Video Suggests Screws in iMac Pro's VESA Mounting Kit Are Prone to Break When Unfastened

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Quinn Nelson, host of the popular YouTube channel Snazzy Labs, has shared a new video that appears to suggest the iMac Pro's user-installable VESA mounting kit uses cheap screws that are prone to break when unfastened.


For background, the kit enables users to replace an iMac Pro's stand with a VESA mount adapter, allowing the computer to be affixed to any VESA-compatible wall mount, desk mount, or articulating arm. Jason Snell of Six Colors provides a good overview of the installation process in the video below.


Nelson installed the adapter without issue, but ran into difficulties when he went to remove it a few months later:
When I was backing out one of the five screws, which was not overtightened by the way, the screw head just broke clean off from the screw body, and it left the screw stuck inside of the screw hole threads. The end result... I couldn't remove the VESA adapter... ever.
Nelson acknowledges that the adapter is probably not designed to be taken on-and-off repeatedly, but Apple never warns against doing so, and switching back to the traditional stand at least once seems reasonable.

Unable to remove the adapter, Nelson said he contacted Apple by phone, explained the situation, and was told that Apple could not provide support because the adapter is manufactured by a licensed OEM, despite being sold by Apple with Apple-branded packaging and documentation.


The support representative then declined to provide the name of the OEM or their contact information, according to Nelson, who gave up on the phone call and decided to visit the Genius Bar at his local Apple Store.

Unfortunately, the Genius Bar was not very helpful, as apparently only the Head Genius at that store was trained to service the iMac Pro. Nearly two weeks and one failed repair later, the iMac Pro was finally fixed and ready for pickup, with a new VESA mount adapter installed and the saga seemingly over.

Upon leaving the store, however, Nelson discovered that his iMac Pro's stand had been significantly dented and scratched. The damage prompted him to carefully remove the VESA mount adapter yet again, to see if the iMac Pro itself was damaged, and he encountered similar scuffs on the chassis of the machine.

Moreover, while attempting to unscrew the Apple-installed replacement adapter, another screw broke off, suggesting that Nelson's experience wasn't a one-off situation, and that the screws are in fact prone to break.

All in all, there are two separate issues here: the fragile screws and the un-pro-like customer service that was provided by Apple. And, unlike his fellow YouTube creator Linus Sebastian, Nelson did not disassemble the iMac Pro or perform any other action that would appear to violate Apple's warranty.

Importantly, after the video, Nelson says the Apple Store has since offered to replace the entire iMac Pro free of charge. He was also contacted by Apple's Executive Relations team, which wanted to ensure everything was okay and requested that he send the VESA mounting kit to Apple for its engineers to examine.

Apple store offered to a) replace the outer shell in another repair or b) do a CRU (complete replacement unit). I obviously elected the latter.In the end, I am getting taken care of, but a few have seen the video already. Don't know what they would have done for an average Joe. - Quinn Nelson (@SnazzyQ) May 26, 2018
Just got a call from the Apple Executive Team. They called to see if everything turned out okay with the store and also requested that I send my VESA mount in for the engineering team to examine. Maybe they'll finally fix this thing. - Quinn Nelson (@SnazzyQ) May 27, 2018

While this doesn't appear to be a widespread problem, and might not ever be given the steps to reproduce it require mounting and demounting a minimum $5,000 computer, the simple solution could be stronger screws.

MacRumors has reached out to Apple for comment on the matter. We'll update this article if and when we hear anything back.

Article Link: Video Suggests Screws in iMac Pro's VESA Mounting Kit Are Prone to Break When Unfastened
 

Appleaker

macrumors 68020
Jun 13, 2016
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Even Apple can't justify the price, given that they're asking Quinn for his kit (despite the fact it's a widespread flaw).

In all seriousness, the support for the iMac Pro is beyond outrageous; it's unusual and shocking for both Apple support and support for a Pro-level $5000 machine in general. A popular YouTuber shouldn't have to make a video about this for it to be recognised by Apple, they should put aside their Pro workflow 'journey of self-discovery' and focus on the products and support for now.
 

thefredelement

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2012
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Lack of quality permeates Apple these days, whether it's cheap screws not QA'd by Apple for some OEM deal for a mount of their top of the line iMac, Xcode, iPhone X display turning off, AW heart rate, phones bending, Apple Music widget half disappearing, home screen animations stuttering, etc.

We're the suckers if we keep paying for it though.
 

Fixey

macrumors regular
May 16, 2017
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Apple used to pride itself on quality, today they pride themselves on how slim and flimsy they can make products even if it sacrifices quality as $ matters not the product.

I remember the days when the product mattered and $ came second, no more then days are long gone or that is how people are viewing Apple today, it is a cancer that Apple needs to eradicate before it’s too late.

Today’s MacBooks just feel cheep, they are light and weight is an indicator of quality, if they used steel to reinforce strength as in the hinges it would increase weight and more high quality metal over plastic or lighter softer metals like aluminium would also add weight but increases quality but Apple doesn’t seem to care and seems to think lighter is better, it’s not I like to feel I payed £££ for something than this feels so light and cheep why did I pay so much for something that feels so less
 
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AngerDanger

macrumors 601
Dec 9, 2008
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Importantly, after the video, Nelson says the Apple Store has since offered to replace the entire iMac Pro free of charge.
Then this seems like a non-issue. If your mounting screws ever break, simply create a YouTube channel and build up a following similar in size to Nelson’s, upload a video detailing the issue, and wait for Apple to offer to replace the machine to avoid more bad press. Easy peasy.

 
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Pitsy1971

macrumors newbie
Feb 24, 2014
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What was so special about this guy that he got a call from the Apple Exec Team? I have 2 Laptops both with battery issues and the 12" Mscbook that the keyboard literally melted and had no support at all from Apple...

Great that he managed to get help... but whats so special? given the recent quality issues after almost 12 years as a dedicated Apple fan I am losing faith...
 

Ds6778

macrumors 6502a
Sep 9, 2016
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Another day another CrApple. I don't think I've ever seen so much negative press for any company day after day. There no excuse for this. Que the "Apple is making record profits so they're infallible!"
 
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Mark Booth

macrumors 68000
Jan 16, 2008
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Using cheap screws is embarrassing enough. But the MOST embarrassing thing (for Apple) about Nelson's video is that Nelson felt the need to create it in the first place.

I've always had very good service from Apple. But I'd be pretty hopping mad if a screw broke off while installing or removing an $80 adapter on a $5,000 computer. It's something that should have NEVER happened, not at those prices. And Apple can blame its vendor all they want, the bottom line is APPLE is responsible for what it sells.

I'm glad Apple did the right thing in the end. But it should have NEVER gotten to the point that Nelson felt the need to create his video. A lot of people dropped the ball on this one, including AppleCare support and the geniuses at his Apple Store. The person most responsible for dropping the ball was the moron that decided cheap screws would be fine. An adapter that costs $80 and mounts to a $5,000+ computer should AUTOMATICALLY come with stainless steel screws. Nothing else should have ever been considered.

Mark
 

lec0rsaire

macrumors 65816
Feb 23, 2017
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Another day another CrApple. I don't think I've ever seen so much negative press for any company day after day. There no excuse for this. Que the "Apple is making record profits so they're infallible!"
[doublepost=1527520813][/doublepost]

You mad bro?
Every day I come on here I read comments of people saying,” I’ll just build a Hacktinosh.” Or “ Apple doesn’t care about its customers.” “This stuff is a rip-off.” And on and on. If people don’t like Apple, why are they wasting their time on Mac forums? Build your own tower, use Windows or Linux and shut up.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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Sep 26, 2017
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Curious if the screws were cross-threaded somehow. Snapping or stripping the head is often the next thing to happen. If the chassis material is aluminum, then the material of the screw is also important to avoid cross-metal bonding. Hard to know what the actual problems are based on one anecdotal experience, so I guess that’s why Apple asked for the mount.
 

thefredelement

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2012
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Every day I come on here I read comments of people saying,” I’ll just build a Hacktinosh.” Or “ Apple doesn’t care about its customers.” “This stuff is a rip-off.” And on and on. If people don’t like Apple, why are they wasting their time on Mac forums? Build your own tower, use Windows or Linux and shut up.
Why does it have to be all or nothing? Can't I want to use a company's products as they're marketed to me and call them out on their BS when they're not the same? Not in an attempt to disparage the brand but in an attempt to show them that I want to them to be as good as they say they are? And that until they are, I (and apparently others) would like to hold them accountable?

No one else is coming close to what Apple does, that being said, Apple has some work to do to get (back?) to the baseline they proclaim they're at.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2014
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I watched the video a few days ago and felt a little sick about it. I could just picture me going through this stuff, but I doubt Apple would offer to replace Mac with a new one.

There is a change at Apple, and not a good one. IMO there has been a decline in everything that Apple once prided themselves on, including the quality of their hardware, software, and their customer service.

Over my 25 years of purchasing Apple products, only recently have I started to have a lot of issues with them. I have had to call Apple support more in the past 3 years than the previous 20 years combined.

I was once excited to see new software updates on my Apple products, but now I am scared to do them, especially on my iOS devices, because I am not sure what the update will do to the device.
 

jlc1978

macrumors 68020
Aug 14, 2009
2,422
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I see the problem. He isn't using the Apple branded T10; he's screwing it wrong...

Wow. What did they do to fix it? It looks like they pried and cut it off at some point. I'm guessing this was a "What do we do?" situation and they tried things until the got it off. I would think that they would pull the glass to access the back and replace the entire mounting assembly. Either way they shouldn't need the stand unless tehy wanted to be sure it still fit and then it broke when they tried to force it in place or remove it.

As for the screws, those have to be the worst screws ever. I've broken screws but it took an electric drill going into oak to snap one. Doing it by hand should damage the aluminum threads first, maybe what's happening is the screw seizes and thus you can snap the weakest part which is the screw, but you should feel the excess force needed to do that. I agree they should use quality stainless screws rather than cheap ones.

I will say this for Apple, when they busted my 2012 repairing it they replaced it with a brand new model. They did the same for an iMAC I bought open box at BB and kept have kernel panics. Luckily I noticed the MB they installed was improperly seated and the ethernet plug was so badly misaligned that you could not use it. Of course, any decent QC or repair person would have noticed that and not released the machine.
 
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