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Reports Surface of Faulty Core i7 iMacs

Shattered glass. Flickering displays. Non-booting machines. So-goes the list of maladies affecting Apple’s brand new quad-core 27” Core i7-based iMacs. Threads over on the Apple Support Discussion forums are alive with complaints and debate by affected users.

After hitting the power button, some owners hear the startup chime, but don’t get to boot successfully to their desktop. One particularly high-profile customer was Engadget, who took delivery of a machine that simply refused to boot. They didn’t even get as far as the teasing chime.

A video has surfaced on YouTube of a machine that does boot, but its display ducks out and “flashes” every so often, rendering it impractical (and uncomfortable) for any kind of actual use.

Several customers are reporting shattered or cracked glass on the bottom left hand corner of the iMac’s huge display.

There’s currently no official comment on the matter by Apple (I doubt there ever will be) but the favourite explanation floating around the intertubes is that the packaging for these computers is somehow flawed, leading to damage (visible and otherwise) of their precious contents while in transit.

Gizmodo says:

What’s most plausible is that the packaging just wasn’t designed to handle the size and weight of the giant 27-inch iMac as it gets tossed around the cab of a FedEx truck. Apple has so far been extremely responsive and effective in making repairs and exchanges, but it’s still a discomfiting sign.

This is the second wave of bad news regarding Apple’s new 27″ iMac lineup. Late last month reports surfaced on the Apple Support discussion website of incredibly sluggish Flash playback, and claims of a bug causing hard drives to spin down and even of a faulty Snow Leopard installation. You can read those discussion for yourself here and here.

So, if you bought one of these machines as a holiday gift for someone, it’s probably a good idea to open the box and take it for a test-drive, while there’s still time to get a replacement from Apple should the need arise.

Have you been affected by one of these faults?

22 Responses to “Reports Surface of Faulty Core i7 iMacs”

  1. I’m on my 4th, yes 4th imac.

    Imac 1: Clanking fan
    Imac 2: Dead Pixels
    Imac 3: Dented left bottom, Dead Pixels, EXTREMELY HOT
    Imac 4: Flickering and Bottoms screen being shown at the top. Did the update and more of the same.

    Scared to get number 5. I’m sorry but this computer was no where near ready for launch.

  2. i just got mine today at the apple store. i opened it up and seemed fine. I started downloading a game and i saw a bunch of horizontal flashes. They were here and there about 40 secs apart. It lasted for about 15 -25 mins then it stopped. I’m going to call the mac store today … it’s the new 27 inch imac….not a good first mac experience..

    • alex martucci

      …mine too…/ called apple…they were very nice..and are going exchange it….but it will take a few weeks….I waited 3 weeks to get it the first time…..so about 5 to 6 weeks…all together…..a real suck ball!

  3. Israel Romero

    Just got my core i7 yesterday and it had the flickering issue. I called apple right away and they told me they’ve never heard of these issues. they told me that it would take 2 weeks aprox for them to ship me a new one, at that point I asked for my money back. I’m gonna wait for the second revision of these iMacs to make my purchase.

  4. I just unpacked my new iMac and yes, it had a crack in the screen. I immediately called Apple and had a horrible experience with Customer Service. Meanwhile, my old G4 caught on fire! Talk about a bad Apple day! It might be time to switch back…

  5. The problem is that the Apple Store does not stock the 27″ iMac i7, which is the machine that seems plagued with problems. The only way to get one at this point is online.
    I have one on order, hopefully it comes to me in one piece and fully functional.

  6. I’d look into which shipping companies delivered the iMac’s. Sounds like the shippers abused the cargo in transit.

    Buy from an Apple store. Open the box and boot it up at the Apple store and then you know you’re golden.