back to article Apple coughs up G4 refunds to dissatisfied Danes

Apple will admit no wrongdoing, but has agreed to return money to Danish customers with allegedly defective iBook G4s. The concession comes after months of fighting a report from the Consumer Complaints Board (CCB) in Denmark that claims evidence of an original design flaw in the laptops. A number of iBook G4 customers …


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  1. Arif Rashid

    Apple laptops dying all the time

    I used to work in a computer shop in tottenham court road which was an authorised Mac service centre. We used to get loads of G4's coming back after near enough 1 year (just as the warranty ran out) ending up with the poor sod who bought the thing having to fork out about £300 for a repair, or sometimes even for a new laptop. I couldnt help but think that this was some sort of money making scam from Apple... and the 1st-3rd generation Ipods were even worse than the G4's....

  2. Webster Phreaky

    Apple would go Broke in the US refunding to pissed-off owners!

    And I'm one of them - G4 1.22GHz 12-in iBroke, sent back to Apple FIVE TIMES in 16 months and it's still Buggy and Flaky!!!! Fortunately, I paid even more over-priced Apple fees and bought extended Apple Careless

    Before that a 600 MHz G3 iBroke that became a Door Stop two years after I bought it.

    Fool me once, Fool me twice .... ah-a Apple, Fu@k you Stevie Gods, the third time will never happen.

  3. E

    @Webster Phreaky

    1. Anyone (that is you) who pays for a warrantee is an idiot or a sucker. Warrantees are the vendor's promise that the product is of good quality. You buy the product - the vendor warrants it is of good quality and will work. If you don't quite understand that then I have a quality bridge to sell you - and if you pay me even more, I'll promise it works properly.

    2. You bought a 600 MHz Apple box that died after two years. My average computer lifetime is about 5 years (this is during the past 15 years and about 8 computers). So... then you went out and bought another computer from the same company. Well, I reiterate, you are an idiot.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The average failure rate...

    ..over the whole laptop industry is 20% in the first 3 years*.

    Go check the figures independantly and you will see that Apple are not the worst out there, whilst Lenovo seem to be one of the best, but they are all within points of one another. This includes the period when the G4 was sold.

    Still crap mind - i have one sitting within half a burning sheep's length of me.

    To all those with faulty g4 iBooks - get the hot air guns out.

    *Some figure I checked once based on a supplier survey thing on the net. Best citation you are gonna get at this time in the morning from me.

  5. Greg Williams

    To E...

    ... if that is indeed your REAL initial...

    Firstly, just how many rungs do you need to climb to the top of your soapbox?

    He bought a laptop, it went bad... and? It happens all the time, with all vendors and all manner of products. From the most reputable to the most shady every manufacturer will produce duds, so to call him an idiot because he had had ONE bad experience and bought another from the same company is just ridiculous. I could even say idiotic?

    Extended warranties are actually a very good idea. Hardware goes wrong, fact of life... does it not make sense to be covered for the eventuality?

    Your post was merely abusive for the sake of being abusive. Just because you're bitter for whatever reason, don't bring it to this site.

  6. Richard

    Anyone in the UK

    I have one of these iBook-G4-of-death machines. Anyone

    want to join in a complaint to trading standards?

    Rich. (

  7. Darren Burrows


    Not to be funny, but of course it will seem that laptops always break to you, since you worked in a service centre and all.

    I happen to work in a service centre as well and if I just looked at the amount of machines we have coming into repair I'd say they break all the time too.

    Luckily I also speak to our sales guys and know we shift more units than actually ever come back into us, so I know that for the most part, as far as our store goes the Macs we sell are fine and dandy.

  8. Lewa


    No need to insult him so harshly, E. Just because he paid for a warranty from Apple doesn't make him an idiot - he was playing by Apple's entirely unfair rules. It may be ridiculous to pay so much for a warrantee, but if you've just purchased a £700 laptop (or more), you want to be sure it's safe. And if they only way it's going be safe is by shelling out money, then it has to be done.

    I'm not agreeing with Apple's policies, and if anything, you're right, it should be free. But there's no need to flame.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Likely to happen in other countries???

    So what implications (if any) does this have for affected users in other countries? Or is that expecting too much from the reporting being offerered?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple reliability or lack thereof

    Our school system has some 250 ibook G4s, after 6 weels we were operating with about 200, and its been that way for the last 2 years with the poot tech trying to keep his head above water repairing the damn things. faults range from bad keyboards to G4 death following update, this is characterized by black screen and refusal to recognize the hard disk following an update from apple. The experience for the students is not a good ad for apple, they express frustration any time they have to use them. More than one has suggested a clay pigeon shooting event where we replace the clay pigeons with G4s. My repsonse.....PULL!


  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Wonder what reasons the fanboys are going to give as to why this is ok and everyone should buy overpriced apple crap? 'Look, it's Apple being nice as they didn't accept responsibility'!

  12. karl reading

    @ By E

    Im all for people expressing the opinions on forums - after all, thats what it is all about.

    But your just damn rude matey,

    why cant you justsay that you wouldent personally buy a warrenty. or that you wouldent personally re purchase from the same company.

    But NO: you have to insult the man by calling him an idiot.

    Well i wouldent personally behave in such away, beacuse i would consider my self a discrace if i did.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    And anyone who doesn't know that the warrantee is the person who buys the warranty, is also an idiot.

  14. Richard Scratcher

    @Webster Phakey

    "Apple would go Broke in the US..."

    Well it's lucky for Apple that they don't operate in the US......hey!...wait a minute!


  15. Ron Eve

    Never let the facts....

    ..get in the way etc,

    @Apple laptops dying all the time

    With all due respect, unless you can come up with actual data on the returns that can be analysed to show a spike for any particular model, then your comments are hearsay. And to suggest it might be an Apple scam is ridiculous. For any company to do this would be corporate suicide.

    Interestingly, I came across a 14" G4 iBook recently that seemed to exhibit this 'sudden death' syndrome. I accidentally discovered that the blank screen was simply the backlight turning off. If (using a bright light) I put it to sleep and re-awoke it would come back to life. Not the most useful information but at least you have a chance of saving your work...

  16. Chris Haynes

    Nothing wrong with AppleCare

    At least in the UK. My Power Mac G5 is being collected today to have the hard drive sorted out (it's futzed).

    This is the first problem I've had with any Mac computer (including my friends' Macs) in the last 8 years, and it's only a hard drive.

  17. Joe

    Oh come on

    I thought that Apple had pretty reasonable reliability statistics? For everyone who's had bad experiences (I don't mean the iBook G4 problem, that does seem like a genuine design fault, but Webster and Arif) there's probably hundreds without any issues.

    Bad news travels faster than good news!

    I've had an original blue G4 tower which is over seven years old, it's been passed from person to person with no issues at all, and you don't hear me going on about it... :P

  18. Anthony Hulse

    In the interests of balance

    I'm sat here typing this on a PowerBook G4 that is still going strong after nearly five years of daily use. Apart from replacing the battery eighteen months ago (and then receiving another non-potentially-exploding one six months later, ha ha) all the components are original and I've never had an issue with it.

    The trouble with the Web is that those that make the most noise are the ones who've bought the turkeys, but you have to remember that for every person with a turkey there are probably ten to twenty who are extremely happy with their purchase.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Webster

    Well, that explains why you go in twat mode everytime anything Apple is mentioned.

    Is amusing tho - so please, keep it up.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Correct me if I'm wrong E,

    Given that it turned out he needed it, paying for an extended warranty puts Webster in the smart catergory. Sure they're overpriced, but my business depends on equipment being replaced when it breaks, so I have little option either.

    In the UK we are protected by law for a year, not a day longer, so you pay for the Warranty to be extended. The clues in the name, extended warranty, you see what they've done there?

    To call someone an idiot because they've stuck with the same company is pretty narrow minded too. Clearly if he is using a Mac, all his apps and data would be Mac centric, so he probably had no choice. What would you recommend instead, he goes to Dell or HP?

  21. Alan Gregson Silver badge

    @ E

    By the sound of things Webster Phreaky was eminently sensible buying the extended warranty, because when the iShite dies after 366 days he would have had to fork out for repairs or new iShite, with an extended warranty he at least gets another couple of years basking in the warm glow of self satisfied Apple ownership.

    Surely St Steve could repair all these dodgy iBooks, then resell them as iLazarus

  22. Cyberspice

    Just get out that soldering iron...

    My iBook suffered death after two years. I read the Danish report. The machine was dismantled. The offending chip re-soldered. And it's been problem since.

    Why does it cost £300 to solder a poxy little chip on the top of a board. It takes a bout 15 minutes to strip the machine, a few minutes to solder, and another 15 minutes to reassemble it. An hours labour, i.e. £30.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Excuses?

    Actually, if you look at the dedicated Mac forums, you'll see that the majority of posters are critical - the Apple fanboys are annoying whingers, but for reasons other than you suggest.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mine works fine

    2 years and counting, only crashed twice -- both times my own fault.

    I find they are comparable build quality to any laptop I have owned / used.

  25. karl reading

    its not just apples

    Ive got a DELL inspiron 9300 through a staff benefits program ( which the UK government cruley stopped them doing in the future - damn them! ).

    The machine comes with a 3 year warrenty as part of the program. 18 months in and i get a pink line running down the screen panel - needless to say i wasent to impressed. Turns out this is VERY common with this dell line. damn glad i had the 3 year cover.

    Moral of the story:

    1) extra cover = good idea

    2) every manufacture has issues - not just apple.

    and before anyone says anything, im not an apple fanboi, i love to build my own PC's and a apple really did nothing for me, but now there x86 boxes and can have windows on them, im really rather tempted, as theye are very nice looking machines.....

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Cyberspice

    The reason that it costs £300 to get this minor problem fixed is because they don't actually fix the computer, they chuck away the board that isn't working and replace it with a new board. It is an annoying situation, but it is very rare for anything to actually be fixed these days.

    Also - I'm no fanboy, but the Power Books do seem to be much better than the iBooks, I always thought the iBook looked rather like a Fischer-Price laptop, just without the build quality, but the Power Book was a quality piece of hardware, 2nd only (of course) to the Thinkpad. Me, I'm a Thinkpad every time kind of guy, I'd rather have a 2nd hand Thinkpad than a new Dell Insperon or iBook.

  27. elder norm

    @Webster Phreaky

    Yep, Apple ONLY makes bad products, that is why they are increasing sales at 3x the pc rate.

    And Dell and other pc makers computers NEVER fail. OH, and Microsoft makes the worlds best, most user friendly software.

    This was printed on April 1. :-)

    I like the reply above that of course the units coming into a repair show mostly need repair. :-) I would hope so. I would hate to think that PC users are calling tech support or bringing their machines in just to have them "rebooted". :-)

    I use an iBook. After 2.5 years it had a mother board problem. Apple care replaced it and the hard drive (darn, lost that data , poo, must be Apples fault that I did not back up regularly :-) ) and its been fine ever since. (2 years).


  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple and Lemons

    My current laptop is a 12" G4 iBook which I've had for a little over two years. The only problem with it has been that the original battery just died.

    I only mention this at all because this machine is a replacement for a lemon G3 iBook which suffered from that motherboard problem for which Apple extended their standard warranty a few years ago, my point being that Apple do at least sometimes take action to address customer concerns if there are problems.

  29. roz

    mac product are generally good but there are problems with iBooks it seems

    I have many old macs, all of them work to this day and I generally follow the advice that you are better off not buying extended warrantees. But I would say that there seems to have been a problem with the iBooks. I am looking at a dead one on my shelf right now, it can turn on of a few seconds and then goes black. I am glad to see some people got their money back, I would like the same here in the US.

  30. Jason Clery

    @elder norm

    so they nicked your hdd after replacing the motherboard.

    and didnt bother asking


    you mean they didn't bother ghosting your stuff off.

  31. Leigh

    MacBooks too

    I have always been a Mac user, since the days of my first Performa. I have had 2 performas, a G3, a clamshell ibook, an imac G3, a G4 and now a nice new MacBook.

    They have always been reliable and I have always been very pro apple. Until now.

    I spent a grand and half on a new MacBook, and having had such good xperiences with all my previous macs decided against the waranty. But I have had nothing but trouble with it since the day it arrived.

    Firstly there was no mention when i bought it of the rosetta app that runs behind your software to make it work -this causes everything to be ridiculously slooooow.

    Then came the yellowing of the shiny white case, so now it looks old and grubby.

    And then, just after the one year warranty ran out, it suddenly won't turn on anymore unless constantly plugged in. It seems it doesn't recognise the battery anymore. I called Apple and they said there was nothing they could do unless i sent it back and paid to have it looked at.

    But luckily for me the good old Reg had a story about the exact same problem happening to others, and how Apple have offered a free replacement battery for anyone affected - it's just a shame that Apple didn't seem to know anything about it!

    So my MacBook will be going to my local reseller (50 miles away) for a new battery, and then it will be going straight on ebay. After years of happy maccing I am now going to buy a Dell Inspiron. The problem is that Apple are churning them out now and don't have the same quality they used to, and customer support is rubbish.

  32. Graham Lockley

    Now why wont I buy a laptop ???

    Reading through the above only reinforces my belief that laptops etc. shouldnt be treated as anything other than disposable computers. I have a (4 year old) Acer laptop that (mostly) works but is used for those times when the main PC is unavailable or not convenient. On the other hand my main PC was bought from Escom (remember them ?) back in 1989 and has slowly evolved into what it is now without the trauma of losing everything at any point. OK so the floppy is the only original part (I think it still works OK, been so long since I tried it) but at no point have I had to start afresh or send it off for a few weeks only to have all my data wiped.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You think PC laptop manufacturers are any better?

    Yesterday my Toshiba Tecra M2 had its fifth replacement motherboard fitted in the nearly three years that I have had it. The first motherboard was replaced because it would regularly give me a blue screen of death. The latest motherboard was replaced (just three weeks after the previous one) because it refused to charge the battery. Today, not 24 hours after having the fifth motherboard fitted, I got the dreaded BSOD again. So now another motherboard is on order.

    The lease expires in November and despite the bad publicity for Apple in this article I'm getting a Macbook Pro. They really can't be worse than Toshiba!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm assuming you're in the US as that would explain why the Macbook cost a "grand and a half"

    re: rosetta - it was pointed out in EVERY review of hardware that until the apps you need were Intel native/Universal, there was a slowdown in using PPC OS X software as the Intel Macs would use Rosetta. Apple did talk about Rosetta on its website, so it wasn't trying to keep it hidden - but personally I would have checked out a few reviews first.

    Although Rosetta was rubbish, you should have perhaps researched what you were going to buy... and maybe updated your software (a lot of companies provided free updates to make their software universal)

    re: "yellowing of the shiny white case" - a problem affecting the first range of MacBooks, Apple then switched the type of plastic used and also replaced affected casing for free. Not ideal but it took action (reluctantly)

    I would say that the cracking case problem was more of a design flaw.

    re:"luckily for me the good old Reg had a story about the exact same problem happening to others, and how Apple have offered a free replacement battery for anyone affected - it's just a shame that Apple didn't seem to know anything about it!"

    Erm, did you read the story? The main issue the writer to do with the power was an unsafe magsafe adapter and the writer demanded a product withdrawal of these adapters.... sadly, Apple had already phased them out about eight months earlier.

    There ISN'T a battery issue with the MacBooks - they might have other problems, but this isn't one of them. If there was, it would be reported/bleated about on the Mac forums.... where your post wouldn have fitted in well.

    Otherwise, you seem on the ball..

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @elder norm

    Apple sales are increasing only because they are targeting the fashion conscious more money than sense brigade. And yes PC manufacturers DO fail. At one time Toshiba made some of the best laptops in the world, now they don't. 2 Years ago Acer had fantastic build quality, but seem to be slipping. At least with a PC I can change manufacturer once they move from quality to crap and still keep everything else whether I run linux or microsoft. If you run osx - its back to Apple regardless of how crap they make the system and have to pay whatever they charge.

  36. Leigh

    Mac Batteries not affected?

    Well if mac batteries are not affected, then what's this story about...

    and why is apple replacing mine free of charge?

  37. Anthony Hulse


    "Apple sales are increasing only because they are targeting the fashion conscious more money than sense brigade. "

    I know this sounds hard to believe for some of you Windows "fanboys and cultists" ;-), but some people find the Windows interface annoying as hell to use. Some people, even those who've never used anything else, utterly detest Windows. It's those people swelling the numbers now buying Macs. Not because they are fashion conscious and have more money than sense, but because they want any money they do spend on a computer to go on something they don't find more irritating than Chinese water torture. If that costs them 20% extra then that's the price of happiness.

    The old views about Mac uers vs. Windows users no longer apply. Macs are very much a viable alternative to the average person and are becoming mainstream.

    P.S. Yes, Linux is also an alternative, but it hasn't yet caught the imagination of the average person in the same way OSX has.

  38. elder norm

    @ Jason

    "so they nicked your hdd after replacing the motherboard. and didnt bother asking

    hmmm you mean they didn't bother ghosting your stu"

    I even left a letter with contact info inside saying to contact me. I would have bought that old drive if I could have. The work was done by an Apple contract house that does tons of other companies work too. :-(

    The new equipment works great, but I really lost a lot of data. Now I back up much more regularly. :-) Live and learn.


    To the other post: MS troll alert!!

    "Apple sales are increasing only because they are targeting the fashion conscious more money than sense brigade."

    ---Just because they look good, does not mean that they are not the best. :-)

    " At least with a PC I can change manufacturer once they move from quality to crap and still keep everything else whether I run linux or microsoft. If you run osx - its back to Apple regardless of how crap they make the system and have to pay whatever they charge."

    ----- MS troll FUD . Your documents and images, etc can go from machine to machine. Jpg, quicktime, word, tiff, etc. all these are common format.

    You must be a troll cause on one hand you state that you are comfortable swaping machines left and right, but suddenly you do not know how to use universal formats.

    Maybe you also think that iTunes locks you to using an iPod, even though Zunes advertise that they can read iTunes mp3 and AAC files. :-( Very low quality of troll today. LOL Maybe I will just throw it back. :-)

    Elder Norm

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