Apple May Have Quietly Addressed 'Flexgate' in 2018 MacBook Pros

iFixit reports that Apple may have already taken steps to reduce the likelihood of 2018 MacBook Pro users experiencing display lighting issues dubbed Flexgate. Affected machines could see uneven lighting that looks like a "stage light" effect with the display potentially failing completely over time.


iFixit was tipped off by MacRumors forum user Olivia88 posting in our Flexgate megathread that their 2018 13" ‌MacBook Pro‌ appeared to have a longer cable than previous models. iFixit confirmed this finding:

Since we were just wrapping up writing the repair manual for the 2018 model anyway, we checked inside our 2018 15” ‌MacBook Pro‌ again to measure its cable against its 2016 predecessor—and found the 2018 cable was, in fact, a full 2mm longer. Since this change appears in both our 15” model and Olivia88’s 13” model, it’s plausible this change is present in multiple, if not all, 2018 MacBook Pros.

iFixit speculates that this could prevent some of the wear and tear that had previously caused the failure though they weren't able to say for certain.

Apple has yet to publicly acknowledge the issue, and our Flexgate guide covers what your options are if you are affected by this issue.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
18 months ago
let's see... Broken keyboards, flexgate, graphics glitches, T2 chip fiasco.
Anything is working properly in their Macbook "Pro"?
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 months ago

Let's see...all these "problems" were only mentioned by a few people here and there online, and never gained any traction, sign that are probably issues that occur very very rarely, nothing systemic. So I would venture to say that 99% of MacBook "Pro" are probably working properly? Mine is, and the ten of thousands my company provides to its employees are at least, we all use Touch Bar MBP at this point and I never saw people suffering these issues, aside from a couple of colleagues having issue with a key on the keyboard. I am sure someone suffered these issues, like it happens with all man made items, but pretending these are serious widespread issues...sign of the times I guess.

Read the flexgate thread, this user lokitech posted the following:

“...I work for a company that uses only Apple product and in the year 2016, we brought 160 laptops MacBook Pro 15 top model then out of 160 laptops so far 20 laptops are affected with this display flex cable issue not sure how many would be further and 56 laptops are affected with the keyboard issue...”

By his report alone, it would be around 12% failure rate for flexgate, but it can only get worse with time, the more you open/close the more wear and tear. The issue is significant, Apple needs to issue a repair program.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 months ago

so only 2018 models are different and address the issue? 2016/2017 are due to break sometime?

Yep.

Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 months ago

No issues here. Outstanding laptop.

My 2017 13-inch - less than a year in: spacebar is starting to be sticky, graphics is going crazy in Fusion/Resolve.
The worst is the glitches are being rendered, not only displayed :(
Counting Powerbooks I'm probably on my Apple laptop #20. Absolutely no problems before.
They are not only completely not reliable anymore, they are more expensive every year.
As someone mentioned in another thread - you can get 64GB of RAM in a Lenovo P1 for almost the same money
Apple wants for 32GB (64GB not available). 32GB in Lenovo is 3x less expensive. Same RAM.
We are talking probably the most expensive PC brand.
Better screens, better graphics, 64GB RAM. All that for much less money.
When MBP was a great reliable machine, I paid the Apple tax. Now - it simply makes zero sense.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 months ago

Everything is working in mine.
People with problems are obviously more vocal about it.

Yup. Those pesky unsatisfied owners should keep their mouths shut. They are hurting dear, old and poor Apple!

/s
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 months ago

Hey, let’s face it. Apple IS a premium product. I pay a little more because I expect more.

My last MBP suffered a screen failure less than a month after the warranty expired. Pay up, sucker was all I got. Still, I didn’t beat feat. I AM a die hard fan. I admit it. The general public, not so much. The road Apple is going down kinda reminds me of Sears, or Sony at their peak. Hubris. The fan boys like me will come back, the general public won’t stand for it as long. Fan boys will tolerate a lot more than the general public. In the long run, it will cost them.

It’s a shame, it’s still a decent product, but the issues with my last MPB did leave a bad taste in my mouth and had I not been one of the “flock” I probably would have gone elsewhere for my newest laptop. Given the control Apple has over the software across the spectrum of devices offered does help. 99% of the time, this stuff works.

But, I feel as though I’m paying for a Lexus or Infinity of the computer world. I should get service commiserate with the coin I lay out...

And as long as you continue to pay for that level of quality and don't receive it, Apple has no incentive to do anything differently.

Most Apple customers are not much different than the hardcore fans. They're locked into the ecosystem and while they grumble about things like the loss of the headphone jack on the iPhone, a notch, high prices, they still buy the product. There's a current dip in iPhone sales due to the high price, but that is only temporary. Those holdouts will need to replace their iPhone... if not this past cycle, then the next. They'll bite the bullet and pay the price because there is no other option for them (and Apple will discontinue the older, cheaper models).

I continue to be perplexed as to why so many come to Apple's defense whenever the awareness of a defect is raised. Looking at the trackrecord of such customer reports, when was the last time that such a report of a hardware issue turned out to be nothing?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Sizes Compared with iPhone SE, 7, 8, SE 2, X, 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max [Update]

Tuesday July 7, 2020 6:49 pm PDT by
Apple is planning on launching the iPhone 12 this fall which is rumored to be coming in 3 different sizes: 5.4", 6.1" and 6.7". The middle size (6.1") matches up with the currently shipping iPhone 11, but the other two sizes will be entirely new. Over the weekend, there was some excitement about how well the new 5.4" iPhone 12 compares to the original iPhone SE. Those who have been hoping...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 2: New Calendar Icon, Files Widget and More

Tuesday July 7, 2020 11:38 am PDT by
Apple today released the second beta of iOS 14 to developers for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features that are coming in the update. Below, we've rounded up all of the changes that we found in the second beta. - Calendar icon - There's a new Calendar app icon in iOS 14 beta 2, with the day of the week abbreviated rather than spelled out. - Clock icon - The clock...

Hands On With iPhone 12 Models Showing New Sizes and Design

Monday July 6, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by
Ahead of the launch of new iPhones we often see dummy models created based on leaked schematics and specifications, with those models designed to let case makers create cases for the new devices ahead of their release. We got our hands on a set of dummy models that represent the iPhone 12 lineup, giving us our first close look at the iPhone 4-style design and the different size options. Subscri ...

Developer's Visual Comparison of macOS Catalina and Big Sur Offers Closer Look at Apple's UI Redesign for Macs

Tuesday July 7, 2020 4:00 am PDT by
macOS 11 Big Sur is the next major release of Apple's operating system for Mac, and following its preview at WWDC, one of the biggest discussions has revolved around the all-new user interface redesign. Developers are still learning what the impact the new UI will have on their apps, and with that in mind, app designer Andrew Denty has compiled an extensive visual comparison of the user...

Analyst Believes iPhone 12 Pricing Will Start $50 Higher Even Without EarPods or Charger in Box

Wednesday July 8, 2020 9:35 am PDT by
Despite multiple reports indicating that Apple will not include EarPods or a wall charger with iPhone 12 models this year, one analyst believes that pricing will still increase slightly compared to the iPhone 11 lineup. In a research note provided to MacRumors, analyst Jeff Pu forecasted that iPhone 12 pricing will start at $749 for a new 5.4-inch model, an increase of $50 over the base...

14-Inch MacBook Pro With Mini-LED Display Expected to Enter Production in 2021

Wednesday July 8, 2020 7:51 am PDT by
Apple suppliers will begin competing to win manufacturing orders for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED displays in the first quarter of 2021, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. Rumors of a 14-inch MacBook Pro have surfaced since Apple replaced the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a new 16-inch model last year. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously said that...

Apple Seeds First Betas of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 to Public Beta Testers

Thursday July 9, 2020 10:14 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public betas of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group, two weeks after first providing the updates to developers after the WWDC keynote and a day after seeding the second developer betas. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS/‌iPadOS‌ 14 updates over the air after installing ...

Apple's Arm-Based Macs With Apple Silicon Chips Will Support Thunderbolt

Wednesday July 8, 2020 3:14 pm PDT by
Apple is working on Macs that use its custom Apple-designed Apple Silicon chips instead of Intel chips, but Apple has committed to continuing to support Thunderbolt, reports The Verge. In a statement, an Apple spokesperson said that Apple's upcoming machines will offer support for Intel's Thunderbolt USB-C standard. "Over a decade ago, Apple partnered with Intel to design and develop...

Apple Cuts iPhone Trade-In Values as iPhone 12 Launch Nears

Tuesday July 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
With just two months to go until the usual timeframe for Apple's iPhone launch events, Apple is cutting back on maximum trade-in values of previous-generation iPhones for those looking to upgrade to a new model. Maximum values on more recent models have dropped by $30–$50, while older models have generally dropped by $5–$20 with a few models seeing no change in value.iPhone XS Max: $500 to...

Some iPhone Users Report Significant Battery Drain Due to Music App Background Activity in iOS 13.5.1

Wednesday July 8, 2020 1:49 am PDT by
A significant minority of iPhone users have taken to Apple's Support Communities and Reddit to report battery drain issues largely related to the Music app and high levels of background activity. Hundreds of users, many running iOS 13.5.1 on devices both new and old, are experiencing rapid battery drain when the Music app is not in use. In some cases, the background activity occurs over...