2018 MacBook Pros may have secretly addressed flexgate issues

If you make a habit of following MacBook news, there's a good chance you've already heard of "flexgate." This latest design controversy centers around the failing displays of 2016-and-later MacBook Pros and blames the problem on short flex cables that need to wrap around the hinge to connect the display to the display controller board. Since the cable is too short, it's pulled tight around the controller board when the MacBook is opened, eventually wearing down and causing the display to fail.

Swapping out a simple display cable should be a quick and relatively inexpensive repair though, right? Nope. Since the cables are soldered to the board, installing a new one means replacing the entire display, which is not a cheap fix. As you might imagine, flexgate has been a major source of frustration for some MacBook users, and even more frustrating is the fact that Apple has yet to actually acknowledge the problem.

Despite that, Apple may have fixed the issue in 2018 MacBook Pros. iFixit, being the hardware sleuth that it is, has discovered that the display flex cables in 2018 MacBook Pros are 2mm longer than their predecessors. It doesn't sound like much, but it might be enough to ensure that these cables aren't pulled so tightly around the controller board when the display is open.

iFixit was able to confirm that the longer cables are present in 15-inch 2018 MacBook Pro models and pointed to a MacRumors thread where one user found a longer cable in their 13-inch MacBook Pro as well. The problem, of course, is that it's too early to tell if this extra length is enough to stop wear and tear on these cables and avoid display failure – we'll need to wait a year or two for 2018 MacBook Pro owners to put their computers through their paces to find out.

Even if this problem has been solved, there's still the question of what 2016 MacBook Pro owners are going to do about their failing displays. Unfortunately, with Apple seemingly refusing to acknowledge the problem beyond this ninja fix, there probably isn't a whole lot these MacBook owners can do at the moment. We'll see if that changes soon, because while it's nice to see these longer cables in current MacBook models, that doesn't really help the people who are already dealing with this expensive problem.