Firmware Update Could Maybe Resolve One of iMac’s Problems, At Least

If you’re having problems with your new 27-inch iMac, you’ll be interested to know that Apple (s aapl) released a fix via Software Update for the machines that’s said to resolve screen flicker issues. Now your expensive new purchase will only disappoint you in two or three other ways.

Many users are also reporting issues with cracked screens and yellow tinting on the displays, with a gradient from cool to warm as you move from top to bottom down the monitor. I had the latter issue on two replacement iPhone 3GSes, too, so I can’t help but wonder if Apple’s increased ability to move product isn’t affecting quality control.

Apple’s also passing the buck in the description of what the new fix for the software-based flicker problem actually does. To wit:

The 27-inch iMac Graphics Firmware Update applies to the graphics firmware on ATI Radeon HD 4670 and 4850 graphics cards to address issues that may cause image corruption or the display to flicker.

Elsewhere, the company notes that the firmware update isn’t a cure-all:

If your screen remains black after applying the updater or if you continue to experience image corruption or display flickering after successfully completing this update, contact AppleCare or an Apple Authorized Service Provider.

So not only does Cupertino seem to be blaming ATI for the issue, it’s not actually promising to necessarily fix anything with this update, either. Whether Apple goes with ATI (s ati) or NVIDIA (s nvda), it just can’t seem to avoid graphics card-related issues. At least this time around it didn’t take two or three years for Apple to acknowledge the problem. Still, sales of the 27-inch iMac have been halted, which probably isn’t making consumers or Apple very happy.

Let us know if you’ve tried out the update, and whether your problems have been resolved following its installation. I’ve heard from at least one or two people that they haven’t noticed any improvements. One thing’s for sure: Apple has to nip iMac-gate in the bud before further damaging its quality and reliability reputation.