Connecting cables from the panel to the logic board on the MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro owners report a problem with the screen backlight; fault is in the flex cable

New year, new problems: some users are reporting problems with their MacBooks Pro, and the iFixit says the flaws are not easily solved because of Apple’s questionable design decision. Sound familiar?

More precisely, the problems reported are on the screens of some MacBook Pro Retina models, especially those with Touch Bars. When the lid of the computers is opened, the backlight of the panels appears irregularly, creating an effect at the bottom of the screens similar to that of a row of stage lights.

And it doesn’t stop there: the appearance of this flaw, according to some of the users who reported the problem, is only the harbinger of a complete failure of the backlight when the lid is opened beyond a certain angle – in this case, the screen only returns to normal turning the machine off and closing its lid for a while.

Such incidents have already been recorded on Apple’s support forums, and the petition of an Apple “repair guru”, Louis Rossman, has already garnered nearly 3,000 signatures. Apple, however, has yet to comment on the case.

The video below shows the problem:

On the other hand, iFixit – the firm has discovered the cause of the problem, and it has to do with an Apple design flaw. Basically, the whole issue lives in the cable flex which connects the MacBooks Pro panels to their controllers on the logic board: the ribbon cables fold over the board and are secured by two spring-loaded covers; therefore, each opening or closing of the MacBook Pro cover causes minor component wear. Over time, wear and tear builds up and causes some internal connection to break – usually, as iFixit points out, the backlight connection is the first to break.

Connecting cables from the panel to the logic board on the MacBook ProConnecting cables from the panel to the logic board on the MacBook Pro

The problem starts there: in a world where creating ever thinner devices wasn’t an obsession, Apple could have used normal, more resistant wires instead of ribbon cables that would wrap around the card and suffer much less wear and tear. But that’s not the main problem – replacing the ribbon cable alone would cost about $ 6, according to iFixit … if it wasn’t soldered to the MacBook Pro screen.

What does that mean? That instead of paying $ 6 for changing the cable, the user must pay $ 600 by replacing the entire panel of your computer.

The solution, for now, is to wait for Apple to comment on #flexgate (as the case has been cited) and create an exchange program, as it has done with other recent problems. At the moment, the affected users will have to get used (temporarily, at least) to the problem on their computers for a thousand dollars or more – and keep pressing for Apple to take action.

via MacRumors