Video Suggests Screws in iMac Pro's VESA Mounting Kit Are Prone to Break When Unfastened

Quinn Nelson, host of the popular YouTube channel Snazzy Labs, has shared a new video that appears to suggest the iMac Pro's user-installable VESA mounting kit uses cheap screws that are prone to break when unfastened.


For background, the kit enables users to replace an iMac Pro's stand with a VESA mount adapter, allowing the computer to be affixed to any VESA-compatible wall mount, desk mount, or articulating arm. Jason Snell of Six Colors provides a good overview of the installation process in the video below.


Nelson installed the adapter without issue, but ran into difficulties when he went to remove it a few months later:

When I was backing out one of the five screws, which was not overtightened by the way, the screw head just broke clean off from the screw body, and it left the screw stuck inside of the screw hole threads. The end result… I couldn’t remove the VESA adapter… ever.

Nelson acknowledges that the adapter is probably not designed to be taken on-and-off repeatedly, but Apple never warns against doing so, and switching back to the traditional stand at least once seems reasonable.

Unable to remove the adapter, Nelson said he contacted Apple by phone, explained the situation, and was told that Apple could not provide support because the adapter is manufactured by a licensed OEM, despite being sold by Apple with Apple-branded packaging and documentation.

imac pro vesa adapter
The support representative then declined to provide the name of the OEM or their contact information, according to Nelson, who gave up on the phone call and decided to visit the Genius Bar at his local Apple Store.

Unfortunately, the Genius Bar was not very helpful, as apparently only the Head Genius at that store was trained to service the iMac Pro. Nearly two weeks and one failed repair later, the iMac Pro was finally fixed and ready for pickup, with a new VESA mount adapter installed and the saga seemingly over.

Upon leaving the store, however, Nelson discovered that his iMac Pro's stand had been significantly dented and scratched. The damage prompted him to carefully remove the VESA mount adapter yet again, to see if the iMac Pro itself was damaged, and he encountered similar scuffs on the chassis of the machine.

Moreover, while attempting to unscrew the Apple-installed replacement adapter, another screw broke off, suggesting that Nelson's experience wasn't a one-off situation, and that the screws are in fact prone to break.

All in all, there are two separate issues here: the fragile screws and the un-pro-like customer service that was provided by Apple. And, unlike his fellow YouTube creator Linus Sebastian, Nelson did not disassemble the iMac Pro or perform any other action that would appear to violate Apple's warranty.

Importantly, after the video, Nelson says the Apple Store has since offered to replace the entire iMac Pro free of charge. He was also contacted by Apple's Executive Relations team, which wanted to ensure everything was okay and requested that he send the VESA mounting kit to Apple for its engineers to examine.


While this doesn't appear to be a widespread problem, and might not ever be given the steps to reproduce it require mounting and demounting a minimum $5,000 computer, the simple solution could be stronger screws.

MacRumors has reached out to Apple for comment on the matter. We'll update this article if and when we hear anything back.

Tag: VESA
Related Forum: iMac

Top Rated Comments

Bollockser Avatar
55 months ago
What has happened to quality at Apple?
Tim Cook.
Score: 97 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
55 months ago
Importantly, after the video, Nelson says the Apple Store has since offered to replace the entire iMac Pro free of charge.
Then this seems like a non-issue. If your mounting screws ever break, simply create a YouTube channel and build up a following similar in size to Nelson’s, upload a video detailing the issue, and wait for Apple to offer to replace the machine to avoid more bad press. Easy peasy.

Score: 63 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Radon87000 Avatar
55 months ago
After Bendgate, Throttlegate, keyboardgate and now this. What has happened to quality at Apple?
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
8CoreWhore Avatar
55 months ago
In 1995, Steve Jobs Explained Exactly How Apple Will Fail

Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Appleaker Avatar
55 months ago
Even Apple can't justify the price, given that they're asking Quinn for his kit (despite the fact it's a widespread flaw).

In all seriousness, the support for the iMac Pro is beyond outrageous; it's unusual and shocking for both Apple support and support for a Pro-level $5000 machine in general. A popular YouTuber shouldn't have to make a video about this for it to be recognised by Apple, they should put aside their Pro workflow 'journey of self-discovery' and focus on the products and support for now.
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mark Booth Avatar
55 months ago
Using cheap screws is embarrassing enough. But the MOST embarrassing thing (for Apple) about Nelson's video is that Nelson felt the need to create it in the first place.

I've always had very good service from Apple. But I'd be pretty hopping mad if a screw broke off while installing or removing an $80 adapter on a $5,000 computer. It's something that should have NEVER happened, not at those prices. And Apple can blame its vendor all they want, the bottom line is APPLE is responsible for what it sells.

I'm glad Apple did the right thing in the end. But it should have NEVER gotten to the point that Nelson felt the need to create his video. A lot of people dropped the ball on this one, including AppleCare support and the geniuses at his Apple Store. The person most responsible for dropping the ball was the moron that decided cheap screws would be fine. An adapter that costs $80 and mounts to a $5,000+ computer should AUTOMATICALLY come with stainless steel screws. Nothing else should have ever been considered.

Mark
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airpods pro black background

AirPods Pro 2: Five New Features and Improvements to Expect

Sunday August 14, 2022 3:28 pm PDT by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro are finally nearing launch, with a release expected later this year. If you are considering upgrading to the new AirPods Pro once they are released, keep reading for a list of five new features to expect. In addition to all-new features, the second-generation AirPods Pro will likely adopt some features added to the standard AirPods last year. H2 Chip ...
10th Generation iPad Render

10th-Generation iPad With Major Design Changes Reportedly in Production Ahead of September Launch

Monday August 15, 2022 8:02 pm PDT by
Apple's rumored 10th-generation iPad is currently in production and will feature "major" design changes, according to a report from Taiwanese website DigiTimes. A mockup of the potential 10th-generation iPad design by Renders By Shailesh The report did not provide any specific details about the 10th-generation iPad's new design, but rumors suggest the device will feature a larger 10.5-inch...
ios 16 lock screen feature2

Apple Seeds Sixth Betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Monday August 15, 2022 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the sixth betas of upcoming iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the updates coming a week after Apple released the fifth developer betas. Registered developers can download the iOS and iPadOS 16 profiles from the Apple Developer Center, and once installed, the betas will be available over the air. iOS 16 introduces a revamped Lock...
iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
apple watch se

Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series 8: New Features to Expect If You've Waited to Upgrade

Monday August 15, 2022 2:44 am PDT by
The Apple Watch SE was announced in September 2020 and has been a popular Apple Watch model for customers looking for their first smartwatch or an affordable Apple Watch. Apple Watch SE customers may be wondering, however, what's in store for them with the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 and what new features they can expect. Continue reading to find out. Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series ...
Apple Watch Series 3 v 8 1

Apple Watch Series 3 vs. Apple Watch Series 8: 20 Major New Features and Changes for Customers Upgrading

Tuesday August 16, 2022 6:52 am PDT by
It's crazy to think about, but next month will mark five years since Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 3. Despite being a severely antiquated smartwatch, the Series 3 has remained at the bottom of Apple's lineup for $199. Suppose you're still holding on to your Apple Watch Series 3. In that case, this article will list all the major new features and changes you'll get if you decide to...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Purple

Apple Planning to Hold iPhone 14 Event on September 7

Wednesday August 17, 2022 9:51 am PDT by
Apple is aiming to hold its first fall event on Wednesday, September 7, reports Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The event will focus on the iPhone 14 models and the Apple Watch Series 8. The standard iPhone 14 models are expected to get few changes, but the iPhone 14 Pro models will include updated camera technology, the removal of the notch in favor of a pill-shaped and hole-punch cutout, an A16...