Retina MacBook Pros inexplicably freezing for many users

Apple's Haswell-powered Retina MacBook Pro plagued by hangs and lockups, with no clear reason why and no consistent fix

The price of early adoption, especially if you're a Mac user, has once again reared its ugly head.

Apple's new line of Intel Haswell-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro models (vintage: late 2013) are apparently riddled with issues that cause the mouse, trackpad, and keyboard to stop responding.

Enough people are reporting the issue that a thread devoted to it on the Apple Support Communities forum has grown to 19 pages as of this writing.

System hang is the most obvious sign of a problem, but some users are also reporting an error message that reads, "The USB device Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad (Port 5 of Hub at 0x14000000) may have caused a wake by issuing a remote wakeup (2)." Long-pressing the power button to reboot sorts everything out, but at the cost of a reboot.

Some folks have reported that putting the system to sleep for anywhere from five to 15 minutes gets it to respond again. Another fix suggested by Apple support involves resetting the System Management Controller (SMC).

It's not clear what the exact source of the problem is -- whether it's the hardware per se or an issue with OS X Mavericks that emerges under certain conditions -- but it's only one of the most recent spate of issues that has buzzed out to annoy Apple users of late.

Also receiving a lot of press are the problems the Mavericks edition of Apple Mail has when working with Gmail via IMAP. Some of these may well be due to Gmail's own peculiar behaviors when accessed as an IMAP server, but there are enough quirks in Apple Mail to make it  at least as much an Apple Mail problem as it is a Gmail issue. (Joe Kissell and Jeff Gamet both discuss the problem and some solutions.)

Another Mavericks issue involves the update to iMovie, which sports a bug that turns many iMovie projects red. (Apparently it also affects some Final Cut Pro X projects, which hints at a deeper system-level problem.) Yet another recent MacBook Pro issue, which has spawned its own thread, involves Windows 8.1 failing to install on the same machine when using Boot Camp.

These bugs -- even if they do get fixed -- are an embarrassment; they're a black eye on the face of a company that has prided itself on consistently creating software and hardware for people who don't want to be bothered with the technical aspects of a computer. A big part of the iPad's success was down to how it made the end-user experience as closed-ended as possible; it exposed less functionality, not more. But that also meant less for the end-user to manage and more opportunities to concentrate on the things that mattered: apps and content.

Having a glitch like this happen to the MacBook Pro feels like a sign that Apple really does care more about the manicured-content experiences of the iPad than the content-creator environments of the MacBook Pro. But you can't have one without the other, since much of the way content is created for the former is through devices like the latter. The experiences people have with the MacBook Pro now need to be just as seamless as their iOS counterparts.

This story, "Retina MacBook Pros inexplicably freezing for many users," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.