back to article Apple's M1 MacBook screens are stunning – stunningly fragile and defective, that is, lawsuits allege

Aggrieved MacBook owners in two separate lawsuits claim Apple's latest laptops with its M1 chips have defective screens that break easily and malfunction. The complaints, both filed on Wednesday in a federal district court in San Jose, California, are each seeking class certification in the hope that the law firms involved …

  1. cornetman Silver badge

    > I went to sleep with it in perfect condition.

    I know that people love their Apple stuff, but best not take it to bed with you.

  2. Red Sceptic

    You're folding it wrong.

    1. zanto

      You're closing it wrong.

  3. JimboSmith Silver badge

    We've asked Apple to comment, but – and you may be shocked to hear this – we've not heard back. ®

    I'm shocked and dismayed. I hope Apple come to their senses, do the decent thing here.......and reply to El Reg.

    1. jake Silver badge

      My gaster ...

      ... has been well and truly flabbered.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My gaster ...

        Isn't it "my flabber has been well and truly gasted"?

        These things are important.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: My gaster ...

          Depends on mood, weather and other things best left unexplained.

          The important bit is that communications occurred.

        2. EricB123 Silver badge

          Re: My gaster ...

          Where in the world did the word "flabbergasted" come from? IT workers?

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: My gaster ...

            According to my Big Dic[0] (paraphrased, they have serious copyright issues), it first showed up in print in 1772 as a new word, etymology unknown. Probably dialect, possibly from Suffolk (per Moor, 1823). Maybe from flabby+aghast, meaning one is so aghast they are shaking.

            [0] OED, second dead tree edition.

      2. Precordial thump Silver badge

        My drosophila

        Has been melanogastered.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: My drosophila

          Like a banana?

          1. Muscleguy

            Re: My drosophila

            As with humans and the bendy fruit Drosophila do share sequences with bananas but being fruit flies they’re more likely to be found in association with softening bananas or other fruit.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: My drosophila

              Obviously can't lead you down the garden path.

  4. jake Silver badge

    Clearly ...

    ... it's a user problem, to wit: operator error.

    They are either opening it wrong, holding it wrong, sleeping with it wrong[0], or closing it wrong.

    [0] May I be first to say WTF?

    1. bpfh

      Re: Clearly ...

      Seen a few Dell displays cracked with a bic shaped mark across the screen. User says (a)he has no idea how it happened.

      Had one from a former boss, with 2 bloody great square marks in the screen that were not there when he closed it the previous evening. A bit of investigative work shows that the marks matched almost perfectly with the boot (trunk) catch of his company Clio RS. He definitely closed that one wrong - although shockingly he did actually fess up to that one, but only because due to corporate weirdness if he could prove accidental damage the company would provide a new laptop rather than pay a Dell tech to come repair it. The higher up the food chain the more mesmerised by shiny shiny…

      The totally shattered and bent iPhone with marks that looked like a bicycle had ridden over it was funny too. User of course has no idea how it happened and swore on his grandmothers grave and had not left his pocket. Of course it didn’t. After that incident the company stopped replacing damaged phones and people would have to pay out of pocket.

      Strangely from that point from 10-15 busted phones a year went to zero. It’s - shocker - almost as if people didn’t care about company property !!!!

  5. karlkarl Silver badge

    Can normal people sue?

    Can normal people sue those twits that buy this junk? We have to keep listening to people buying defective tat and then moaning about it. I kind of feel that we deserve compensation for this kind of repetitive mental abuse.

    1. jgard

      Re: Can normal people sue?

      Well, you're not listening to it, but here's an idea, don't read it either. Though I don't mean to be disrespecful, as you are an exceptional individual, having never bought anything substandard.

      It's amazing that even when buying a product or service of which you have no knowledge whatsoever, you always make perfect purchasing decisions. If only I had you around when choosing cancer treatment, or deciding what type of investment to make given the charitable trust, power of attorney, charge on the property and the soon to be ex wife's tax liability.

      You should look after your cross domain omniscience and multi dimensional purchasing expertise. There aren't many people about like you. We are not worthy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Can normal people sue?

        At time I would like more points to upvote a post. Respect for the sarcasm, although I now have to wipe it dripping from my screen..


    2. mevets

      Re: Can normal people sue?

      A ship on the beach is a lighthouse to the sea.

      I hate intel. Its probably irrational, but I do. I hate microsoft. Not quite so irrational. I am astounded I didn't buy any of the Apple ARM kit when it was released last year, because it isn't intel; it isn't MS, but I held back anyways.

      While I am not glad for those that suffered for it, I am glad to not be amongst them.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Can normal people sue?

      Have you never heard of product liability? Recalls, etc.

  6. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Relative fragility

    The screen apparently cracks on this cracks if you close the lid on a "small object".

    I could stand on the case of my first IBM PC XT and the monitor, although it weighed a ton, survived numerous rattling journeys in the back of vans when changing student digs.

    Finesse and fragility often go together (maybe to some extent unavoidably).

    1. Cliffwilliams44 Silver badge

      Re: Relative fragility

      Back in the day, and I mean way back because I am that old! A customer had a Compaq laptop, you know those inch and a half thick, beige, LCD screen models. Well he had it in his little "non-padded' bag and placed it on the roof of his car while he got all his other stuff into the car (he said his hands were very full). Forgot it was there and proceeded to head out on the highway. When he got up to 70 MPH the bag with the laptop in it flew off the car and went bounding along the highway.

      When he brought it in the case was literally destroyed, internal screen was a shattered mess. So we plugged in an external monitor and keyboard attached the power supply (it was still on one piece and the connector intact) and powered it on. It booted up and still functioned. We copied off all his data to a new laptop!

    2. Warm Braw

      Re: Relative fragility

      Seems like there's sufficient bezel for the problem to be solved by sticking a couple of small rubber furniture feet either side of the display. Should only add £99.99 or so to the RRP.

  7. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Guilty until impossibly proven innocent

    Customer: I didn't abuse the phone.

    Every phone maker ever: You have no proof. Pay for repairs.


    Apple on trial: We didn't do this out of greed.

    Jury: You have no proof. Pay for the lawsuits.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not bought a Macbook

    but now I never will. Sounds well shoddy.

    1. Wyrdness

      Re: Not bought a Macbook

      They're not shoddy at all. If Apple sell millions of a product and half a dozen fail, then some greedy knobs will start a class action suit to try to extract $$$$$$$ from Apple.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not bought a Macbook

        I wouldn't say they're greedy, but Apple could do a lot better taking care of customers instead of accusing them of causing the damage.

        To be fair, I'm pretty sure there will be plenty who have done just that, but leaving something on a keyboard when closing the laptop is just not plausible - nobody I know leaves things on a laptop because there isn't any space, it would make it hard to use.

        1. Matt_payne666

          Re: Not bought a Macbook

          I work in a cluster of schools and the amount of laptop screens that are damaged by people leaving a pen on the keyboard, or closing the screen with a wadge of paper bristling with paperclips and staples, in it are astounding!

          but these are the same people that invariably walk about with the power lead in the socket and wonder why their laptops fail to charge one day...

          1. Cliffwilliams44 Silver badge

            Re: Not bought a Macbook

            That not as bad as the people (I'm looking at you executive) who turn off suspend mode because PRESENTATION! Then close the lid and put the laptop in their bag and leave it there overnight! To wit, the laptop overheats and cooks itself. So when then come to work the next day it won't even turn on.

            "But I have no idea what could have caused this!"

            1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

              Re: Not bought a Macbook

              Screen damage - Ditto to the power of 10x3 at a private school.

          2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

            Re: Not bought a Macbook

            Leaving in schoolbag overnight - Ditto to the power of 10x6 at the private & same school.

        2. Snapper

          Re: Not bought a Macbook

          A client of mine had a lot of fashionable young ladies issued with MacBook Airs.

          A 'Queen-Bee' type visited from another branch and she used her MBA as a clutch purse, with pens, keys and phone trapped between the keyboard and screen as she walked around.

          Que wanna-bees doing the same and we had ten replacement screens in a week, two of them to the same idiot.

          In the two years before we had one screen breakage out of 160 MBA's and MBP's.

      2. Sgt_Oddball

        Re: Not bought a Macbook

        The thing is.... The 2019 last Intel Macbook Pro also suffered from issues (specifically having a too short monitor ribbon cable) so you'd think they would trying to avoid repeats of that?

        (For the record, I've got one, already had the screen replaced once under warranty - it's a company machine so I'm not hugely invested in Apple. It was a surprise though as the thing has barely moved since I got it, just open and closed once a day)

      3. Snake Silver badge

        Re: shoddy

        They might not be shoddy but for too long they have been non-upgradable and far more difficult to repair than most competitor's products.

        No thanks.

        1. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: shoddy

          All Macs are easily upgraded. It involves eBay though...

  9. Sandgrounder

    M1 hARM

    It is down to the M1 chip, causing real hARM.

    Yet to figure why they named it after the M1. As it supposedly runs rings around the competition, M25 would be more suitable choice.

    1. Must contain letters

      Re: M1 hARM

      Hmm, in my experience running is rather too fast for normal M25 excursions.

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: M1 hARM

        “Announcing the new M25 chip from Apple! ‘Hail the great beast, devourer of worlds!’”

        1. Falmari Silver badge

          Re: M1 hARM

          Up vote for Good Omens

          1. Steve K

            Re: M1 hARM

            Yes - "Odegra" has a ring to it as a name for a chip family.

        2. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: M1 hARM

          Should be released around the year 2045.

  10. big_D Silver badge

    It will be interesting...

    to see how many of these are down to sticking things between the screen and the keyboard and then closing the screen.

    It is fairly obvious that, if there is something between the screen and keyboard, when you close the case, that it will put pressure on the display and could damage it.

    I've had that before on normal laptops, especially before glass screens. Users would forget they had something on the keyboard and close the case, causing the object to damage the plastic screen surface or, in some case, damage the display itself. Heck, my old Advent and a Toshiba both left keyboard shaped marks in the display, where they rubbed when the case was closed and they pushed against the screen, moving fractionally as the device was transported.

    If the screens are ever thinner and the space between keyboard and screen ever smaller, it isn't really a surprise that something gives...

    The real question will be how many of those broken screens didn't have something pressed between the screen and keyboard and didn't have something pressing against the outside of the screen, when the laptop was closed (E.g. being chucked in a bag and having text books bashing into the back of the screen).

    I look forward to seeing, whether this is a genuine, large scale manufacturing problem, or small scale PEBKAC.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It will be interesting...

      Key question: why on Earth would you leave something on the keyboard? It makes it hard to use. Simply from how a machine is used it doesn't make sense. It may end up greasy, but the surface of a laptop tends to be the clearest space on even the messiest desk because it's otherwise hard to use.

      Granted, I've only ever been using laptops since they were invented so I may have missed something, but I never found their opened surfaces a good resting place for anything (other than spilled coffee, which you quickly learn to avoid :) ).

      1. Must contain letters

        Re: It will be interesting...

        Maybe something as small as a bit of hair (for those lucky enough to have some), crumbs from your breakfast toast as you erad the morning news, buscuit crumbs maybe? Or possibly an accidentally trapped cord from your earphones, a bit of paper picked up from the desk as you close the lid. All these and more happen from time to time.

        1. Cliffwilliams44 Silver badge

          Re: It will be interesting...

          Paper clips, staples! You can imagine how may keyboards I've had to replace due to paper clips and staples!

      2. Cliffwilliams44 Silver badge

        Re: It will be interesting...

        Because STUPID!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It will be interesting...

      small scale PEBKAC

      shurly you mean PEBKAS?

    3. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: It will be interesting...

      You rarely see these problems with laptops that have a clit mouse in the center of the keyboard because making sure it doesn't happen is part of the design. I suspect Apple designed the laptop and checked that it functioned well ... but never spent a month or two shutting the device and carrying it around.

  11. Daniel Bower


    It just breaks...

  12. Cliffwilliams44 Silver badge

    "My laptop is too heavy!", "Its still too heavy, MAKE IT LIGHTER!" "I NEED MY LAPTOP TO BE LIGHTER! AND THINNER TOO!

    "My screen cracked and broke!"

    Well, what did you expect!

    All kidding aside, Apple should have known you can't make the screen so thin that is very fragile on a device people ARE going to bang around!

  13. Zeus3141

    Apple quality control?

    One of my older laptops is a 2009 Macbook Pro 5,3 . The machine still works like new *****

    present day and for the past few years apple is cutting to many corners, more cheap plastic, inside their laptops, cell phones etc.

    My current laptop Acer Helios 500 Ryzen. it weighs about 9 pounds, runs nice and cool, the built quality is prety solid, its been close to 3 years and zero problems

  14. Dave559

    Dear Apple, please forget about this stupid, destructive, obsession with thinness already

    Dear Apple, please fuck off with this stupid, destructive, obsession with thinness already!

    Did you learn nothing from those several iterations of defective keyboard designs (which also, you will recall, cost you a lot in repairs and compensation)?

    Yes, I expect that some of these instances of damage may be a result of things inadvertently left twixt keyboard and screen, but not all.

    I'm sure that literally absolutely nobody will object to their laptop being a couple of mm thicker, if that helps to make it rather stronger and more resilient to risk of damage.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Dear Apple, please forget about this stupid, destructive, obsession with thinness already

      "I'm sure that literally absolutely nobody will object to their laptop being a couple of mm thicker"

      You must live in a place without hipsters and similar posers. Lucky bastard.

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