July 1, 2006 6:00 AM PDT

Some MacBooks have premature age spots

Related Stories

Apple releases 13-inch MacBook

May 16, 2006

Apple debuts 17-inch MacBook Pro

April 24, 2006

Macs: Intel and Windows inside

April 7, 2006
What began as a few isolated reports of mysterious stains appearing on the wrist rests of Apple Computer's MacBooks looks to be more widespread and the impetus for a growing Web community of displeased owners.

Reports of the discoloration, which seems to take place on the most frequently touched plastic areas of the white MacBooks, first surfaced in early June. A related post on an Apple discussion board got hundreds of replies--including many from MacBook owners experiencing the same problem--before it was locked by the company five days later.

"My MacBook is three weeks old and looks as though I've been using it for three years and rubbing my hands in turmeric each day (OK, a slight exaggeration)," read one post from a London man. "Everything else about my MacBook has been fantastic, and I'm really, really happy with it; but I am appalled that it gets discolored so easily."

Photos: Out damn spot

Frustrated by the situation, Jose Munoz-Olaya, a MacBook owner and molecular biologist from Spain's Canary Islands, decided to put together a Web site devoted to pressuring Apple to respond fairly. As of Friday afternoon, his site lists 76 MacBook owners from around the globe who are experiencing the problem and have listed their device's serial number.

Most of those on the site started noticing the stains just a few weeks after they began using the MacBooks, which went on sale in mid-May. The Intel-based replacement to the iBook and 12-inch PowerBook comes in three models. The two lower-end models (starting at $1,099 and $1,299) come in white; the top-of-the-line model (starting at $1,499) comes in the apparently unaffected black.

Apple spokeswoman Teresa Weaver said the company is aware of the customer complaints and is looking into them. She added that those customers with "technical issues" should contact AppleCare. But Weaver declined to answer further questions, like how many people have contacted AppleCare thus far with discoloration and what might be causing the problem.

According to MacBook owners, the company has responded in different ways. Munoz-Olaya said Apple has replaced laptops for some who noticed the discoloration within the first two weeks of ownership. Apple told others, however, Munoz-Olaya among them, that it would repair the device only by replacing the plastic.

Munoz-Olaya, who reported the problem to Apple three weeks after the MacBook was released, said he would be fine with that, except that he can't be without his device for the estimated two weeks it will take to fix it.

"So basically Apple is penalizing me for being loyal to them and being one of the first to buy the MacBook," he said. "Please understand, I don't want a new MacBook, I'm otherwise happy with the one I have. It's just that I need a solution that won't leave me unplugged for weeks. A rich person would simply buy another computer. I can't."

Some online skeptics were quick to dismiss the allegations and wondered whether those experiencing the problems were just using their notebooks with dirty hands. But after trying a range of cleaning products, from soap and water to nail polish remover to hydrogen peroxide, Munoz-Olaya and others have debunked that theory.

"I work in a lab and have attempted to clean it with ethanol (which doesn't damage plastic) and the stains are permanent, they seem to be damaged plastic instead of built-up dirt," he said.

In addition to the complaints posted on Munoz-Olaya's and Apple's sites, the Unofficial Apple Weblog conducted an unscientific poll of readers and found that about 20 percent of some 1,560 voters had experienced problems with the discoloration.

A similar Web effort was launched following reports last fall that the screen on the iPod Nano, which had just been released, was prone to scratching. A related class-action lawsuit was later filed.

And several years ago, Apple's stylish Power Mac G4 Cube ended up marked with hair-thin lines some said were cracks.

Apple acknowledged a different problem with the MacBook earlier this month; some MacBooks were coming from the factory with a plastic film covering the rear exit vent, which made them run hot.

See more CNET content tagged:
stain, Apple MacBook, Apple Computer, owner, laptop computer

144 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
I guess I'm going to buy the black one
I guess the only way to avoid this is to buy the black MacBook. Strange though, I never noticed any discoloration on the white MacBooks in the Apple Stores. Do they replace them before that happens?
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.techknowcafe.com/content/view/336/42/" target="_newWindow">http://www.techknowcafe.com/content/view/336/42/</a>
Posted by (156 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I guess I'm going to buy the black one
I guess the only way to avoid this is to buy the black MacBook. Strange though, I never noticed any discoloration on the white MacBooks in the Apple Stores. Do they replace them before that happens?
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.techknowcafe.com/content/view/336/42/" target="_newWindow">http://www.techknowcafe.com/content/view/336/42/</a>
Posted by (156 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Apple is not punishing you.
Look if you don't want problems with your computers and stuff don't be the first to buy them. By being the first to buy something before all the bugs are found you are basically volunteering to be the one to have problems. It is however right for them to fix it but if it is going to take time it is going to take time, and that is the price you pay for being cutting edge.
Posted by JordanBOB (24 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So what
You have the best computer in the world. It's just dirt.
Posted by paulsecic (298 comments )
Link Flag
WRONG! they are punishing a customer (loyal or no)
the offer to switch cases is the least they can do... and it appears that the service they desire to offer is the least they can get away with.

Two week to exchange cases is an abhorrent amount of time for any service, but for exchanging something, it is a crime. Apple should send the case to the nearest Apple store (like the one he bought it from, DUH) and have the case exchanged there. I don't know it they have "factory seals" for warranty purposes but if so, just send one with the case. anyone who knows how to use a screwdriver should be able to figure out how to apply a self-sticky warranty seal!

If it takes half an hour to remove and replace the case then they should either fire the guy who doesn't know which end of the screwdriver to use or Apple should fire the designers of the product.

In either case the guy should get his computer back after drinking two cups of coffee not after returning from a two week vacation.

As for your take on when to buy a product... All I can say is it is a good thing such stupid ideas aren't taken seriously by anyone not being chased by men in white coats, because if everyone had such an idiotic philosophy nothing would ever be bought EVER... since they would be waiting for first run of products to be bought by people who don't deserve a good version of the product.
Posted by qazwiz (208 comments )
Link Flag
Not acceptable turnaround time.
The repair policy of another well know computer maker: A technician will come to your home/place of business and replace the faulty part. Depending on the level of service, it could be "next day" service. The average time it takes to replace the plastics on a laptop varies with which ones are being replaced and the model. To replace the palmrest plastic took an average of 20 minutes. In some laptops, replacing all the plastic can take up to 50 minutes or as little as 30 minutes (all plastics being everything you pretty much see excluding the keyboard and lcd itself). Replacing more than a single major plastic could take the same amount of time as replacing two major plastics as the same screws are typically removed for both in many cases. Personel (such as those in stores) could be trained in less than 2 hours to properly replace all the plastics on a single laptop model.

I do not believe having to wait 2 weeks is acceptable for something as widespread as this, especially if you are in a large metropolitan area where you will find a concentration of affected computers. I believe Apple needs to take action to correct the problems in a timely manner. Having to mail back to apple with a 2 week turnaround time is not acceptable. If your city has a store, there is no reason why that store couldn't have that laptop back to you within a day or two, repaired... if Apple would do this. If not, then perhaps you should take lack of quality combined with unacceptable service into consideration the next time you buy a computer.

My experience includes repairing several thousand laptops for different computer makers, many of which were waranty work. I have similar experience with desktops where I have opened up over 10,000 for repair. I have seen similar circumstances where computers have been recalled by different PC makers for various issues, so don't think apple is the only one who has had problems before, they all do. From my observations, Apple has had too many major problems with laptops recently compared to other computer makers.

No doubt someone will respond to this post... someone who ownes an apple but has never removed a single screw from the case. If you want my respect on this matter, they you better be someone on the front lines, fixing computers and not an armchair, couch potatoe who can't even reset a bios on a laptop without turning it on.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
Apple isn't a company to own up to their mistakes
Unfortunately, when any Apple product comes under fire they take the cheapest and easiest way out to seemingly solve the problem. When the 5G iPod was scratching what did they do? Not use a stronger plastic, but include a cheap pleather case with any shipped there after. They won't fix this problem either. They will fix only those who are seriously tarnishing the "good" Apple name and that will be it. They won't send out letters or call all of those who have purchased a white MacBook to offer to replace the plastic on their PC's, because to Apple: "Out of sight, out of mind"
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
Link Flag
Apple is not punishing you.
Look if you don't want problems with your computers and stuff don't be the first to buy them. By being the first to buy something before all the bugs are found you are basically volunteering to be the one to have problems. It is however right for them to fix it but if it is going to take time it is going to take time, and that is the price you pay for being cutting edge.
Posted by JordanBOB (24 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So what
You have the best computer in the world. It's just dirt.
Posted by paulsecic (298 comments )
Link Flag
WRONG! they are punishing a customer (loyal or no)
the offer to switch cases is the least they can do... and it appears that the service they desire to offer is the least they can get away with.

Two week to exchange cases is an abhorrent amount of time for any service, but for exchanging something, it is a crime. Apple should send the case to the nearest Apple store (like the one he bought it from, DUH) and have the case exchanged there. I don't know it they have "factory seals" for warranty purposes but if so, just send one with the case. anyone who knows how to use a screwdriver should be able to figure out how to apply a self-sticky warranty seal!

If it takes half an hour to remove and replace the case then they should either fire the guy who doesn't know which end of the screwdriver to use or Apple should fire the designers of the product.

In either case the guy should get his computer back after drinking two cups of coffee not after returning from a two week vacation.

As for your take on when to buy a product... All I can say is it is a good thing such stupid ideas aren't taken seriously by anyone not being chased by men in white coats, because if everyone had such an idiotic philosophy nothing would ever be bought EVER... since they would be waiting for first run of products to be bought by people who don't deserve a good version of the product.
Posted by qazwiz (208 comments )
Link Flag
Not acceptable turnaround time.
The repair policy of another well know computer maker: A technician will come to your home/place of business and replace the faulty part. Depending on the level of service, it could be "next day" service. The average time it takes to replace the plastics on a laptop varies with which ones are being replaced and the model. To replace the palmrest plastic took an average of 20 minutes. In some laptops, replacing all the plastic can take up to 50 minutes or as little as 30 minutes (all plastics being everything you pretty much see excluding the keyboard and lcd itself). Replacing more than a single major plastic could take the same amount of time as replacing two major plastics as the same screws are typically removed for both in many cases. Personel (such as those in stores) could be trained in less than 2 hours to properly replace all the plastics on a single laptop model.

I do not believe having to wait 2 weeks is acceptable for something as widespread as this, especially if you are in a large metropolitan area where you will find a concentration of affected computers. I believe Apple needs to take action to correct the problems in a timely manner. Having to mail back to apple with a 2 week turnaround time is not acceptable. If your city has a store, there is no reason why that store couldn't have that laptop back to you within a day or two, repaired... if Apple would do this. If not, then perhaps you should take lack of quality combined with unacceptable service into consideration the next time you buy a computer.

My experience includes repairing several thousand laptops for different computer makers, many of which were waranty work. I have similar experience with desktops where I have opened up over 10,000 for repair. I have seen similar circumstances where computers have been recalled by different PC makers for various issues, so don't think apple is the only one who has had problems before, they all do. From my observations, Apple has had too many major problems with laptops recently compared to other computer makers.

No doubt someone will respond to this post... someone who ownes an apple but has never removed a single screw from the case. If you want my respect on this matter, they you better be someone on the front lines, fixing computers and not an armchair, couch potatoe who can't even reset a bios on a laptop without turning it on.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
Apple isn't a company to own up to their mistakes
Unfortunately, when any Apple product comes under fire they take the cheapest and easiest way out to seemingly solve the problem. When the 5G iPod was scratching what did they do? Not use a stronger plastic, but include a cheap pleather case with any shipped there after. They won't fix this problem either. They will fix only those who are seriously tarnishing the "good" Apple name and that will be it. They won't send out letters or call all of those who have purchased a white MacBook to offer to replace the plastic on their PC's, because to Apple: "Out of sight, out of mind"
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
Link Flag
Thats what you get.
Look if you don't want problems with your computers and stuff don't be the first to buy them. By being the first to buy something before all the bugs are found you are basically volunteering to be the one to have problems. It is however right for them to fix it but if it is going to take time it is going to take time, and that is the price you pay for being cutting edge.
Posted by JordanBOB (24 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sorry did not mean to post that twice.
Sorry did not mean to post that twice.
Posted by JordanBOB (24 comments )
Link Flag
sorry, I did not intend to pos this twice.
sorry, I did not intend to pos this twice.
Posted by JordanBOB (24 comments )
Link Flag
JordanBob, what kind of logic are you using
If everyone took your advice, then apple would end up with zero revenuse becuase they could not afford to work on version 2 of any product if version 1 is not being sold. Is that what you want?.. cnet news reporting that apple suddenly had a zero % market share in laptops?
Posted by wnurse (39 comments )
Link Flag
JordanBob is a Genius
Obviously JordanBob is a genius. I suppose that the Chinese factories that make clothing, Dell's, Gateways or anyother product are not sweatshop's and only Apple manufacturers are.

Next thing Jordan is going to tell us all is that the Chinese are no longer Communists and that ALL the profits we are supplying them with are not going into the military.

wookie
Posted by wookielookin (13 comments )
Link Flag
Don't buy first generation of any product...
Don't buy first generation of any product. They call it bleeding edge technology for a reason. It does not matter if it is Blue Ray, HD-DVD or what. The first generation has problems. If you want to spend way too much and get an inferior product, go for it! I have in the past, but I knew what I was getting into and did not complain when I had issues.
Posted by ralfthedog (1589 comments )
Link Flag
Thats what you get.
Look if you don't want problems with your computers and stuff don't be the first to buy them. By being the first to buy something before all the bugs are found you are basically volunteering to be the one to have problems. It is however right for them to fix it but if it is going to take time it is going to take time, and that is the price you pay for being cutting edge.
Posted by JordanBOB (24 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sorry did not mean to post that twice.
Sorry did not mean to post that twice.
Posted by JordanBOB (24 comments )
Link Flag
sorry, I did not intend to pos this twice.
sorry, I did not intend to pos this twice.
Posted by JordanBOB (24 comments )
Link Flag
JordanBob, what kind of logic are you using
If everyone took your advice, then apple would end up with zero revenuse becuase they could not afford to work on version 2 of any product if version 1 is not being sold. Is that what you want?.. cnet news reporting that apple suddenly had a zero % market share in laptops?
Posted by wnurse (39 comments )
Link Flag
JordanBob is a Genius
Obviously JordanBob is a genius. I suppose that the Chinese factories that make clothing, Dell's, Gateways or anyother product are not sweatshop's and only Apple manufacturers are.

Next thing Jordan is going to tell us all is that the Chinese are no longer Communists and that ALL the profits we are supplying them with are not going into the military.

wookie
Posted by wookielookin (13 comments )
Link Flag
Don't buy first generation of any product...
Don't buy first generation of any product. They call it bleeding edge technology for a reason. It does not matter if it is Blue Ray, HD-DVD or what. The first generation has problems. If you want to spend way too much and get an inferior product, go for it! I have in the past, but I knew what I was getting into and did not complain when I had issues.
Posted by ralfthedog (1589 comments )
Link Flag
you have the time
From the story: Munoz-Olaya, who reported the problem to Apple three weeks after the MacBook was released, said he would be fine with that, except that he can't be without his device for the estimated two weeks it will take to fix it.

That appears to be some sort of cop-out no matter how he is describing the situation because tomorrow a hardware component might go and he will have to submit his laptop to Apple for fixing, and also be without it for a period of time. If the discolouration problem is a big enough issue, he can find the time to do it. And yes, do it while you have the offer on the table from Apple. Other people seem to be having a very tough time getting Apple to respond.
Posted by jdkane (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bravo!
You are so correct!
Posted by JordanBOB (24 comments )
Link Flag
if that happens..
... believe me .. if a hardware component does go south in a
1month old machine, then they will see!!

There's been just one thing stopping me from sueing apple to
the customer protection authorities in spain, and that is they
provided a solution, not the best one, but a solution
nonetheless.

Regarding the time issue.. it's true.. i had a conference last
week, have to give a speech and a presentation on july 18th and
then i have some more importatnt work going on the week
after... so it's just impossible for me to get the macbook
repaired anytime soon.

By the way: i'm munoz-olaya :)
Posted by jmmo20 (4 comments )
Link Flag
Repair time unacceptable
The repair policy of another well know computer maker: A technician will come to your home/place of business and replace the faulty part. Depending on the level of service, it could be "next day" service. The average time it takes to replace the plastics on a laptop varies with which ones are being replaced and the model. To replace the palmrest plastic took an average of 20 minutes. In some laptops, replacing all the plastic can take up to 50 minutes or as little as 30 minutes (all plastics being everything you pretty much see excluding the keyboard and lcd itself). Replacing more than a single major plastic could take the same amount of time as replacing two major plastics as the same screws are typically removed for both in many cases. Personel (such as those in stores) could be trained in less than 2 hours to properly replace all the plastics on a single laptop model.

I do not believe having to wait 2 weeks is acceptable for something as widespread as this, especially if you are in a large metropolitan area where you will find a concentration of affected computers. I believe Apple needs to take action to correct the problems in a timely manner. Having to mail back to apple with a 2 week turnaround time is not acceptable. If your city has a store, there is no reason why that store couldn't have that laptop back to you within a day or two, repaired... if Apple would do this. If not, then perhaps you should take lack of quality combined with unacceptable service into consideration the next time you buy a computer.

My experience includes repairing several thousand laptops for different computer makers, many of which were waranty work. I have similar experience with desktops where I have opened up over 10,000 for repair. I have seen similar circumstances where computers have been recalled by different PC makers for various issues, so don't think apple is the only one who has had problems before, they all do. From my observations, Apple has had too many major problems with laptops recently compared to other computer makers.

No doubt someone will respond to this post... someone who ownes an apple but has never removed a single screw from the case. If you want my respect on this matter, they you better be someone on the front lines, fixing computers and not an armchair, couch potatoe who can't even reset a bios on a laptop without turning it on.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
you have the time
From the story: Munoz-Olaya, who reported the problem to Apple three weeks after the MacBook was released, said he would be fine with that, except that he can't be without his device for the estimated two weeks it will take to fix it.

That appears to be some sort of cop-out no matter how he is describing the situation because tomorrow a hardware component might go and he will have to submit his laptop to Apple for fixing, and also be without it for a period of time. If the discolouration problem is a big enough issue, he can find the time to do it. And yes, do it while you have the offer on the table from Apple. Other people seem to be having a very tough time getting Apple to respond.
Posted by jdkane (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bravo!
You are so correct!
Posted by JordanBOB (24 comments )
Link Flag
if that happens..
... believe me .. if a hardware component does go south in a
1month old machine, then they will see!!

There's been just one thing stopping me from sueing apple to
the customer protection authorities in spain, and that is they
provided a solution, not the best one, but a solution
nonetheless.

Regarding the time issue.. it's true.. i had a conference last
week, have to give a speech and a presentation on july 18th and
then i have some more importatnt work going on the week
after... so it's just impossible for me to get the macbook
repaired anytime soon.

By the way: i'm munoz-olaya :)
Posted by jmmo20 (4 comments )
Link Flag
Repair time unacceptable
The repair policy of another well know computer maker: A technician will come to your home/place of business and replace the faulty part. Depending on the level of service, it could be "next day" service. The average time it takes to replace the plastics on a laptop varies with which ones are being replaced and the model. To replace the palmrest plastic took an average of 20 minutes. In some laptops, replacing all the plastic can take up to 50 minutes or as little as 30 minutes (all plastics being everything you pretty much see excluding the keyboard and lcd itself). Replacing more than a single major plastic could take the same amount of time as replacing two major plastics as the same screws are typically removed for both in many cases. Personel (such as those in stores) could be trained in less than 2 hours to properly replace all the plastics on a single laptop model.

I do not believe having to wait 2 weeks is acceptable for something as widespread as this, especially if you are in a large metropolitan area where you will find a concentration of affected computers. I believe Apple needs to take action to correct the problems in a timely manner. Having to mail back to apple with a 2 week turnaround time is not acceptable. If your city has a store, there is no reason why that store couldn't have that laptop back to you within a day or two, repaired... if Apple would do this. If not, then perhaps you should take lack of quality combined with unacceptable service into consideration the next time you buy a computer.

My experience includes repairing several thousand laptops for different computer makers, many of which were waranty work. I have similar experience with desktops where I have opened up over 10,000 for repair. I have seen similar circumstances where computers have been recalled by different PC makers for various issues, so don't think apple is the only one who has had problems before, they all do. From my observations, Apple has had too many major problems with laptops recently compared to other computer makers.

No doubt someone will respond to this post... someone who ownes an apple but has never removed a single screw from the case. If you want my respect on this matter, they you better be someone on the front lines, fixing computers and not an armchair, couch potatoe who can't even reset a bios on a laptop without turning it on.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
Skeptic
I'm sorry...I'm pretty skeptical about all this. I have a MacBook
(white) and I bought it mack on 5/22. I don't have any of these
discoloration issues, at all.

In looking at these pictures, this discoloration looks like dirt. I
know they say they can't clean them, but if the issues was really
with the plastic, more areas woul dbe discolored. As I see it, It's
only discolored in the places where their hands rested and
fingers touched the track pad and button.

Perhaps some people just have corosive disgusting skin. I don't
know, but I think it's a user issue.
Posted by MCOjerry (111 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Shouldn't Matter
It shouldn't matter if the rare person has more acidic skin oil -
plastice has been around long enough to develop stain resistant
plastic.

The first MacBook I saw in the Seattle Apple store had dirty
looking plam rests. I dismissed it as just the hazzard of being a
floor model. But maybe the plastic used is some kind of dirt
magnet. Why can't Apple just use the same plastic for the
keyboard side as they do with the outsides of the case? They
certainly have enough expertise with the iPod's plastic - should
be a no-brainer.
Posted by montex66 (370 comments )
Link Flag
no one here owns a light-colored laptop?
the compaq laptop i've owned for over a year has the same issue. it's not dirt; it's worn plastic. i've seen the same issues on other laptops that have been owned for at least 6mos, including sony and acer (as long as the keyboard plastic is not black). why does this seem like a big new issue? it's not; it's actually quite common for laptops that are used for a lot of typing.
Posted by bob blob (118 comments )
Link Flag
Skeptic Too
I got my MacBook two weeks after it came out and I use it every day
and there is not a mark on it. Besides is it not the same white
plastic that was used on the iBooks. I too think it's a user issue.
Posted by kjbwolf (6 comments )
Link Flag
Wash yer' friggin' hands
Leave it up to Dellnet, err, I mean cnet to run such a stupid article.

Wash your freakin' hands people!

Stupid stupid stupid insecure stupid pc owners.
Posted by stewbacca (38 comments )
Link Flag
Skeptic
I'm sorry...I'm pretty skeptical about all this. I have a MacBook
(white) and I bought it mack on 5/22. I don't have any of these
discoloration issues, at all.

In looking at these pictures, this discoloration looks like dirt. I
know they say they can't clean them, but if the issues was really
with the plastic, more areas woul dbe discolored. As I see it, It's
only discolored in the places where their hands rested and
fingers touched the track pad and button.

Perhaps some people just have corosive disgusting skin. I don't
know, but I think it's a user issue.
Posted by MCOjerry (111 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Shouldn't Matter
It shouldn't matter if the rare person has more acidic skin oil -
plastice has been around long enough to develop stain resistant
plastic.

The first MacBook I saw in the Seattle Apple store had dirty
looking plam rests. I dismissed it as just the hazzard of being a
floor model. But maybe the plastic used is some kind of dirt
magnet. Why can't Apple just use the same plastic for the
keyboard side as they do with the outsides of the case? They
certainly have enough expertise with the iPod's plastic - should
be a no-brainer.
Posted by montex66 (370 comments )
Link Flag
no one here owns a light-colored laptop?
the compaq laptop i've owned for over a year has the same issue. it's not dirt; it's worn plastic. i've seen the same issues on other laptops that have been owned for at least 6mos, including sony and acer (as long as the keyboard plastic is not black). why does this seem like a big new issue? it's not; it's actually quite common for laptops that are used for a lot of typing.
Posted by bob blob (118 comments )
Link Flag
Skeptic Too
I got my MacBook two weeks after it came out and I use it every day
and there is not a mark on it. Besides is it not the same white
plastic that was used on the iBooks. I too think it's a user issue.
Posted by kjbwolf (6 comments )
Link Flag
Wash yer' friggin' hands
Leave it up to Dellnet, err, I mean cnet to run such a stupid article.

Wash your freakin' hands people!

Stupid stupid stupid insecure stupid pc owners.
Posted by stewbacca (38 comments )
Link Flag
This Is What Happens When Corners Get Cut for Cost ...
and we can expect more of the same as research, development manufacturing and support budgets continue to get sliced razor-thin, even as slave labor is routinely being used by manufacturers (or, to keep the major corporations' hands clean, exploitative subcontractors that are several layers removed through contractual shenanigans).

It's possible that there is some variation in the quality of some of the batches of plastic being used for the cases, but that means they screwed up on due diligence with their supplier(s). Otherwise, if 20% of users really are having this problem due to their body chemistry (which is entirely plausible - my wife has aqueous nervosa, profusely sweating hands much of the time, and the salt alone causes all sorts of havoc with objects she handles), then the case material most likely wasn't adequately tested with a wide enough variety of users (if at all). Apple used to have every non-technical new hire try out its products in development (before they gained inside knowledge), usability engineers would videotape the users doing so, and then go back and interview them to find out why they did unexpected things, among other purposes. This is one of many reasons that their products generally have been such a hit with customers in the general population, who actually get a chance to try them out (one of the most important reasons for the Apple stores is so that new customers can do just that).

The plastic used for the keyboard is almost certainly not appropriate for the case (which has been a very expensive polycarbonate, in earlier models, and may have been replaced by a cheaper material, such as a polystyrene used in many low-end PCs - what plastic airplane and ship models are made from). Apple does climb out on limbs and starts sawing away at them at the trunk by doing things like making laptops out of white plastic, G4 Titanium PowerBooks with highly-vulnerable hinges made from extremely brittle castings with tiny-cross-sections, iPod Nano screens made from highly-scratchable clear plastic, and G4 Cube cases from plastic that seems to develop microcracks, among other faux pas.

As Apple continues down the path of making Macs more and more like PCs at the lower price points, I suppose the quality is doomed to follow down-slope, too. They certainly won't be able to afford to replace/repair very many machines as the prices dwindle, so expect them to get even more ornery about replacements/repairs than they have already been.

Let's see what Apple does - the standard disclaimers whenever someone points out a flaw are getting a bit tiresome, though.

All the Best,
Joe Blow
Posted by Joe Blow (175 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This Is What Happens When Corners Get Cut for Cost ...
and we can expect more of the same as research, development manufacturing and support budgets continue to get sliced razor-thin, even as slave labor is routinely being used by manufacturers (or, to keep the major corporations' hands clean, exploitative subcontractors that are several layers removed through contractual shenanigans).

It's possible that there is some variation in the quality of some of the batches of plastic being used for the cases, but that means they screwed up on due diligence with their supplier(s). Otherwise, if 20% of users really are having this problem due to their body chemistry (which is entirely plausible - my wife has aqueous nervosa, profusely sweating hands much of the time, and the salt alone causes all sorts of havoc with objects she handles), then the case material most likely wasn't adequately tested with a wide enough variety of users (if at all). Apple used to have every non-technical new hire try out its products in development (before they gained inside knowledge), usability engineers would videotape the users doing so, and then go back and interview them to find out why they did unexpected things, among other purposes. This is one of many reasons that their products generally have been such a hit with customers in the general population, who actually get a chance to try them out (one of the most important reasons for the Apple stores is so that new customers can do just that).

The plastic used for the keyboard is almost certainly not appropriate for the case (which has been a very expensive polycarbonate, in earlier models, and may have been replaced by a cheaper material, such as a polystyrene used in many low-end PCs - what plastic airplane and ship models are made from). Apple does climb out on limbs and starts sawing away at them at the trunk by doing things like making laptops out of white plastic, G4 Titanium PowerBooks with highly-vulnerable hinges made from extremely brittle castings with tiny-cross-sections, iPod Nano screens made from highly-scratchable clear plastic, and G4 Cube cases from plastic that seems to develop microcracks, among other faux pas.

As Apple continues down the path of making Macs more and more like PCs at the lower price points, I suppose the quality is doomed to follow down-slope, too. They certainly won't be able to afford to replace/repair very many machines as the prices dwindle, so expect them to get even more ornery about replacements/repairs than they have already been.

Let's see what Apple does - the standard disclaimers whenever someone points out a flaw are getting a bit tiresome, though.

All the Best,
Joe Blow
Posted by Joe Blow (175 comments )
Reply Link Flag
First Nano now this..
Okay the Nano is a great little device.. but man did it ever
scratch like crazy..

Then we have the Imac G5 power issues.. with it going to sleep
prematurely..

Now we have the Macbook and its warn out white finish..

What next?

Can someone tell me what Jonathan Ive is thinking??
Is he suffering cheap material for design or what??

Jonathan we can do without the shiny finish okay.. just give us
durable please... I hope to see it in you next line of portable
devices or suffer my commentary..
Posted by ServedUp (413 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Jonathan Ive doesn't have anything to do with
Most of the issues you talk about. He's the design guy. Judging by
the percentage of early reports, and by one statement made by
Apple, there are some issues with the plastic formulation that some
fabs are using. Ive specifies the kind of plastic to be used. The
power supply issues you mention? Not Ive.

Did you nano scratch?
Posted by swift2--2008 (197 comments )
Link Flag
First Nano now this..
Okay the Nano is a great little device.. but man did it ever
scratch like crazy..

Then we have the Imac G5 power issues.. with it going to sleep
prematurely..

Now we have the Macbook and its warn out white finish..

What next?

Can someone tell me what Jonathan Ive is thinking??
Is he suffering cheap material for design or what??

Jonathan we can do without the shiny finish okay.. just give us
durable please... I hope to see it in you next line of portable
devices or suffer my commentary..
Posted by ServedUp (413 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Jonathan Ive doesn't have anything to do with
Most of the issues you talk about. He's the design guy. Judging by
the percentage of early reports, and by one statement made by
Apple, there are some issues with the plastic formulation that some
fabs are using. Ive specifies the kind of plastic to be used. The
power supply issues you mention? Not Ive.

Did you nano scratch?
Posted by swift2--2008 (197 comments )
Link Flag
Macbooks have other issues
Yes they run way too hot, I bought one yesterday and it is a stove. I paid the $150 extra (!?) for black to sidestep the white issues. The leading edge of the keyboard is sharp on the wrists, and the audio is not loud enough.
Posted by brundlefly76 (24 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Macbooks have other issues
Yes they run way too hot, I bought one yesterday and it is a stove. I paid the $150 extra (!?) for black to sidestep the white issues. The leading edge of the keyboard is sharp on the wrists, and the audio is not loud enough.
Posted by brundlefly76 (24 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So why does color matter?
So why do color spots matter? Apple was the first company to introduce computers in designer colors. I thought then that people who care about the color of their computer must be computer ignorant, which is why they buy Apple in the first place. So back to the age spots, only the style concious would care about that.
Posted by lingsun (482 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Owning a Mac is Ignorance?? Not true..
"I thought then that people who care about the color of their
computer must be computer ignorant, which is why they buy
Apple in the first place."

You couldn't be more wrong. Its not ignorance that draws people
to Apple's computers. Its the whole fact that there is a far better
option as oppose to using just Windows.

Also, Apple wasn't the first to introduce colour to a computer's
enclosure. Thats agruable and left for historians to decide, but
i'm sure they're one of the first to recognize that Industrial
design is just as important as using a computer. If you have
used Mac OS X, then you would know that Apple means
business, and that its not just about the colour of the enclosure
of a computer's case. Its about who makes the best platform in
terms of useability which they have already covered with Mac OS
X and who makes the best computer from an engineering
standpoint which Apple gets high marks for.

What computer company or software company can claim that?

Only Apple.
Posted by ServedUp (413 comments )
Link Flag
You are crazy..
...if you think that buying an Mac means that you don't know
anything about computers. Obviously, you have never used one (or
if you have you didn't kow what you were doing). If you want a
computer to read e-mail, type memos and crash every other
day...buy a PC. If you want a computer that can run media rich
content (graphic design, digital photography, movie editing, etc...)
and run endlessly without crashing once...buy a Mac.
Posted by MCOjerry (111 comments )
Link Flag
So why does color matter?
So why do color spots matter? Apple was the first company to introduce computers in designer colors. I thought then that people who care about the color of their computer must be computer ignorant, which is why they buy Apple in the first place. So back to the age spots, only the style concious would care about that.
Posted by lingsun (482 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Owning a Mac is Ignorance?? Not true..
"I thought then that people who care about the color of their
computer must be computer ignorant, which is why they buy
Apple in the first place."

You couldn't be more wrong. Its not ignorance that draws people
to Apple's computers. Its the whole fact that there is a far better
option as oppose to using just Windows.

Also, Apple wasn't the first to introduce colour to a computer's
enclosure. Thats agruable and left for historians to decide, but
i'm sure they're one of the first to recognize that Industrial
design is just as important as using a computer. If you have
used Mac OS X, then you would know that Apple means
business, and that its not just about the colour of the enclosure
of a computer's case. Its about who makes the best platform in
terms of useability which they have already covered with Mac OS
X and who makes the best computer from an engineering
standpoint which Apple gets high marks for.

What computer company or software company can claim that?

Only Apple.
Posted by ServedUp (413 comments )
Link Flag
You are crazy..
...if you think that buying an Mac means that you don't know
anything about computers. Obviously, you have never used one (or
if you have you didn't kow what you were doing). If you want a
computer to read e-mail, type memos and crash every other
day...buy a PC. If you want a computer that can run media rich
content (graphic design, digital photography, movie editing, etc...)
and run endlessly without crashing once...buy a Mac.
Posted by MCOjerry (111 comments )
Link Flag
Hope it ain't as bad as my Nano
That sucks.

Richard Quick
<a href="#">www.richardquickdesign.com</a>
Posted by richardfquick (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hope it ain't as bad as my Nano
That sucks.

Richard Quick
<a href="#">www.richardquickdesign.com</a>
Posted by richardfquick (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hope it ain't as bad as my Nano
That sucks.

Richard Quick
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://" target="_newWindow">http://</a>
www.richardquickdesign.com
Posted by richardfquick (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
HOW PROFOUND...
...please entertain us with more of your mindless blabber.
Posted by MCOjerry (111 comments )
Link Flag
Hope it ain't as bad as my Nano
That sucks.

Richard Quick
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://" target="_newWindow">http://</a>
www.richardquickdesign.com
Posted by richardfquick (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
HOW PROFOUND...
...please entertain us with more of your mindless blabber.
Posted by MCOjerry (111 comments )
Link Flag
..REMEMBER POWEBOOK TITANIUM?
I had my last Powerbook Titanium with a similar "syndrom". The powerbook was just few months new and started to peel off literally and got with green spots. I did fight with apple for days trying to get the whole laptop case replaced, and always dealing with people telling me that was a "cosmetic" issue that the warranty dont cover. So, it is supposed that if you buy a rolls royce and after three months starts to peel off the paint and get chipped spontaneously, it should not be covered by the warranty because this is a "cosmetic issue" ...and after that I should pay a $600 bill for the apple part exchange. Well. After telling them that I was no longer willing to promote apple in my business field -graphic and design- and that I was about to switch all new machine purchase from now on in my company towards Dell, they agreed and replaced the part not only one, but two times. After the last replacement, I shielded the powerbook with a plastic self adhesive film, and when the warranty expired, I sold it inmediatly at eBay. Since then I only own a Dell Precision laptop that has not been ever shielded,faded or dented under my hands, and it is damn fast...so no question I made my choice clear.
Posted by FrankBo (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Remember Infamous Powerbook Titanium ?
I had my last Powerbook Titanium with a similar "syndrom". The powerbook was just few months new and started to peel off literally and got with green spots. I did fight with apple for days trying to get the whole laptop case replaced, and always dealing with people telling me that was a "cosmetic" issue that the warranty dont cover. So, it is supposed that if you buy a rolls royce and after three months starts to peel off the paint and get chipped spontaneously, it should not be covered by the warranty because this is a "cosmetic issue" ...and after that I should pay a $600 bill for the apple part exchange. Well. After telling them that I was no longer willing to promote apple in my business field -graphic and design- and that I was about to switch all new machine purchase from now on in my company towards Dell, they agreed and replaced the part not only one, but two times. After the last replacement, I shielded the powerbook with a plastic self adhesive film, and when the warranty expired, I sold it inmediatly at eBay. Since then I only own a Dell Precision laptop that has not been ever shielded,faded or dented under my hands, and it is damn fast...so no question I made my choice clear.
Posted by FrankBo (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
PowerBook Titanium
Sorry to hear about your experience. Mine was entirely different.
When it became apparent - after using my PB Ti for a few
months - that there was something wrong with the paint job, I
took it to my local Apple centre. I have to mention that I did not
buy the PB there, but only went in to get some advice. To my
surprise, the staff *offered* to take a photo of the case, send it
to Apple, wait for a new case, and install it. Free of charge. So I
waited for a couple of weeks, checked in my PB, got a new case,
and here I am, using the same PB to write this post. Years later,
the paint still holds perfectly.
So I think what is lacking occasionally is a consistent policy
amongst Apple retail outlets and centres. You should have been
treated much better than that.
Posted by Tui Pohutukawa (366 comments )
Link Flag
So...
...you had whole office full of Apple comuters and had an issue
with one!? Come on! Every manufacturer will produce a few defect,
no matter what the product is. You can't expect perfection100% of
the time.

If you were short sighted enough to switch over your entire office
over oe computer, you are thinking out of anger rather thatn
common sense.
Posted by MCOjerry (111 comments )
Link Flag
Remember Infamous Powerbook Titanium ?
I had my last Powerbook Titanium with a similar "syndrom". The powerbook was just few months new and started to peel off literally and got with green spots. I did fight with apple for days trying to get the whole laptop case replaced, and always dealing with people telling me that was a "cosmetic" issue that the warranty dont cover. So, it is supposed that if you buy a rolls royce and after three months starts to peel off the paint and get chipped spontaneously, it should not be covered by the warranty because this is a "cosmetic issue" ...and after that I should pay a $600 bill for the apple part exchange. Well. After telling them that I was no longer willing to promote apple in my business field -graphic and design- and that I was about to switch all new machine purchase from now on in my company towards Dell, they agreed and replaced the part not only one, but two times. After the last replacement, I shielded the powerbook with a plastic self adhesive film, and when the warranty expired, I sold it inmediatly at eBay. Since then I only own a Dell Precision laptop that has not been ever shielded,faded or dented under my hands, and it is damn fast...so no question I made my choice clear.
Posted by FrankBo (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
PowerBook Titanium
Sorry to hear about your experience. Mine was entirely different.
When it became apparent - after using my PB Ti for a few
months - that there was something wrong with the paint job, I
took it to my local Apple centre. I have to mention that I did not
buy the PB there, but only went in to get some advice. To my
surprise, the staff *offered* to take a photo of the case, send it
to Apple, wait for a new case, and install it. Free of charge. So I
waited for a couple of weeks, checked in my PB, got a new case,
and here I am, using the same PB to write this post. Years later,
the paint still holds perfectly.
So I think what is lacking occasionally is a consistent policy
amongst Apple retail outlets and centres. You should have been
treated much better than that.
Posted by Tui Pohutukawa (366 comments )
Link Flag
So...
...you had whole office full of Apple comuters and had an issue
with one!? Come on! Every manufacturer will produce a few defect,
no matter what the product is. You can't expect perfection100% of
the time.

If you were short sighted enough to switch over your entire office
over oe computer, you are thinking out of anger rather thatn
common sense.
Posted by MCOjerry (111 comments )
Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.