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.

Related Roundup: iMac Pro
Tag: VESA
Buyer's Guide: iMac Pro (Don't Buy)

Top Rated Comments

Bollockser Avatar
33 months ago

What has happened to quality at Apple?

Tim Cook.
Score: 97 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
33 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
33 months ago
After Bendgate, Throttlegate, keyboardgate and now this. What has happened to quality at Apple?
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
8CoreWhore Avatar
33 months ago
In 1995, Steve Jobs Explained Exactly How Apple Will Fail

Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Appleaker Avatar
33 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
33 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)

Top Stories

m1 chip macbook air pro

Kuo: Redesigned MacBooks With Apple Silicon to Launch in Second Half of 2021

Tuesday November 24, 2020 7:53 pm PST by
Apple plans to release additional MacBook models with Apple Silicon in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as part of the company's two-year transition away from Intel processors across its Mac lineup. In a research note today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that these MacBook models will feature a new design. Kuo did not specify which models these will be, but he...
Apple Watc black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Watch Deals [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 4:01 pm PST by
Black Friday sales have begun on a variety of products, including the Apple Watch. There are quite a few deals across the Apple Watch lineup this year, including one of the lowest price we've ever seen the Apple Watch Series 3. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the...
AirPods Pro black friday 20 sale feature 2

Black Friday 2020: AirPods Pro Reach Lowest Price Ever [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 3:22 pm PST by
Black Friday has kicked off this week, and one of the first major sales for the AirPods Pro is available right now on Walmart. You can find this deal below, along with a few other solid discounts on the regular AirPods. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site...
13 16 inch macbook pro air trio

Reliable Leaker Suggests Redesigned MacBooks in 2021 Will Include Both Apple Silicon and Intel Models

Wednesday November 25, 2020 9:15 am PST by
Reliable leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today suggested on Twitter that redesigned MacBooks coming in the second half of 2021 will include models with both Apple Silicon chips and Intel processors. The brief Tweet came in response to a MacRumors article from earlier today, which outlined a report from Ming-Chi Kuo claiming that Apple plans to release redesigned MacBook models with Apple ...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
app store christmas icon

Apple Shutting Down App Store Connect From December 23 to December 27

Monday November 23, 2020 10:14 am PST by
Apple shuts down App Store Connect for a week around the holidays each year in an effort to give App Store staff time off from work. This year, App Store Connect will be unavailable from December 23 to December 27. With App Store Connect unavailable, Apple will not accept new apps or app updates, so all pricing changes and new app submissions need to be locked in before those dates for...
iPads black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPad Deals

Tuesday November 24, 2020 8:51 am PST by
Although we're still a few days away from the official launch of Black Friday, we've known for a few weeks that many retailers would be kicking off discounts ahead of November 27. Because of this trend, today we're tracking discounts across Apple's lineup of iPads, including the 10.2-inch iPad and 2020 iPad Pro. More sales are likely to appear as the week progresses, and when they do we'll update ...
Target November Deals 1

Black Friday Spotlight: Target Begins Week-Long Sale With Deals on iPhone 12, Powerbeats Pro, and More

Monday November 23, 2020 8:07 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Target. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....
new mac mini logicpro screen

M1 Macs Able to Run Up to Six External Displays Using DisplayLink

Tuesday November 24, 2020 6:53 am PST by
It is possible to run up to six external displays from the M1 Mac mini, and five external displays from the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, with the aid of DisplayPort adapters, according to YouTuber Ruslan Tulupov. This far exceeds Apple's specified limits on external displays with the M1 Macs. Apple's host of new M1 Macs are not capable of supporting as many external displays as their...
2020 apple shopping event

Apple Offering Up to $150 Gift Card With Select Products on Black Friday Through Cyber Monday

Monday November 23, 2020 2:53 am PST by
Apple has announced its annual four-day shopping event, offering customers up to a $150 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of select products between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. The gift card values in the United States are as follows: $150 for 16-inch MacBook Pro $150 for 21.5-inch iMac $50 for 13-inch MacBook Pro $50 for MacBook Air $50 for iPhone SE,...