From MacRumors' "Some Older Macs Reportedly Bricked After Installing macOS Monterey" posted Monday:
At least ten separate posts (1, 2, 3 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) on Apple Support Communities contain users complaining that as they were attempting to update their Mac to macOS Monterey, the Mac went completely black and they're unable to turn it on. One post in specific includes several comments from users also reporting similar issues. Reports on Twitter are also plentiful.
We've asked Apple about these anecdotal reports to see if there are any issues the company is aware of or guidance it has for people whose hardware stops responding to input after a software update. We also have our own recommendations, as well as some hypotheses about why these major updates sometimes seem to cause a higher-than-usual number of hardware problems. [12 hours later, no update with info from Apple, but ArsTechnica provides a link to "DFU" recovery mode instructions.]
From a friend of the blog:
I’m quite stunned at the lack of knowledge and deterioration by apple support and the so-called geniuses in/store these days. Their answer was to swap out the machine and forget about my data - whereas it proved recoverable after some research in just two hours after weeks of trying and diving into the file system problems going back to 2015 onward and getting exponentially worse in Big Sur.
From MacRumors' comments:
"Embarrassing, given the limited amount of hardware Apple has to support."
Indeed. Microsoft has to write an operating system that is stable on literally millions of different hardware combinations from hundreds of different vendors, whereas Apple only has a small device portfolio all of which is under their tight control and yet they still manage to mess things up. OK they're not going to catch everything, and nobody's perfect (Microsoft have caused the odd bricking event as well), but I think the order of the day is more beta testing, Apple's biggest problem is that their new OSes are often tied to a new hardware release which means upgrades are forced to release before they are properly tested and stable.
My take: I will note first that when the Google guys looked at the problem of customer support they saw right away that it didn't scale, and so they didn't bother. Jobs, to his credit, thought different. He wanted to "build motherhood into the machine" and then, when mother failed, hold users' hands as long as it took.
So, Tim, you have my sympathy. As I see it, Apple is facing three problems, only one of which is within Apple's control:
- Customer support at the billion- device level doesn't scale.
- Employees with Genius-level talent are hard to find and train -- and even harder to retain.
- Your hardware guys are releasing new machines too fast for the software teams to keep up.
It's got to the point where Apple Customer Support is advising customers to erase precious data that could have been saved. There are worse things in life, but that's pretty bad.