Apple makes great products.  That’s probably part of why I am writing this and you are reading it.  Apple’s MacBook Pros are the best in the business,  their support is second to none.  The Mac Pro workstations are incredible.  Their displays (while overpriced) are the best there is.  Etc etc. 

But Apple has failed so incredibly miserably on one very important piece of Pro equipment.  For anyone who needs to use a 30-inch monitor with any new Mac, you’ll need to purchase a certain notoriously horrific Apple part – the DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter.

Here’s the timeline of events for this particular piece of …. Apple equipment:

Early-October 2008 – Unibody MacBook Pros released.  Instead of having the built in ability to work on 30-inch monitors like previous DVI MacBooks and G4 Powerbooks, the new products use a new DisplayPort technology.  Apple sells the new solution, DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter, for $100.  It is relatively bulky and requires the use of a USB port to power the device.  People with 30-inch displays who want a new MacBook have no choice to to pay the extra $100 for the spawling mess of wires.  The product is supposed to arrive by the end of the month.

November 2008 – product is delayed for 2 months until after Christmas.  Those who bought new Apple MacBooks anticipating the adapter to be shipped within weeks are now forced to wait almost 3 months without using their $1000+ monitors.


Late December 2008 – Apple finally ships the DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter with Firmware 1.01.  Immediately, Apple’s message boards are alight with complaints of distortion without a known cause.  The issue goes on for months.  Apple tells people with 3rd party displays that the Displayport adapter doesn’t support them.  People with Cinema displays are sent new adapters which still don’t work.

March 2009 – Apple isues firmware version 1.2 replacements to affected users alongside new Mac Pro/DisplayPort and Mini/DisplayPort introductions.  Users of 1.2 adapters are still having problems.

Today –  Those with 30-inch displays (often high end customers) are still getting the distortion (though it has been reduced somewhat), almost a full year after the DisplayPort is introduced in Unibody MacBooks.  Apple has never issued a reason why these parts are defective, nor totally fixed the problem, nor issued an official recall. 

Currently on Apple’s Store, it is hard to find someone who has had success with the product Third party retailers are no different.  It is a dud.  And not just a failure but a failure to Apple’s most high end subset of customers.

Those with 1.01 firmware devices can get a 1.02 device exchange from Apple free after spending an hour or so on the phone with Apple support  – who incidentlly claim no knowledge of such issues.  They can also make a reservation at a genius bar at an Apple Store to get an exchange part.

In my 25 years with Apple products, this is by far the worst experience I’ve ever had. 


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