A1708 / EMC 2978 — Released October 2016, this entry-level MacBook Pro retains its traditional function keys (as opposed to the OLED Touch Bar). The function key version packs an Intel Core i5 and two Thunderbolt 3 ports.

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Moving part somewhere in the MacBook

Hello,

My MacBook Pro 13" 2016 Function Keys has a moving part in somewhere. It feels like it moves somewhere around the fan (middle-left), but today I went to an Apple Store and after discussing with some colleagues I was told the moving part is the webcam module. The guy said that in every new MacBook Pro the webcam module sits loose in the body and thus it is able to move. It is hard to feel/hear where the sound comes from so I was not able to contradict his words. I've had contact several times with an authorised seller and online Apple service. In the Amac (authorised seller) we were NOT able to reproduce the ticking sound/moving part, however the guy at the Apple Store today told me he did reproduce the problem in another MacBook so it was completely normal. I posted my findings to a Dutch Apple community site (OneMoreThing) and a person responded his MacBook was fine and another one responded that he doubt it that Apple would put the webcam loose in its case/screen.

So my question is (sorry for the long post): Can someone confirm (at fixit) that the webcam module sits loose in its case/screen and thus if it is true what has been told to me. Others are of course also more than welcome to comment!

Thanks in advance

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It seems to be a light diffuser in/behind the LCD panel. This is not glued into place and thus able to move slightly, with some MacBooks moving more than others. Also temperature may be a reason for rattling becoming louder sometimes, while certain materials expand and the space that the diffuser has becomes larger (thermal expansion). I can't confirm nor deny whether the webcam module has also a role in this rattling sound, however when tilting and thus rattling the image in Photo Booth does not stutter. That would indicate the webcam module does not have a role in this and thus only caused by a certain part (diffuser!?) in the screen. As far as I understood this loose part is not harmful and relatively normal, but a quick visit to a Genius Bar is never a wrong decision if you're doubtful.

Video below shows the rattling sound this thread is about.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmL7KXCM...

Step 13 shows the diffuser.

MacBook Pro Retina Display Teardown

Other threads on this topic.

https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/...

https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/...

https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/455...

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mmm...

So the backlight parts are not bonded to the LCD as done in the older systems, and this backlight defuser assemblage is floating. While I can see that as being the issue here, I'm surprised Apple didn't buttress the assembly with some soft foam blocks so it didn't slide. That in my opinion is poor design.

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have you taken the cover off and had a look?

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Yes I have taken the bottom cover off and I was not able to find anything. Shaking when bottom cover is off doesn't help because you shake the whole device and thus impossible to focus and look if something inside moves. Keep in my mind that I only took of the cover and was very careful, so I did not take some parts out to look underneath. The part that moves definitely has some weight to it, thats one of the reasons I doubt it is the webcam module. Also when I have Photo Booth open and I slowly tilt the MacBook and it 'ticks'/moves, the camera doesn't stutter so it is almost impossible that is the webcam.

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Don't do anything more here! You don't want to void your AppleCare.

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While your system does have some moving parts... I have never heard anyone use the iSight camera as the reason of being loose! Thats just BS! Sorry

Are you sure you aren't confusing the Touch Pads Taptic Engine piston which does float a bit if you shift the system when not powered.

Bring the system back to the Apple Store and have the so called Genius encounter the issue on your system then go to one of the systems on display. I bet you won't encounter it on it on the display unit.

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Nope, I have been to a Genius Bar and the guy there told me it was the webcam that you hear/feel moving. After some research and looking on other forums I found out that I may be the light disperser or something like that. There are more videos and threats about it on the internet. A guy on a forum who works at a Apple repair center told me that it indeed is the webcam module/lcd, which Apple put loose on purpose for minimising damage when dropping the device. Sounded weird to me but on the internet several sources say it is normal, some MacBooks have it worse than others.

Thanks for your comment!

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@gillz - I don't see how a floating backlight would minimize damage if the system was dropped. The physics here doesn't add up.

More likely it was a way to construct the thinner lid. In the older versions the LCD was bonded to the backlight so it was one monolithic module mounted to the lid. It sounds like the backlight is now its own module (floating) behind the mounted LCD panel.

The thunk and the amount of shift for it to move tells me its something large so it couldn't be the iSight camera alone as that is very light. In the older systems the iSight camera does float held in merely in a sandwich between the LCD frame and the cover glass. It doesn't make sense mounting it to the backlight but I guess its possible. If it were then if you moved the system about the camera image would shift as the assembly slid, that won't be good. So I think its still mounted to the front cover glass.

I see this as a design defect here. Someone should have noted it and rigged some sort of bumper buffer to stabilize the part.

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I more than agree with you, physics just don't add up. iSight camera would be too light to make the loud rattle + as I said to image in Photo Booth doensn't stutter, so that part should not be the problem.

But why wouldn't Apple fix this because in my eyes, if it's the diffuser, it is a design flaw. All Apple devices I've used in my life I experienced as solid. A solid block of aluminium. And this thing just rattles like crazy. Just a minor bumper of something to the sides would reduce the noise to almost zero.

It's hard to argue with a genius behind the bar so I guess if it isn't harmful and relatively normal its fine for me, but for sure I will test some demo models in stores if I come across.

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Gilles will be eternally grateful.
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