Apple is Having Some Issues
Apple is a well known and popular technology product and probably the most valuable company on the planet. OK, so who don’t know that? But don’t get it twisted; Apple is having some problems.
If you own an Apple MacBook computer and plan on taking a trip you might have to leave it at home.
In June Apple announced a voluntary recall for MacBook Pro computers with the 15-inch Retina display sold between September 2015 and February 2017.
An official recall was announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued on June 27th. The recall affects 432,000 Macbook Pro laptops because of fire risk due to the battery overheating. Canadian officials recalled another 26,000 computers. There were 27 reports of the computers overheating, including 17 reports of minor damage to nearby personal property, five reports of minor burns, and one report of smoke inhalation. Consumers are advised to stop using the devices and return the computers to the company for a battery replacement.
The problem is severe enough that some airlines have banned the computer from being carried in checked luggage. The Federal Aviation Administration and European Union Aviation Safety Agency have both contacted airlines following Apple’s announcement regarding the recall. According to the FAA it alerted U.S. carriers to the issue in July. U.S. aviation regulations prohibit recalled batteries on flights unless they have been replaced or stored in special fire proof packaging according to FAA hazardous materials guidelines.
Users can see if their devices are affected by entering their computer serial number here.
Another issue Apple is having is a fight over who gets to repair Apple products. Apple believes only Apple should work on Apple products.
The issue has become known as the right to repair. You can take your car to any mechanic why not your iPhone?
Apple is very restrictive on who get its parts. In a word, no one. It would be wrong to single Apple out for this practice when other technology product builders are doing the same thing. The bottom line is they are holding a monopoly on the product and keeping anyone else from working on it.
Apple products are not cheap by any means. And Apple has been accused of forcing customers to buy Apple repair services and warranties if they ever want to get their Apple fixed. According to a report in Motherboard, Apple is using software locks with its new laptops that “will render the computer ‘inoperative’ unless a proprietary Apple ‘system configuration’ software is run after parts of the system are replaced.”
According to MacWorld Apple has not been clear on this policy. Some Apple customers may be surprised to discover that they can’t get their devioce repaired after their limited one-year warranty expires. Apple has a bad habit of making their products unrepairable by soldering RAM and gluing screens. Apple is not telling buyers that they need to buy the Apple Care warranty in order to get an authorized repair. Once the device breaks they have no choice in the matter.
But the tide is turning. A new Right to Repair bill is currently being considered in 19 states, including Apple’s home state of California. According to Motherboard Apple is fighting the legislation even though its own internal documents say Apple is quite capable of implementing the program.
But perhaps Apple is starting to feel the heat. Apple recently announced it will allow repairs from third-party repair shops and sell them parts for aftermarket service. But Apple is still keeping a chokehold on the aftermarket business. Third-party repair shops must have Apple certification and can only provide fixes for common out of warranty repairs like battery relacement and cracked screens. More demanding repairs like motherboard repairs and water damage fixes are still exclusive to Apple.
Apple is also dealing with the hacking of its iPhones by malicious websites. According to Google Security researchers they’ve discovered a number of malicious websites which, when visited, could covertly hack into iPhones by exploiting a set of previously undisclosed software flaws.
Apple has taken great pride in its device security. This may be a game changer for the company. Google’s Project Zero team blog reported that the websites are visited thousands of times per week by unsuspecting victims, in what they described as an “indiscriminate” attack. None of the malicious websites have been named.
“Simply visiting the hacked site was enough for the exploit server to attack your device, and if it was successful, install a monitoring implant,” said Ian Beer, a security researcher at Project Zero. Beer added that the websites had been hacking iPhones over a “period of at least two years.”
The websites are exploiting 12 seperate flaws in mobile platform software including seven found in the Safari mobile browser. The flaws give the hackers what is know as “root” access to the device. The highest level of control.
Google privately alerted Apple in February allowing the company a scant week to fix the flaws and issue updates. Normally a company is given 90 days to make repairs. This shortened alert period is indicative of the severity of the vulnerabilities. Apple issued a fix six days later with iOS 12.1.4 for iPhone 5s and iPad Air.
Beer said it’s possible other hacking campaign are still operating.
Finally, there is the Apple watch. Another thing Apple is known for is impeccable quality. So what is happening with the Apple watch?
Apparently Apple aluminum watch Series 2 and 3 are inexplicably cracking around the edges. Apple has determined that the cracks occur “under very rare circumstances.”
Now there is good news and bad news with this mysterious cracking issue. Here’s the good news? Apple has acknowledged the issue and if it determines your display crack is caused by this issue they’ll replace the screen for free. The bad news? They won’t be able to fix it at the Apple store. You’re gonna have to ship the watch to Apple and repairs can take mores than five days.
The full list of Apple watches eligible for the free repair can be found here. All eligible aluminum Series 2 and 3 watches will be covered by the new screen replacement program for 3 years from its date of purchase or one year from today, whichever is longer.
Now You Know.