Previous 1 2 Next 28 Replies Latest reply: Jun 28, 2006 10:49 AM by Richard Nemanick Level 1 (0 points)
up until about a week ago, my heart was set on getting a Macbook...that is until I saw the recent posts about the premature discoloration on many peoples' macbooks. There were over 40,000 views to this topic, and about 130 reported cases, to which Apple locked down the topic shortly thereafter.... and people have even began creating independant websites (ie. geared toward pressuring apple to look into this issue more thoroughly. My questions are simple:

what, if anything, is apple doing about this?


what kind of assurance do I have (assuming I DO buy the macbook) that apple will make it right by me, if this problem plagues me?

if there are any apple employees reading this...PLEASE respond. Understand that by ignoring and shoving this problem under the rug, you are losing MANY potential customers.

looking to get a macbook

looking to get a macbook   Windows XP  
  • Jose M Olaya Level 1 (145 points)
    As things stand right now, if you get the problem in your macbook, you're basically screwed.

    Apple denies the problem

    Apple ignores its customers

    Other cynical users will claim you're a dirty fella who doesn't wash their hands.

    Pretty sad as of right now.
  • distro_1 Level 1 (85 points)
    What can Apple do if your hands are always dirty?
  • valend Level 2 (150 points)
    This is all very troubling. You may want to consider a black model (which costs about $200 more) or if you can swing it, a MacBook Pro..No discoloration issues on any of kind on any of these but the black MacBook's do scuff more easily.

    My theory on this is that it has something to do with the heat issue combined with the skin oil/perspiration components of different people. That could explain the randomness of it all. Just my 2 cents though. Good luck

  • Level 1 (0 points)
    lucky for me you can scrutinize my hands all you want and I'm not out the thousand bucks for the for all the people who cynically scoff at this real problem, and seem to think its a matter of dirty hands, i say this:

    your hands have gotta be PRETTY friggin dirty to get the kind of discoloration I've seen on some of the pictures...

    apparently some of you seem to think that this is a problem that plagues people who mud wrestle moments before starting up their laptop...

    looking to get a macbook
  • distro_1 Level 1 (85 points)
    I'm sure my hands are as dirty as any other average transit-riding hand-using human, but I have yet to see stains on my mac. There is either a problem with those particular units, and/or the people using them have dirty hands and/or the owners of those units tried cleaning their macbooks and only made them worse.

    I've used a soft cloth and a non-amonia based cleaner once so far - good results. No noticable discolouring. I assume in a few years time I will see something though. My last notebook lost colour from the case where my hands rested. I have to assume something similar will happen with the Macbook. It's only natural - it's handled for hours daily.

    If you haven't bought it yet - you're better off just waiting. In fact - lock yourself in a room and disonnect yourself from society. I suspect you wouldn't buy anything if you only considered the issues had by users with lemons.
  • enebb Level 1 (10 points)
    I am in the same predicament as a lot of folks. I was excited about the Macbook but at the same time I can't afford to wait until Apple decides to admit to and solve this discoloration problem. I need the Macbook for school in the fall.

    I am, however, beginning to think that at this point this is an issue that is going to be fought at the store. I've done a lot of research, called Apple customer care, visited the Apple store, talked to employees, etc.

    The woman from Apple care seemed to be of the mindset that "supposing" this issue did arise on MY Macbook it would be dealt with on a case to case basis. Basically should couldn't guarantee Apple would do anything but she didn't say they wouldn't. It was sounding like a gamble.

    The suprisingly friendly man at the Apple Store said that he hadn't heard of the issue. I directed him to the Apple Discussion Board and suggested he look at some pictures. He fed me his "dirty hands" theory. I posed the question, "What if I were to buy a Macbook and then 3 or 4 weeks later this happens to me - will you replace it? What would I do? Are you simply going to tell me it's my fault?" In a typically diplomatic answer he replied that they would "do whatever they could to make me happy." Oh okay.

    I'm a little lost as to where to go from here. As of now I'm waiting it out. Maybe Apple will address the problem before I absolutely need to buy it. But frankly even with the risk, in the end I'll probably end up getting the computer anyway. But if something does come up I won't waste any time finding my way to the nearest Apple Store. It is not acceptable, but I believe if you can approach it the right way the people at the store will help you out. It's unfortuante that we as users have to so vigorously document our experience and DEFEND ourselves, but that's life. I really do believe that for now this will be dealt with on a case to case basis - won on persistence or perhaps luck.
  • RYE-STAR Level 1 (0 points)


    IMAC G5   Mac OS X (10.4.6)  
  • pauldy Level 1 (85 points)
    Just FYI mine is 4H618 and I (ab)use it daily, at work, at home, in the bed, on the train, on the toilet. I keep it clean when I notice it starting to look like what some users have posted I wipe it with a damp cloth and all is ok. You would be hard pressed to find someone who uses their macbook more than I, and yet no discoloration.

    I'm still cynical of the users reporting these issues more than likely due to the observation that so many of them are so immature in how they are handling the situation. Maybe Apple is seeing things through the same rose colored glasses I am or maybe thems just the facts.

    iMac 20" Intel MacBook 2GHz 2GB   Mac OS X (10.4.6)  
  • EricLErak Level 2 (380 points)
    i called apple probably 3-4 times with this issue before i got the Macbook because i was afraid this would happen to me and all reps said apple would cover it plus i have had my macbook for about a week no problems besides 2 kernel panics
  • kjk Level 4 (1,305 points)
    if there are any apple employees reading
    this...PLEASE respond. Understand that by ignoring
    and shoving this problem under the rug, you are
    losing MANY potential customers.

    looking to get a macbook

    looking to
    get a macbook Windows XP

    Just so you know, these forums are set up for user to user discussions. They are not intended as Apple feedback/support forums.

    If you have an issue with Apple, I'd suggest contacting them directly with your concerns-you will probably get more feedback from them that way than by asking here.
  • Keith B. Level 1 (10 points)
    I'm still cynical of the users reporting these issues
    more than likely due to the observation that so many
    of them are so immature in how they are handling the

    And on what do you base this? I find this really rather offensive. Many who have had this problem have been very polite and stated repeatedly that they love their machines but are frustrated at this issue. And on top of this, they have had to deal with being told that they have filthy hands, that they don't know how to wipe a computer or that they are downright lying. My MacBook has the yellow discolouration issue. I am trying to get it resolved by Apple. I have phoned them, e-mailed them, and my next step - as soon as I get time (I work, you see) - is to take it in so someone can look at it. I do not have filthy hands, and I am not lying or trying to tarnish Apple's reputation in any way. I can hardly be bothered to say this for the hundredth time, but I have had a white iBook for two years and it has no such problem. It is a problem with the plastic of my MacBook, end of: it is just a fact that my machine has a discoloration issue that cannot be cleaned. From what I gather, it seems that this is not a widespread issue, and that there are just a relative few of us who have been unlucky enough to suffer from this. I would recommend the MacBook in every other way, but I would feel much better about recommending the machine if I knew that Apple would definitely deal with this issue should it arise. It may well be that no new discolouration cases will arise; perhaps it was just a small batch released in the first few weeks. But it does not make the issue any the less real to those of us who have it, and I am getting pretty tired of being called dirty, a liar, an Apple-basher, or now, the latest insult, "immature", just because I have dared to point out that my Apple purchase isn't perfect.
  • Rod Hagen Level 7 (31,985 points)
    As far as I can see from the other threads on this matter, those who have actually taken their computer to an Apple dealer for inspection have had their problems dealt with.

    Much of the noise comes from people who , for one reason or another, simply haven't followed this course, or, in fact, don't even seem to own a MacBook at all!

    I'm not trying to downplay the significance of the issue for any individual suffering from the problem. It would be annoying and inconvenient. But the number of real cases seem to actually be very limited ,and , when people have a genuine problem, seem to be being dealt with quite expeditiously once the offending computer is presented at a repair centre for inspection.

    I can certainly understand Keith, who genuinely suffers from the problem, being upset about the issue, but its when we see various brand new posters here launching into tirades about the matter with their first ever post on the boards, when they don't even own a MacBook, that those of us who have been around here for a while get more than a tad cynical.


  • Colin 3 Level 1 (0 points)
    I would have to agree with most of the posts above regarding this whole topic. Everyone I know that has a white MacBook is not experiencing this "orange discoloration". I have one as well, 4H619, and it's quite clean.

    As Apple starts hitting popular demand, you're bound to see more and more disastified customers. It's the nature of the beast -- particularly when a brand is marketed, whether directly or indirectly, as being "perfect"... and Mr. Jobs certainly doesn't make it any better if you've read up with his 80's bout. People EXPECT an Apple computer to be 110% fit and finish, often irrationally assuming "for the life of the product".

    Second, the masses are dumb... and now they have a communication tool to voice their idiocracy -- the internet. When I was purchasing my MacBook, some lady came in with a Nano and wanted to exchange it for an iPod Video. Proof of purchase marked 6 months ago....

    Third, I've been working in photoshop for nearly 10 years... the photos that I've seen are heavily modified... they've adjusted the contrast and levels significantly to try and make it appear worse than it actually is. Which leads me to...

    Last, it's white. It will get dirty, your hands will create 'oil/dirt' spots where they rest, coincidently, where all of the orange discoloration is occuring. Just b/c your hands appear clean, doesn't mean your skin doesn't produce natural oils. Depending on your surroundings, different agents may bind to the oily spots on your laptop. In parts of Texas, the ground is orangey-red and it ruins everything... ie: particles in the air, outdoor computer use, etc..

    /// this doesn't assume that the discoloration isn't valid, i'm just giving you my own insight on the matter ///
  • Keith B. Level 1 (10 points)
    As an update, given that I have some time off tomorrow, I had planned to take my MacBook into the Apple store in Regent Street. I phoned them this evening to ensure that I wouldn't be wasting my time - it can be a four hour wait just to see a Genius at the store in Regent Street. I spoke to a very nice and understanding young lady who told me that she was aware of the discolouration problem on the white MacBooks. However, even though I have a case number, she advised me not to take it in just yet as she said there was no guarantee that it would be dealt with and that I could end up wasting four hours of my time. Like I say, she was very polite and understanding and I really appreciated her honesty. She said that they are waiting to see if Apple are going to make an announcement on this and that I should hold tight, keep an eye on the forums, and check back with them in a week or so, which I will do. (The Regent Street store seem to adhere to quite a strict policy with regard to repairs, so unless there is permission from Apple HQ, it doesn't happen - from what I read here, it seems that US stores have a little more freedom.) I think it is encouraging that most Apple reps now seem aware of the problem. I hope it means that Apple are evaluating the best course of action. I now believe that I am one of only a relatively small number of users that have this issue (especially given that the site dedicated to this issue only has 58 users listed, which is nothing compared to the 1000s who must have bought a MacBook), and have just been unlucky in getting one of a small dodgy batch; but if this the case, I hope that Apple don't just decide to brush us under the carpet. If they do, I daresay I will just grudgingly stick some strategically placed stickers on my MacBook and move on with my life - though not without putting up a bit of a fight first, of course.

    To the op, I would still recommend the MacBook, though - it is a great machine and the chances are that you won't suffer from this issue (I certainly hope you don't). I have never had any whining and I've only heard a moo twice in a month of use (both when the machine was hot because of the applications I was running). Heat is fine, too - hot, but not overly so. But I would probably add the caveat that if you do have reservations it might be a good idea to wait a couple of weeks just to be sure that cases like my own are isolated. Then buy and enjoy a great machine...

    MacBook white 2Ghz, iBook 1Ghz, MacMini PPC Mac OS X (10.4.6)
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