Feeds

Dead iBook owners take protest to MacWorld show

What Quality Control?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Faithful Apple users plan to put Quality Control issues center stage at the MacWorld show in San Francisco next week, to highlight a problem that Apple refuses to acknowledge.

iBook owners have been plagued by display problems and logic board failures this year; more than 300 have signed up for a potential class action suit.

Apple insists there are "no known problems" with the iBook, despite hundreds of incident reports to to the contrary. We can vouch that this is an issue from our own experience, as both of The Register's US iBooks have died this year, one after only ten weeks.

Reader analysis over at MacFixit suggests that both cheap shielding materials and basic mechanical design flaws are to blame.

"It seems Apple really needs to improve Quality Control and more stringent review of design issues. If I put out a product with these flaws I would expect to lose Quality Assurance Certification," writes one sleuth. Here's a discussion on Apple's own boards that the company hasn't deleted yet.

Apple overhauled the iBook range this Fall, with a revamped motherboard that supports the G4 processor and DDR memory. But failures persist.

Apple's quality control has suffered an annus horribilis in 2003. Poor design of the 15 inch aluminium PowerBook led to white stress spots appearing on many models, although Apple has at least acknowledged the problem. Of six PowerBooks sampled by MacWorld magazine, three had to be returned. The problems aren't simply confined to hardware. A catastrophic OS update, 10.2.8, was yanked after only a few hours when many users lost their networking. 10.3 Panther was rapidly updated to fix two severe bugs, one of which trashed data on some FireWire hard drives, while the other caused issues when using the encrypted home directory feature, FileVault. And a Bluetooth update in June which trashed users' address books could easily have been averted with a minimum of public beta testing. Opting for a closed, secretive testing program, Apple failed to detect the elementary bugs. ®

Related Stories

On the iSync fiasco that didn't have to happen
Apple recalls OS update
Apple blames Oxford for Firewire data loss bug
Panther bitten by second data damaging bug

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.