Reports Surface of Faulty Core i7 iMacs

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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?

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