Oops, Apple Has Another Quality Problem

Posted on September 1, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in iOS with 94 Comments

In yet another hit to its reputation for quality, Apple this week admitted to a manufacturing defect in the iPhone 8. And it will now repair affected devices for free.

“Apple has determined that a very small percentage of iPhone 8 devices contain logic boards with a manufacturing defect,” an Apple support document explains. “Affected devices may experience unexpected restarts, a frozen screen, or won’t turn on. Apple will repair eligible devices, free of charge.”

Don’t be fooled by the language: Like any company, Apple can’t publicly admit to a widespread manufacturing issue as it would leave the firm open to lawsuits.

But Apple also has a rich history of pretending the problems are minor. The iPhone 4 suffered from an endemic reception problem and numerous other issues, and Apple bamboozled the public into thinking there was nothing wrong. More recently, Apple issued a fix for equally endemic issues with the previous two generations of MacBook Pro keyboards, but the firm pretended that the fix was only designed to dampen an overly loud typing sound.

So let’s just call this what it is. Another in a growing list of examples where Apple doesn’t always deserve the high grades it continues to receive from the very customers that it’s harming with poorly-designed products. Quality, very clearly, is slipping.

Anyway, if you do own an iPhone 8—and not an iPhone 8 Plus, which is unaffected by this issue—and live in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Macau, New Zealand, or the United States, be sure to check whether you’re eligible for a free replacement. You have three years from the date of purchase to make the fix for free.

And be sure to give Apple an A for its customer service. They’re relying on you.


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Comments (94)

94 responses to “Oops, Apple Has Another Quality Problem”

  1. nbplopes

    Yes, every Apple problem is endemic. That is basically what you seam to believe, considering the enumeration.

    They get a good reputation also because they fix it beyong warranties ....

    PS; Did not have the reception problem with the 4 and none of the people that I knew had, experienced such a problem. About 10 people or so.

    You know what Thurrott. You support a company that more than 3 decades ruled Personal Computing and did not knew how to build a PC if their business the depended on it, case in case check the Surface history. Why? Call it fooling people with language., How else could such a feat be possible?

    And now, in the 9th iteration you get, Go, Go Go ....

    Just saying considering that you feel such an outrage every time people talk well about Apple.

    • skane2600

      In reply to nbplopes:

      Sadly there's been a sharp rise in defects in technology products in recent years, but Apple isn't any less likely to experience them than any other company.

      Warranties are a reasonable plan B, but what people really want is products that work properly from the start and have good reliability.

      As far as Microsoft is concerned, decades of writing and maintaining software obviously has nothing to do with expertise in hardware design and manufacturing.

    • Andi

      In reply to nbplopes:

      That's why those class actions suits exist. Because Apple fixes stuff indeed, at your expense instead of theirs.

      MS has zero history in making PCs. Still, in a very short timeline they managed to create something innovative that spurned the ipad pro. Safe to say that any current Surface product is better than the current Apple equivalent. It's also safe to say that Windows 10 is better than any MacOS version post Snow Leopard, runs leaner too.

      Want something more traditional? No problem; any Thinkpad is better than the one port books or the touchbar gimmicks.

      • nbplopes

        In reply to Andi:

        "That's why those class actions suits exist. Because Apple fixes stuff indeed, at your expense instead of theirs."

        Right, do you really want to go that way??


        We live in a world that if you have a problem in the hardware its a tragedy, that manufacturer is simply at it ..., .

        If you get a problem in software, oh well its part of the game .... you know ... we all have to support progress .... it how man evolve ... bla bla bla. its hard, really hard ... more bla bla bla.

        Have you seen the licence agreements in software? Lololo. If you had to accept such agreement when entering a car, plane .... you would be a fool to get in such machines ....

        Who are you to say that a MS Word is such a complex piece of software, more so than a plane, a car .... so only an agreement relieving the builder of any malfunction is the only rational choice? Relieving the builder of any responsibility in case of malfunction!!!

        Do you know that there are no Warranties in software? Why? Why should you pay for support for something that you haven't broken? It was given to you broken!

        I tell you why. Marketing, yes. Marketing of ideas, nothing more.

        Not only that, but in this world. the people that do software get rich overnight, yet who makes hardware .... lololol.... get pursued. A world that call you greedy if you have say, 30% net margin in hardware (you gotta have 3%-6% that is fare than), but in software .... haaa those bright lads that sit in from a PC, they deserve it all.

        Fools I say, fools.

        Now go and read the article above again!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • skane2600

          In reply to nbplopes:

          Consequences for mistakes in technology aren't driven by whether the problem is in software or hardware, but rather related to the seriousness of the problem and the harm that is caused. Nor in serious cases do license agreements always exempt a company from liability. VW had to pay out $25 billion dollars to resolve their software-based diesel emissions cheat.

          • nbplopes

            In reply to skane2600:

            The idea that software malfunction has minimal consequences in comparison with hardware it’s a lie.

            You live in a world that it’s entirely dependent on software to get things done, from work to entertainment.

            The reality is that you have companies like MS that are even bringing these ideas to hardware, check the Surface line. Knowingly launching things with bugs or half functioning to fix later, , I repeat, knowingly, because now have software has service ... why not hardware has a service, disvirtualzing the all idea of service!!!

            Its is interesting that for some a class action regarding a a keyboard malfunctioning, arguing that Apple knew about it with no proof, affecting half a million makes perfect sense, but if class action affecting billions does not because, its software as a service ...

            Actually the second company, does not even bother anymore hiding anything, turns the all malpractice into an exciting marketing tool for some to live in perpetual alpha and beta with the promise of some uncertain future. so low came to be expectations. How? Moving people attention to a smoke screen, the internal debate of the Walled Garden, Open versus Closed, totally riddled with traps and sophisms.

            This was actually the counter action of MS to Apple vision in the last decade or so. This is really how things differ between these companies!!!!

            Its interesting, if your computer crashes it’s ok. But imagine a TV that would switch off all in the sudden almost regularly, ... it would be crap. What about a vacuum cleaner, imagine buttons sometimes working or other times ... That is how for 3 decades PC lived while turning users into “mechanics”.!!!!!!! Ok things, have changed a bit since iOS / 2007, but not that much.

            Paul is right. The Apple reported malfunction should not have happened but that is where his rightness stops.


            PS: The reality is that some companies have a different perspective on how things should be for the use in computing. Yes they also have problems, some of them similar, after all is computing, but how each deal with those problems is extremely important has it has a different user impact.

            The best Marketing machine world was developed by MS, how else for 3.5 decades they could rule PC computing without fundamentally having the know how iof how to build one! They marketed the idea not the product!!!! Something that can be easily verified in the TV commercials and leaflets of those 3 decades, the all plot, That is how.

            Now I guarantee you, that what you see in an iPad commercial, actually works and performs that way of not better. It’s no Surface Go indeed !!!!

            • skane2600

              In reply to nbplopes:

              "The idea that software malfunction has minimal consequences in comparison with hardware it’s a lie."

              Thanks for the nbplopes-splaining. I have extensive experience developing software for medical devices and have participated in multiple hazard analyses that includes software.

              • nbplopes

                In reply to skane2600:

                Maybe. But you still don’t have a grasp of the purpose of a warranty for instance..

                A warranty it’s a promise that the product will do what it says it does. So much so that eventually it does not for some reason, the supplier promise to fix it

                in the case of hardware it has a time associated because physical entities degradate with use. Digital entities because software with updates sometimes change in function, or work differently from advertised as times passes.

                If you look at regular software agreement, somewhere in it it says that the provider is not liable if it does not work has described. Example:

                "X warrants that properly licensed software will perform substantially as described in any X materials that accompany the software. "

                The trick here is "substantially". Meaning that if there is a problem they will fix them "substantially"? Imagine someone selling you a car and saying "well we promise that it will mostly work"? Or that "wee will mostly fix the problems" :)

                Some actually apart from the Warranty offer something interesting. Called SLA. For instance, under an SLA they promise that your PC will crash at most 2 times a year if ever , but for that you pay extra. This is of course metaphore of mine to explain the spirit of the thing.

                But hey, Apple is taking money from its user by offering Apple Care ... that extends the warranty from one to 3 years and other stuff hehehe.

                This is a prior issue to the eventual consequences of it not working properly, damages and so on.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to nbplopes:

                  There is no broad legal precedent concerning the validity of software license agreements. Often such "no liability" statements are as much about discouraging litigation as it as about creating a real legal barrier to prevent them.

                • nbplopes

                  In reply to skane2600:


                  Precisely my point when we compare the extent of devices warranties vs software. The only way the user has to enforce anything of the warranty in software through litigation, class action and so on. But user are educated (as of brain washed) that somehow accountability in software would hurt experimentation so its all fare game.

                  Furthermore, software companies enjoy far less manufacturing, distribution, operaraion costs and .... greater margins. All this is highly disincentive to build software with more quality, less errors, more secure, more predictable and robust ... Its a culture that does not enforce accountability in the name of "experimentation". And its only getting worst now that distribution is done with no physical means, just beam it.

                  So if you see through this you need to consider that in comparison, PC builders are the greatest heroes of the PC era. If you have one in your home, if eventually you can buy one, its mostly because of them. They are the ones that make computing affordable and predictable.

                  Yet they are the ones that take the heat from the press!!!!! while the software developers are the loved "cowboys".

                  The quality of device development has been always way superior to the quality of the software running on them (development) with the exception of instances where there is great affinity between the software and the hardware from inception. In such cases are basically on par.


                • skane2600

                  In reply to nbplopes:

                  I'm not going to participate in a meaningless HW vs SW debate, however software was adopted only because of the impracticality of implementing multiple complex functions in HW. Even many microprocessor architectures use microcode to implement their instruction set rather than implementing those instructions using soley logic gates.

                  On the one hand, HW excels at implementing relatively simple structures on a large scale with high speed. Thus we have devices like RAM. On the other hand, HW also excels at implementing more complex, very specific functions that are standardized. Thus we have disk controllers, network interface devices, etc. Then again, even these devices may contain software for some aspects of their operations.

                  Because hardware usually implements simpler functions or functions that are very well defined by standards, they are in general inherently easier to test than software.

                • nbplopes

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  my point Is that we seam to demand way more from device manaufactirers in terms of quality, warranties, robustness and price than software houses such as Microsoft.

                  Even though device and its components cost more to produce,, fix and distribute, consumes more earth resources,;it’s harder to research than software.

                  I think this is more a function of culture than then the pointed testing complexity, aka technical rationale.

                  The rest are details.

      • Stooks

        In reply to Andi:

        "Safe to say that any current Surface product is better than the current Apple equivalent."

        Woh, easy on the Kool-Aid there Andi. What are you basing that on? Surely not sales?

        The surface laptops have been plagued with issues. They constantly get multiple firmware updates. Paul reports on those firmware updates all the time. I know people with Surface laptops (various models) that still get the sleep/hot bag issue with drained batteries a issue that has been around since the first Surface Book.

        • Andi

          In reply to Stooks:

          Look at the Macbook lineup. You have the underpowered and overpriced one port Macbook. The woefully out of date MBA. The top of the line 15" with Radeon in a world where nvidia makes the best discrete mobile GPUs and the standard in GPGPU. And outside of the sole base 13"-er every other "pro" comes with the absolute ridiculous failbar. Seriously, what was Apple thinking?

          Sales, yes Apple has them. As you say, people are actually buying the mac mini, yes the obsolete mini sold at brand new prices. They are buying the MBA, they are buying the failbars. They don't care about the gear, only about the Apple logo and the iphone tie-in. They are adopting the gimmicks for the sake of the brand. The people that actually need macos(no choice here) are ios devs - of whom there are millions - and dwindling niches like audio/video work(the latter have been the most vocal during the last few years while Apple "castrated" their pro macbooks). These prosumers alone are dwarfed by the brand aficionados.

          Surface does not have the sales. Relatively speaking no one actually knows a thing about MS' hardware, especially outside of the USA. It's actually a miracle that people buy these expensive Surfii in the first place, most of which are hybrids(this in turn makes adoption harder as people would rather have something more standard like a laptop).

          • nbplopes

            In reply to Andi:

            Most Mac users are professionals. That is why there has been such big amounts of people complaining over Apple not caring and updating the line up properly. Those complains are fare, shame on Tim Cook and Co for not caring for a Mac users as they used to in the time of Steve Jobs.

            Still, the idea that people interested in buying Macs and still want to buy are people with no technical instruction, is a misguided idea populated by MS Marketing.

            Most are actually academics and developers, rarely the house wife caring for 4 kids. The later has been actually and mostly the Windows field, for good measure.Only disrupted by iPhones at some point.

            The architecture underlying macOS is actually more open than Windows ever was. You could and can develop in a Mac to Unix workstations with minimal fuss if needed for instance. Not just develop for the Mac.

            Only lately MS actually bring support for Unix like subsystems.

            Just saying how really misguided is your judgement of Mac users.

            • Andi

              In reply to nbplopes:

              I never judged macusers in the manner you imply. I said that the uber pro user that cares about low latency audio and video work is dwarfed by the average user that likes the iphone synergy, likes the brand more than the product and is willing to put up with some gimmicks.

              The mac is no longer a professional niche. In fact many prosumers hate that Apple has dropped nvidia due to platform politics(no CUDA allowed); hate the gimmicky direction of the macbook "pro"; the death of the mac pro; the extreme latency in updating hardware and selling it for up to date prices(mini, mba).

              I've even read on macrumors/AI that some wished Apple made an ipad pro running macos, a la Surface Pro, rather than ios. BTW, the SP3 you point towards, was actually the best SP in the line. It made the Surface line sell 1 billion per quarter and put the hybrid PC on the map.

              • nbplopes

                In reply to Andi:

                Did not noticed that on my fully loaded SP3 kit. Worst $2000 investment I did on tech. Really that bad inspite of getting the form factor right. The form factor is really the only thing they really got right and made it famous, more so compared with SP2, that was atrocious.

                Has a prosumer in the Mac ... I want more performance and more modularity for the price that is all. Unfortunately. Apple has been dropping the ball in both aspects. The problem is not the Touch Bar or the keyboard,, or the excellent iPhone/iPad integration. They can do all that whe doing the other stuff.

                • curtisspendlove

                  In reply to nbplopes:

                  I want more performance and more modularity for the price that is all.

                  The overall computer trend is away from this and toward the “appliance” path.

                  The “PC” World is trending this way too. In fact, already a *lot* (if not most) of the profit in the Windows PC business is aligning with niche uses, such as DIY gaming rigs. Margins are dropping like crazy on prebuilt laptops and desktops. (If you don’t believe me, look up some recent quotes by some of the CEOs of the hardware companies.)

                  It pains me to say this, and I hope I’m wrong, but I think most “pros” that want old-school modularity with the new Mac Pro are going to be disappointed.

                  I’m not a fan of the Touch Bar, in fact I kinda think it is garbage, and a stop-gap. But I think they have been learning from having an A-series chip interacting with a Mac. So I’ll take the trade off in what they are learning and what it is likely to bring to the Mac in the future.

                  For instance, they’ll never admit it as “failed”, but if the Touch Bar goes away, and all they get out of that chip is the ability to load the Face ID code into it and link it with the MacBook camera, I’ll be a happy man. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see a whole lot more done with it, and a lot more iOS code shared with the Mac.

      • curtisspendlove

        In reply to Andi:

        Safe to say that any current Surface product is better than the current Apple equivalent. It's also safe to say that Windows 10 is better than any MacOS version post Snow Leopard, runs leaner too.

        Yup, that is called an opinion. And my opinion is the direct opposite. ;)

      • GT Tecolotecreek

        In reply to Andi:

        MS has zero history in making PCs. Still, in a very short timeline they managed to create something innovative that spurned the ipad pro. Safe to say that any current Surface product is better than the current Apple equivalent. It's also safe to say that Windows 10 is better than any MacOS version post Snow Leopard, runs leaner too.

        Wow the MS Reality Distortion Field is strong in this one.

        Might want to check with Consumer Reports about Surface reliability...

        • Andi

          In reply to GT_Tecolotecreek:

          I actually agree with the Consumer Reports report. It is entirely based on the unfortunate statistic that MS faced with early Skylake Surfii. MS deserves its report but at the same time it has a known source, Skylake.

          Consumer Reports did not catch throttling iphones and keyboard failures. Those are addressed through massive worldwide lawsuits. Pick your poison.

          • nbplopes

            In reply to Andi:

            The mentioned report was referring to Surface Pro 3, there was no Skylake. Skylake cane with SP4.

            By the way MS blames Intel. Never seen Apple blaming their suppliers why? It’s a value called Accountability!!!!

            It was MS who built Surface Pro. But it’s quite standard practice of the company. If there is something wrong with their product, either software or hardware, blame someone else.

            • Andi

              In reply to nbplopes:

              Like I said above, MS is to blame. They rushed the Skylake roll-out. They deserve the report and the warning that comes with it. I only said that the bulk of issues that caused the report are Skylake related.

              • nbplopes

                In reply to Andi:

                Yes. But Consumer Report was not about Skylake based Surfaces but Surfaces previous to Skylake, case in case, Surface Pro 3. Those where the ones that had the reviews downgraded in the first place.

                You see, second and third year devices can only be Surface Pro 3 mostly by 2017, considering that Surface Pro 4 was launched in the end of 2015, so mostly bought in 2016!

                There, there is nothing to blame Intel for if they wanted.

                I am one of those that have a Surfave Pro 3 that looks brand new, really nice chassis, but touch stopped responding in the third year or so for no apparent. And across the years had several basic problems, repeat basic problems that did not pay for, and yes minimized with Firnware updates but still they were so basic that actually looked just sloppy. Inadmissible for me in a $2000 kit

        • skane2600

          In reply to GT_Tecolotecreek:

          Isn't "Reality Distortion Field" an Apple trademark? Better be careful.

          • pecosbob04

            In reply to skane2600

            So who first used the phrase "Reality Distortion Field" in relation to Apple in general and Steve Jobs in particular?

            I would love to credit a certain eponymous site host who trolled the Apple BBs as "REALITY Check" back in the day but he and even Dvorcak(sp?) were just (not really all that) early adopters.

            In spite of what 45 would have us believe GOOGLE (and Wikipedia) are our friends.

            Reality distortion field is a term first used by Bud Tribble at Apple in 1981, to describe company co-founder Steve Jobs charisma and its effects on the developers working on the Mac Tribble said that the term came from Star Trek where in the Managerie episode, it was used to describe how the aliens created their own new world through mental force.

  2. RobertJasiek

    So far I "only" suffer from iOS bugs, of which the following can be excused the least: the battery is full, Safari hits a bug claiming I would have no internet connection, shutting down iOS is my only option, then iOS refuses to start until I connect the device to the power plug. After restart and opening Safari, of course my internet works. I can tolerate a few bugs but being forced to use the power plug is very nasty. For comparison, under Windows, restarting the browser is always enough.

  3. RonH

    I am with Paul on this one. Based on how much money Apple charges for their products, they should be more transparent about this things. I know many people with iPhones who love them, but have regular issues that Apple always fixes. Some say that is great service, I say buy something else.

  4. GT Tecolotecreek

    Wow Paul, based on the comments in both sections I would say you unending Apple rants are getting old with your audience. Might want to think about something new like recognizing how Apple is stepping up to address the issue instead of charging you thousand bucks for a refurb warranty exchange. Hope you can read this on your Pigel #3, if it is working today?

    • bart

      In reply to GT_Tecolotecreek:

      Stepping up to address problems is admission of a problem by itself. Paul rightfully points out quality creep occuring at Apple. Why the personal attack? So unnecessary

      • GT Tecolotecreek

        In reply to Bart:

        ...points out quality creep occuring at Apple. Compare to what? He has no idea the actual percentage of failures and if it is going up or down. Let me give you a clue, any manufactured product will have n% of failures. The question is if the manufacturer deals with the issue when it appears so the customer is happy, and fixes the process that caused the problem. Second the sheer quantity of product Apple ships compared to Google or MS mean numerically it will probably be higher, but percentage wise the amount of faults may be lower. Without knowing the actual values making a statement "...points out quality creep occuring at Apple." is just speculation. The lead on the article is exactly the same, pure speculation, unsupported by any facts. Paul's experience with multiple Pigels demonstrates Google hasn't fixed the issue(s), their just waiting for the timer to run out on the warranty. MS has handled many of the Surface issues the same way.

  5. anthonye1778

    Classic snark from Paul. Love it! Watching computer repair YouTube channels (especially Louis Rossman) has truly opened my eyes to the inferior quality of Apple products... Their engineers used to be the best in the world. What happened?

  6. curtisspendlove

    Sure. Sure. Quality problems.

    Want to remind us how many times you had to return your Pixel 2? ;)

    Maybe I’m just lucky, but I’ve never had to return an Apple device. And I’ve never had to get a repair for any issue I didn’t cause. (And over half the time, for issues I’ve caused, Apple has fixed them under AppleCare. I *am* lucky there, since that is not a standard practice.)

    This is the reason I continue to give them high “c-sat” scores, which Tim’s so fond of. I don’t expect everything to be perfect, that is where customer service comes into play. In my interactions Apple’s service individuals have always been outstanding.

    I also fixed the “no headphone jack” issue with $30 Bluetooth mic’d earbuds that actually have decent sound quality (if I want good sound quality I pipe it through my car or home audio systems).

    I do do agree that overall, Q/A seems to have slipped in the last few years (the more widespread reporting of the keyboard issues is evidence of this).

    But I’ll report back the first time I have to return my iPhone two or three times. ;)

    Edit: heh, Iove when the “downvote bandwagon” rolls into town. The very concept of “downvoting” an opinion or experience is highly entertaining to me. (I fully expect this post to take the site record for downvoted at this point. Heck, I’m tempted to downvote it myself!)

    :D Always entertaining, this site.

    • nbplopes

      In reply to curtisspendlove:


      It amazes me that the only American company that is in the top 5 of smartphone manufacturers is Apple .... I some Americans just want it all Asian ... heck they are even selling them their major PC vendors every 5 years or so.

      One day it will be HP and DELL for sure (DELL almost went bzerk once in the race to the bottom ... just to put PCs everywhere so that Microsoft could, you know put their software on every people's home and collect the biggest PIE of the benefits making the richest man in the world richer ... next time it happens to DELL will be bought by an Asian consortium of sorts.

      I'm not American, probably that is why articles like this makes me so curious. Because I have used devices from many brands and objectively find Apple generally most reliable, albeit expensive.

      How can someone turn an out of warranty service into a bad thing its just incredible!!!!

      • skane2600

        In reply to nbplopes:

        As Apple says on the box, "Designed in California, Assembled in China". Hardly the poster-boy for "Made in America".

        • nbplopes

          In reply to skane2600:

          So you prefer all China than? What about HP and DELL?

          Motorola has given up already ....

          • skane2600

            In reply to nbplopes:

            The "Made in America" technology ship has sailed decades ago and it didn't start with computers. Whether a tech company is legally considered US-based or not, they usually employ at least some foreign engineering talent, use components from all over the world,assemble their product in other countries, and have foreign workers answer technical support calls.

            I consider how an individual company divides up their activities between the US and elsewhere to be trivial and I simply don't care.

    • Andi

      In reply to curtisspendlove:

      You shouldn't have to buy Apple Care. Do you buy simillar services for your other gear, appliances?

      • nbplopes

        In reply to Andi:

        I never bought Apple Care. In my country by law we get 2 years warranty.

        • MikeGalos

          In reply to nbplopes:

          Which is why tech products cost more in your country. Effectively, you bought Apple Care and just didn't have a choice about buying it.

          Remember that the next time a product launches and either costs more or isn't immediately available.

      • curtisspendlove

        In reply to Andi:

        I normally only get AppleCare on business MacBooks. I’ve never had any problems with personal devices, nor would I care if they have them for longer if I ever got unlucky enough to have to have a repair done.

        I have bought AppleCare on iPhones for the kids, simply for the screen repairs.

        :: shrug ::

        I don’t normally get extended warranties on anything else. But a $3k laptop that makes me money, yes it is worth it. Every day that is out of commission would cost me way more than AppleCare does.

        Edit: incidentally I also get the warranty thing that Microsoft offers through their physical stores on business Windows machines as well. Again, well worth it. I have had good no-hassle exchanges for MS products as well. I don’t get it on personal devices, which is one reason I haven’t pulled the trigger on a Surface Pro yet.

        • Andi

          In reply to curtisspendlove:

          I was not judging your reasoning. Just saying it's an unfair comparison. If you buy a 3k Dell/HP and on top a safety net the type of Apple Care, you will have a good service and praise it in the forums.

          If you don't buy Apple Care you get 700$ worth of bills for keyboard repairs, throttled iphones for which you have to foot the bill for a new phone/battery, and by extension class action lawsuits.

          • curtisspendlove

            In reply to Andi:

            If you don't buy Apple Care you get 700$ worth of bills for keyboard repairs, throttled iphones for which you have to foot the bill for a new phone/battery, and by extension class action lawsuits.

            Perhaps. Except the keyboards were covered (and reimbursed) under an extended repair program.

            An iPhone battery is $29. So...your $700 bucks is really $29?

            Also, don’t a lot of “android” people rave about swappable batteries so that they can buy an additional $200 battery to carry around and swap out when their battery dies?

            I’ll state it again since it seems to frequently get lost. My ROI tracking across tech brands consistently puts Apple at the top.

            I have to replace *all* other brands we buy on a 1.5 - 2.0x factor.

            I easily have to replace the crappy android stuff (though most of it is Samsung, which is cost comparable to Apple) my family chooses twice as often as my Apple devices.

            I’ve purchased at least 5 Android tablets for 2 people. And I’m still on my iPad Air 2. (I want the damn thing to die so I can upgrade it, but it keeps kicking.)

            I will also restate, I have never taken out AppleCare on a personal device. I have paid $0 in repair costs. I may be lucky in that I do have a local Apple store and I can actually go in and talk with them.

            This mythical “apple tax” really isn’t a thing. It never really has been when you consider device life span and (especially) resale value.

            Try reselling an older Android or Windows device. Go ahead, I wish you luck.

            • Andi

              In reply to curtisspendlove:

              The resale of a macbook has nothing to do with an inherent superiority in the face of a say high end thinkpad. Just brand power and scarcity of macos devices. There is no Acer making macos notebooks. You could add that people coddle their macs compared to windows notebooks which people abuse more.

              The Apple tax does exist simply because Apple is positioned as a luxury company perpetually adding "margin enhancers" to their devices. Most recently the Apple tax has extended itself onto subscription apps, homekit appliances, mfi devices, apple pay purchases, carplay enabled cars,etc. You are paying for those.

              • curtisspendlove

                In reply to Andi:

                I never said it had anything to do with quality. I mentioned it in alignment with the “Apple Tax” and my ROI calculations. Your sub points only further prove why I consider reselling Apple devices into their ROI. Their potential ROI is even higher than the actual ROI I get out of them.

                I don’t care why the resale value is so high, only that it is. It gives me another option instead of feeling like I’m out all the money when I buy an Android or Windows device (which, to this day, I’ve never found anyone to buy a resale of either).

      • Hawaiianteg

        In reply to Andi:

        yeah you shouldnt have to buy apple care or any other extended warranty for any device, however sometimes stuff happens and it protects you in those situations. I rather have the security of having a extended warranty then having to shell out $$$ for something that broke after the original warranty was up. Nothing is perfect.

  7. jimchamplin

    I know that this is technically way outside, but in 2003 when Mac OS X 10.2 came out, I was at the Apple Store in Memphis, and was getting a minor thing looked at on my iMac G3. I mentioned that 10.2 looks great, and the Genius tech mentioned it would make my iMac run better. I agreed it likely would, since anything would run better than the first two revisions of OS X.

    But I was a poor-ass college kid and he knew that. When I got it home, the ISO was waiting on my desktop.

  8. markbyrn

    Mr. Cook needs to focus more on products vice politics.

  9. neunmalelf

    As long as consumer let it happen and keep buying the same brands and pay their prices, nothing will ever change. It is as simple as that.

  10. Jeffsters

    Hey Paul! At three years it’s offering a free replacement longer than most Android phones get updates. Carry on!

  11. naven87


    We would all like products without issue, but if we acknowledge given the complexity of modern products, there will likely be some issues. How do we think companies should respond/communicate to them? Calling out a company who claims "mea culpa" even if it is not part of its normal vocabulary does raise the question what would we rather they had done, or is it just contrasting their prior performance? I am a fan of companies owning up to issues, and I would rather not create negative feedback to being open about the problems.


  12. reservoirmike

    So what is the crime here? Apples discovers, and then discloses a manufacturing defect, along side a repair program at no cost to consumers. That is newsworthy, yes, but hardly worth the Chicken Little headline. I understand criticism of their response to a design flaw like the keyboard fiasco, but this is a non-starter. A supplier made a mistake. Apple is fixing it, and doing right by their customers.

    Stop with the click-bait sensationalism Paul. It is beneath you.

  13. jrswarr

    I can recall way back in the day (waaaayyyyyy back) when IBM was master of the computer universe. Thier stuff used to crap out all the time - quality was a real issue - but they inundated the customers site with so many field service engineers and replacement parts that they regularly rated top shelf status.

    To the average consumer - quality is more often a perceived notion than a measured one.

  14. scottib62

    Just so everyone knows. Anecdotes that start with "I know people" or "People are saying..." have pretty much no value. As if the people an individual knows have any statistical relevance. So just know that anecdotes really weaken your arguments. People are saying that most Apple users are sheep, doesn't make it so.

  15. Jeff.Bane

    File it with my mac pro keyboard Paul. Keep up the honest work - your rational audience appreciates it.


    The name "Apple" sure does appear often on this Microsoft focused site!

    That's how I know that "Microsoft" isn't a name I need to give a damn about anymore.


    • Jeffsters

      In reply to TEAMSWITCHER:

      It’s how they feel better! It’s call confirmation bias! They know Surface sucks, doesn’t sell, MS doesn’t care about them, moving to the enterprise, killed the iPhone killer, can’t do tablets to save their life, and life sucks. Do they must convince themselves with what ever they can find, that their existence sucks less. What’s really sad is if not for the Apple content I wouldn’t even come here so at least they have that going for them which is nice!

    • Stooks

      In reply to TEAMSWITCHER:

      "Google" anything appears farm more than Microsoft or Apple. I will say basically anything about Apple on this site is pure sophomoric negativity.

      I remember the day Apple surpassed Microsoft in terms of market cap/revenue and profits. The first thing I thought about was "dam that sucks for Paul Thurrott". I used to love his rantings about how Apple was bad and Microsoft dominated them with their PC sales and such. It was always about how small the Mac market share was. At one point iPhone sales alone generated more revenue than all Microsoft products combined.

  17. PeterC

    Ha! well this has been a hot bed post of fruity comments! Marvellous fun.

    If I have a point and its a little loose really, its that i'd say mass manufacturing in general has been SOOOO POOOR across the board for some 10 years. Theres loads of reasons why, mainly extracting more profit but also some political and so not for this comments board.

    But - My surface pro 3 was a catalogue of errors/faults/replacement. My Lumia 950/950xl were a mess for the first year at least, they still make good hand warmers. My Google nexus 5x was a Frankenstein monster of garbage - its still in a boot loop in a draw, my original Surface dock was awful, my new surface dock "brick" is woeful too. Apple has had their fair share of rubbish too as much as anyone - no ones immune from it. Look at Pauls pixels, the list is endless...…. and weve not even got to HP...

    Its funny seeing the old Apple/MS hate rear its head but basically were all suckers for paying for this BS. And we keep doing it.... but oh if we pay for extra cover … blah blah blah blah

  18. red.radar

    comparing this to the faulty antenna design of the iPhone 4 is just plain stupid, and ignorant of the complexities it takes to maufacture complex electronic devices in today’s market. This is a component defect which is not the same thing. Apple has no control over its suppliers if they supply them with a bad lot of components.

    Considering the massive capacity issues globally with electronic components and the sheer volume of components Apple uses it was a matter of time.

    At least apple is supporting its customers proactively ... unlike google which keeps giving you crappy pixels with an obvious Faulty usb c connector.

    i get it .... you don’t like Apple’s privileged position in the press but this isn’t the right battlefield to wage your war.

    • canamrotax

      In reply to red.radar:

      I run a phone and computer repair shop. IPhone 7 units also have an endemic problem, the motherboard has a flawed design that cracks, breaking connections under the baseband chip. The components are not the problem, it is the design. This iphone 8 issue is slightly different, but related.

    • Pierre Masse

      In reply to red.radar:

      Stupid? Really? You obviously don't know all the quality problems that affected Apple devices all those years. They have the responsibility of testing the components thoroughly before shipping. If you can't ship quality, take more time, whatever the complexity of what you do. I personally had so much problems with Apple products that I switched to pc's as a graphic designer years ago and swore I would never buy an Apple product again.

      Every companies can have problems, that is not the point, but it's the condescending tone that they used that infuriated me at the time. Like the one you just used in this post which prove that you are another brainless narcissic Apple fanboy.

  19. Bdsrev

    Paul, how dare you speak the truth! Lol they announced this defect on a Friday night... what scumballs

  20. dontbe evil

    wow apple customer care is so good... after how many class actions did they decide this?

  21. SenorGravy

    I enjoy listening to the Vergecast every friday, and they spend at least a few minutes every episode bitching about design issues or missing features in Apple products, yet by the end of the episode they talk about buying the new version of the very same Apple product they just complained about. Crazyness.

  22. david.thunderbird

    My goodness Paul, one would think you threw the worm into Apple's barrel.

  23. locust infested orchard inc

    Paul Thurrott's quote: "Oops, Apple Has Another Quality Problem"

    I sense the feeling of déjà vu for the umpteenth time, along with the resonance of the pop sensation being played in my mind of the Britney Spears', "Oops...Apple did it again".

    Paul Thurrott's quote: "And be sure to give Apple an A for its customer service. They're relying on you."

    Sure thing, I'll be more than welcome to gift Apple an 'A' for customer service — an 'A' for Awfully Atrociously Abominable Appliance of Aptitude by Apple.

    • curtisspendlove

      In reply to locust infested orchard inc:

      I'll be more than welcome to gift Apple an 'A' for customer service — an 'A' for Awfully Atrociously Abominable Appliance of Aptitude by Apple.

      Cute alliteration. But I’m curious...have you ever owned an Apple device or interacted with Apple Customer Service? (My initial guess is “no”.)

      • Andi

        In reply to curtisspendlove:

        Perhaps he owned one of the throttled iphones(6, 6s or 7). You know, the ones Apple throttled because the batteries could not hold a charge.

        • pecosbob04

          In reply to Andi:

          " the ones Apple throttled because the batteries could not hold a charge." Did I miss an Apple scandal? I thought the throttle gate crap was a performance and heat related issue?

          • curtisspendlove

            In reply to pecosbob04:

            People can’t seem to get over when Apple released the software patch that lowered CPU speed on iPhones with underperforming batteries.

            To this day I maintain I’d rather have my device work more slowly than randomly crash. But seriously, a $29 battery replacement completely “fixes” this scandal...so. Everyone really should get over it (batteries age with time, and the iPhone 6 was released in 2014, so is now a 4 year old phone—good luck getting decent performance out of a 4 year old Android).

            For those that don’t care to Google, generally accepted physics suggest that a typical mobile phone battery will last approximately 2 - 3 years (with decent charging habits).

            Weird that “throttlegate” started happening late last fall when iPhone 6 era phones were nearing that 3 year mark, eh?

            (This is why I originally ignored this response. It is a lot of whining about nothing.)

  24. Stooks

    Using Edge right now on my iPhone X. Did you know it’s built in content blocker allows you to view this site without ads?

    Paul thanks for the Edge for iOS tip!!

    Oh and how is your third (?) Pixel 2 phone doing? My launch day iPhone X is the best smartphone I have ever used. Looking forward to iOS 12 on it!

    • curtisspendlove

      In reply to Stooks:

      Even the public beta has been great on my X (other than this upgrade pop up annoyance in the latest build, but it is beta).

      The final is is going to be sweet. :)

      And agreed, my X is my favorite phone of all time.

  25. Jason Peter

    And be sure to give Apple an A for its customer service. They’re relying on you."

    Paul, my experience has been just that.

    Every time I’ve had the smallest manufacturing defect in an Apple product I or my family have purchased, Apple has fixed or replaced it - no questions asked. Several times, they have gone above and beyond what they are obligated to.

    My sons iPhone 6 bent in his pocket - a known issue (of which I warned him about, but he failed to heed). Apple replaced it on the spot free of charge, even though it was technically customer damage.

    I had an iPhone 4 that had a small irregularity in the screen quality (bright spot in some pixels that remained constant). I could hardly even see it. But due to my concern that it might get worse, they replaced it there and then with no hassle.

    My wife’s 2016 MacBook Pro had a key that on occassion stuck, but fairly rarely and wasn’t a huge concern to her. Knowing the problems with the keyboards of that model, I decided to take it in before the warranty expired just in the hopes that I might get lucky (but I was expecting to walk away with a “sorry, can’t help you"). I couldn’t even reproduce the problem for them on site - yet they offered to repair the keyboard anyway, knowing that the problem can occur in such a fashion. As such, a new top case was installed and returned to me after three business days. And, they will repair it if it occurs again within the next 2 1/2 years free of charge, well beyond the warranty obligations.

    My son recently chipped the screen on his iPhone 7 several months back (the boy is hard on his phones...), but also had an speaker problem where no audio would play. Apple said they could repair the audio, but that he first had to pay to replace the screen as well. He grudgingly agreed and it was sent off-site to be repaired. Four days later they sent it back, fixed both issues, and didn’t charge him a dime (repair facility had discretion to fix both for free).

    In all of these cases, Apple either promised more than they were obligated to and/or did more than they verbally agreed to do. And not one of these products were purchased with AppleCare - just standard product warranty. Try finding an Android phone or Windows PC vendor who will offer the same ease and satisfaction in getting their product fixed.

    I don’t expect any tech products to be absolutely perfect and free of all defects. I just want them to fix it if it goes bad. And Apple is the only tech company that has never let me down. Not once.

    Tell me of another computer/tech vendor that even comes close to offering that level of service to consumer customers...

    So yeah, they get an A+ for customer service from me. They have more than earned it from me.

    • bart

      In reply to Jason_P:

      Thats a long list of problems you have had with Apple products. Sure, they are great at replacing/repairing products. But should these problems have been there in the first place?

      Sure, you say, but name me one vendor that doesnt have issues? I agree. But then again Apple charges extortionate prices for its products. You expect them to be flawless for that amount of money. On top, hubris. Do i need to say more?

      Again, top quality service, but it is a smoke screen for whats really going on, quality creep

      • Jason Peter

        In reply to Bart:

        This is three separate people over an 8 year span of time. Hardly abnormal if you compare to any other tech vendor with same amount of product. BTW, my household likely contains roughly 20 Apple products at any given time. Just saying...

        i had just as many problems with the Xbox 360 alone over a period of half that time

    • wright_is

      In reply to Jason_P:

      It depends on where you are. Here there are no Apple stores, so if an iPhone has a defect, you call the provider, they pick up the phone and return it (hopefully) repaired 2 weeks later. My iPhone went spent 6 of the first 7 weeks of ownership in the repair center (I had to send it back 3 times with the same fault, the first 2 times it was returned as no fault found (it would randomly freeze and you would have to wait for the battery to die, before it would turn off or reboot). The third time they "magically" found the problem, after I had made a scene in the shop.

      Android devices on the other hand, the provider sends out a replacement device and collects the defective one, if it isn't a user error (E.g. broken screen), there is no charge - my S3 was dropped and the antennas all stopped working, but the screen was intact, so it was replaced free of charge.

      At one employer, I was responsible for the contract phones and over 6 years, we had to replaced 10 iPhones and 8 Androids, the Androids were always swapped out without question, the iPhones were always picked up and the user had to do without a phone for 2 weeks. Our CEO went so far as to always get a second iPhone one some other employee's contract as a spare, in case his had to be repaired - he was a heavy phone user (i.e. making calls) and the bluetooth, batters or speaker always seemed to breakdown within 6 months (iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, 5 and 5S, only once the 6 came out did we manage to get through a year, before he grabbed a 6S on someone else's contract, did we get away with not having to return his phone).

      The problem is, he would usually spend about 5 - 6 hours a day making the calls and the early iPhones just didn't seem to be able to cope with being used as a real phone.

  26. T182

    Mine is good. First I've heard of 8's having issues.

  27. Brett Barbier

    Just checked my wife's iPhone 8 and it's not in the affected list. Unlike the MacBook pro keyboard issues, which did indeed seem rather common, I haven't heard of any reports of problems with the iPhone 8, so it could very well truly be a tiny percentage impacted in this specific case. .

    • Hawaiianteg

      In reply to Brett_B:

      Unfortunately Paul and Mary Jo both hate Apple so much that they take any example of a misstep by apple as proof that the company is going down hill or doesn't deserve the praise it gets. I'm a die hard mac fan but even I have a windows PC for gaming. I don't hate windows I just prefer Apple but I don't go on a blind tirade like those two do just because I don't agree with what the company does. It makes them both look petty and not true lovers of tech that they claim to be.

      • Andi

        In reply to Hawaiianteg:

        Apple is not going down hill but it sure getting more praise than it deserves. The brand is so much stronger than the products and Mr. Cook is a liberal icon of our days, at least that is how he's perceived. Let's not pretend that Apple is just another tech company.

        Still, what is wrong about criticising a trillion dollar company? Some hits are more than fair. Why defend them? Be a fan not an apologist.

        • Hawaiianteg

          In reply to Andi:

          Obviously you have not been following Paul for very long. He has admitted to not liking apple products because of who apple is and not based on the products themselves. Apple could have the best product in any category and he still wouldn't buy it based solely on his beliefs on what he think apple is. Mary Jo also admitted even though many times a Apple product was a better choice she chose against it because she just plain hates apple. That's not criticism that's just blind hate. Apple didn't become company they are now because they put out trash products and too expensive prices. They built things that people want at prices people are willing to pay for them.

          They also don't cut a lot of corners like most companies do. great example of this is the way they fold their OLED screens underneath themselves to create a bezel less screen. Other companies who are trying to copy the notch don't copy that part of the apples strategy because it costs a lot to do and they rather not put the time, money or effort into it.

          • Andi

            In reply to Hawaiianteg:

            I get the folding part but it's not a bezel less screen. The Samsung's sides are effectively bezel less - pedantry on my part. BTW I absolutely hate the notch and the notch copycats(except Essential).

            About the hating part; so many people on the Apple side also hate Google, MS, Amazon. They'd rather use inferior services(some made by Apple) rather than throw money towards them.

            In the case of Paul(don't read much of Foley) perhaps he dislikes Apple and hate is too strong of a word you are using. I can find endless personal whims why I dislike Apple but the presence or lack of actual features is what counts.

            Best thing Apple ever did was the original iphone as a stencil for smartphone design. I still hated things about it but the interface was magical.

  28. TroyTruax

    Here's an idea. The mob that hands Apple $1,000 every year for the latest phone could perhaps not buy this year's phone on the first day. Wait a week, maybe even a whole month. Let Apple know that you are not happy about the quality issues and have actually thought about not buying this year.