Raspberryfisher's Blog

notes on fishing & travel

Apple Computer Reliability – Poor Record

with one comment

Our use and adoption of Apple computer pre-date the Mac (or MacIntosh back then) with Apple IIs, and have an Apple ever since. In my 30 years of system engineering, much of it, was involved in the design and manufacturing of computers, from fault-tolerant servers, to Unix workstations to laptops.

In our house-hold, we have 5 computers:

  • 3 Apples – 2 MacBook Pros and 1 iMAC
  • 2 Win-PCs – Two dinosaurs running Microsoft – 13 year old desktop (runs current software, like TurboTax for small business) and 5 year old laptop (current apps, but a little dam slow with all of the security overhead laid on top to). The laptop is the standard issue from my company, who believes computers should remain current for a minimum of five years (unless you are in IT or a VP).
    • Apple maintains a support for spares of 4 years maximum.
  • Also have 2 Toyotas – 1998 Corolla and 2006 Sienna.
    • With a few acres of land and forest, also have chainsaw, tractor, snowblower, et cetera, ~10 year old.

The repair record for the past 2 years:

  • Apple: 7 trips for repair, one of which is damaged caused by my daughter (accident in moving), requiring replacement drives, motherboards and an OS rebuild. It is not just the laptops, but all three computers have needed repair and replacement – 3 under the 1 yr warranty.
  • Dinosaur PCs: 0
  • Old Toyotas: 1 – Remove nail out of tire.  Does not include Oil Changes and seasonal tire changes.
  • Tractor, Chainsaws, Blowers, Lawnmowers: 1 – Drive belt slip (my fault), does not include maintenance.

So of all of the equipment we have, I spend the most, the majority of, effort managing and repairing Apple Computers.

Acknowledging my Brother-In-Law replaced his second iMac in 6 years (2x motherboard), and my Mother-in-Law her iMac (screen) as well, but my fathers’s Win-PC keeps working (damm old thing (last motherboard refresh is 7 years ago), I have come to the conclusion that Apple Computer reliability is just plain bad.

But hey, they have a solution for their poor reliability, spend more money and get an AppleCare programme to extend replacement to 3 years.   Keep in mind, after that, a failure will cost you dearly, and after 4 years, no authorized Apple centre is suppose to have parts to repair your freshly minted electronic-waste filler.

Apple provides a premium computer and a companywith 81 Billion USD in cash reserves, but it is time Apple spent some of their hoard in managing quality, reliability and maybe at the same time, we will slow the rate of growth of electronic waste into our landfills.


Postscript > If I had any good news, the quality of the AppleCare Support Team is high – on phone or those that I have visited. Now, they need to match this quality experience with a reliable PC. A computer should not be designed as a disposable fashion accessory, but a good tool.

My corresponding Twit can be restated as:  iMac repair done well & working. Repair history for Apple worst than my 98 Corolla, is Apple the new old FIAT (Lada).

The drive into the “Genius Bar” was a challenge with  snow, ice and freezing rain, but as the last day for 2011, the computer was still running, weather cleared and start of the next year looks good.

Anyway, time to move on, at least forget until an Apple computer breaks again.


Written by raspberryfisher

2012/01/03 at 19:10

Posted in Helpdesks

One Response

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  1. […] little more than a year old, our iMAC dies.  As reported, of all of our household goods, Apple computers are the most unreliable (then closely followed by a 9yr old 2004 Ford Tauras (Toyatos are better)) item we own. 3 Apple […]

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