Think different. When I read these words, I don’t think what was likely intended when this marketing campaign came out 21 years ago. As a repair technician, what I think when I see those words is how differently you have to think in order to defend the company that routinely screws you. You see, if you’re a repair technician like me you likely have customers coming to you every single day that have certain issues with certain devices. And when it’s any other brand you will hear people scream: “I’m never buying X again! I can’t believe they made this mistake, that is terrible!” But when it comes to Apple products, in spite of how badly they will screw the customer, The customer will still continue buying them and they will defend the company that they admit screwed them. In spite of the fact that they paid a luxury fee to buy a luxury brand. Today, I’d like to challenge you not to think different, but to think better. To think beyond. To think durable, fixable, usable, better. Today I will tell you the story of Apple products as I see it. From the time that I started repairing them to the present. Enjoy! Let’s start our trip down memory lane with the A1226/A1260 model MacBook Pro. These came out in 2008, the year that I first started working on Apple products. These machines had serious issues with the 8600 GT graphics chip. Now, to be fair to Apple, this was not just Apple’s fault. This was, in a large part, Nvidia’s fault for providing bad chips to a number of different vendors. It’s not necessarily Apple that is a hundred percent at fault for creating this product, but it is a hundred percent their fault how they handled the extended warranty. Rather than simply swapping the board when somebody would have this issue, what they would do is require that the technician at Apple ran a test that confirmed the graphics chip was at fault on the machine. Now, in order for the machine to be able to run the test to determine if it was eligible for warranty, it needed to be able to post and boot into an operating system in order to run that test. And most machines that had this failure would not turn on. You would get the little white light in the front and you would get the screen blank, but it would never turn on. So, in order to tell if your machine was eligible for repair it had to be able to turn on. But if your machine had this issue it wouldn’t turn on, which is a catch-22 that allowed Apple in many cases to not replace the board under warranty and rather charge people anywhere from $200 to $500 for what was their own design flaw. In addition to the chipset issues this machine is also host to a number of structural issues! Typically in laptops in order to retain a strong display assembly, the hinge, which is going to be moving back and forth, is screwed into the back piece of the display assembly. (That large plastic or metal piece.) On here, Apple decided to take a different approach to every other manufacturer and screw the hinges into the frame. The frame is very, very thin and as a result it’s a weaker part. In addition to being very thin and weak it also has holes put in it, so that there can be a screw that goes through to attach the screen to it. Now, right at the end is a really tiny thin piece of metal that you can see. And that thin piece of metal often snaps, resulting in the entire screen simply falling off at the bottom after a few years of use. Which may have happened to your machine, and if that happened to your machine, this is why! Next up comes the A1226 MacBook Pro from late 2008, the supposed Unibody model. This model is not actually machined from one piece of aluminum! It’s machined from two pieces of aluminum that are actually glued together. And as you can see in the above video, that breaks very, very easily and has for tens of thousands of customers. Many of whom have come to our store. Now if we were to take a more precise look at exactly how the machine is constructed we can get a bit of a better understanding as to why this happened. So this is what one of the 2008 supposedly Unibody MacBook Pros looks like. It has two fans and these two fans are going to blow the hot air from the heatsink out the back of the computer. The heat sink fan is right up against the bottom of the display assembly. And the display assembly as I showed you is not a Unibody. It’s two pieces of metal that are glued together cheaply. Now if we look at the machine from the side, you’ll see that the airflow is going to be directly from the burning heatsink onto the bottom of the display assembly, the very part of the machine that’s glued together. So every time you turn this computer on and do something processor or graphics intensive, you’re actually heating up the glue that holds these two pieces of metal together and unglueing your machine. Now creating a machine that costs over two thousand dollars that falls apart if you use it, that’s one thing. To not have any sort of extended warranty or recall program for it and to refuse to acknowledge it when customers go to the store is another. But to market it as a Unibody when it is actually two cheap pieces glued together, that will come unglued by hot air that you designed the machine to shoot out onto the glued part, that is the type of uniquely “Different Thinking” that could only happen at Apple Inc. Just like the A1226 MacBook of yesteryear, structural failure is not enough for it to be considered a complete Apple product, it must come with circuit failure as well Many of these machines suffered from sudden death where when the machine would get cold it would no longer turn on. This is because a chip called the mCP. This chip is a North Bridge, a South Bridge and a graphics chip all-in-one. It would not be getting the power that it needs to turn on. This chip needs 1.05 Volts to be produced by the circuit you see above and it would not be produced as a result of a capacitor that would often fail. This capacitor is not the proper capacitor for the job on a circuit that is going to be on as long as the machine has battery or charger power applied. In order to repair this issue where the circuit is only producing 0.3 Volts rather than the desired 1.5 Volts, you would have to replace this tantalum capacitor with a capacitor more fit for the job, which is going to be a little bit larger in size, harder to squeeze into that area, but would allow you to have a working machine. If you come across a machine from 2008 late, or a 17 inch from early 2009 that is dead, most likely it’s dead because of this issue and can be repaired by replacing this capacitor. Not wanting to limit themselves to the design of terrible laptops, in 2010 Apple decided to release the iPhone 4, moving their design and engineering team into the field of designing terrible smartphones. This phone is known for the meme of “you’re holding it wrong!” You see, with most other companies when they release a device that you could literally hold and have it lose service, they would say “Hey! We’re sorry! We screwed up!” “Maybe we didn’t design the phone or the ergonomics of the antenna or the body of it properly” But no. With Apple they tell you that you’re probably holding it wrong and over here You could see an example of someone holding the phone wrong. He picks it up, it’s got a decent amount of bars and as soon as he holds it, it doesn’t one bar, it doesn’t lose two bars… It’s gonna lose all service entirely, which is part of that “Think Different!” mindset. Because if you release a product that’s unable to get service. It’s not your antenna! It’s that person’s hand! Apple’s answer to this was to come out with a $29 case that makes you not hold your hand directly to the phone. This case is three times the cost of my spigen, very ugly and adding $29 of insult on to injury after you spend $600 on their flagship smartphone. The iPhone 4 also had issues with power buttons that would die out of nowhere. They were very poorly made, but this was not addressed until the iPhone 5 which actually had less failures than the iPhone 4. Apple would replace the power buttons for free only after years and years of people complaining that the power button should not die in less than a year on a $600 smartphone. In 2010 Apple finally got half a clue how to design a working laptop. They decided that instead of having two pieces for the display assembly, that were glued together with hot air blowing over it, they would produce one display assembly piece and have it be a unibody that was molded together, one piece of metal, just as advertised. And the structural issues were gone. YAY! However, the circuit issues persisted. this machine would have random shutdowns, random crashes, and random black screens. As reported by people in this MacRumors thread which is over 30 pages long. Now, if I show you the circuit that provides power to the graphics frame buffer you may notice that it looks very daringly similar to the 2008 and 2009 machines that were randomly turning off, and if you look even closer, you’ll notice that the capacitor in the 2010 version of the circuit is identical to the capacitor in the 2008 version of this circuit. Yes, what better way to design a laptop then after two years of figuring out we’ve been using a circuit that fails, Let’s continue using that circuit for a third year! “Think Different!” Now, Apple did release an extended warranty program for this machine to give them credit. They did attempt to put some effort into supporting users that spend $2000-$3000 on a professional level product that failed because of their own ineptitude. Similar to the 2008 MacBook Pro or Apple was able to weasel their way out of providing warranty service, they did the same thing here. This machine came out in 2010. This extended warranty program that you see pictured above, came out in 2013 and it says right here that it will fix the computers free of charge until three years from the date of purchase. Now keep this in mind. Let’s do some math here. The machine came out in 2010. They will only fix the machine three years from the date of purchase and this extended warranty program came out in 2013 There were a lot of users that you could imagine -unless they were the people that got the machine for Christmas- that were ineligible for this extended warranty program. Even if they did nothing wrong to the machine. So if you were a person that bought the machine on sale a year and a half after it came out, you may be eligible for coverage. But if you’re a hardcore Apple fan, if you’re one of the people that really believes in “Think Different”, if you really believed in Apple Inc and you bought this machine when it was the most expensive, when it first came out You actually got screwed harder than everybody else, because you would be ineligible for this program. However, luckily, there are independent technicians that release videos on how to fix this issue. Just like with the old machines from 2008 and 2009 they repeated the problem. We repeat the repair which is replacing that capacitor with the proper one that’s going to fit there and that is going to do the job properly. And which allows the machine to not kernel panic because it’s when the voltage drops in this circuit that the voltage going to the graphics chip and the VRAM is going to fluctuate which is then going to cause the kernel panics. 2011 comes around and we’re about four years out from the 2007 MacBook Pro. So you’d hope that by now Apple’s finally figured out how to produce a laptop within the $2000/$3000 range that will last longer than two or three years. Not really! As you can see above they also had GPU failures in the 2011 MacBook Pro with the 8202915 boards. Actually, these were some of the most rampant graphics chip failures of any laptop over the past ten years. It was particularly awful and there was this one great post on MacRumors where someone pointed out. Yes, your MacBook Pro is running, too hot and yes it’s Apple’s fault. They produced a good amount of evidence a lot of people posted in this thread what their temperatures were and they were posting the issues with their machine and as you can expect on a Mac forum, fanboys gonna fanboy. But fanboys can’t hide from the truth. Neither can Apple when there were law firms after them. A law firm wound up filing a class-action lawsuit on them and had a good amount of evidence to get Apple to come out with an extended warranty program. In 2015 Apple came out with an extended warranty program and unlike that crap they pulled with the 2010 model, this program did not require that the machine be less than three years from the date of purchase or any of that nonsense. This covered all of them and it covered all of them all the way up until December 16th of 2016. And as you can imagine I went back to that thread where all the fanboys were in to say I told you so. Now, you may be thinking to yourself: “Hey at least they’ve decided they were gonna replace everything under warranty. They did the right thing right?” “They’re giving everybody new boards!” and don’t go so far with that whole new thing. So I’m gonna show you above what these boards look like I’m going to show you a reworked section of the board and the non rework section of the board and you tell me if you think these boards are new. Now you may say, okay fine, they’re only gonna refurbish the boards and not going to give you new ones This is not what BGA rework is supposed to look like it’s not supposed to look like you put a portion of the board into a barbecue for five hours and just left it there. But this is what you get when you spend $2000 – $3000 and then give the machine back to Apple for warranty. They barbeque it to a point where it’s gonna last only two to six months and then fail again requiring that you buy a new machine. This is what a non reworked board looks like this is what a reworked board looks like. What do you think this one is? Look at this! Smile… Sad… Smile… Sad… Happy… Sad… Happy Sad… Happy… Sad… Happy… Sad… Happy… Sad… Imagine that in Trump’s accent… Sad… Happy… Look at this this looks like the color of Trump’s face. I mean look at this look at! (Laughing) This is.. this is not… this is not new… Thhhhis is nooot, not new New surely by 2012 with the release of the retina MacBook Pro, 5 years out from the A1226 model Apple would have learned how to produce a machine with functioning graphics. But no they didn’t. This machine would have issues where if you tapped on the motherboard, it would work. But when you released your finger from the motherboard it would stop working. And this issue was isolated to this chip that I’m going to show you right above over here. This chip is responsible for creating GPU VCore, which is the voltage that the GPU uses in order to work. Now… This chip over here has an issue where it comes desoldered from the board due to some terrible soldering materials, and when you tap on it It’ll work again. So what Apple decided to do rather than use some sort of different soldering mixture, different material for the pads on the PCB, is to put what I can only imagine is some sort of little cutout of shoe rubber and glue it to the top of the chip. So that it would get smashed against the case of the machine. Instead of changing the material that’s used to bond it, they’re just going to put a piece of rubber there to push it onto the board. And as you can imagine, this is not something that lasts and has resulted in hundreds and hundreds of these terrible, terrible refurbs ending up at our store for repair. You can simply confirm this for yourself by opening up a 2012 A1398 MacBook Pro Retina that has never been refurbished by Apple and one that has been refurbished by Apple Checking out this trip and you’ll see that the non refurbs do not have the little piece of shoe rubber there and the refurb ones do have that little piece of shoe rubber there. This in the hopes that it’ll keep the machine from coming back. The proper fix is actually more something like this: Once bonded properly typically the machine will have a nice happy long life even without the piece of shoe rubber. By 2013, Apple had quite a bit of egg on their face. It’s been six years now, and they’ve yet to produce a machine that doesn’t come apart at the seams or come unglued Or boil itself out from the inside or have dying graphics chips Or have chips that come desoldered from the board or in some sort of way just fail for no reason. So I think that their thinking here was: Let’s make a machine that is literally shaped like an air filter. Let’s come up with a desktop that is shaped identically to a Honeywell 50250 air filter, whose sole job is to be a large heatsink and fan. That just moves as much air as possible, as quickly as possible. And then finally we will not be known as the company that produces products that fail within two to three years of usage. And that’s what they did when they came out with the 2013 Mac Pro. They designed a computer that does not fail within one to two years of usage. Just kidding because there was another extended warranty recall program announced for the dying graphics chips in this machine that was literally designed/modeled after an air filter, and as you can see here, not only was that machine constantly failing in spite of its little design from the ground up to just be a heatsink in a fan, but they were selling the 2013 model at 2013 prices through 2014, 2015 and 2016! Yes, that’s right! Even if you paid in 2016 for top-of-the-line hardware, you could literally bring this machine home and go to the little Apple on the upper left corner, go about this Mac and in 2016 the brand-new machine you took out of the box would say: “Mac Pro 2013.” -If that’s not sad, I don’t know what is. In 2014 Apple came out with the iPhone 6 and 6+. As you can see above it suffers from an issue where you get vertical bars along the top of the screen and the touchscreen will stop working properly. This occurs because the type of aluminum used in the phone was too cheap and too weak to withstand being put in people’s pockets, especially with how thin this phone was. This was one of Apple’s thinnest smartphones ever. And because they cheaped out on the build materials using the phone, it would wind up flexing. And what would happen when the flexing occurred, is there was a chip that would pop its way off the motherboard, when you remove the chip from the board, you’ll see that there’s a missing pad that a lot of people will fix by running a jumper wire to the missing pad. (As shown by the red arrow above) And Apple was eventually sued for this. After the lawsuit they decided to release a program to try and calm people down. Where for $149 they would swap your phone out with another one. Unfortunately the phone that they were swapping yours out for was another phone using the same cheap building materials and the same motherboard that had the same problem. But above all: it was used, which meant that if your phone just died, you’re paying $149 to swap that out with another phone (that’s probably two months away from dying) That only comes with a 90 days warranty. As usual: fanboys gonna fanboy, but still, this is a widespread issue. If you Google “touch disease iPhone 6”, you’ll find hundreds upon thousands of posts from people that have had this problem, with no help from Apple. There are companies that are in litigation right now. And I do believe Jesse Jones is working with one. If they are successful, everybody that’s ever had this problem with an out-of-warranty paid repair on an issue that Apple knew about all along, and which the case states that there is evidence of, then they will all get their money refunded. But that is still unfortunately an ongoing issue and many people have abandoned their iPhone 6 and 6+ right now in favor of other devices, or just given up on it, which is exactly what Apple wants. But, if this case shows anything to be true. It’s that after 7 years Apple still is clueless on how to design a smartphone with hardware that’s actually going to last. In 2015 Apple came out with a new MacBook, this MacBook now solders the solid-state drive directly to the motherboard. But that’s not even the biggest concern here. The biggest concern is that there is a chip on the motherboard very similar to the Tristar chip on the Iphones that just dies… Just dies… It doesn’t have to be liquid damage, doesn’t have to be physical damage, it doesn’t have to be dropped. Doesn’t have to be shaken or abused in any way, you don’t have to download incorrect software. It just randomly dies. And we get a bunch of these every single week. And the issue here is that this one chip after it dies, will short a main power rail to ground. So as you can see above with the thermal imager that we have, there’s a section in the bottom left corner of the board that’s getting considerably hotter. And when we hit the button you can see that it’s operating somewhere around 30 – 40°C hotter than the rest of the board. You can see the alcohol instantly evaporate off of that chip and that chip does have to be replaced in virtually all of these machines after a couple of years. An this is one of the leading causes of random death in the 2015 A1534 model. This is not an issue that Apple has acknowledged or issued any sort of service advisory for but I do imagine they will when they’d start piling up. So this chip. This is the one that’s getting hot. It’s U4700. So let’s look that up on the schematic and see what that’s for. U4700 is responsible for shorting PP3V3R3V0AON to ground. So this chip, let’s see. Let’s just get an idea of what it talks to. I’m gonna get the schematics solely on the screen so that you can see this and all of its glory, nice and zoomed in. Alright, in 2016 Apple took the keyboard that they put into their 2015 standard MacBook and started using that across their entire MacBook Pro line. These new keyboards have less travel. They have a butterfly mechanism that is considerably noisier, but also much less reliable than the older keyboards. These keyboards just randomly failed. The keys will stop working, even if there’s no liquid spill. Or it’ll start typing repeats, so you hit the S key, and then the S key will show up three or five times in the keyboard and as you can see from this very long MacRumors thread, most people are not being held by Apple. They’re just being told your standard four or five $600, and if you want to replace the keyboard yourself, you’re in for spending quite a bit of money. Because on eBay some of the cheapest keyboards that you could find are over $150. Now this is also not an easy keyboard to replace. With your standard PC laptop you take off 4 or 10 screws, you buy a keyboard in eBay for $20, and you’re set and ready to go. With this machine, the keyboard is riveted into the computer. You have to remove everything from the case to get to the keyboard, after you’ve removed everything from the computer, you then need to rip out a keyboard that is riveted directly into the case, you need to create new threads for over 50 different screws that you have to screw in as hard as you can. Because there’s no threads there for yourself. And after you’re done with all that, you’re stuck with a machine that has a defective keyboard that may fail on you again in just a couple of days. And as you can see from our customer service email: we get lots of emails all the time. These are just the ones that we haven’t deleted from people that are having issues with these keys that have had no liquid damage from my experience. And as always: Apple is not acknowledging this as a common widespread problem with the model. And you have to fight tooth and nail just to get a repair quote that’s around the $300 mark rather than the $500 mark. Adding insult to injury. This machine not only will have keyboard failure, but it’s also known for premature battery failure, that will often occur right when the machine is out of warranty. When this occurs, the battery will expand. When the battery expands you have poor battery life, but you’ll also have cases that wind up bulging and bending and in some models this can even cause the trackpad to crack as the trackpad sits right above the battery. The battery is not user removable in this over $2,000 consumer portable laptop. And it is also hidden under a casing that is screwed in with proprietary screws. Just as an extra middle finger in case you’d like to replace it yourself. Typically Apple only released Pro machines in the 15 and 17-inch form factors, But in 2009 they released a 13-inch machine with the Pro form factor. Now this machine used a hard drive cable that would very often fail. In 2012 Apple updated this A1278 model after several years with a thicker more reinforced hard drive cable. Unfortunately that new model hard drive cable would still fail This is one of Apple’s longest running failures, which is from 2009 all the way up until 2016. Apple managed to produce a machine with a hard drive flex cable that failed. Also, the A1278 MacBook Pro is also one of the only laptops in existence to be known for failing hard drive cables. In the entire 10 years I’ve been in this business, I have never met a PC laptop of any brand, however cheap, that has failing SATA cables. As time goes on it’s up to you to decide whether or not this is the type of activity, this is the type of design and engineering, that this is the type of customer service that warrants a company being worth $900,000,000,000 10 years of history of screwing customers, producing poor quality products, not standing behind their extended warranties and getting away with murder. Is this the type of behavior that we’re going to let run our lives and run our tech industry? I think it shouldn’t be. And I think as many people as possible should be made aware of this type of behavior and these type of products as humanly possible. Do I make a living off of Apple product repair? Absolutely! Would I be happy if my living went away tomorrow, and I had to get an entirely different job if it meant that people stopped spending money on these products? Damn straight I would be! Because I’m sick and tired of watching people get screwed and just deal with it. Because they’ve bought into the idea, the fallacy, the hype, the lie, the cult of “Think Different”. When someone screws you, just stop spending money with them! That’s all it takes for them to learn their lesson, and you could choose today! I’ve included links below at products that you can buy. It’s your choice whether you’re going to allow this type of behavior to win. If you believe I’m wrong on any counts, or if you agree with me in any way, leave a comment below and let me know what you think let me know what your thoughts are. Let me know when you think I’m right and let me know when you think I’m wrong. And if you think I’m right, or if you just think this is interesting, share it with a friend. Share it with somebody that uses an Apple product. Share it with somebody that you think will find the information I’ve provided worth value. Thanks for watching!