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Portables (Apple) Businesses Apple Hardware

Apple Acknowledges 15" PowerBook Spots 71

zachlipton writes "Computerworld is running an interesting interview with Dave Russell, director of product marketing for portables and wireless at Apple. Russell comments on the white spot issues that have plagued the new 15" PowerBooks (Apple has been very responsive about fixing mine at least) and he has this to say about a G5 PowerBook: 'We certainly want to do that, but it's going to be a while.' Russell also comments on a lot of other ideas related to the PowerBook and iBook lines."
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Apple Acknowledges 15" PowerBook Spots

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  • It's about time (Score:3, Informative)

    by Militant Libertarian (696302) on Wednesday November 05, 2003 @03:42PM (#7399862) Homepage
    It seems I read about this problem a month ago on []. It seems the 15 inchers are the only ones effected.
    • Re:It's about time (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mallie_mcg (161403)
      It seems the 15 inchers are the only ones effected.

      No, my 12" AlBook (purchased in March this year) has a bright spot on it too. I was wondering what it might be, and now that I have seen this I am going to do something about it. It sounds very similar to what my screen has :(.
  • I have these (Score:3, Informative)

    by Nutcase (86887) on Wednesday November 05, 2003 @03:47PM (#7399910) Homepage Journal
    I have these spots on my powerbook's display. Started out as three small points and are now rather large spots. They are only extremely noticable when displaying white backgrounds and such, but are there always.

    Thankfully, I also have extended apple care. I am gonna wait until I hear that they are 100% fixed before I send it in. I don't want to be waiting 2-3 weeks for a replacement, etc. That would be a real big problem. Hopefully they will get the delays down and the success ratio up, and then I can get a new screen that is pristine. :)
    • Re:I have these (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Thankfully, I also have extended apple care.


      You, and other PB15AL owners with spots don't need to worry about extended Apple Care at this point: Your Mac is covered by Apple's One Year Warranty. The AL PB's are new and not even close to expiring this out-of-box warranty.
    • They say they're keeping some to study the issue. If you're lucky, you get a new box and nothing more will be wrong with it.
  • by danielsfca2 (696792) on Wednesday November 05, 2003 @03:50PM (#7399938) Journal
    > the company is aware of the white blemishes on some new 15-in. screens, but hasn't yet "captured" enough of the computers to figure out why the spots are appearing.

    Funny choice of words. I can't help but picture a herd of beautiful wild PowerBooks, running free across the plain.

    (it's a Daria reference [].)
    • I think they would be flying across the plain instead of running. With Apple techs with large nets running around trying to catch them like sponge bob/jellyfish.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It's a new class of problem, it's the hardware virus. Well, more of a rash probably contracted during iTunes Music Store negotiations. Same thing happened to Michael Jackson...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Yeah, that's about right. If you have a problem that the hardware engineering team is interested in (for whatever reason), and if your machine meets the requirements (I don't know what those requirements are), then they may randomly decide that they'd like to grab your machine and dissect it.

      In that case, they'll ask for your permission, and if you agree, they send you a new machine and the old one ends up sitting on somebody's desk in Cupertino (or maybe Elk Grove in some cases). It's all rather civili

    • Man, and all this time I thought I got these spots because I installed Jaguar. Silly me.
  • At least (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blackmonday (607916) on Wednesday November 05, 2003 @04:04PM (#7400115) Homepage
    At least he didn't say the new powerbook had the lovely dalmatian finish of the early iMac.

    And, don't expect anyone to say the G5 powerbook is coming soon. Nobody would buy the current models if that was remotely the case.

    • by 0x69 (580798) on Wednesday November 05, 2003 @04:54PM (#7400739) Journal
      Two independent lines of logic strongly suggest that the G5 PowerBook ain't coming any time soon:

      - Apple just updated the PowerBooks. History says that they are very unlikely to update 'em again quick. (See's Buyer's Guide page for dates of past revisions.)

      - There is no G5 Xserve yet. If Apple can't get a G5 working within the Xserve's size/power/noise limits (with sales doubtless in the pits as folks wait for G5), then they're likely a *long* way from doing G5 within the PowerBook's (far tighter) limits.
      • The Xserve doesn't have noise limits, trust me.
      • There is no G5 Xserve yet. If Apple can't get a G5 working within the Xserve's size/power/noise limits (with sales doubtless in the pits as folks wait for G5), then they're likely a *long* way from doing G5 within the PowerBook's (far tighter) limits.

        I'll be amazed if the next Xserve isn't a G5 and if there aren't already G5 Xserve prototypes. It's just a matter of time waiting for the product cycle to roll around. Early 2003 is beginning to look likely.

        I sincerely doubt the non-presence of a G5 Xserve

  • Easy way to check (Score:5, Informative)

    by awtbfb (586638) on Wednesday November 05, 2003 @04:13PM (#7400246)
    1. Close/hide all open windows.
    2. Control-click (or right click) on the desktop and select Change Desktop Background.
    3. Change desktop to "Solid White" in the Solid Colors collection. It's the nearly invisible one to the far right.
    4. Minimize System Preferences window and look for spots. Mine are along the vertical and horizontal centerlines of the screen.
    And yes, my screen will be swapped out shortly under warranty.
  • by teamhasnoi (554944) <teamhasnoi AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday November 05, 2003 @04:48PM (#7400673) Homepage Journal
    PiXel Check []. Fills your whole screen with Red, Blue, Green, White, and Black. Play with the brightness some and it's the best way I've found to see if my white spots are getting bigger (I'm lucky I guess, mine aren't that noticable...yet. I have two on the lower left.)

    I'll be waiting to see if they get bigger, as I have a screen with no dead/stuck pixels and I don't want to tempt fate and/or be without my powerbook for some unknown amount of time.

  • by BMonger (68213) on Wednesday November 05, 2003 @05:04PM (#7400847)
    I was looking at Steve Jobs' blog and he notes it too here [].
  • I just bought a new 15" Alum PowerBook, this is my second day with it.
    I hadn't heard about these spots.

    When do the start showing up?

    If I don't have the 3 year AppleCare, am I just screwed if/when I get spots on mine?
    • by zachlipton (448206) <> on Wednesday November 05, 2003 @06:05PM (#7401525)
      They don't happen to everyone, you could be lucky :) In general, they are showing up within a week or so, but they get worse over time. After about a week and a half with mine, they are pretty bad.

      The good news is that even without AppleCare, Apple will still replace or repair your machine for free. Call 800-SOS-APPL and they will do the rest.

    • AppleCare will give you:

      Extended warranty: Normally you get one year, with AppleCare you get three.

      Extended free phone support: Normally you get 90 days, with AppleCare you get it for the full three years.

      AppleCare is usually regarded as a good thing, specially for laptops. But unless you really need the phone support, it is something that can wait. You can buy it at any time during the *first* year.

      So no, if you (or I) get the spots, we will NOT get screwed because our machines are still covered by t

  • Cooler 970s (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Unregistered (584479)
    didn't IBM announce something about cooler 970s here recently? The fact that Apple is saying the G5 powerbook is a long way off actually makes me think they should be out kinda soon. They rarely say anything about anything before it's released.
  • by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Wednesday November 05, 2003 @08:30PM (#7402914) Journal
    I thought it was just white out!
  • by RedX (71326) <redx&wideopenwest,com> on Wednesday November 05, 2003 @09:40PM (#7403364)
    Perhaps Apple is changing the production line to correct this problem, which would explain why the BTO 15" PB that I ordered on October 23 had its ship date change from Nov 4 to Nov 28 yesterday.
    • As did the standard issue PowerBooks. I ordered the as-is 15", 1Ghz ComboDrive on Oct. 24th. Ship date was supposed to be Nov 5th, I just found out, November 30th is the updated ship date. While I am kinda sad, new toy coming and all that, I am inspired that they may be correcting the problem. I can wait.
      • There may be hope after-all. I called Apple today to cancel my order (planning to get in on the hot deal on refurbed 17") and was told that my order was being sent to shipping today. Could have just been a line, but I hadn't yet told the rep that I was cancelling, and he also was surprised when I told him that my ship date online now showed Nov 24.
  • by djupedal (584558) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @12:53AM (#7404411)
    I'm tired of this...

    My iBook screen has no white, red or blue spots and the battery lasts for 4.5 hours... My external FW800 drive on my G4 didn't get corrupted when I updated to Panther... The ethernet port in my G4 holds a connection... My G4 doesn't shutdown when I use my cellphone... None of my OS X apps mysteriously quit and I don't have any issues with deep sleep. My iPod battery lasts for days on end and all of the music I purchased from ITMS is still in my iTunes library...

    When am I going to be like everyone else and have an issue with an Apple product?

    It's just not right, I tell you.
    • If you're really bothered fall off your pushbike onto your laptop, that's what I did and now my TiBook has that classic "warped corner with peeling paint" that everyone was talking about last year.
    • give it a little more time. i once thought like you, but then i bought an ibook which has been a constant string of nightmares [the problems with the ibook in addition to the moronic support people at apple who either don't bother to attempt to fix the product [1st time], or who do a very half-assed job fixing it and putting it back together [the 2nd and 3rd times it went in - plastic not snapped back together, screws that are almost falling out, etc]. oh, and if yer laptop ever does go in you'd better hope
  • Maybe it just the geek mentality, but, hell, yeah, I'm taking a 12" Powerbook over a 14" iBook anyday of the week...for me, it's worth the 100 bucks to get the 512MB RAM, DVI, form factor, and nifty aluminum case with attached keyboard.

    Of course, on the other hand, I'm baffled by the inconviently portable portable.

    And what is up with Apple addressing white spots in 15" Powerbooks but not addressing screen imperfections from keyboard imprint in iBooks? Shouldn't bad design be considered equally?
    • subject sez it all, brain dead moment...
    • I've found that the screen imprints from the keyboard on my 12" iBook goes away when I clean the screen. It's just skin oils and such. I thought it was an abrasion at first and was pretty bummed, but it cleans right up.
      • I would agree 90% of the marks are grime and oils, however, there are still slight abrasions...I've had mine (12" iBook) about 2 months and they seem to clean right off (I've done it twice now) but if the reflection is just right, you can still see them. They don't show up when the screen is on, only off and looking almost straight down the screen.

        I use those alcohol glasses wipes to clean screens. They work great and take everything right off without having to press or scrub.
  • by Eslyjah (245320) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @09:38AM (#7406676) Panther. Jaguars have spots.
  • My screen randomly pops open about 20% of the time when I leave the powerbook on my desk. I end up putting a stapler or notebook on top of it to keep it closed. Anyone else have that problem?
  • AppleCard (Score:3, Informative)

    by scot2342 (695848) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:24PM (#7414413) Homepage
    Sorry to hear about the probs with Apple Care people have been experiencing. I called last Friday (10/31) to complain about the spots. Tuesay (11/4) at noon I had the shipping box AppleCare sent to ship the PowerBook. By Thursday at noon (48 hours later) I had the laptop back. Spots are gone! Everything seems to be in order. I was shocked at the turn around time considering I was quoted 5-7 days when I originally spoke with AppleCare on Halloween.

In 1750 Issac Newton became discouraged when he fell up a flight of stairs.