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Why are there so many Macbook problems lately?

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It appears as though at least some of the latest Apple Macbooks are suffering from graphical issues according to reports on Apple’s discussion forum. Both the Macbook and the Macbook Pro are said to be suffering from instances of “visual corruption” in which text duplicates, documents fail to scroll, and animations and videos flicker annoyingly. The video problem, of course, primarily effects Quicktime and Flash.

Some have claimed that the problem may be connected to the Leopard Graphics update, was was recently released. Apple has officially commented on the problem by saying “Apple has received reports similar to the behavior you are describing and we are investigating those reports. Further information will come in the form of a Knowledge Base article, Software Update, or Software Release.”

This begs the question – why are their so many Macbook problems lately?

There have recently been problems with Macbook Pro hard drive failure, non functioning keyboards have been an issue, and now we’re seeing graphical problems with the latest machines.

I don’t have an answer for why this is happening so much recently, but its becoming a very large issue. I mean, I don’t see issues with Dell notebook keyboards not functioning, or video not playing properly…why is that? OR – does that happen and I just don’t see it because I don’t read Windows blogs?

The thing we always tell people about Apple is that it “just works” – but more and more recently it seems like we’re running into issues where it doesn’t “just work”, and I’m not sure why.

Is this a big issue – or is it simply a case of bloggers hanging around the Apple discussion forms and finding an isolated incident and blowing it out of proportion?

I can tell you my own current problem with my Macbook Pro is so rare that Apple doesn’t have another case of it on record. They have tried like mad to fix the problem, but after sending it off 4 times I still can’t record audio on it without it turning to a garbled static filled mess. That doesn’t mean that the problem is “widespread” or “affecting numerous machines” but that’s how these other problems are reported – and seriously – if these issues are affecting only a dozen or so people that’s not “wide spread”.

Now, I know the keyboard issue affected a lot of people – but I was never able to really tell how many people were affected by the hard drive problems, and it is as yet unclean just how many users are affected by the graphics issue – but this stuff has to stop.

So what do you think? Are these problems over-blown? Even if they are, is there anything Apple can do to stop them from happening so frequently?

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

11 thoughts on “Why are there so many Macbook problems lately?

  1. In the past few years Apple’s popularity has grown exponentially. Perhaps Apple has had to ramp up the production of units past the point in which their QA system can manage. With an increase in production, QA also has to be increased. If you have 10 guys build 100 machines, and 1 guy in place for QA, you can’t expect that one guy to do the same job when you now have 1000 guys building a million units. I think Apple’s QA dept. has not been growing in step with manufacturing. This may be the reason for the rise in issues we’ve been seeing.

  2. Well I sent you an email recently where I described problems with my own new MacBook Pro in detail, so I don’t think these are just isolated incidents.

  3. I do think that there are also issues with other computer manufacturers notebooks, the difference is that the kind of person who buys an HP notebook doesn’t blog about the issues he is having with it and he also doesn’t spark the same sort of fire in the blogosphere that Mac users do.

    We’ve heard time and time again that Apple is a great target for building traffic on a website, if anything goes wrong with Apple and you write about it, you get a lot of traffic, so I think that these issues may be blown out of proportion. But it is also possible that some of these issues are widespread while others aren’t.

    I don’t think that the keyboard or graphical issues are so widespread but I do think that the problem with MacBook’s cracking was a big issue.

  4. I agree that mac users probably just care more than an average PC user. I can only confirm that there are problems with other manufacturers as well. A friend of mine is having major issues with her HP Pavilion laptop at the moment, for instance.

  5. In german law there’s a part that says the company gets 3-4 attemps to repair the product if it’s malfunctioning and subject to warranty – and after that the customer can demand a replacement of that product… Isn’t there something similar in U.S. warranty law?

  6. @zippi

    Oh, we can demand all we like; but the vast majority of companies won’t replace unless they have absolutely no alternative. Europe’s employment and consumer laws are frequently allot more people-friendly then our own.

  7. German magazine CT makes an annually survey amongst its readers
    regarding notebook and service quality. They stated that although
    Apple notebooks only have a minor market share in Germany
    (behind Acer, FSC and HP) they are number one in the failure statistics
    (17%) . Although CT states that the survey is probably not representative,
    they suggest that the Apple notebook failure rate remarkably increased after the switch to Intel hardware.

  8. I’m also having problems with my new Macbook Pro 17″.
    I was doing a massive text job in Final Cut, subtitling stuff. When working with the Text Tab in the viewer, blocks of text remain showing on the viewer even after loading a different text there, sometimes I had to close the viewer to get it cleaned up, also reopening Final Cut and restarting the Mac seemed to make things OK for a while, but not long. I reinstalled the system and Final Cut but, one lost night, but the problem persists.

    Any help?

  9. I got MacBook on 10April. On 20 April, it screen started flickering and day by day it finished, When I asked Apple Store to fix, they took whole to find solution and fixed. But within 5 days, DVD-Drive started making problem. Finally asked to replace instead of repair, yet waiting for it from last week:-(

  10. Bought a refurbished macbook thinking it would be cheaper and still a quality product, given ‘stringent’
    QA process they document about on their website, but alas the DVD drive has been replaced and now static is coming from the speakers. Prior to my ownership, the power adapter and speakers were replaced…..leaves me with a dilemma: – return to the darkside (windows) and deal with vista (sigh) or stick with apple, whose OS and interface I really like.

  11. I am awaiting my 3rd Mac Book Pro. My original one was purchased in August of 2011 and it is now 2012/March. I have been so ANGRY you have no idea of all the issues I have gone thru. It overheats, it cant record in garage band, they split my drive and the one with most of my important data corrupted and was lucky to salvage most of the data, I have plenty of space however it quickly says that I have no more room (as if I am running out of space). etc etc etc. I wish I had never bought an apple product.

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