Faulty Apple product? Check this list of active device repair programs
Apple’s reputation has taken a bit of a hit in recent times, particularly with regard to the repeated failures afflicting its butterfly mechanism-based MacBook keyboards. Despite already being in its third-generation since debuting in 2015 on the 12-inch MacBook, the Cupertino giant admitted yesterday that even its third attempt at getting the design right has failed. Apple has yet to update its website to indicate whether the existing Keyboard Service Program for MacBook and MacBook Pro will also include devices fitted with the third-generation design, including the all-new MacBook Air.
The same search on the Apple website also yielded interesting details about all of the devices currently eligible under Apple’s wider “Exchange and Repair Extension Program.” Devices listed including the afore mentioned MacBooks for the keyboard program, but there are also several other devices on the list. Certain 13-inch (non Touch Bar) MacBook Pros are also eligible separately for SSD failures as well as battery failures. An iPhone X Display Module Replacement Program is active for users experiencing touch issues which is joined by three iPhone 6 programs, one for unexpected shutdowns another for multi-touch repairs (possibly related to “Bendgate”), as well as an iSight camera replacement program. Also listed is an iPhone 8 program for faulty logic boards. Additionally, there are also a couple of wall plug programs and one for Beats Pill XL speakers.
Not on the published list, but one that we are also aware of is a Keyboard Service Program for certain iPad Smart Keyboards (yes, it appears Apple has forgotten how to make keyboards that "just work" apparently). Similarly, not on the list because Apple has yet to officially acknowledge there is an issue is with MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar made from 2016 onwards. As iFixit has highlighted, there appears to be an issue with a thin display connector cable running from the display to the motherboard that is prone to failing causing either a “stage light” effect or complete loss of the display. Because of the way Apple has fitted the cable it turns a “$6 problem into a $600 disaster,” as iFixit puts it.
Then of course, we have the recent bent iPad Pro (2018) saga to add to the list of Apple product woes. Apple has admitted to shipping iPad Pros that can have their aluminum body slightly warped out of shape due to the cooling process associated with the fitment of the plastic cellular antenna. However, customers have also complained that their iPad Pros can be bent out shape just in normal use by being placed in a backpack, for example. In these instances, Apple has been blaming user abuse and not providing warranty support. This despite strong evidence that the new iPad Pros are all too easy to bend out of shape. It makes the purchase of Apple’s pricey AppleCare+ warranty virtually mandatory, which conveniently helps to fill Apple’s already bulging coffers further.
While it is true that all companies that manufacture products on the size and scale Apple does are going to run into quality issues now and then, Apple has often taken the high moral ground on just how well designed and made its products are. In fact, this is part of the very reason it is able to charge the premiums that it does. It is also good to see that in most instances, customers don’t have to fight too hard to get their products fixed. But every now and then, it takes customers to get very vocal before Apple will eventually get around to sorting out the issue. An arguably largely boring product portfolio aside, let’s hope that Apple’s renewed push into entertainment content services doesn’t further detract from their focus on hardware and product quality.