There are pictures and stories of different kinds of Apple laptops, MacBook Pros and Airs, where there is too much thermal paste applied to the CPU or it is otherwise not applied correctly. From a high end brand like Apple I would expect better quality control. Is it worth it to skimp on applying thermal paste when people have spent a lot of time designing all the components. Image how much effort is put into making computers cooler by both intel and Apple engineers. And how easily is that wasted by shoddy assembly. It means more returns, more unsatisfied customers and taints the brand. What I can't understand is how hard is it to make sure thermal paste is applied correctly?!! I did it once myself. If I can do it as an amateur myself and do a better job than they do now, Apple should be able to do it. No matter how much money it would cost to have someone make sure it is done correctly, I'm sure it would be worth it. How much does labor cost where they make it anyway? They could probably pay 5 times the normal salary for just that job and it would be worth it.