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back to article Apple to replace wonky iMac graphics cards

Apple has admitted to world+dog that some of the 27-inch iMacs that it sold between May 2011 and October 2012 have a suspect graphics card, and that if you own one of the affected models, it'll replace the possibly wonky card for free. The 27-inch iMacs sold during that period were equipped with either an AMD Radeon HD 6770M or …

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shocked apple didn't pull an excuse like they tried with the iphone years ago when ppl would get crappy signal. "your holding it wrong"

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Perhaps they're learning from past mistakes?

Say it isn't so!

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Anonymous Coward

@cyke1 how original of you.

Oh, and it's "you're" not "your".

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 05:22

You want original digs? You're in the wrong place, sadly :)

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Anonymous Coward

Not that shocking really, Apples service and warranty has always been fantastic on Macs. If you have an issue they will bend over backwards to get it sorted, often for free even when the product is out of warranty.

Ipods and Iphones however, the warranty is is crap and probably not worth the paper its written on.

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Stop

*Sigh*

This is always misquoted. A user emailed SJ complaining that, if he held his iPhone 4 in a certain way, the signal strength dropped. SJ emailed back "don't hold it like that". How many other CEOs would even bother to answer a direct email? Users were subsequently offered a free case (which fixed the issue) or a full refund. Not many people went for option B.

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It's fantastic on any device where they think there is a real problem. The fact the iPhone 4 - unmodified from the original design, is still selling well and outside of a couple of months when the story broke, there have been no increased returns due to the "grip of death" "issue" says it all really.

My 27" iMac is one of the affected units :(

They are collecting from me and returning too me. :)

It was subject to a previous recall, due to faulty HDD. :(

They replaced that one, but the service engineer managed to strip the thread on the small baseplate screws under the mac :(

I phoned and complained the base plate was loose. In all honesty a bit of blue tack would have been fine and apart from being annoyed, it wasn't really a significant problem (the base plate would never have dislodged and the blue tack would never have been visible). A manager called me back and said "Sir, that level of service is unacceptable from us, no Mac owner should have a baseplate held in place by blue-tack." They replaced the iMac with a new model but since the model I had was out of stock they gave me an upgraded, more powerful iMac with more memory. :)

Now as far as I'm concerned, you can't ask for better than that. There are always going to be occasional problems and human error. I've been unlucky that two supplier components have been bad on one machine and subject to recalls. But if, when there are problems, the company actively seeks to fully sorts them out promptly and without complaint, that is fine by me. It's especially reassuring that they actively seek out customers who need a HDD recall. That is obviously very important.

Oh also, on the same machine, I took it back early in its life-time for the screen to be replaced, because it developed "blotches" down the right hand side. It was only after they returned with an entirely new LED LCD display (which on a 27" iMac is not going to be cheap) that I realised I have it stationed almost directly next to a radiator where I often dry clothes. I'm now pretty certain the display blotches were caused by the continual "ingestion" of evaporating water and I no longer dry clothes next to it (and don't have the blotches problem). So this kind of illustrates the difficulty of offering good customer service to customers - often there will be faults that are the customers fault. I genuinely didn't make the connection until after it was returned and I was about to put out some more damp washing and a "light bulb switch on," but often customers will be making warranty claims in full knowledge they are at fault.

When you factor in the human cost of the customer services I have received, all the van rolls, the support agent time and the repair time ( the replacement display I probably didn't deserve), the fact is a thin margin PC manufacturer could never afford to provide that level of service. Consequently they don't.

My experience has led me to be very happy to pay the Apple premium because, in my experience, it isn't really a premium at all. To me it appears to be simply the cost of proper service. Then I remember back to my days of dealing with PC World where the staff would try to make you feel like a criminal if you needed to return anything faulty, and I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to change brand.

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"I took it back early in its life-time for the screen to be replaced, because it developed "blotches" down the right hand side."

This probably wasn't caused by your washing habits - I had a 2010 27" that had what sounds like the same issue, with no water sources in sight. There was a number of people complaining of the same thing, I suspect a bad seal of the panel. Mine was replaced under Applecare extended warranty, but the service engineer said it would have been replaced out of warranty anyway as a clear bad-part item.

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"was"! Oh, for an edit button...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: *Sigh*

"Users were subsequently offered a free case (which fixed the issue) or a full refund. Not many people went for option B."

Doesn't say much for their consumers then!

If something doesn't work as it should, it gets returned and move onto something that DOES.

I wouldn';t use a rubber band to fix the HUGE design flaw just so I can say that I own XYZ. XYZ isn't THAT good if I have to use a rubber band to make it work. Seems to me you're a bit of a mug to shell out cash for something that does not work as designed.

Mind you, the marjoroity of people ARE mugs!

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 08:17

"Not that shocking really, Apples service and warranty has always been fantastic on Macs. If you have an issue they will bend over backwards to get it sorted, often for free even when the product is out of warranty.

Ipods and Iphones however, the warranty is is crap and probably not worth the paper its written on."

I don't think that's the issue non-Apple users have on Apple fanatic's view of Apple - that their warranty coverage is excellent.

Most non-Apple users see the (we believe) delusional view of Apple users that the products are "reliable" and "trouble free", all the while behind their backs acknowledging the aforementioned good service! Why need good service if the kit never turns faulty??!

It is the same delusion as Japanese car owners, "Toyotas and Hondas are super reliable!". Nope nope, if we deny the recalls (like the companies themselves ;-) ) they never really happened, did they? Sludging, brakes, accelerators, fires, blown motors...nope, nope, Honda and Toyota are Teh Best!

So we see Apple having issues, mostly due to their compact, ultra-stylish designs, and many Apple lovers will say how good the product is. I simply LOVE the fact that Apple MacBook users happily claim (on this very board, for example) that they got a "solid 3 year use out of my MacBook before it needed service" Really?! 3 years and you're PROUD?! Try a Lenovo - come back in FIVE years and tell me the damn thing is still running strong, THEN we'll do a comparison (not that I currently own Lenovo, but I have in the past).

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@AC 12:51

I guess you didn't read the following post then. That "huge design flaw" turns out not to be an issue for most users. They are still selling the iPhone 4, unmodified and without a free case, and no one is complaining. It was blown completely out of proportion by the press and, I suspect, folks like yourself.

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MrT
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So it's not just Dell and HP...

...that have been stung by a graphics card supplier - Nvidia shipped a batch of known faulty laptop GPUs about 2006/2007 and it took a class action against them to make them replace the cards. At least Apple users don't have to go through that level of protracted faff on to get the repair.

Apple might have been even nicer and sent techs out to the users to fix things, which is what Dell did for my Inspiron 9400 when the 7900GS gave up the ghost at 4.5yrs - saves the hassle of carting the unit about and/or losing it for days.

However, it's got to be a welcome move for the users who have had to put up with the fault or even pay for it to be repaired beforehand.

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Re: So it's not just Dell and HP...

Had a similar issue with PowerPC G5's a while back with the faulty nVidia GPU. Can't remember the exact chip but it was one that had a high failure rate. nVidia reduced the clock speed and halved the pipes so the unit wouldn't fault and they were shipped out in G5's under the LE label, and a passive heatsink. To be honest I had no pity as buying a £2000 pc with a £39 video card is just asking for trouble.

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Re: So it's not just Dell and HP...

I had a Dell laptop with that problem. Somehow even though my Dell account had my contact info, Dell somehow forgot to notify me about the settlement. I didn't find out about it until I saw it on a website somewhere after the deadline passed. That was my last Dell.

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Anonymous Coward

SOGA

I'm glad they're doing this for free, otherwise they would be in breach of the Sale of Good Act.

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Anonymous Coward

Had this issue, lugged it to the apple store several times after they replaced the screen, logic board, etc. Even though I asked for a graphics card replacement. On the 4th time I took it there I made a fuss and got a brand new imac.

Just kick up a stink if you can and be done with it.

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Anonymous Coward

Compared to pretty much everyone else I have seen Apple support is far beyond - yes HP used to be pretty good with their business / enterprise kit but for what is largely consumer level kit it's been 10/10. Friend had a hard drive fail in an out of warranty Macbook - they charged about £100 to replace it (which was barely more than the cost of the part itself) - they reinstalled the OS and showed them how to recover the system using Time Machine etc. I dropped my iPhone and dislodged the camera - took it into an Apple store and 20 minutes later fixed - no hassle. Friends / colleagues with 'other' phones (Samsung - cough) had to send them off and wait WEEKS for it to be returned. Someone else I know could not be bothered to go into a store with their iPhone - Apple sent out a pack to return it - they got it back the next day - fixed it - back to him the day after.

it would be lovely to live in a world where nothing breaks - but we're not there - it's how they get resolved that matters and Apple score very highly. Oh the guy with the Samsung - strangely he could not be without his phone for about 3 weeks and ended up buying a new one - now that is expensive!

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Like MrT above, I have also had to use Dell support from time to time, once for the exact same reason. If internal parts need replacement they come to your home or workplace and perform the repair then and there. If external parts need replacement they send you the new part(s) with a prepaid courier satchel for returning the old one(s). Pretty smooth, and a few more lessons for the likes of Apple.

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Anonymous Coward

"Apple has admitted to world+dog that some of the 27-inch iMacs that it sold between May 2011 and October 2012 have a suspect graphics card, and that if you own one of the affected models, it'll replace the possibly wonky card for free" Should think so too!

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If you do enlist the help of a mate and carry your 27" iMac to the store...

Please, PLEASE take the time to stop at least once on the way, hold the beast to your head and shout...

I'M ON MY IPHONE! YEAH! THE NEW ONE! WITH THE BIGGER SCREEN!

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Crap

I have an 27" iMac at work and one at home, bought within weeks of each other.

The one at work isn't affected. :)

The one at home is. :(

I wonder if they'll fit a 2nd HDD for me while I'm there ? That would rock.

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