MacBook discoloration despite ShieldZone Standard kit

I can not express my complete and utter amazement and irritation at this very moment concerning the white Apple MacBook. Exactly 10 days after sharing the discoloration issue select MacBook users were reporting, and 4 days after applying Shieldzones Standard Kit, I am in utter disbelief as I sit here next to the window staring at the yellow discoloration appearing underneath the ShieldZone film. Amazing! How does this MacBook plastic do it?!

discoloration underneath shieldzone

Words can not describe how displeased I am at this very moment with my MacBook. I support Apple, I love OSX, but this discoloration issue needs to be addressed. If a durable plastic film – similar to the protective film applied to automobiles – can not prevent further discoloration on the plastic shell, the discoloration must be a defect of the manufacturing process. The discoloration is not caused by oil or perspiration.

I dropped ShieldZone an email informing them of the discoloration. I’ve opened a thread in the Apple support forums. What we need is a resolution. What I don’t want is to have to send a work machine away to have Apple deem the issue as a cosmetic blemish due to improper care or “natural wear & tear”. What I don’t want is to be without a machine for up to two weeks. Where are the replacements? Digg this.

Apple doesn’t like the attention

apple account

I just noticed my Apple.com disccusions account has now be removed from the database. Trust me, I know what my username and password is. Apple obviously doesn’t want me participating in the discussion that I started concerning the discoloration.

As of 6/26, Apple has removed thread access for both user accounts under my name. The initial account as well as the second which I created after discovering I was blocked. I have no idea if the threads even continue to exist. I’ve scoured the boards and have seen no traces.

Let’s weigh the reports shall we?

Discuss - 24 Comments

  1. William says:

    Wow, that’s terrible. I guess this just shows that it’s not because of some people’s greasy hands and fingers 😛

  2. Nick says:

    Having worked in product engineering and manufacturing engineering, I’ve seen some crazy things, so I’ve got a couple ideas to toss around.

    My best bet is some sort of heat discoloration (which would only show on the white) that is centered in the area the hands rest on as they keep those areas somewhat hotter than the surrounding areas.

    Or, and if anyone has a new one they can refrain from using for a week, some kind of UV reaction that only shows up if used outside / near windows.

    Even with the shield, bizarre stuff happens at the microscopic / molecular level. My bet is a bad batch of plastic that just reacts odd.

    And don’t be surprised if Apple fixes the future manufacturing runs without ever revealing the root problem. A lot of times in engineering, we never do, we just make the processes more robust to control it.

  3. Derek says:

    My best bet is some sort of heat discoloration (which would only show on the white) that is centered in the area the hands rest on as they keep those areas somewhat hotter than the surrounding areas.

    Even with the shield, bizarre stuff happens at the microscopic / molecular level. My bet is a bad batch of plastic that just reacts odd.

    I would like to continue hoping that Apple does the right thing to resolve sucha small number of reports and to rectify the issue during future manufacturing processes. Btw, I rarely if ever use the MacBook outside or near the window. Like you, I believe this is some sort of heat issue interacting with the plastic. Something that should not be happening even on a limited basis.

  4. […] Read Derek’s report and see more pictures here: http://5thirtyone.com/archives/419 […]

  5. Derek says:

    It’s probably a reaction between the paint and the oils in your palm. Very odd.

    I’d love to accept that reason but the film assumingly prevents the oils on my hands from touching the plastic. Where is the reference that the palm rest is painted?

    Kinda funny, I found this post via Digg, I saw it and first thought “crap, I should tell that other 9rules dude from Seattle about this” before I realized I was on your site heheh.

    Yeh kinda surprised to see the story hit the front so quick. 😉

  6. Dude, that totally sucks. I’ve been eying my macbook constantly, wary of any signs of discoloration (none so far).

    Kinda funny, I found this post via Digg, I saw it and first thought “crap, I should tell that other 9rules dude from Seattle about this” before I realized I was on your site heheh.

    Congrads on getting Dugg, hopefully with your well documented attempt to protect against the staining you will see justice… and hopefully so will the rest of those with the discoloration issue.

  7. chad says:

    That’s very odd. I have a black macbook, so no problem here, but i would like to point out that the area that is discolored is not plastic. It is painted metal. It is also an area which never gets hot. It’s probably a reaction between the paint and the oils in your palm. Very odd.

  8. chris says:

    Chad, please do not post useless misinformation; it is obvious you understand next to nothing about the construction of your very own macbook if you own one at all. I don’t even want to challenge your statements, but no, it isn’t metal, and it isn’t painted.

  9. dan says:

    I’ve got the white MacBook, and I think i’ve been quite lucky. I’ve seen none of the bad symptoms so far ( discolouring, excessive overheat, mooing? o_O ).

    My power brick does whine a bit though.

  10. William says:

    Seems like Apple is really touchy about this whole discoloration issue. They deleted that huge thread about the discoloration in general.

  11. Derek says:

    Unbelievable right? Rather than informing Apple users that they are indeed aware of the issue, they simply lock discussion from escalating further. It’s moments like these when I force myselfl to ignore current issues concerning Apple hardware in order to continue enjoying the OSX “experience”.

  12. Poldo says:

    Derek, is this the InvisibleSHIELD you were using?

  13. Derek says:

    Yes, that is exactly what I used. Only the one I used was custom cut for a MacBook.

  14. wow dude, what have you started here…. all Apple Discussions are now closed off for anyone to add content too.

  15. Derek says:

    I smell censorship… 🙁

  16. according to Wired (http://blog.wired.com/cultofmac/#1511576) some people are just taking their discolored macs into The Apple Store and getting them replaced no questions or crap.

    “He didn’t even look at the MacBook to see the discolorations, he just gave me a new one,” the customer wrote in a post on Apple’s MacBook support forums.

  17. […] There have been pictures of white MacBooks with “oil” residue from hands resting on the notebook, and I can see small spots where this could eventually evolve into something nasty on mine. […]

  18. […] As stated on June 25th: If a durable plastic film – similar to the protective film applied to automobiles – can not prevent further discoloration on the plastic shell, the discoloration must be a defect of the manufacturing process. The discoloration is not caused by oil or perspiration. […]

  19. […] Re-read point one. Stop. Let it marinate for a little bit and consider re-reading my experiences. Now return and re-read point one. […]

  20. […] I’ve successfully collected enough data to conclude that it is ok to whine1 about Apple’s recent discoloration issue. What’s not to like about the service? Create clean attractive forms using an intuitive themeable interface my nephew could manhandle in a day. […]