Earlier we reported on 2011 MacBook Pro models having issues with iTunes Home Sharing. Now it appears additional and more serious problems have been emerging. Many users are reporting issues with screen flickering on external displays and system-wide freezing under heavy workload.
These issues appear to be both common and widespread among adopters of the 2011 MacBook Pro models. The problem is reportedly so persistent that one user was able to reproduce the unfortunate effect on every single 2011 MacBook Pro at his local apple store.
While this issue is certainly irritating and confusing, it’s quite unclear what could be the cause. It may be a hardware error with the chipset, it could be a problem with the graphics driver, or even a problem with a buggy software extension for the new Sandy Bridge processors.
As much as I tend to suggest that early adopters should be prepared for some issues and imperfections, this scenario has risen above standard consumer tolerances, in many cases making the new laptops unsuitable for their users, having to force restart their systems multiple times per day, or even per hour.
While Apple hasn’t formally acknowledged these issues, it is said that they are investigating them. But I posit that this is not enough! Apple needs to be proactive – they need to offer their users a workable computer – perhaps one of a previous generation – to use in the meantime while they attempt to figure out what is wrong.
To add a little more scope to this issue, consider some of the threads at MacRumors, as well as the Apple Support Forums. In one thread at Apple, consisting of over 41 pages of complaints, the issue is being called “systemic”, and suggestions are being made to use only the integrated graphics.
Additionally, the MacRumors discussion forum is being plagued by users experiencing these issues, with the common threads being that their machine is essentially unusable for a large number of purposes. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to help these users in the meantime.
Apple, you need to step up to the plate here. Whether or not this is your fault, it is your problem, and it’s unfair to expect your consumer base to have to absorb all of the inconvenience from purchasing an Apple product that doesn’t work correctly. The fact is that additional testing pre-launch likely could have avoided this issue, and even if it couldn’t have, the responsibility is yours to ensure that your customers aren’t the ones getting screwed. After all, they just dropped a fat load of cash on your doorstep expecting a product that worked.
But enough about our rant about the consumerism aspects of this issue – what are your thoughts? Have any of you noticed this problem (I know I have, and I am getting by by only using the integrated graphics)? What should Apple be required to do about this issue (considering that it is apparently very widespread)? What should their responsibility entail, and what should affected consumers be entitled to? Sound off in the comments.