Apple MacBook Pro (October 2016 onwards) users had been reporting issues with their display
Apple is yet to publicly acknowledge ‘Flexgate’
2018 MacBook Pro models use a slightly longer flex cable
It’s still too early to determine if it will actually solve the problem
Last year, some MacBook Pro users had reported issues with their laptop’s display. A distinctive stage-light effect appeared on their laptop’s display, followed by the backlight failing completely for some users. The problem was mainly reported on MacBook Pro models shipped after October 2016. The issue, most commonly referred to as ‘Flexgate’, may have been silently fixed by Apple with its 2018 MacBook Pro models. Last year’s MacBook Pro models are still fairly new to know if the problem has actually been fixed.
So what exactly is ‘Flexgate’? It appears that in an effort to make its laptops thinner, Apple had started using thin and fragile flex cables that are soldered to the display itself. These cables, wrapped around a small circuit board, are prone to damage as the laptop’s lid is opened and closed over a period of time. Eventually, the cable fails, causing the backlight to fail.
As a result, users need to swap the entire display instead of the tiny cable, resulting in massive repair costs.
Now, it seems like Apple might have fixed the issue in its new MacBook Pro models that were released last year. iFixit reports that the flex cable in the 2018 MacBook Pro models is indeed 2mm longer than the one in previous 2016 MacBook Pro models.
The extra length could give the backlight cable more room to go around the board, resulting in a more durable cable. But the cable still comes in close contact with the board. Since these 2018 MacBook Pro models are new, it’ll take some time to figure out if the new cables are also prone to the same wear-and-tear as older MacBook Pro models.
iFixit further adds that we’ll still have to wait another year or two to see how this change works for MacBook Pro users. 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.