Opinion: Apple mobile hardware's lousy fluid resistance
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Opinion: Apple mobile hardware's lousy fluid resistance

As a mindless Apple fan boy, I am quick to tout the coolness of Apple products but tend to wink at vulnerabilities.  Sorry about that, but the worst Apple product exceeds the garbage the competition puts out most of the time. 

Today's op-ed piece, however, will blast Apple in a way I never have before. In many respects Apple hardware exceeds the rest of the industry in quality and durability. Apple customer service is generally incredibly helpful and they go the extra mile for customers. Still, there are a couple of areas where improvement could be made.

I read with some degree of empathy about runners who sweated while caring their iPhones in their pockets. They took the moist iPhones back only to be rebuffed by Apple repair service, due to "fluid damage." While it is not a reasonable expectation to go scuba diving with an iPhone, it seems like greater humidity resistance could be achieved across the board. The reason laptops, iPhones and iPads are cool is because unlike desktop computers they can be taken on the road or, in some cases, on the run. The mobile aspect of computing is what has really been a paragon shift in the way we relate to our electronics.

We know the military is interested in iPhone and perhaps the iPad as they allow our forces to link up wirelessly to command and control. Military specifications are much tougher than consumer grade products. While US$15,000 laptops that work underwater might sell to the Army, we know consumers won't pay so much -- and don't need that level of robustness.  

But, some of the things that make hardware less vulnerable to water, shock and even electromagnetic pulses can be adapted from military specs to consumer grade products, without the high price tag. Part of Apple's environmental robustness strategy should be in thinking about it instead of punishing the consumer who has the right to expect a higher level of resistance to fluid damage.

Now the other shoe drops. Recently, my work horse MacBook Pro was examined and sent back to me with screen issues that have to be related to the graphics card, which failed testing in front of me. The genius hooked a box up with two USB cables to two USB ports on my MacBook Pro and ran a diagnostic test on my graphics card. It failed the test. I have one vertical line that went out on my laptop. Not a major problem since it is only in the display and not in the files I create.  But, that is normally repaired under a three-year extended warranty period due to a known issue with GeForce 8600M GT graphic cards.

Two and a half years ago I splashed coffee across the keyboard of my laptop. I wiped it off and turned the laptop upside down and removed the battery as quickly as I could. I waited three days and when I fired it up it was fine. However, the dark stains of the coffee remained on the surfaces of the hard drive cover and the cover of the superdrive.  

I went around and around with Apple and the final disposition of my case is that "since Apple has a policy of bringing repaired product up to 100%, they would have to replace the working hard drive and working SuperDrive in addition to replacing the faulty card." They insist that coffee stains on the exterior of the hard drive and superdrive make them "damaged." I offered to sign a waver that I would not hold Apple responsible for anything but the graphics card that they admit is faulty. They refused and -- unless I am willing to pay over $1,000 to replace a working hard drive, SuperDrive, keyboard, LCD and upper case -- they will not replace the bad graphics card (which is under warranty).

I suggested to the manager of my local Apple store that if a thin layer of plastic sheeting was placed between the key board and the guts of the computer had been installed when the computer was made, it would have reduced damage to the keyboard alone. He said that was a good idea. Well, gee, thanks.

So, at the end of the day they want as much as a new computer to fix my old one. I figure I am a year away from being ready to buy a new MacBook Pro, so I guess I will have to live with a display issue.

This is the first time in 20 years Apple has disappointed me with customer service. While I admit they have a point, it seems like it should be possible to fix what they know is wrong and allow me to sign a waver to not fix what still works. In retrospect I should have opened the laptop and gently washed the coffee off the interior parts. Had the spill been water, there most likely wouldn't be an issue since the amount of fluid was minor and won't leave stains like coffee did.  

How much does this repair policy have to do with insisting on 100% quality on Apple repairs and how much is this about an excuse to avoid warranty repairs if there is any excuse for refusing to help customers with a known issue?

-- Greg Mills

Greg Mills does faux wall art (http://www.gregmills.info/GregMills.info/Home.html) and runs Cottage Industry Solar Shops (http://www.cottageindustrysolar.com/cottageindustrysolar/Home.html).

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

MacUpdate Desktop 6.0.8 - Search and ins...
MacUpdate Desktop 6 brings seamless 1-click installs and version updates to your Mac. With a free MacUpdate account and MacUpdate Desktop 6, Mac users can now install almost any Mac app on macupdate.... Read more
BitTorrent Sync 2.1.1 - Sync files secur...
BitTorrent Sync allows you to sync unlimited files between your own devices, or share a folder with friends and family to automatically sync anything. File transfers are encrypted. Your information... Read more
Quicksilver 1.3.0 - Application launcher...
Quicksilver is a light, fast and free Mac application that gives you the power to control your Mac with keystrokes alone. Quicksilver allows you to find what you need quickly and easily, then act... Read more
iWatermark Pro 1.72 - Easily add waterma...
iWatermark Pro is the essential watermarking app for professional, business, and personal use. iWatermark, is the number 1 and only watermarking tool available for all 4 platforms iPhone/iPad, Mac,... Read more
RapidWeaver 6.3 - Create template-based...
RapidWeaver is a next-generation Web design application to help you easily create professional-looking Web sites in minutes. No knowledge of complex code is required, RapidWeaver will take care of... Read more
Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 16.0.1 - Profess...
Photoshop CC 2015 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous Photoshop customer). Photoshop CS6 is still available for purchase (... Read more
Together 3.4.6 - Store and organize all...
Together helps you organize your Mac, giving you the ability to store, edit and preview your files in a single clean, uncluttered interface. Smart storage. With simple drag-and-drop functionality,... Read more
Monosnap 3.1.0 - Versatile screenshot ut...
Monosnap lets you capture screenshots, share files, and record video and .gifs! Capture: Capture full screen, just part of the screen, or a selected window Make your crop area pixel perfect with... Read more
Cocktail 8.5.1 - General maintenance and...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
Vienna 3.0.6 :5eaf312: - RSS and Atom ne...
Vienna is a freeware and Open-Source RSS/Atom newsreader with article storage and management via a SQLite database, written in Objective-C and Cocoa, for the OS X operating system. It provides... Read more

.Decluster Zero: Bullet Nocturne (Games...
.Decluster Zero: Bullet Nocturne 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: LAUNCH SALE, 40% off for a limited time -- .Decluster is a Guide for Your Bullet-Hell Dream Tonight --... | Read more »
Five Nights at Freddy's 4 has Been...
In keeping with tradition, Five Nights at Freddy's 4 has made its way to the App Store with zero warning fanfare. Honestly I'd be disappointed it if happened any other way at this point. [Read more] | Read more »
Doom & Destiny Advanced (Games)
Doom & Destiny Advanced 2.3.4.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 2.3.4.0 (iTunes) Description: ---SUPER GIGA LAUNCH DISCOUNT! Get it now for cheap or pay more later!---An additional 143 MB download is... | Read more »
Five Nights at Freddys 4 (Games)
Five Nights at Freddys 4 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: This time, the terror has followed you home. | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: July 27-31, 2015
Winding Down July With 148Apps How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you're looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out... | Read more »
You'll Want to Keep an Eye Out for...
If you're the kind of person who had fun hunting down and completing all the codex puzzles in Assassin's Creed 2, then are you ever in for a treat. The Guides looks like it's going to be a very robust collection of similarily odd, seemingly... | Read more »
Vivid Games has Announced Real Boxing 2...
The original Real Boxing was a pretty impressive bit of fisticuffs, but if the trailer Vivid Games is showing off for GamesCom is any indication Real Boxing 2 is going to be even better. [Read more] | Read more »
PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX - Tips,...
[Read more] | Read more »
Card King: Dragon Wars - Tips, Tricks an...
[Read more] | Read more »
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX has brou...
Bandai Namco has released Pac-Man Championship Edition DX on iOS and Android, which features the classic arcade gameplay that we've all grown to love. Pac-Man Championship Edition DX can be enjoyed in much shorter bursts than the arcade versions... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Back to School Time: Outline for iPad Goes Fr...
Sacramento, California based Gorillized Corporation has announced a “Back to School” offer; the iPad version of Outline goes free for August 3-5. Outline is a smart digital notebook for iPad that... Read more
MacBook 12 Retina Pundit’s New Favorite Mac
If you’re eyeing the purchase of a new 12-inch Retina MacBook, but wondering if you can live with a single USB-C port, 2011-level CPU performance, and the unorthodox keyboard, you should find... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Adorama has the 2015 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $184 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1815 $184 off Adorama will also... Read more
PDF Element Tool Kit For PDF For Windows 10,...
South Surrey, British Columbia based software developer Wondershare has posted an interesting infographic tracking the development of Microsoft’s flagship Windows operating system over the years,... Read more
27-inch 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale for $81 off MS...
Adorama has the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale for $2218, $81 off MSRP, including a free copy of Apple’s 3-Year AppleCare Protection Plan. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NY & NJ... Read more
Back-to-School with Tablet and Smartphone Acc...
Belkin helps you prepare for the coming school year with a wide variety of the latest mobile and tablet accessories to outfit both grade school and college students. The line-up includes charging... Read more
11-inch MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSR...
Best Buy has 11-inch MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary: - 11″ 1.6GHz... Read more
iPad Air 2 on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
Best Buy has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $100 off MSRP on their online store for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices available for online... Read more
Sale! 13-inch MacBook Pros on sale for $100 o...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Pros on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.5GHz/500GB MacBook Pro: $999.99 save $100 - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina... Read more
Sale! Save $100 on 13-inch MacBook Airs this...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $899.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model.... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Infrastructure Engineer - *Apple* /Mac - Hil...
Infrastructure Engineer - Apple /Mac Job Code: 1608 # of openings: 1 Description Our fortune 500 client is looking to hire an experienced Infrastructure Engineer to join Read more
Executive Administrative Assistant, *Apple*...
…supporting presentation development for senior leadership. * User experience with Apple hardware and software is preferred. Additional Requirements The following list Read more
*Apple* Bus Company is now hirin - Apple Bus...
Apple Bus Company is now hiring school bus drivers in the Pettis County area. Class B CDL preferred. Free training provided. No nights or weekends required. Flexible Read more
*Apple* Certified Mac Technician - Updated 6...
…and friendly, hands-on technical support to customers troubleshooting and repairing Apple /Mac products with courtesy, speed and skill. Use your problem-solving skills Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.