Apple Quietly Addresses 'Flexgate' Display Failure Issue With MacBook Pro Redesign: iFixit

MacBook Pro teardown 2

MacBook Pro teardown 2

The problem is labeled "flexgate" and refers to the stage light effect that appears at the bottom of the display after typical, everyday use. As a result, there's less strain put on the cable when the laptop's lid is opened, thereby reducing the rate of failure over time. Presumably, this contact is what led to the wear, tear, and eventual failure of the cable-though the exact cause of the failure is tough to pin down.

Despite that, Apple may have fixed the issue in 2018 MacBook Pros. iFixit, being the hardware sleuth that it is, has discovered that the display flex cables in 2018 MacBook Pros are 2mm longer than their predecessors.

"Since we were just wrapping up writing the fix manual for the 2018 model anyway, we checked inside our 2018 15" MacBook Pro again to measure its cable against its 2016 predecessor-and found the 2018 cable was, in fact, a full 2mm longer. According to iFixit (via The Verge), the company now uses a slightly longer cable that connects the display and the display controller board on the device to get around the problem.

MacBook Pro Flexgate

It's a pretty easy fix by the looks of it, but for an after-market fix the entire screen needed to be replaced to repair the cable. Of course, these cables are soldered into the laptop's logic board, and therefore can not be replaced without swapping out a new display entirely. As you might imagine, flexgate has been a major source of frustration for some MacBook users, and even more frustrating is the fact that Apple has yet to actually acknowledge the problem. We'll see if that changes soon, because while it's nice to see these longer cables in current MacBook models, that doesn't really help the people who are already dealing with this expensive problem.

"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", said iFixit teardown engineer Taylor Dixon.

Because this new cable is still so close to the logic board, it's impossible to know whether the cable experiences friction at any point when opening and closing the laptop. Meanwhile, Apple is yet to acknowledge the issue and users are left with no choice but to either wait or pay the full amount for a complete replacement of the display.

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