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Apple spends $10,000 to fix a Macbook issue that shouldn’t cost a cent

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  • 3 min read

When photographer Greg Benz’s MacBook Pro suddenly stopped working he did what any sensible person with a $7000 fully specced out MacBook Pro would do; turn it over to Apple support.

The issue? Benz’s Macbook screen wouldn’t come on. It remained dark no matter what he did. Both he and Apple failed to figure out what the issue was. Apple spent about two weeks trying to figure out the problem. The troubleshooting involved swapping the logic board twice and doing some cable replacements.

Eventually, Apple just replaced Benz’s machine with a similar unit. Since his laptop was under warranty, Benz didn’t have to pay anything. Had it been otherwise, the repairs would have cost him a whopping $10000. $3000 more than the actual machine itself.

In the end, when everything seemed figured out, someone at Apple decided to take another look at the old machine and finally found out what the issue was. Ready for it?

The display brightness was turned all the way down.

Yes. As shocking as it sounds, both Benz and Apple failed to figure this out.

Taking a step back, it isn’t anyone’s fault as here the solution was a bit more complex than just turning the brightness up. You see, on Benz’s MacBook, the brightness was controlled by the touch bar. As of a rare glitch, the touch bar only activates once you log in to the computer.

Since he couldn’t see the display he couldn’t log in, therefore the touch bar didn’t come on and hence he had no means of turning up the brightness.

Also read: iOS 13: 19 features unveiled at WWDC19

MacBook’s design under scrutiny

Apple spends $10,000 to fix a Macbook for an issue could be fixed for freeThis incident raises some serious questions about the new MacBook’s design. The absence of physical control buttons and the reliability of the touch bar come under serious criticism.

Now while the touch bar should have come on as soon as the OS booted up, due to some bug, it didn’t. This could also have happened due to a software update that changed the way the touch bar works.

If there were physical buttons present, Benz would have been able to fix his issue without a hiccup. This would not only have saved him a lot in repair costs – had his laptop been out of warranty – but more importantly, the two weeks worth of work and time that he spent away from his work computer.

In spite of all this, Benz still recommends the machine to his fellow photographers. Saying that he absolutely loves the performance on this machine.

However, this event does serve as a reminder to everyone that physical buttons still have their own place.

Also read: Apple AirPods 2: Are they worth it?

You can read Benz’s review of the MacBook Pro here.

H/t Business Insider

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: