LCD for MacBook Air 13"

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by apullin, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. apullin macrumors newbie

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    Aug 4, 2011
    #1
    So, I'm trying to track down a replacement LCD for my MacBook air, and the whole thing is a little infuriating.

    The Apple store quoted me $440 to do the replacement, with $400 in parts and $40 in labor, and that's the cheapest I've found. 3rd part stores have said $600+.

    Several websites list a replacement LCD part for the Air, but when I go to order, they'll change their stock status from "In Stock" to "Out of Stock". I've gone through pretty much every store out there, and "forced" them to admit they don't actually have the part.

    So, is there any recourse for this? Isn't Apple required to make parts available at a reasonable cost? $400+ dollars seems pretty nuts proportional to the original cost of the computer, and considering that LCD's are available for all the other Mac's at a "fair" cost.
     
  2. weinschela macrumors regular

    weinschela

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    #2
    I don't think Apple has any obligation to price repairs at any level and repairs are always disproportionate in cost. Some years ago, I needed a screen replacement on a 11 inch IBM Thinkpad and it was $1000.
     
  3. jsolares macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    No

    No

    Well the other LCD's aren't made the same way, don't include the entire casing of the laptop nor are they that slim. 40$ for labor seems fairly cheap considering you would practically need to tear the thing apart entirely to change the LCD.
     
  4. jdechko macrumors 68040

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    #4
    You're right. $40 labor seems really cheap when you look at ifixit.com. They don't even have a replacement part, but looking at the topcase replacement, there are a ton of steps to pull the screen and lid assembly off (for the 2010/2011 model anyway. Sure $440 seems expensive, but all in all, I'd actually say it's pretty reasonable.
     
  5. lcseds macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Display for this would be the entire top assembly, hence the cost. LCD itself is not available from Apple. Only through salvaged systems can you get the LCD.
     
  6. apullin thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    What's the cost compared to, say, a MacBook Pro screen? Those things seem to go for around $130, from the 3rd party sites, for just the part. I'm sure I can do the labor myself, just getting the part is the seemingly ridiculous part.

    At this rate, it might be better off to just disassemble it, and sell the thing for parts.... needless to say, I'm fairly disenchanted with Apple over this; it seems like they've done it to force people to upgrade.

    lcseds: At the Apple store, I specifically asked about this, and the guy said that it was just the LCD panel they replace, so the tiny scuff I have in the aluminum exterior would still be there.
     
  7. lcseds macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    I find that surprising that they do the LCD only. But I stand corrected if that is a fact.
     
  8. roncron macrumors member

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    Aug 15, 2011
    #8
    This story makes me glad I sprung for AppleCare.
     
  9. Brandon0448 macrumors 6502

    Brandon0448

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    #9
    He did not even state how his screen was damaged. I most likely guessing that he accidentally damaged the screen himself. If this is the case applecare would of been useless. Applecare does not cover accidental damage, only defects.
     
  10. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #10
    I replace MacBook Air LCD's on a monthly basis. I get these a lot because Apple and other places quote them for the entire assembly, whereas I replace only the LCD panel.

    I would highly recommend against even putting a screwdriver to this machine without prior experience. Leave it to somebody that knows what they're doing.

    I have the experience necessary to replace your display and get it done quickly. I bid $200 for MacBook Airs. The replacement cost for any white MacBook is about $130, and the same $200 for 13" MacBook Pro's.

    Click my links below to find out more.
     
  11. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #11
    If you look iFixit.com you can see the teardown and the upper case and display are a single item, this is why the cost is so high, as Apple will replace the entire assembly as that is how it comes from the vender. To solely replace the display would take considerable skill and patience as it is most likely bonded directly to the upper case.

    All this is the cost of the Air`s extreme portability, other Mac Notebooks have less space constraint, so the machines are designed with greater upgrade paths and ease of disassembly & repair. It is not unusual for companies to take a modular approach as it`s generally cheaper in the long run; assuming you can source a display the cost in man hours may well equal or exceed the $400,

    $40 for labour is actually very reasonable, in my own industry tech time starts at $250 an hour...

    ----------

    $200 sounds pretty good, as I am sure that time is more the factor, than the cost of parts.
     
  12. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    #12
    Exactly. You can make a living selling by high-profit/low volume or low-profit/high volume. Being that most people that come to me have out-of-warranty Macs and want to get them fixed for prices under Apple's repair costs, a low-cost but equal-quality repair is a no-brainer.

    I spent all of last week replacing the LCD's in A1181 MacBooks. These are out of warranty or the accidents aren't covered by Apple Care, so it's easy for me to fill the low-cost repair market and help all of the Mac users that are in a tight spot.

    Offering the cheapest MacBook Air repair means people are often more than happy to get the repair done right, rather than ruin their precious and elegant machines.
     
  13. apullin thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 4, 2011
    #13
    Eh, it's not like the Airs are wildly more expensive than the other MacBooks.

    MrCheeto: I'm sure that I'd be able to handle the repair myself. I've repaired plenty of laptops and am quite good with my hands. The parts availability is the problem. You say you do this often on the late 2010 machines? I'll PM you about business!

    There seems to be a storm of misinformation swirling around this topic. As 'jsolares' demonstrated, people seem to think that the display technology in the Airs is fundamentally different than any other laptop, and demands a much higher price. This seems to be a little bit of invention-after-the-fact, the fact being an unreasonably high prices for an LCD panel. Several 3rd part repair places initially told me that it was unrepairable, and offered to buy the computer from me for parts for a miserable sum :mad:
     
  14. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #14
    The Air is different, even compared to the Pro's.

    The tricky part about replacing MacBook Air LCD's (and the reason I pull in all MacBook Air repairs in my area) is being able to remove the bezel without damaging or bending it. As I demonstrated in my blog, it's easy to do if you've broken into laptops before. I have even gone as far as swapping the bulbs in LCD's. Yes, really. Two customers brought their MacBook to me. One had a bad board, the other had a bad light. I took the light from the good, put it in the bad, presto! Sold it to a customer that wanted a budget part for about $35. I told him exactly what I'd done and he was ok with it. [/digression]

    The fact is, yes, you're right. It's easy for service providers to fool people into thinking there's something mystical about MacBook Airs and that only level 14 pixie Charmers with plus Mana could over power their spell. It's a marketing trick. However, that is not to say that anybody could or should do it. It just means that it can be done by more than holy figures.
     
  15. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    #15
    No, actually you never mentioned that.

    I really really hate to break it to you, but you're looking for something that doesn't exist. There isn't going to be an LCD panel inside of the MacBook Air because...the lid is part of the display in the 2010 models!

    That's right. Apple has integrated their case into their LCD. The lid and screen are one in the same!

    I am going to assume that Apple is the first and only manufacturer that is selling this particular configuration of this part. It would be like finding an iPhone 4 display for another phone, it isn't going to happen.

    I'm sorry to say, but until people start parting out their MacBook Air's on the cheap, you're not going to find anything less than what you've already been told.

    Again, I'm sorry. But don't dare settle and let it go for less than it's worth!
     
  16. apullin thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 4, 2011
    #16
    Ah, ok. I guess I wasn't specific about that detail. But this is the same dance that I've done with every retailer.

    As I mentioned before, the Apple store specifically told me that it was just the LCD panel that gets replaced, so the scratches that are on the aluminum top case would remain... although maybe the tech at the Apple store was counter-confused on this issue....


    But it's sort of not worth anything without a screen, and if it'll cost $500 to fix, it's just not economical. I may as well try and disassemble it and sell it for parts. Maybe an email to Jobs will help things along...
     
  17. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Not now...
     
  18. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #18
    So what are you going to tell Steve Job`s; you bought an expensive notebook, it got damaged and as you didn't take out any insurance, you are now unhappy with the cost of repair :rolleyes: sell it and move on, or settle the tab...

    This scenario is simply part of the cost of ownership of the Air, if you want cutting edge design combined with technology, you have to pay one way or the other, something many should contemplate before buying, any repair to the Air will be more costly in parts and man hours due to the compactness of the machine...
     
  19. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    #19
    Not all repairs. I replace a MacBook Air motherboard for far less labor cost than non-unibody Macs. Even less than unibody MacBook Pros. :D
     
  20. apullin thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    Eh, I don't know about that evaluation. I mean, if you made a car that was unrepairable, you wouldn't be able to sell it in America. And since things have been leaning in that direction, there's even been Right to Repair legislation proposed.

    The cost of the MacBook Air isn't really that much higher than a regular MacBook ... people seem to talk about it like it's some mystic, reverent thing, and I'm not quite sure why.

    As MrCheeto point out: it's not voodoo, it's not black magic, it's not that Air bears some holy boones or mark of Cain ... it's just a computer, and it's just that Apple is purposely not supporting it with parts. I'm really a little in awe of the reactions here; people seem to have a lot of avenues to bargain away fairness in their view. I mean, how would you react if someone quoted you $5K to change the windscreen in your car?
     
  21. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #21
    The computer is repairable, you just dont want to pay the asking price from Apple, and I do agree there is no magic or need for PHD`s to effect the repair, bearing in mind they are asking just $40 for the labour. It is simply more efficient for companies to deal with modular systems; ordering, packaging, shipping, installation, as it helps to keep their overheads down and ensures greater reliability.

    You want the Air at lowest price, you want the performance, and you want rock bottom repair cost, as with most industries something has to give. As for the car analogy try going to your dealer and ordering the same car piece by piece you will quickly see that the cost is 2-3 times of a new vehicle. What I find funny is that everyone expects the most, yet are unwilling to pay for it, you have your options it`s down to you now...
     
  22. jsolares macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    The display technology in itself is no different at all, it's just put together differently, at least in some models where everything is glued to the aluminum making it part of the LCD, No one else is making a display this thin just yet.

    The lcd panel of a white macbook is almost twice as thick as the entire display assembly of the air.

    It's not voodoo, it's not black magic, but no one else makes most of the parts, the only spares you can get is from other machines with other problems. is that so hard to understand?

    I'm not bargaining away fairness, it just is what it is, fair or not.
     

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