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Petition demands Apple fix MacBook Pro graphics woes

Gregg Keizer | Aug. 20, 2014
A petition started last year that urges Apple's CEO to recall older MacBook Pro laptops to fix a graphics problem has passed the 10,000-signature mark, part of an ongoing effort to get Apple to do something.

"With so many affected customers, it certainly is disgusting that Apple refuses to take responsibility for this issue," added trithodex. "This will most likely be my last Apple purchase unless Apple stands by its product and provides some level of support to its customers regarding this issue."

The issue has been well-reported in Apple-centric media for months. Among one of the more recent was a May 13, 2014, piece from AppleInsider that petition instigator Dsouza cited.

The Change.org petition also included hundreds of messages from people who claimed that their expensive notebooks were affected. "If I wanted crap, would have bought a PC!!!" said someone identified as Jonathan Martinez from Eugene, Ore. on Monday.

While petitions like Dsouza's typically have little, if any, impact on decisions by companies, MacBook Pro owners have hope, if only because Apple has announced recalls or promised free repairs before. A year ago, for example, Apple offered free video card replacements for 27-in. iMacs sold between May 2011 and October 2012 equipped with the AMD Radeon HD 6970M video card. Like the GPUs soldered to the suspect MacBook Pros' logic boards, that iMac video card was based on AMD's Terascale 2 architecture.

The symptoms Apple listed for faulty iMac video cards were similar to those reported by MacBook Pro owners, including "causing the computer's display to appear distorted, white or blue with vertical lines, or to turn black."

MacBook Pros introduced in 2011 — Apple revised the line twice that year, in February and in October — were the foundation of the complaints, but some users reported that their 2012 notebooks were also affected. Apple switched to using Nvidia's discrete graphic cards in the 15-in. MacBook Pro in June 2012, when the company also dropped the 17-in. laptop/a from the line.

Apple did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the large support discussion thread or the Change.org petition.

But one customer wanted others to spread the word, and put whatever pressure they could on Apple to make good.

"There's been some people saying the size and scope of this thread means very little," said Denisism in an Aug. 17 message on the thread. "I think most of us with a bit of common sense disagree with that assessment. Here's an interesting development that supports the latter."

Denisism then cited a recent Computerworld news story about Microsoft recalling a Windows patch. The story had noted the size of the Microsoft support discussion thread — 380 messages and nearly 50,000 views — as a hint of the scope of the problem.

"Meanwhile, this thread (one of several) that's dedicated to an Apple product defect is currently at nearly 8,000 messages with well over a whopping 1.1 million views even though Apple's PC market share is only a small fraction of Microsoft's," Denisism said (emphasis in original). "This is very embarrassing, Apple. Where's our recall? Where's our replacement program? How much longer do you think you can push your customers around like this?"

 

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