This week, Apple introduced its self-repair program for the current Mac platform. Starting with the M1 power MacBook Pro and MacBook Air notebooks, users can order replacement parts, tools and guides to update and repair their own machines.
Unfortunately, Apple’s approach to user fixes leaves a lot to be desired from a practical standpoint.
The team at iFixit took a closer look at the battery replacement process – what many would consider an obvious choice of part to replace. This makes the process of shutting down a component that naturally degrades over time laughable at best:
“At the time of writing, Apple won’t sell you a replacement MacBook Pro battery. They sell you a “Top Case with Battery and Keyboard.” So their guide has you remove literally every component from the top case. The laptop is built on the top case, so you got to him, you have to dismantle the whole thing.”
Consumers have to overcome a number of psychological hurdles to replace a laptop battery. First up is the process guide.; The all-powerful 162-page battery replacement guide guides them through the process. The price of a new assembly for that battery? $527 for the top case parts and another $50 for Apple’s recommended tools… though you’ll get a generous $88 refund if you return the replaced components.
Why is the process so complicated? Because Apple designed the M1 MacBook Air and M1 MacBook Pro to have their batteries in those inaccessible and inconvenient places. The design is inherently hostile to simple battery replacement.
Apple could just as easily have started the M1 MacBook design with instructions to “make it easier and cheaper to replace key components” like the battery.
For a company that likes to lean on its green credentials and eco-friendly options, battery replacement is one of the easiest ways to extend the life of a laptop. It’s becoming more portable, it’s becoming more efficient, and it’s much cheaper, both financially and environmentally, to get a battery than to buy a new laptop.
Even if most consumers didn’t take advantage of the option to change the battery at home – even if it was as simple as unscrewing the case, popping out the connector and replacing the part, it would reduce the workload and complexity of the device. first and third party repair centers.
Apple had an opportunity to change the consumer market when it launched the first Apple Silicon laptops. When it comes to performance, the ARM-based chipset has done it internally. It’s both unfortunate and a huge missed opportunity that Apple hasn’t taken steps to make its laptops more accessible and user-friendly.
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