When Apple's first generation of Intel-based laptops started rolling out, first with the MacBook Pro (http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardware/macbookpro.ars) and then the MacBook (http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardware/macbook.ars) a few months later, initial user reports seemed almost too good to be true. Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to run Mac OS X and Windows in a single bound! Initially, the transition to Intel was largely viewed as a success, at least in terms of product reviews. This was no small feat on Apple's part. Despite the fact that the company was transitioning to a new architecture, Apple chose to stick with the general appearance and design of their popular PowerBook line and make some tweaks to the iBook form factor. It seemed as though they had shoehorned the new architecture into the line without a hitch.
All of that changed after units started shipping in quantity. No computer company produces flawless products, but Apple has a reputation for being a cut above most computer companies. Yet here was the Macbook Pro "whining." Others claimed that the MacBook could burst into flames. Then MacBook owners began noticing discoloration on their cases. In this brief report we look at the biggest quality control problems we've seen and heard in recent months, then answer the question: are there quality control problems at Apple? We've wondered about that before (http://arstechnica.com/articles/columns/mac/mac-11032003.ars) and now we're raising the quesiton again."