Apple Releases Firmware Update for Flickering iMacs

Apple released a firmware update on Dec. 21, in response to complaints that some of its new 27-inch iMacs were arriving with flickering screens.

Apple released a firmware update on Dec. 21, in response to complaints that the displays on some of its 27-inch iMac desktops were flickering.

The update applies to graphics firmware on ATI Radeon HD 4670 and 4850 graphics cards.

Apple introduced the 27-inch iMacs on Oct. 20, offering a model with either a 3.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor or a 2.8GH Intel Core i7 quad-core processor. The quad-core models were particularly slow to ship, and on Dec. 13 an Apple spokesperson told a CNET reporter that, "The new iMac has been a huge hit and we are working hard to fulfill orders as quickly as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience or delay this may cause our customers."

Click here to view images of Apple's new 27-inch iMacs.

Beyond the slow shipments, complaints began to arise from Apple customers who said the new iMacs were arriving with cracked screens, with screens tinged with yellow or with screens that flickered. Support forums on the Apple Website stretched for dozens of pages, with customers detailing their desktops' ails.

Apple offered no comment or apology on its site, but explained the firmware update will "address issues that may cause image corruption or the display to flicker."

The Oct. 20 introduction of the new iMacs - which came with news of updates to the Mac Mini and MacBook Pro, as well as the introduction of the Magic Mouse, the first mouse with multitouch technology - came a day after Apple announced quarterly profits of $1.67 billion.

On Oct. 20, Brian Marshall, an analyst with Broadpoint AmTech wrote in a research note, "In our view, Apple is the best technology company on the planet .... It is our view that [Apple] has the ability to potentially double its computing market share on a global basis from [approximately] 4 percent today to 8 percent over the next five years."