Apple’s Steve Jobs Says LEDs Not Causing iMac Yellowing

iMac-yellowingApple’s latest quality issue with its new iMacs concerns reports of yellowed screens.  On top of a host of other issues — flickering, failure to boot, broken screens, and other headaches, many of the latest crop of sleek Cupertino desktops appear to be looking, by their display color, more like a bunch of lemons than Apples

The color of the image on screen is tinted yellow.  The severity varies, but in some cases is reportedly bad enough to render the computer essentially useless.  That’s an especially big problem considering the desktops relatively high pricing, which starts at $1,199 for the lowest spec 21.5-inch model and can retail for well over $4,000 for a fully loaded 27-inch model.

Apple has reportedly been trying to force customers to take the repair road, rather than returns or refunds.  However, most customers afflicted with the problem are reporting that repaired units continue to have problems, frequently ceasing to function altogether (as was the case with a unit at Gizmodo); apparently its hard to make a lemon back into a proper Apple.

However, many customers are discovering even returns aren’t working out, due to the volume of problem units.  Out of desperation, one customer who had returned his lemon only to receive another defective unit fresh off the line contacted Apple CEO Steve Jobs, himself, about the problem.  Mr. Jobs is known to personally respond to customer emails on occasion, a relative rarity in the corporate world.

Mr. Jobs responded, but apparently admitted that even he could not assure that the problem would be rectified.  The customer writes:

I mailed It worked. In a way. I was promised that I could essentially have as many replacements as I wanted until it was fixed, but it was clear that there was no way to guarantee that my new machine would be problem free, much as the {Gizmodo] experience with the Apple people in [Gizmodo’s] third article.

One Gizmodo reader has been doing some extensive testing on a pair of the defective units and has drawn some very interesting conclusions.  While many commenters here at DailyTech and elsewhere have dismissed the problem as merely defective LEDs (used to provide backlighting for the screen), the LEDs, according to this professional’s testing were fine, indicating problem was more complex.  According to the expert, the LEDs on the faulty units had a color temperature of around 9300K (blue light, not yellow), and within expected thresholds of +-10mcd brightness, +- 20nm in color.

Customers used to Apple’s tradition of tighter quality control are becoming extremely frustrated with the sad state of current affairs.  Writes one customer, “I feel that after sixteen years of possessing various Apple computers that never gave me one day’s interruption, I am being taken advantage of by Apple.”


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