Buyer beware: Some iMacs arriving with broken screens or DOA

By on November 24, 2009, 5:00 PM
Scattered reports around the Web indicate that there may be one or more design flaws with Apple's 27" Core i7-powered iMac. Many users claim that their high-end iMac systems have cracked screens out of the box, and some units are completely dead on arrival. Among the affected are editors at Engadget, who recently received a new i7 model that refused to boot -- though, a different i7 iMac was fine.

Customers have piled into the Apple Support forum to complain about their busted machines, but Apple has yet to determine the root of the problem. It would seem most likely that the cracked displays are a result of insufficient packaging, poor handling -- or both. The DOA machines could also stem from improper shipping practices, though it is less probable.


Thankfully, Apple is replacing all cracked or otherwise defective iMacs free of charge. As noted by Engadget, if you plan to give someone an iMac for the holiday, you may want to test the system prior to gifting.




User Comments: 54

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paynetrain007 said:

Just like Apple

I think these things make better paper weights anyways.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

That would be the worst Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanuka/holiday present ever...Well if the packaging used for Macbooks is anything like what they are using for these iMacs, I'd have to blame the shipping process. The packaging I have seen is top notch, and I'm noticing more packages arriving which were clearly dropped/poorly handled at work and home alike. I know shipping can sometimes be had very cheaply, but NO ONE wants to deal with returns or something being damaged due to the shipping.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

paynetrain007 said:

Just like Apple

What? it's like Apple to be a victim of poor shipping? Oh, and your fanboy is showing

Styl said:

I bought a 27" iMac Core i7 as a Christmas present for my brother, opened it up, and sure enough, the lower left corner was cracked. Hopefully the replacement arrives unharmed.

ColdPreacher said:

Nice to see that even though the root of the problem hasnt been discovered Apple is allowing recall's free of charge.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

Maybe its the way they designed shipping the package, you know, all that foam they stick in there. Since so many are breaking it is most likely the packaging.

danteoz said:

Agreed it probably got something to do with packaging.

I think it would be the perfect gift some a few people I know "Aww its broken, well I guess it just works right?"

Guest said:

I'm a Geek Squad agent, and I just had one last week that a customer bought and wanted checked before he took it home... sure enough the entire bottom stand had been messed up... the screen was fine but the packaging was all torn up and the stand was severely disfigured... We replaced it for him immediately of course, but Apple really needs to do something about it.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I would find it hard to be packaging that would cause this much damage, seriously how can a company package something so expensive in such a weak box. I've personally dropped a 42" LCD (In its box) 7 feet onto the floor of a truck and it was unharmed, the box showed some damage but the TV was good and it was some random brand name TV. I'm sure Apple is making good packaging, its more than likely some sabotage by a delivery company somewhere along the line or some really poor handling practices.

PS. It wasn't my fault the TV was dropped, I just unloaded the trucks whoever put it up that high is the one to blame :p

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

coldpreacher said:

Nice to see that even though the root of the problem hasnt been discovered Apple is allowing recall's free of charge.

As well any manufacture should when you shell out almost $2,000. As powerful and pretty these desktop laptops are I'd still rather have a headless imac. And no the mac mini doesn't count.

Guest said:

Just make sure if when you receive any electronics is too check the contents before signing for them.

Save a lot of headaches...

pomonasi said:

however, given apples' reputation on their ipod warranties, i'm sure it would be much easier for people to claim insurance in person at the retail stores, no? if it was just a cracked screen it might be difficult. but with DOA units, no?

JudaZ said:

Cracked screens or damage to the lid is not new with apple unfortunally.

This has apparently happend a lot at our supplier as well. Bad packaging thats the problem.

At the high prices apple tend to sell thier machines at, one would think they could add an extra layer of foam, and making the packaging a bit bigger, but protecting the content.

Less focus ont making the packade look good ....make it secure the expencive stuff inside instead. .. im throwing the box, away .. dont care about that...I care about the electronics i pay for.

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

apple again treating its customers poorly when will they learn i smell another lawsuit waiting to happen if they dont fix this problem soon.

LazyNinja said:

I could see one or two computers out of hundreds/thousands arriving damaged because of careless handling, but a whole slew of them like this? Weird.

Somewhere in the distribution process there's something wrong. Maybe there's a spot on the conveyor system in the warehouse where they are dropping or banging into something? Disgruntled employee even?

matchu said:

klepto12 said:

apple again treating its customers poorly when will they learn i smell another lawsuit waiting to happen if they dont fix this problem soon.

Is that sarcasm, or do you just really hate apple? haha

A screw-up is a screw-up. it's not like they're out to mess with their customers. forcing themselves to replace a boat-load of imacs free of charge isnt' exactly the best way to do it anyway.

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

matchu said:

klepto12 said:

apple again treating its customers poorly when will they learn i smell another lawsuit waiting to happen if they dont fix this problem soon.

Is that sarcasm, or do you just really hate apple? haha

A screw-up is a screw-up. it's not like they're out to mess with their customers. forcing themselves to replace a boat-load of imacs free of charge isnt' exactly the best way to do it anyway.

the reason i say this is because apple is notoriously sly when it comes to something being wrong with there products and they always seem to blame the user instead of themselves.

saintbodhisatva said:

LazyNinja said:

I could see one or two computers out of hundreds/thousands arriving damaged because of careless handling, but a whole slew of them like this? Weird.

I agree, maybe a container load hit something somewhere around the world. How many units were estimated to be really affected anyway?

tengeta tengeta said:

Its not shipping's fault when its packaged incorrectly, Mr Apple Fanboy. I don't have any news of this number of just LCD screens or TV's being broken on arrival.

Puiu Puiu said:

There are too many people reporting the same problem to be improper handling. The one used in the article looks like it was used in a high speed crash simulation. How rough can you get to make it look like that? They need better packaging and they also need to inquire the ones that made the delivery to see if they have problems too.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Apple is probably whipping someone's butt right now.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Possibly Microsoft are paying delivery people to put a 5 kg hammer to the packages from Apple.

Nirkon said:

So much for their "top quality hardware"...

but i mean, yeah that would be totally embarrassing giving someone

one of these, have them open it only to discover its been trashed..

they might think its a practical joke and hate you for it lol

freedomthinker said:

When someone is gonna buy this for the holidays , there gonna get a mighty surprise ;D

yorro said:

Apple are on a seriously slippery slope. And this after the Snow Leopard shenanigans, too.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

After reading this, maybe a couple containers went around or just moved a little bit and poor packing was the final issue here, no Microsoft conspiracy lol.

Indeed hope they get to the bottom of this.

swilllx2p said:

Yeah, Its pretty much got to be poor packaging on Apples part here. Like others have said if you do buy a mac your already paying a premium for the hardware that you get, so can they really not provide a little better packaging for there products?

kimboy said:

Apple have decided to take the cheap route (poor packaging and all) to profitability. The problem is that this road can be more expensive than they thought: now they are replacing DOAs and broken screens. A company of Apple's calibre should not be facing such issues. Whoever decided on the type of packaging used needs to get serious.

Didou Didou, Bowtie extraordinair!, said:

The new packaging is part of Apple's push to be "greener" & has been used for a while now without any problems before. The new iMacs might be bigger (27"/21" instead of 24"/20" but that alone doesn't explain all those failures.

At least they're replacing them without hassle as they should.

RealXboxMaster said:

Apple should reconsider repacking their iMac's with better packaging cause services like Fedx,UPS don't give to craps about handling your package.

jazboy said:

Good at least they are replacing free of charge. But people who are eagerly waiting for their MAC before Thanksgiving and getting broken MAC, will be disappointed as they have to wait more.

Guest said:

Truth hurts.

Supposed Apple quality is a farce.

JMMD JMMD, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Pretty poor design or packaging if the screens are coming like that. Maybe someone inside apple is just really angry.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Countdown before IBM uses this in an "anti-Apple" commercial in 5, 4, 3, 2......

Didou Didou, Bowtie extraordinair!, said:

I haven't seen IBM ads in years & especially not ones targeting Apple. You might have them confused with Microsoft.

DarKSeeD DarKSeeD said:

Blame on distribution! I mean, there has to be a point of origin, they didn't go out broken, I guess.

levar said:

I think it was due to poor handling, thats just imo but awesome that they will be replaced free of charge

fref said:

At least they are recognizing the problem. Imagine having to prove that your brand new iMac arrived with a broken screen after the Purolator guy has already left your place.

Fada said:

i am not a fan boy in any way, bugt i used to work for apple up until 1 month ago making these things and there is no way in hell they would leave the factory looking like that, not a chance. its down to shipping, plain and simple.

lfg18 said:

Ja, i have always believed that Apple products are overpriced, for what you pay for them you should expect to get a top notch product not a broken screen, jaja probably microsoft has something to do with it...

vangrat said:

I am going to have to say this looks to me like it is a shipping/handeling problem not an apple packaging problem. It is good of apple to replace these items for free, but I imagine someone somewhere is getting an ass chewing for shipping these through a craptastic courier.

PUTALE said:

apple's quality control is sure going downhill recently. Man, I guess since they are dropping their prices by adopting cheaper intel hardwares, they are also drroping their quality controls

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Leaving asside shipping or handling, the containers normally used are all stacked up in such a way that even if it goes to it's side everything will be just as how it was supossed to be, in the worse case meaning some DOA because of the shakes and probable hits.

The screens broken? I guess if a container was dropped from a certain altitude from a crane or even side to side from a truck, more than someone would have seen it. This must probably be just a matter of poor packaging.

Guest said:

Putting glass over the LCD was a stupid design. It makes it hard to see because of glare, adds unnecessary weight and of course, this. They break, very easily.

JudaZ said:

fada said:

i am not a fan boy in any way, bugt i used to work for apple up until 1 month ago making these things and there is no way in hell they would leave the factory looking like that, not a chance. its down to shipping, plain and simple.

No actually its down to packaging ... and its not the first time either.

mopar man mopar man, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

I'm saddened to see that Apple's having a problem like this, but am glad they are making sure they are in the right by fixing it.

and all I can say is... I'm rather disappointed with the fanboys...

jerry53 said:

im 100% sure that these damages were caused during transit ive seen people handling stuff in courier centers and it brought tears to my eyes

Heretic said:

One would think that Mac with super expensive computers would be able to package their products a little better. All it takes is a little styrofoam guys...How much is that stuff again? A few pennies per kilogram? I forget...

WakeMO said:

I dont see why you should be worried. If Apple wouldnt replace them then it would be a different story

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

@WakeMO: Given the time of year, these are going to be under a lot of Christmas trees. I imagine most people would be disappointed find a smashed screen on their gift. At least with prior warning, folks can check their systems and have them replaced before it's too late.

There's one reason why someone might be worried.

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