Gone are the days when a mere mention of the Apple brand guarantees topnotch quality. As anyone who has bought an Apple product in the last several years now knows, the Cupertino brand's products aren't as great as they used to be, at least in terms of build quality.
Failing butterfly keyboards. Performance slowdowns. Random shutdowns. Sudden battery drainage. iPads that come bent out of the box. These are just some of the many woes that have afflicted Apple users in some years past. The latest is what's now being called as "flexgate."
MacBook Pro Flexgate
So, what exactly is flexgate? It all started with a report from iFixit, which highlights an issue where the display's backlight fail, causing the bottom of the screen to look uneven, which some liken to a "stage light" effect.
The issue seems to be rooted to a cable that connects the MacBook's display to a control board in the base of the laptop, says iFixit. Apple started using a pair of flexible ribbon cables with the 2016 MacBook Pro. These cables are pulled tight every time the lid is opened, which many believe is what's damaging them overtime.
As the cables break down, it can cause the aforementioned stage light effect at the bottom of the display when the lid is fully opened. As the cables get damaged further overtime, the screen might one day fail to work entirely if the lid is opened more than halfway through.
Apple: Fix all MacBook Pro 2016 and later with stage light effect or backlight shutdown #flexgate - Sign the Petition! https://t.co/zGIKsGstlH via @Change — Courtney (@courtriumph) January 16, 2019
How Bad Is It?
Right now, it's not clear just how widespread this issue is. One reason could be that display issues, unlike the butterfly keyboard controversy of yesteryear, develop gradually, which means it's difficult to determine affected units at this point in time. It also means that while a person's MacBook Pro might look okay today, the issues could manifest overtime with repeated use. Worse yet, when that finally happens, the product might already be out of warranty.
There's a flexgate website that has photos and videos demonstrating these display issues, but it's still hard to tell whether it's widespread or just a few cases. iFixit says only models released in 2016 and above seem to be affected, so older ones should be exempt.
Apple has yet to acknowledge the issue. Make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more, or if this issue balloons further as more cases come out of the woodwork.