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Apple silently fixed the ‘flexgate’ issue without even acknowledging it as an issue


2018 was the year when Apple was bombarded with complaints about an issue pertaining to MacBook Pro models made in 2016 and later, referred to as ‘flexgate‘.

If you’re unaware of ‘flexgate’, in a nutshell, after about two years of regular use involving opening and closing the laptop, a number of users noticed their displays beginning to produce a sort of “stage light” effect that resulted in too much of the display’s backlight bleeding through the bottom bezel of the panel.

2016 MacBook Pro with touchbar.

This was being caused due to the damage incurred by the flex cable that connects the display and the display controller board placed under the touch bar.

Well-reputed teardown website iFixit now reports that they have discovered that the 2018 Apple MacBook Pro models have quietly addressed the ‘flexgate’ issue affecting thousands of Apple MacBook Pro units from 2016 onwards. To address the wear on the flex cable (which is where ‘flexgate’ got its name from), Apple ensured that the 2018 MacBook Pro features a 2 mm longer cable than those in earlier models.

The flex cable on the 2016 and 2018 variants of the MacBook Pro compared. Image: iFixit

Apple: Fix all MacBook Pro 2016 and later with stage light effect or backlight shutdown #flexgate – Sign the Petition! 通过 @Change

— Ziqi (@ziqiwang) February 28, 2019

But 2 mm doesn’t sound like much, does it? Well, as per iFixit teardown engineer Taylor Dixon, the extra length is “significant” in term of how it works. Dixon states that the 2 mm extension gives the backlight cable more room to wrap around the controller board as the laptop is opened.

However, what nobody’s been able to ascertain yet is whether the longer flex cable actually fixes the issue altogether or whether it only delays the stage lighting effect spoken of earlier.

“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,” says Dixon.

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