Tech News

Apple Finally Addresses Flexgate with New MacBook Pro Repair Program

Hot on the heels of a new MacBook Pro with even more “improvements” to the cursed keyboard, Apple has launched yet another repair program—this time for the fragile display flex cable on newer 13” MacBook Pros. It only covers 13″ models from 2016, while we know other MacBook Pros suffer from this issue.

2016 MacBook Pro display cables

This program addresses the issue behind “Flexgate.” Newer MacBook Pros (starting with 2016 models) use flexible ribbon cables to connect their displays to a control board beneath the Touch Bar (or where the Touch Bar would be, just beneath the display, on non-Touch-Bar models). The cables’ loose wrapping around the control board tightens and loosens with the opening and closing of the laptop, subjecting them to stress. Fatigue and tearing first causes the screen backlight to partially fail, often causing a “stage lighting” effect; over time, the screen usually dies entirely.

Ruler showing longer display cable in 2018 MacBook Pro

Apple quietly made changes in its 2018 MacBook Pro by using longer ribbon cables. Presumably, these longer cables will also be present in the 2019 model introduced this week. 

The program Apple announced today only covers 13-inch models. But we know for a fact that the issue also affects the 15-inch variant for 2016. 

This repair program is a long time coming, and a good first step in addressing Flexgate. But we’re not impressed that Apple isn’t covering all the known affected models.

It wouldn’t be surprising, however, for Apple to quietly add more models to the program as time goes on, just like it has done with its keyboard repair program by recently tacking on the 2018 MacBook Air and Pro.