In a well-documented controversy, some MacBook owners had been complaining of a “flexgate” issue, where the thin cabling on the insides of the laptop would give out and eventually cause a distortion effect the display. It turns out that Apple might have been aware of the problem all along, and quietly addressed it in the 2018 MacBook Pro, according to iFixit.
Though Apple has yet to officially acknowledge the flexgate issue, iFixit finds that Apple is apparently using a longer display cable mechanism in the 2018 MacBook Pro. Measuring in with a full 2mm length difference compared to the cables found on board the 2016 MacBook Pro, it is more resistant to stress than its predecessors. The longer cable length is also present on both the 15-inch model, as well as the 13-inch model of the 2018 MacBook Pro.
“This is significant because it gives the backlight cable more room to wrap around the board and not come into contact with the board as the laptop is opened past 90 degrees. … The longer cable definitely gives more room to breathe around the board, but it’s still in such close contact with the board that it’s impossible to tell whether it’s rubbing on the board at any point,” explains Taylor Dixon, teardown engineer at iFixit
The choice of this type of cable had allowed Apple to keep the design of the MacBook thin, but the cables eventually give out as the lid of the laptop is repeatedly closed and opened. Even though the cables in the 2018 MacBook Pro are longer, there is still the possibility that it could eventually fail. Users with MacBook Pro models from 2016 had reported cables gave out after just two years, so 2018 MacBooks are still a bit young to be certain if the problem is indeed fixed.
A website dedicated to flexgate provides more details on the stage light effect, and a call for MacBook owners to sign a petition so Apple can fix the problem under an extended warranty program. Currently, a fix for MacBooks impacted by flexgate would cost as much as $700. Given the new MacBooks’ low reparability score, this all remains something that we hope can officially be addressed in the 2019 versions of the laptop.