder window. Restart.

    I have now realized that it's **** software writers who don't give a rat's ass. The end users are the beta testers now. And I certainly didn't shell out $1300.00 for this *****.

    I want to hurl this vile object through a window. But I already put my fist through a Samsung PC whilst on chemo and roids in a fit of roid rage. I have done that to my MAC but I'm so disenchanted w/the amount of aggregate time I've spent fixing f*ckups that never should have made it out of the factory.

    I have given up hope. When this PC dies I'm truly going to try and wean myself from the internet. You know, log off and live! It'll be hellish, but I'm never again going to allow a piece of crap machinery dominate my waking hours.

    Rant over. [​IMG][/IMG]
  17. SusanK macrumors 68000

    Oct 9, 2012
    Twenty year Mac user. Apple quality is in decline in my experience.
  18. michelg1970 macrumors regular


    Jul 26, 2011
    Gouda - The Netherlands
    I was in the same boat until 2008 - until I bought an iMac. Since then everything has been smooth.... Then I decided No More Windows **** for me. It worked so far.

    Problem nowadays I guess is the multitude of appliances, applications etc that want to talk together and all use the internet and always just not like you want it. My Sony TV is beautiful but it doesn't fully understand what I want, my son's Windows Phone is good for him (he says) but he wants an iPhone now. My iPhone 6 is great but the office supplied iPhone S5 is also nice to work with. My MacBook Retina is excellent but now others are also making Retina screen laptops.

    There shall always be something new, better, bigger, faster, more beautiful on the horizon. Would you leave your wife whom you loved for the last 10 years for a sexy 25 year old girl? Maybe I would, but on what grounds?

    Things keep changing, that's the way things are BUT nowadays things are moving maybe faster than some of us can adapt to.

    My Mac eco-system around the house is working just beautiful From day 1. And with the new iOS 8 and connectivity options things are just even more smooth for me. But then again, that's just me... It's like I upgraded my wife with a new software update (if only THAt were possible)....

    All the best,

  19. Starfia macrumors 6502a


    Apr 11, 2011
    I don't think it's ever been better. I've been lucky enough (perhaps? I can hardly remember a single horror story in recent years) to have owned and sold a number of Macs, iPods and iPads at a high value – none have stopped working or had any serious issue.

    And in the past five years or so, how many crashes have I experienced? Perhaps one every 12 to 24 months?
  20. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    The quality of EVERYTHING has been going down over the years, but I'd say Apple is still near the top, especially compared to other electronics manufacturers. We all pay a premium for their quality, so it is no mystery. If anything is going down at Apple it has been innovation. There has been very little since Steve Jobs went to the iCloud in the sky.
  21. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I've noticed a decline in Apple quality since I switched in 2005. Yosemite is by far the worst osx yet. This means I must reboot once or twice a month to make something work on my 4+ year old Mac mini, and once every 90 days or so on my 3 year old old MBP. Compare this to the three or four times a week I must reboot Windows 7 at the office and while Apple quality has declined, it's still much better than the competition. I'm not exactly happy but I'm not even mildly tempted to use Windows in my own home.
  22. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2007
    Midwest America.
    Part of the issue is that Apple is dealing with the issues that all companies are.

    One article that I read stated that Apple has switched their focus, or at least been distracted by their stock price, shareholder value, rather than the products they have built.

    Say what you want about Steve Jobs, but his laser precise and ruthless attention to the finer details of the products Apple manufactured made for devices and even software that were 'over designed' in many ways.

    Now, there seems to be more detail on the 'cost of manufacture' and things being designed for their purpose, rather than designed for the price point, and durability.

    Take the 6+. Why use the 'cheaper' triple layer flash, when the double layer flash would be better in the long run? COST Irregardless of the amount of profit Apple gets from the 'new' products, manufacturing them this new way, with this new distracted focus, is capable of costing Apple some very devoted users, and in the long run, their tenuous market share and mystique.

    The shine is coming off the Apple?

    Such a focus on the 'cost' as opposed to the 'quality' is sad for a brand with near religiously devoted fans and users.
  23. CausticSoda macrumors 6502


    Feb 14, 2014
    Abu Dhabi
    Yes and no. I have no problems with the build quality (and my iPhone 6+ is not bent...). However, the software seems increasingly flaky, and I am also concerned that something like the iPhone 6 is released with only 1 GB RAM. That is purely about profit, and unveiling 2 GB RAM as an iPhone 6S benefit, no doubt, but their brand is strong enough to get away with it. Like many of us, I know I could get more for less from Samsung, for example, but still just about prefer Apple products. That may change in time...
  24. r.harris1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 20, 2012
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Macs since the mid-90s professionally, personally since 2008. Heavy user of various software development tools, databases and pretty heavy duty PS user as well as a ton of other imaging and audio software. I've been very impressed with how solid everything I've had has been despite throwing a lot at the systems.

    Right now in my house, we've got late 2008, 2010, 2013 retina and non-retina MBP all on Yosemite and all solid as a rock. 1 aTV 3rd gen, 3 iPhones, 2 iPad air 1st gens on iOS 8, pretty solid too. Occasional hitches in the giddy-up but absolutely nothing compared to many of the non-Macs I use in some of my work engagements. And given how the complexity of the ecosystem has increased dramatically since 2007, I personally find the fact that they are as stable as they are pretty amazing.

    Overall quality has gone up and down over the decades, but for me, has always been consistently higher than the alternative. Obviously, as others point out, forums tend to be peopled with those who have problems, but I'd give quality a B, maybe a B- on occasion.
  25. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
    Dishonesty is on the rise. Just look at the Macbook lawsuit issue, a major fail, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

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44 July 15, 2010