Apple has finally fessed up to the terrifying failure (read smoke, sparks, fire) of their beautiful but fragile MagSafe power connectors. The combination of a slim, flexible cable, tiny but firm-gripping magnetic connector, and inadequate strain-relief causes the wires inside to burst their sheaths, short out, and burn. I suspect that Apple’s built-in winding “ears” have caused folks to wind the cables too tightly when traveling with their adapters as well.
Although mine remains pristine, I’ve been wary of the delicate connector since day 1. Making matters worse, Apple has patented the MagSafe connection, so no third-party alternatives are available.
Up until yesterday, Apple refused to admit that their design caused these failures, and folks report mixed success in securing replacements (under warranty) when they have failed. Purchasing a new power supply from Apple is an $80 proposition, but many have been forced to do just that.
However, as of yesterday, Apple officially announced that they will evaluate and replace defective power supplies whether under warranty or not. All one has to do is bring the unit (not the computer) in to an Apple store’s Genius Bar. I imagine they will be replacing quite a few of these in the next month or so, and supplies might become scarce.
What I’d really like to see is a redesign of the thing to make it less prone to failure. The MacBook Air’s connector is angled so the cord runs alongside the machine instead of sticking out, a positive move in my eyes. But the Air uses a low-wattage supply so one cannot use it with a MacBook, let alone a MacBook Pro.