back to article Don't crack that Mac: Almost NOTHING in new Retina MacBook Pros can be replaced

Apple's new MacBook Pro laptops with Retina displays pack more punch than ever before – Cupertino described last year's 15-incher as the "best computer Apple has ever made," and this year's Haswellified model improves on it. But when it comes to taking them apart and fixing them, the new designs are more locked down than ever …


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  1. William Donelson

    It's not a PC, this is for real humans, not hack-a-whacks.

    If you are worried about support, AppleCare is by far the best-rated support in the history of computing.

    Jeez. Anything to bash a Mac for a headline...

    1. Kaltern

      I don't think Applecare can replace a knackered battery, or offer a swift RAM upgrade eh? Problem with the trackpad, and just out of warranty? Of course, sir, we will happily fix that for you. Would you like to pay £1000 with Visa or Mastercard?

      1. Lusty

        All the prices are on the web. None of them are £1000 even after your AppleCare ends.

        1. DavCrav

          "All the prices are on the web. None of them are £1000 even after your AppleCare ends."

          My netbook's LCD cable failed while I was in Vietnam last month. I showed it to the desk clerk at the hotel, he got on his motorbike, four hours later it was fixed, £18. Just saying.

          1. kwhitefoot
            Thumb Up

            Where did you stay?

            You should give the hotel some publicity by telling us where it is and what it's called.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I've seen friends have Macs repaired by Apple out of warranty (and at least they will do it) - one had a hard drive replaced for about £10 more than I could even buy the bare drive for and they did the replacement, reinstalled the OS and advised on recovery using TimeMachine.

          Another time they replaced the battery - yes genuine batteries are more expensive but only about the same that you would pay HP or someone else for an original battery.

          Plus don't forget there are 3rd party options / repair shops.

      2. Tapeador

        This is England: the Sale Of Goods Act implies a term into all contracts for consumer goods wherein it must be reasonably durable (i.e. considering all factors including the cost), and which permits small claims cases against the company for up to 6 years after the date of purchase. A £1k laptop ought to last 5 years plus. Any less with careful use gives rise to liability for Apple to either repair, replace, or pay a partial refund based on reasonable expected lifetime less a deduction precisely pro-rata for usage, e.g. 5-6 years less however many you had it for.

        So all this Cupertinian non-repairability nonsense just doesn't work in the English legal system. They'll be the ones footing the bill if people pursue their legal rights.

        Alternatively, ensure you pay for it on a credit card because the CC provider has joint liability with Apple.

        1. Mage

          This is England?

          I think you'll find it applies not just to G.B. but entire UK. Actually it's an EU directive that UK accepted. Applies in most of EU and some European countries not in EU. Probably though the Laptop only has to work for 2 years. Though claims for losses / injury caused are valid up to 6 years.

          Apple already got in trouble in Italy for selling so called "warranties" for inside the two years. They must have been studying PC world/Currys and Argos.

          1. Tapeador

            Re: This is England?

            Hi Mage, you're quite right about the so-called "warranties", i.e. Applecare, being an unconscionable bargain and likely a transaction which could be mostly voided by the English courts.

            However, I'm afraid it's nothing to do with the EU directive, this is the Sale of Goods Act 1893 as amended and reinterpreted through the common law. Additionally, the EU directive which mandates that goods must "conform to contract" for two years, isn't a maximum OR a minimum lifetime: directives never stop EU member states from having more extensive consumer protection, which the UK has, and "conform to contract" means "be reasonably durable considering the cost", which could mean it only need last for a day, if it only cost one Euro.

            Claims for injury are barred after 3 years in the UK rather than 6 by the way. As for the above law applying throughout the UK, the "English legal system" is how we describe the law covering England and Wales, because Scotland have their own court system, who may do things differently.

          2. deadlockvictim Silver badge

            Re: This is England?

            Mage» not just to G.B. but entire UK

            And the difference between the G.B. and the entire UK is what? Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands?

            Just curious.

          3. John Stirling

            Re: This is England?

            Uh, no.

            EU wide two year warranty bought in following the 1999 directive gives two years. Scotland gives 5 years, England gives 6. The latter two coming from the Sale of Goods Act 1979, and the Supply of Goods & Services Act 1982.

            The crappy EU extension is occasionally used by shops and manufacturers to wriggle out of their legal obligations when people don't know their rights, but I'm afraid you are wrong. England is indeed the consumer rights capital of the world. In that one incredibly narrow respect anyway. Even better than GB, UK or EU.

            I have no clue about the Welsh, or Irish.

            That isn't a comment about consumer protection by the way, just a broad statement.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


        3. Roger Gann

          Almost ...

          Your contractual nexus is with the place that sold you the defective goods, not the manufacturer. So unless you bought the goods from an Apple Store, Apple wouldn't necessarily be a party to a Sale of Goods action.

      3. kwhitefoot

        Warranty is usually not important. Assuming you are in, and bought the device in, the EU or Scandinavia, especially the UK or Norway you should stand on your Sale of Goods Act rights and demand a repair or replacement on the grounds that goods of this class are expiected to have (in Norway at least) at least a five year lifetime. Of course after the first year or so you can't expect the seller to bear the whole cost unless you can demonstrate that the good were not of merchantable quality but you certainly should not have to pay the full cost of replacement or repair. Perhaps I'm just lucky to live in a country (Norway) where the law is on my side and suppliers take their responsibilities seriously. For example I bought an high end AUS motherboard, AMD 64 bit CPU and a good chunk of RAM from Komplett in Norway, Three years later it failed and I couldn't figure out what was wrong, Komplett have all my order history on line so I simply logged in, found the order and submitted a failure report and asked what, if anything they could do.

        After a couple of emails to clarify what might or might not be wrong they said send it back. A week later I had an email saying they had sent the full purchase price to my bank account.

        Needless to say I a good chunk of it at Komplett buying a replacement.

        And of course here is the usual disclaimer: I am only affiliated with Komplett as a satisfied customer.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          People miss the point of Applecare - it's your statutory rights (of course) PLUS much more - for instances software support and quick replacement - none of this 3 week turn-around you get with other people.

          Also Applecare Plus on the new iPhone gives accidental cover insurance - 2 instances of accidental damage over 2 years with a £50 excess I believe.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Sales of Goods Act potentially covers you for 6 years though. My 3 year old iMac died and they replaced the PSU and logic board for nothing. Invoice said £672, but they covered it no questions asked.

    2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Of course in the real world, inhabited by the real humans you seem to contend this is aimed at, even the most dense and unfocussed realise that they can extend the life of their expensive hardware by replacing ram or replacing the harddrive at relatively little cost, both to themselves - as the cost of a new speedy large drive is significantly less than a new laptop - and to the environment - as they don't simply throw out an entire computer just to buy the latest new piece of shiny, overpriced kit from the world's most effective tat marketer just to get an incremental capacity upgrade.

      1. Paul Renault the real world...

        Yay for hardware that's make to last, to be repaired, and upgraded.

        Yay for manufacturers who provide parts lists and service manuals.

        Definitely not a Apple fanboi.

      2. stu 4

        "Of course in the real world, inhabited by the real humans you seem to contend this is aimed at, even the most dense and unfocussed realise that they can extend the life of their expensive hardware by replacing ram or replacing the harddrive at relatively little cost, both to themselves - as the cost of a new speedy large drive is significantly less than a new laptop - and to the environment - as they don't simply throw out an entire computer just to buy the latest new piece of shiny, overpriced kit from the world's most effective tat marketer just to get an incremental capacity upgrade."

        eh ?

        when you want more power in your car, you don't throw it away and buy a new one do you ?

        it's called upgrading - you flog it (and apples have the highest resale prices) and get a new one.

        FFS. I realise apple didn't 'go with the flow' PC wise, but there are FA other consumer products which are upgradable - why the f&ck do you expect a laptop to be????

        1. M Gale

          FFS. I realise apple didn't 'go with the flow' PC wise, but there are FA other consumer products which are upgradable

          [citation needed]

          - why the f&ck do you expect a laptop to be????

          Uhm, because every other laptop is?

        2. Dave K

          I've just upgraded the RAM in my laptop from 2GB to 6GB, and replaced the mechanical 160GB HDD with a 128GB SSD. Took all of 5 minutes and has revolutionised the performance of it. It also only cost me around £100 to do. Changing the battery is also a 30 second job if required.

          Why? Because it's a Thinkpad, not a Macbook Pro. I could also do the same with laptops from Dell, Samsung, Fujitsu, HP, oh you get the point. With a Macbook in the future, I'm either stuck with crappy performance, or facing a £1,000 replacement. I don't expect to be able to replace everything, but a couple of the basics would be a start!

      3. SolidSquid

        They wouldn't even need to replace the parts themselves, if Apple were using the same general purpose parts for things like ram and hard disks then you could go to third party repair shops and get them to do the job cheaper than Apple can. All this does is lock people into going to Apple for any repairs they want, meaning Apple can charge whatever the hell they want for the service

        Like you say, a decent computer shouldn't be a disposable commodity, thrown away after just one part starts to act up. It should be able to be repaired and upgraded to remain useful for a decent period of time

    3. Gene Cash Silver badge

      It dissuaded me

      I was honestly considering one, as the display is really nice, but looking at this, I realize it's not such a good idea.

      1. Hans 1

        Re: It dissuaded me

        Same here ... utter retarded ...

        One thing the guyz in Cupertino have forgotten is that a big part of their customer base is composed of successful and highly trained IT guyz - these they have lost with this move.

        And as for Surface (1&2), they are crap for other reasons ...

        I guess I will have to go the Hackintosh route ... this is ridiculous because European Union is considering legislation to fight planned obsolescence.

        The sad part is that this comes from the company who was the first, to my knowledge, to have dismantle instructions in the manual of a laptop. No warranty-voiding screws ....

        1. SuccessCase

          Re: It dissuaded me

          "this is ridiculous because European Union is considering legislation to fight planned obsolescence."

          OSX Mavericks works on all Apple machines from 2007 and forward. That's not bad considering. Unfortunately on the hardware side, they are now planning the inside of laptops down to the last millimetre. Every component is shuffled into a position where it can sit butted up against other components, with no gaps in between. They have design software including algorithms to solve some seriously complex simultaneous equation for mapping the placement of components 3D space. When they want to make that Laptop that bit lighter and thinner, the software "tells" them "if you need this space to increase the size of the battery, you have to remove connector x, y, z and have a soldered connection" or "if you are not going to save space by not including a chassis for the battery where you screw the battery in place, you are going to have to glue it in." That is how we have devices as slim as the MacBook Air on the market. Serviceability from here on out, is a secondary priority.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. t.est

            Re: It dissuaded me

            Early 2009 that is.


          3. bygjohn

            Re: It dissuaded me

            Actually Mavericks and Mountain Lion before it won't work on plastic MacBooks from early 2008, due to the integrated graphics no being able to handle everything that these later OSes offload onto the graphics processors.

        2. h3

          Re: It dissuaded me

          Most Apple stuff is used by Designers and Media type people. Followed by hipsters. The people using it for Pro use are a very small part.

          Doesn't even have focus follows mouse (Which is absolutely needed to be efficient using it as a desktop *NIX).

          The Mac Pro line is totally neglected. (People using it for Logic or video editing or whatever need loads of screens and power).

          One application per screen it is designed for.

          1. PJI

            Re: It dissuaded me

            >> Doesn't even have focus follows mouse (Which is absolutely needed to be efficient using it as a desktop *NIX).

            It does if you use X11 and twm or whatever windows manager you care to install (twm is there by default). Just set your X11/twm configuration correctly, as usual under every UNIX and cygwin..

            Or, use this (took not much longer than the time to type the search string to find it) from a console session (xterm or terminal application):

            $ defaults write FocusFollowsMouse -string YES

          2. t.est

            Re: It dissuaded me

            Focus follow mouse, is only irritating in *nix.

            However in OSX you don't need to focus on a window to scroll in it.

          3. Philip Lewis

            Re: It dissuaded me

            I hated focus follows mouse back in the old days, and I hate it now. It is a broken idea.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > It's not a PC, this is for real humans

      Calm down my dear, we're just talking computers here. Not trying to sell your organs or anything.

      > Anything to bash a Mac for a headline...

      What do hamburgers have to do with it?

      1. 404

        re: ac 20:25

        'What do hamburgers have to do with it?

        FYI McRib is back! Saw the sign today, makes me happy...


        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. RAMChYLD

          Re: re: ac 20:25

          >FYI McRib is back! Saw the sign today,

          > makes me happy...

          Are you sure it's back? The local McDonalds just pulled it late last month after offering it for about 3 weeks :/

          Anyways, even if they replace the Mac, what about the software on them, particularly those published by Popcap/EA and has the nonsensical 5-activations limit? I lost one activation for Bejeweled2 when I changed Macs (alright, changed from a Hackintosh to a proper Mac Mini), and I'm not pleased at the fact. I'm going to lose another one for just wiping my Mac Mini while upgrading to Mavericks.

          1. Hoe

            Re: re: ac 20:25

            That is outrageous and cannot be legal, who is going to take them to court over a game(s) worth a couple of quid though?

            Anyway if you did, you'd probably get sued for infringing one of their pattents when you turned up to court in a suit. :)

          2. M Gale

            Re: re: ac 20:25

            particularly those published by Popcap/EA and has the nonsensical 5-activations limit?

            I agree that this is complete crap, along with any other kind of online DRM bullshit. It has nothing to do with piracy, and everything to do with dictating what you can do with what you have bought.

            However, companies are only pulling this shit, because people keep buying it. Just remember that computer games are toys, and there are some awesome toys out there that you can buy for less than the cost of a "AAA" title from EA, Valve, Ubisoft and whoever else likes to infect their toys with malware.

          3. Ilsa Loving

            Re: re: ac 20:25

            What's this now? I stopped buying EA products a long time ago because they have a long and cherished history of douchebag-ery. Sounds like nothing has changed.

      2. kwhitefoot

        Have a beer on me.

        The post is required, and must contain letters.

    5. M Gale

      It's not a PC, this is for real humans, not hack-a-whacks.

      Don't go making excuses for shitty, corner-cutting, penny-pinching design. This is a "premium" product with an associated price tag. I'm sure they could afford some screws.

      1. Scorchio!!

        Now there's the thing; this might on 'cheap' electronics be seen as indicative of poor quality, but the designer label changes all that and makes it desirable.

    6. LDS Silver badge

      It's funny...

      ... if it's a Surface Pro 2 to get a rating of 1 it's because it's crap, etc. etc... if it's an Apple product then it doesn't care, really, it's for humans, etc. etc....

      Anyway I guess we'll have to get used to this kind of engineering, it's cheaper and Chinese drones can be trained more easily to glue parts together than assembling them carefully (and slower) using more expensive structures. And if a repair costs you a lot, the better, they will sell you a new device.

    7. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      "It's not a PC, this is for real humans, not hack-a-whacks."

      It is a "PC", it just runs a different OS to most others.

      "If you are worried about support, AppleCare is by far the best-rated support in the history of computing."

      Despite your hyperbole, it's just expensive insurance, and in countries with statutory warranty protection, of diminished importance for everything but on-site servicing of desktops. The ability to repair your own equipment, especially when that expensive insurance policy has expired, is a completely different thing.

      While we're gushing about support, my personal experience with Dell's premium support has always been so good that I can't see how Apple's could have been better.

      "Jeez. Anything to bash a Mac for a headline..."

      Despite the exaggeration the headline appears to be reasonably accurate?

    8. SuccessCase

      Well if it goes wrong, Apple will either repair it or replace it. Of course I have to acknowledge you need to have AppleCare to get the most responsive support, but a friend of mine also had his MacBook replaced under standard EU warranty rules.

      I am now on my second replacement iMac27". The first one was replaced after the screen went blotchy down one side (which I only realised afterwards may even have been my fault and due to drying clothes on a radiator next to the machine).

      The second one got recalled twice due to two supplier part design problems. A bad model of Western Digital hard drive and the second time, a bad NVIDIA Geoforce graphics card. For the second recall, as they had so many machines to to deal with, they got a third party repair shop to come and collect it. The repair shop did a really bad job and warped the internal chassis putting the display back in. Apple were extremely apologetic and have replaced the entire machine a second time. Now I have the latest upgraded spec, super thin iMac. They even threw in a SuperDrive because the new model iMac doesn't include one as standard but my old model had one (I now have three keyboards and 3 mice, as on each occasion they didn't ask for those back either!)

      My point is simply you aren't left on your own with no support. If Apple can't repair your machine they will replace it and recycle the old one, so why sweat it ? I know many people like getting under the hood and want a machine they can easily access, but if there is full service support, the reasons for doing so are much reduced.

      1. Ramazan

        Re: screen went blotchy, bad hard drive, bad NVIDIA Geoforce graphics card

        Exactly the kind of quality that speaks for itself, "bashing" needs not apply.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: screen went blotchy, bad hard drive, bad NVIDIA Geoforce graphics card

          You beat me to it Ramazan!

          A "great produce and service" that has failed at least 3 times in how many few years? That's amazing. I've had a driver problem on my home build PC, that was fixed by an update. I've had a FSB error that was fixed by changing a setting in the bios. I've had zero hardware faults. Not sure the same can be done with a mac? Same went for my HP laptop. That even got Ram upgrades. But my HP laptop had more replaceable parts, it's only I dropped it and cracked the one thing that's vital on a laptop, the motherboard. :P

          If it breaks less to begin with and is serviceable, where is the problem?

          1. SuccessCase

            Re: screen went blotchy, bad hard drive, bad NVIDIA Geoforce graphics card

            1) None of the machines failed, even once.

            2) The screen went blotchy probably through the ingestion of water laden air, which I detailed in my post. Why ignore that? Apple still replaced the machine, which by rights they could have refused to do. So that is pretty damned good service.

            3) The other two incidents were not due to the machine failing but recalls due to part-supplier recall notices that are themselves reputable companies - Western Digital and NVIDIA. If you think any amount of Apple QA can eliminate such risk of product recalls on sub-components as complex and self contained as a HDD and a video cards you are living in fairies and trolls land.

            The failure on Apple's part was due to the bad service provided by an Apple nominated service company. I was annoyed about that and Apple promptly sought to put it right without fuss. When after they had had the machine for a day, they determined it would take a week to effect a repair and they phoned offering me the choice of either waiting, or receiving a new machine with the latest spec. In my book that is a pretty good reaction and a customer can expect little more.

            4) I have simply related my experience for my pennies worth, it establishes good customer service has been provided for one case. A new £2k machine is more than adequate compensation for the 1 failure in quality of service I encountered.

            TechnicalBen and Ramazan, you have taken a sample size of 1 and extrapolated it as a comment on the quality of a company selling many millions of units. Do you understand why that argument lacks rationality?

            Reading comments like the above truly makes me feel sorry for any company that has to supply service to the general public. I would personally find it difficult to deal with such a void in rationality and reasonableness.

            1. Hoe

              Re: screen went blotchy, bad hard drive, bad NVIDIA Geoforce graphics card

              LOL, Must be WD's fault then, if Apple made HDD's they would never go wrong right?

              Anyway how would you know it's the HDD, you didn't test it, they just told you it was that, maybe it was the Apple motherboard but that was too inconvinient to say.

              Just imagine if you had the freedom of a PC you could KNOW SOMETHING, ANYTHING for sure, not just APPLE SAID IT.

            2. Dave K

              Re: screen went blotchy, bad hard drive, bad NVIDIA Geoforce graphics card

              You said the third party repairer warped the case. Do you think that a slightly more accessible design would have prevented this? When you have to pry half a ton of glue apart with a heat-gun, the chances of damaging it go up a LOT. In the future, all third party repairers will simply refuse to touch your Apple products.

              I can just about understand this type of construction for ultrabooks and tablets. When it's a full-blown laptop though that's being sealed together with glue, there is simply NO EXCUSE.

              I'm another person who loves the design of the Macbook Pro (16:10 screens!!), but won't buy one until Apple can start building them properly. I replaced the RAM and HDD in my Mac Mini to extend its life, I expect to be able to do the same if I buy a Macbook Pro.

          2. Hoe

            Re: screen went blotchy, bad hard drive, bad NVIDIA Geoforce graphics card

            I am PC user and I can't say the same, for many years I had escaped faulty hardware but building my new i7 this year I found I ad a part DOA MOBO which took some time to narrow down due to the nature of the fault.

            It was annoying, very for about a day, then SHOCK HORROR I received the replacement board, swapped it out, returned the old one and slept very well every since.

            I also replaced the antenna in one of my old Android phones which cost me virutally nothing, with Apple this would NOT be an option. Full Stop, not if's and but's, not I'm an IT engineer just send me a bloody HDD, NO, instead you have to do a FULL BACKUP then replace the machine.

            Now let me ask you this, how many of you Mac uses who have swapped out machines for faults securely wipped your data from the HDD before it disappeared? And where is that data now? Oh you don't know? You SHOULD unless you deleted it SECURELY first!

            A friend of mine needed to return a macbook air, he wanted to securely delete the data first but the 'GENIUS's" had to see the problem first so it couldn't, a secure wipe will take hours, so he had to go there confirm the fault, spend an hour trying to explain why he was going to bring it back later as they tried to claim if it left the building it would have to be retested on return, sigh.

            *I don't believe that last story to be a very common one however and maybe a mistake by a so called genius, but still Apple should be encourraging this proceedure to be done first not preventing it.

            Anyone who things data cannot be recovered from a failed HDD (no matter what failure) needs to check again, likewise anyone who thinks a one time full format is enough to prevent someone recovering your data needs to check again.

            If you want to ignore all of the above I suggest you don't delay and start replying to all those emails marked SPAM too, especially the ones for BICLAY BONK asking for your CC Number and PIN, may as well skip the waiting in suspense part and have your money taken now right?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: screen went blotchy, bad hard drive, bad NVIDIA Geoforce graphics card

              Hmm every heard of encrypting the hard drive - it's a standard feature of Mac OSX.

      2. Hoe

        So your saying a big multinational corporation complies with warranty laws? SHOCK HORROR.

        *Just to enlighten you, ALL COMPANIES HAVE TO FOLLOW THE LAW.

        Why are so many Mac fanbois so... oh wait, they will buy this stuff, don't worry question answered.

      3. Fihart

        @ SuccessCase

        ".........a friend of mine also had his MacBook replaced under standard EU warranty rules."

        Pleased to hear that Apple has caught up with the fact that they have to operate according to local law.

        Of course Apple Store has always been subject to the Sale of Goods Act in UK but, apparently, not always acted accordingly. Friend complained that a few years ago he returned a defective iPod to Apple Store where he bought it, just outside warranty and the best they would offer was a small discount on a new one.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Both the Western Digital hard drive and the NVIDIA Geoforce card had been working fine on my PC for several years well past their warranty dates - yes the PC that I'm using for backup purposes is very old but still trouble free and still running on Windows XP

        PCs running Windows normally do not need replacements by oneself even after years of running as parts can easily be replaced with no more than a screw driver.

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, its not for real humans. Its for fanbois like you who want to defend Apple to the death.

    10. WhoaWhoa

      "It's not a PC, this is for real humans..."

      Guess you think rows of uniform drone creatives lined up for inspection with glow-apples facing front and lah-tay cups to the right are "real humans".

      Guess you are one. (Glow-logo flasher, that is, not real human).

    11. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Real humans can change memory, batteries, keyboards, displays, and hard drives too. There's no excuse for not making devices fixable apart from building-in obsolescence.

      I honestly think companies making unfixable shinies should be sued for corporate negligence or at the very least taxed Brazil-style for each unfixable item.

    12. Hoe

      Your right it's not a PC, that I could upgrade, downgrade, swap out parts or simple take it apart for curiosity's case, that is what REAL HUMAN's do, at least the intelligent ones, man would have got nowhere if he expected a support desk to help for every hurdle.

      Maybe we shouldn't bother disecting DNA for the future advancement of mankind?

      Just imagine if every person had your attitude to this matter...

      "No I am sorry Mr Einstein I can't help with your theory, this is 118 I can give you someones phone number?"

      I wonder just how many medical advancements have come from disecting things, Apple might have 5,000 of the brightest engineers on the planet, but to presume, asume or expect that nobody could possible equal or improve on that is just niave, then to actively prevent them from doing it, shameful.




    13. paulll

      "It's not a PC, this is for real humans, not hack-a-whacks."

      Changing a battery is for,"hack-a-whacks?" Wow, I guess some of the things they say about Mac users are true ...

    14. h3

      Applecare is rubbish support

      Obviously you have never had really good support then. (The type that gets someone from the vendor onsite within 2 hours and probably a hotfix before the end of the day. (Old Sun Platinum or decent IBM).

      It is worse even than HP having someone onsite fairly quickly with the part and them fitting it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Applecare is rubbish support

        re Sun or IBM: I assume here you are talking about a firm buying support. I doubt an individual would pay that kind of money for a private machine. But, I rather think that if you are prepared to pay, some close equivalent is avaiable.

    15. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Can't claim to be a big fan of this development but then that's what's been happening for a while, hasn't it. Can't replace the battery in any tablet that I'm aware of, will have a tough time repairing anything else in them unless you're one of the few really, really gifted.

      Looks like most laptops are going that direction as well in an effort to slim down. Sad, but unless the EU gets active on the Planned Obsolescence thing I don't see anything likely to change the current state of affairs.

    16. Marshalltown

      Real humans????

      Tchah. "Real" humans use tools. Says so right in the manual.

    17. Scorchio!!

      "He's a dedicated follower of fashion."

    18. Tchou


      Funnily enough my Atari ST in 1987 had the same design choices...

      Yes it ran a nice user interface when Pc's were stuck with text only OS.

      But it was a closed ecosystem, not upgradable (well not entirely)

      As a result Atari went out of market because people prefered to spend the money on something that could adapt to future uses..


    19. gkroog

      Not a PC?

      sure, its not a Personal Computer...its very IMpersonal there's less reason than ever to buy an Apple

    20. Ram Sambamurthy

      You're right, it's meant for boring dorks.

      Kudos Apple! You have glued down another fanboi

    21. gkroog


      Must be another childish name fanbois have invented (don't forget to patent!) to appear cool...if only in their own minds.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "notorious, proprietary pentalobe screws"

    Plenty of Pentalobe screwdriver sets available for sale now. Was really only an issue when this screw first appeared a few years back.

    Was harder in the old days. Remember when I first came across a star screw in the days before online shopping. Had to order a screwdriver set from a friendly local car parts shop.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "notorious, proprietary pentalobe screws"

      Do you mean an actual star? I've only seen star screws in machinery that is not at all related to computers. Maybe you mean Torx, which is extremely common (Jeep used to love them some torx).

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: "notorious, proprietary pentalobe screws"

        Damn right Torx fasteners are everywhere! In any case, Apple, or any consumer product manufacturer, aren't even on the playing field for the use of odd fasteners. The nuclear and aerospace industry probably take the cake for that. Some of the fasteners we use for aerospace components are absolutely impossibly weird.

        Funny thing about fasteners though, is the drivers for any fasteners are available from our friends in China (even the most exotic) the trick is knowing their 'official' industry name. All fasteners have official nomenclature and it is rarely the name the public uses. If you asked a fastener engineer for a Phillips head driver he'd look at you with the same disdain IT professionals would have for some numpty calling a server rack a mainframe. There are about 40 different types of fastener that look like a Phillips but aren't.

        Anyway, there's a surprisingly not boring book called 'One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and Screw' that I highly recommend for anyone who likes taking stuff apart. It'll change the way you look at screws.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: "notorious, proprietary pentalobe screws"

      That's nothing. The Nintendo Wii uses Tri-Wing (Y-shaped holes) screws in some of its innards, but at least with either one you can unscrew them.

      If Apple were REALLY set on saying "you cannot open this," they'd have used one-way screws. These are designed so the only solid contact point is when you're tightening; everywhere else is too smooth to gain purchase.

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: "notorious, proprietary pentalobe screws"

        Ah yes, the tamper-proof screw. I've always found it odd that the most common place where you find them is in the brackets that hold restroom stalls together. They're in other places, sure, but they are nearly always used in restroom stalls.

        I mean, what do people get up to in restroom stalls that necessitates the universal use of tamper-proof fasteners? Obviously, somewhere in the murky past of commercial restroom design, a series of events transpired that saw the entire global industry of bathroom builders implement the use of difficult to use fasteners that cost 8-10x over a traditional fastener. What in God's name could possibly have happened that forced that to take place?

        I wonder if the near ubiquity of smartphones has reduced the unauthorized deconstruction of bathroom stalls?

        1. Nuke

          @Don Jefe - Re: "notorious, proprietary pentalobe screws"

          Wrote :- "I mean, what do people get up to in restroom stalls that necessitates the universal use of tamper-proof fasteners?"

          Google is your friend. Remove any Netnanny filter first though.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: @Don Jefe - "notorious, proprietary pentalobe screws"

            "Google is your friend. Remove any Netnanny filter first though."

            It's not that unsafe. Most of the time it's a simple matter of vandalism and petit theft. SOMEONE somewhere will take anything that isn't nailed down (and to them, anything that can be removed by a tool in their pocket inside of ten seconds isn't considered nailed down). They'll usually steal the fittings or the hasps, which they can pocket and then pop to a scrap yard for a pittance. Don't believe me? How many mom-and-pop bathrooms have you come across that have jury-rigged latches in the stalls...or simply no latches at all?

          2. Don Jefe

            Re: @Nuke re: @Don Jefe - "notorious, proprietary pentalobe screws"

            No. I absolutely refuse to Google anything related to restrooms with filters off. I've been fooled before you see :)

            But there is more than 'non-authorized service prevention' (that's the usual industry term) going on with fastener design. As a manufacturer of things, I feel it's only fair to other manufacturers to shed some light on the issue.

            On a large scale, mostly manual production line (like most in China), the time it takes to align a driver with the engagement openings in a fastener has an enormous impact on total line throughput and it is cost prohibitive to measure for proper torque application. Simultaneously addressing both of these issues is the reason for most wonky fastener designs. But, in truth, manufacturers really aren't out to screw the consumer with oddball fastener designs :)

            The 'pentalobe' screw is well liked in electronics production because it has a fairly high engagement rating (the driver slips in easier), it has comparatively large engagement surfaces (the head of the fastener is less likely to be damaged during tightening a 'fit and finish quality' demanded by your customers (Apple in this case) and won't leave little metal shavings laying around inside finished parts) and has a built in maximum torque limit when used with the proper driver (the driver will 'ride out' of the hole when maximum torque has been applied, preventing cracked or loose circuit boards).

            If tamper prevention was the only factor there are about 5,000 better ways to accomplish it. There are legitimate reasons for 'weird' fasteners and every industry has a few standout favorites. That being said, soldering traditionally socketed components directly to the board and gluing other things down is pretty cheap and there's really no excuse for that in a high price point product.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Nuke re: @Don Jefe - "notorious, proprietary pentalobe screws"

              @Don Jefe :"...manufacturers really aren't out to screw the consumer with oddball fastener designs"

              First off, I obviously agree with you about torque limits and drive tools. I for one would like all things secure/tamper proof Torx that are under 90lb. At work I often change out various drive types for secure torx, due only to the slip factor (because I'll probably be the one who has to repair it in the all Torx is like my own personal ISO of sorts).

              BUT, but, I can feasibly see certain manufacturers locking you out with the intention of expending your warranty faster. If they can lock you out, they can increase service calls, which in effect increases your service pricing. HVAC has taken leaps with this mentality without even making the components obscure. Walk into a HVAC shop without a license and ask for something as simple as a transformer, and it's 50/50 if you're walking out of their with a transformer. Lastly, what about service agreements with printers? Ever seen some of the "widgets" used in their repair process?

              Does Apple obscure the explode diagrams by using proprietary bonds? Not in my opinion. Their hardware is not high priced enough for them to run this game without having the cost of backend support eating away at profits. Apple currently makes their products cheaper than anyone else to maximize profits. Now if Apple actually starts up "House Calls" and attaches service pricing to these things, then my opinion will quickly change.

              1. Don Jefe

                Re: @Nuke re: @Don Jefe - "notorious, proprietary pentalobe screws"

                There is most certainly a tendency in some types of manufacturing to maximize 'authorized service calls'. It's good money and it keeps Harry Homeowner from screwing up your products or killing himself :)

                But I don't think the consumer electronics industry much plays that game. The vast majority of consumers couldn't do anything inside a device anyway, other than break it. Plus they simply aren't interested in doing anything to it. That earlier post about 'just taking it back to Apple' is what people expect: They want things to 'just work'.

                The crowd here is obviously, mostly, not the 'average' tech consumer so their views don't reflect the majority. If tinkering with electronics was actually popular there would still be retail stores that sold thru-hole components and soldering irons. Try finding a soldering iron in a retail store today: Wal-Mart used to sell them, but no longer, and most Radio Shacks are rebranded mobile phone stores that also sell shitty, overpriced home theater interconnects. People just aren't interested and/or possessing of the basic mechanical skills to even change batteries in a remote control (sadly, that's a service Geek Squad offers instore...).

      2. Irony Deficient Silver badge

        Re: “notorious, proprietary pentalobe screws”

        Charles, at least one non-Retina MacBook Pro model uses both pentalobe and tri-wing screws — the latter for securing the “non-user-replaceable” battery.

        In the States, there is still at least one domestic manufacturer of drivers for unusual screws: Moody Tools. (I am a satisfied purchaser of their “9 Piece Reversible Electronic ESD Repair Kit” [which is useful for pre-Retina Apple products]; I have no ownership interest in their corporate parent.) Perhaps similar driver manufacturers also exist in other industrialized nations?

    3. Nuke

      @Mr C Hill - Re: "notorious, proprietary pentalobe screws"

      Wrote :- "Plenty of Pentalobe screwdriver sets available for sale now. Was really only an issue when this screw first appeared "

      The issue is pointless proliferation ot screw standards. Manufactures introduce these variants to discourage "amateurs from fiddling" with their products. But as you say, the tools soon become available anyway. Pointless.

      Meanwhile, those like me who repair things, have to go out and buy a further set of tools, and carry them around with them. Working underneath my car for example I am constantly having to get up and fetch from my toolbox because eg I have encountered a Torx bolt among the hex ones. Waste of time. I remember you could do most jobs on my father's car with just five spanners.

      I reckon I now own over 100 different screwdrivers (straight, Pozidriv, Philips, Torx, hex, in all sizes and lengths) and that's without any Pentalobe. And that's just screwdrivers; let alone Allen keys, and spanners in Whitworth, Unified and metric.

  3. Lusty

    How to fix a MacBook

    Go to an Apple store and hold up the broken shell of your device. Say the following..."Hello 'Genius' I had a whoopsie with my computer thing"

    The 'Genius' will then hand you a new one or fix the one you had. They will more than likely also transfer the data to your new device.

    Why do I give a crap how hard it is to do anything inside the case? I have people for that dahling.


      Re: How to fix a MacBook

      > Why do I give a crap how hard it is to do anything inside the case?

      Social responsibility.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How to fix a MacBook

      "Why do I give a crap how hard it is to do anything inside the case?"

      Obviously you know shit about a tech., so why are you posting on a tech site? You appear to be a rich dork, shouldn't you be over at your dorky social site? Go play with your pretenders, run along boy.

      1. kwhitefoot

        Re: How to fix a MacBook

        @ MyBackDoor

        Don't you think it possible that you missed an attempt at lightening the atmosphere here with a little humour?

        1. Hoe

          Re: How to fix a MacBook

          I think it's far more likely your 'humor' had an epic fall flat on it's face as I didn't get it, he didn't and clearly nobody else did.


      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How to fix a MacBook

        Perhaps he's got a life and prefers to get on with it rather than pretend to be a hardware engineer on every kind of laptop. Any sensible person would no more pretend to be an amateur laptop hardware engineer than a modern washing machine or heating engineer (beyond being just a board jockey, as are most of the would-be hardware experts in these forums).

        I suspect you are not technical, instead retreating into abuse to hide your own lack.

        Nowadays, laptops are high precision computers, sold to professionals and amateurs who want to use them, not build the modern equivalent of a crystal set radio. It's like buying a modern, decent car, that is almost all under electronic control (no open source, tut tut) on specialised boards that are not available from your local PC parts shop, instead of a 1970s car with nothing more electrical than the windscreen wipers or ignition or a kit car.

        If your interest is in taking apart and rebuilding your bicycle equivalent, buy an desk top PC or the components to build one (assuming you really have the knowledge to get fully compatible parts and handle them without doing damage), or buy a set of lego or meccano.

        If your interest is in designing and writing software, buy a decent computer and concentrate on the software tools you need - quite taxing enough.

        If your interest is in dishing out abuse and bad manners, just carry on the way you are.

        1. P. Lee

          Re: How to fix a MacBook

          Of course few people are interested in the details. But even an uninterested person can save a bit of cash by (to use the tired and inaccurate car analogy) changing the oil themselves.

          Batteries, RAM and disks should be easily interchangeable. I think most of us can live with a fixed CPU in a laptop.

          With disks moving to short-lifespan, catastrophic failure-prone flash its unforgivable to solder them down.

          I guess we now know how the "free" mavericks is being paid for.

    3. erkulas

      Re: How to fix a MacBook

      "They will more than likely also transfer the data to your new device after they finished copying it for themselves" <- there fixed it for you! (pun intended)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How to fix a MacBook

        Yes yes, sure that your bad photos, illiterate emails to your friends and web cache are of keen interest. You flatter yourself. Or perhaps you are judging by what you would do.

    4. Psycho Flump

      Re: How to fix a MacBook


      I have an MBA. I love it but I know it would be massive pain in the end if anything went wrong with it. Assuming I could wave it at a genius (and I use the term in its loosest possible meaning here) they are not simply gonna replace it as it's a BTO model. There was a brief moment in the early 2000's when buying Apple didn't mean locking yourself out of DIY repairs, that day is long gone now though.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: How to fix a MacBook

        The 'Genius' will then hand you a new one or fix the one you had.

        Please provide actual proof that this will happen. Even inside a Genius Bar, the universe doesn't suddenly behave with Star Trek logic.

    5. BeerTokens

      Re: How to fix a MacBook

      Yeah this didn't work for my wife MacBook.

      Son dropped ball onto laptop. Unable to boot due to bad sectors on HD.

      Took Laptop to Apple (one hour drive there and back) no on-site warranty available. They school where she works spends enough cash with them to warrant a on-site service contract.

      Apple (we don't)care replaced old HD and said they were unable to read data from old drive.

      There was lots of work my wife had not backed up as it was summer hols and she was away from school so I asked for the old drive to see if I could access any of the data using a few tools I have.

      'yes certainly sir' came the response that'll be £349.00.

      Don't know if it's because they don't want me to show up their genii or because they just don't care.

      If I had done the same thing at a independent PC repair centre I am sure they would have just given me the drive.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How to fix a MacBook

        > 'yes certainly sir' came the response that'll be £349.00.

        Hand them £10 plus a hand written request asking for all personal data and information they hold on any storage medium in their possession. State in the letter that they currently possess a hard drive that contains such information and that it is now illegal for them to destroy or dispose of the drive until the request has been fulfilled.

        It probably wont work but its worth a tenner just to see them scurry around trying to figure out what to do.

      2. Hoe

        Re: How to fix a MacBook

        Did you go ahead and pay the money for the old HDD?

        I'd love to know if that data was recoverable or not, only as I know of one case where this has almost certainly been a lie, as my client paid for his HDD and I recovered the data, almost being the opperative word as we don't know how Apple 'tried' to recover the data so we couldn't confirm their methods failure.

        There is also of course the possibility that this was just a cop-out by said member of staff at the time which is why I'm so interested.

        1. BeerTokens

          Re: How to fix a MacBook

          Was not able to justify the money on the fact that I could possibly restore the data. Also not my machine but belongs to the school so really was dependant on what their IT dept. would allow.

          Only ever seen 1 HD that I could not get any data at all from. Though it has been some time since I done any work like that.

          As for the poster stating that I should educate my wife in simple back up proceedures, as mentioned in the OP her machine was backed at work, it happened in school hols. All our own machines are backed up to a NAS drive. Not really the done thing to store info on school pupils on your own private equipment.

          As it was a school machine there is only so much sticking my nose in I could've done.

          1. BeerTokens

            Re: How to fix a MacBook

            above post aimed at @Hoe and @PJI

          2. PJI

            Re: How to fix a MacBook

            @Beer Tokens:

            your wife, apparently, took an risk by taking confidential school information home, adding more (presumably reports or marks or some such) and failing to secure it against disaster when the school facilities were unavailable for a prolonged period. While I applaud (honestly) her serious approach to her responsibilities (mine is the same about certain things from her work), if you think this material is important and must be kept and you will not be at the school next day, then you should arrange with the school for a USB device and satisfactory encryption system (I assume her Apple account is password protected and the data encrypted on the disc). On the other hand, I assume that the original data was safely in the school system; so the worst case is that your wife has to repeat the work (and often, the second version is better anyway, see "The Mythical Man Month", F. Brooks, where stands something like, "Throw the first version away, you will anyway".)

            I take your point about your caution, quite right. But that must be equally true if you had got hold of the disc and tried to recover data. I have managed to get data back once, partially (had to be a bit clever to reconstruct some of it into a useable form). But in the other couple of times, well, it was a good theory. We also tried specialist firms: nix.

            Oh, and I still have no confidence in your account of how you asked for the broken disc and were refused. From my experience, it sounds most improbable or like a bad misunderstanding.

            1. BeerTokens

              Re: How to fix a MacBook


              the lappy belonged to the school and not me so not really able to do much/anything about back ups. It would be their responsibility not mine to implement an off site back up policy and procedure. Also as with most data losses hindsight is a wonderful thing...

              I'll let you tell an overworked school teacher to throw away the first copy of anything she does :)

              Yeah the risk of getting access to and replicating data I should not have access would have been a necessary evil in this case. Out of six or seven drives that failed in the past I was not able to get any dat from one of them YMMV. However none of them suffered a ball being bounced on them, so more than likely would not have been able to recover the data. It would have been nice just to put my mind at rest.

              see post from @hoe for confirmation that this has happened elsewhere.

          3. <shakes head>

            Re: How to fix a MacBook

            i guess a head crash, i found one that looked like an old LP record, it had been spinning with a crashed head for a long time, till the motor burned out with the entertaining smoke.

      3. PJI

        Re: How to fix a MacBook

        This was used for work and your wife did not find some way of backing it up! Genius that you are, you did not work out how to use Time Machine with a cheap USB disc? You could even just plug in a USB stick and copy the stuff; my absolutely non-technical, not to say technophobic wife can manage that from an ancient windows laptop (just about irreparable for anything more than disc or memory).

        This sounds like a story you heard down the pub or you are the kind of person I would not let anywhere near an HDD drive and software tools. My experience with Apple is absolutely contrary to yours and it was definitely my fault on that occasion (too embarrassingly thoughtless to reveal the asinine details here).

    6. WhoaWhoa

      Re: How to fix a MacBook

      "Why do I give a crap how hard it is to do anything inside the case? I have people for that dahling."

      Except, you're the one that's been had, dwahling. Had right to the nucleus of both your undiscriminaing designer brain cells.

      But, just keep buying. Folks gotta have things to laugh at.

    7. Hoe

      Re: How to fix a MacBook

      HAHAHA, So you just hand them your data and say give me a new one, enjoy my family photo's?

      As they would never be looked at by a techie who was fixing \ recovering the device!

      With that kind of forsight and awareness I am sure you do have people for that as I can't image you could accomplish much on your own.

  4. Mage


    They are CONSUMABLES.

    It's bordering on criminal that you can't replace the battery pack. Built in "landfill" feature. My Laptop is 1.8GHz 1600 x 1200

    On its FOURTH pack (in 11 years) which is reasonable.

    On Average the battery will be two years. Maybe 1 year for 20% to 30% of users.

    1. cynic 2

      Re: Batteries!

      Would this also be 11 year old battery tech, perchance?

      Not sniping, just curious.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Batteries!

      "It's bordering on criminal that you can't replace the battery pack. Built in "landfill" feature."

      The battery design used allows the battery to have a higher capacity and not add a huge amount of weight to the machine. It does this by using the machines casing as the hard protective casing that you'd find around a traditional battery.

      Given that Apple can replace the battery themselves at any Apple Store same day, this suggests to me that perhaps it isn't as difficult to do as it's being made out. The trick is going to be finding out the presumably secret method that Apple use to do it and there being a supply of replacement cells on the market.

      1. Mage

        Re: Batteries!

        Lots of stuff uses soft case Lithium (AKA LiPo) and the batteries are not glued in.

        It's to save cost and ensure only Apple sell a replacement and encourage replacing the entire Mac.

      2. Vector

        Re: Batteries!

        "Given that Apple can replace the battery themselves at any Apple Store same day..."

        I can replace the battery in my laptop in a minute without leaving the house. As long as I have a battery, of course...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Batteries!

          I see a lot of people commenting about how the battery should be replaceable, but nobody saying how you can do it without making the machine larger, heavier and with less battery life.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Batteries!

            @Mr C Hill

            "how you can do it without making the machine larger, heavier and with less battery life."

            Shrink wrap in heat-resistant plastic, to hold it in position relative to each section, then use a thin strip of velcro around the edges etc.

            You've added microns to the thickness, a few grammes to the weight,

            Same batteries, infinitley easier to replace

            1. M Gale

              Re: Batteries!

              Not even a few grammes to the weight. What's wrong with just having soft-case cells with plugs on the end that go straight into the motherboard? Milligrams extra at most, including some neoprene (or similar) sponge attached to the chassis to provide enough pressure and friction to stop 'em moving around.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Batteries!

              Can you tell us which laptops do consist of shrink wrapped, velcro fixed components and how resistant they are to the usual hazards of portability and their dimensions and weight?

              For which firm are you a designer?

          2. stanimir

            Re: Batteries!

            how you can do it without making the machine larger, heavier and with less battery life.

            Glued batteries offer excellent longevity capabilities? I'd rather have a 19"/3kg laptop that I can replace anything I feel (battery/CPU/Video/Add 32GB ram/add another drive etc) than a lightweight crappy spec. thingie.

            1. PJI
              Thumb Down

              Re: Batteries!

              19"/3kg laptop? Do you call that portable? Try carrying that on the bus or train every day or using it while travelling. May as well carry a desk top. Or have you got a servant to carry it for you?

              Perhaps you do not know how heavy 3 kg is nor how awkward it is to carry such a large device, that would probably weigh more than 3 kg anyway.

              Oh, you were being funny. Sorry.

              1. M Gale

                Re: Batteries!

                You've got it wrong: they are consumables and consumables are replaced, not repaired.

                In what insane world are laptops, tablets and phones "consumable"? Do you eat a laptop? Does it slowly disappear with use? My fully functional (not that this means much) Amstrad PPC640 in the corner certainly hasn't been consumed, though the space for 10 C cells hasn't been filled for quite some time.

                Batteries are consumable. Limited life. They are consumed as you use them. This is why they usually only come with a six month warranty. Welding the battery into the laptop does not make the laptop a consumable, regardless of how much the bods at Apple would like it to be so.

                At the prices they charge for their computers, they really have no excuse not to make something that can last 5, 10 years or more, AND have the battery, hard drive and other components upgraded or replaced.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Batteries!

                  In this insane world, I'm afraid. I agree with your irritation; it's maddening. But I take it, from your still-in-use Amstrad, that you go shopping rather rarely. When you do, you will get a shock. For the last dozen years or so, perfectly good "consumer" items, needing just a new switch or heater element or whatever are "recycled" (hence most European countries include a "recycling" charge in the prices) because the time to repair something costs more than replacement, particularly now that almost nothing is assembled by hand in the first place. This applies to digital radios, irons, toasters and laptops, for example. I've had to throw away perfectly a good, originally very expansive standard lamp for the sake of a cheap dimmer switch fitted to it (glued; but I could have got around that; but the part or a suitable equivalent is not available).

                  "Consumable" has nothing, in this context, to do with food nor even repairability: it means the economics that make it "uneconomic" to do even trivial repairs to a device. To demonstrate this, a shop will often warn you that you must pay some hefty fee just to have the device examined and the job assessed, followed by the cost of repair if you choose that.

          3. Nuke

            @Mr C Hill - Re: Batteries!

            Wrote :- "lot of people commenting about how the battery should be replaceable, but nobody saying how you can do it without making the machine larger, heavier and with less battery life."

            Use screws and/or clips. A screw should take *less* space and weight than their blob of glue (scews are stronger than glue, d'ya see), holding the end of a strap round the battery that would be of thin metal.

            I am not a fan myself of thinness and lightness anyway. When the point is reached that practicality is sacrificed for it, it becomes a triumph of style over use. Like the desktop monitor I'm looking at now - they boasted how thin it was (as if I care if it is 20mm or 50mm) but it is only so thin because they took some of the insides out of it into a separate wall brick. They did not boast how thin the wall brick was.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: @Mr C Hill - Batteries!

              "Use screws and/or clips. A screw should take *less* space and weight than their blob of glue (scews are stronger than glue, d'ya see), holding the end of a strap round the battery that would be of thin metal."

              No offense, but I've seen plenty of screws shear off at the head and more than a few screw mounts split lengthwise. One advantage glue has over screws is bonded surface area, and that's a big plus when it comes to tension or stress forces. There was a tale of an experimental sign that survived the harsh winds of Hurricane Katrina when many others blew off their poles. The reason? It was affix with a high-bonding-strength foam tape. Glue uses the same principles.

              1. M Gale

                Re: @Mr C Hill - Batteries!

                Glue uses the same principles.

                So do a few strips of rubber sponge.

                But I take it, from your still-in-use Amstrad, that you go shopping rather rarely.

                Har. Actually I have a more modern example in the shape of an Asus TF201 with cracked sensor glass. Only reason I haven't replaced it yet is that it still works. As and when I do replace it (IF I replace it instead of turning the device into a low power, silent test server thanks to the complete LAMP-like stack you can get for Android), I've done some research. The screen is not glued to the sensor. 50 quid including parts, labour, collection and delivery, which while not exactly pennies, is a damned sight cheaper than the cost of a new device.

          4. Hans 1

            Re: Batteries!

            Do you also fall for Microsoft FUD like that ?

            The diff in size is marginal, so is the weight ... you are saying that 3 mm extra width, length and height make a difference! Now, this coating is plastic, so not heavy.

          5. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

            Re: Batteries!

            "I see a lot of people commenting about how the battery should be replaceable, but nobody saying how you can do it without making the machine larger, heavier and with less battery life."

            I can only speak for myself but I can handle 5% extra volume and weight if it means the battery's removable.

      3. Mike Moyle

        Re: Batteries!

        Since the battery appears to sit at the bottom of a nice. flat, heat-transferring metal case, I actually wouldn't be a bit surprised to find that they have a big (moderately) hot-plate in the back room that loosens that glue in about 5 minutes.

        In the larger sense -- as others have said -- with AppleCare, you're covered for 3 years on, AFAIK, EVERYTHING from stem to gudgeon that could fail. "It's broken... Fix or replace, please... Thank you!"

        Granted, for any hardware older than THAT, you're on the hook for repair costs but, honestly, unless you either are really cheap or really ENJOY tinkering inside your computer, when has that NOT been true? For the vast majority of users -- for whom "tinkerability" is neither a fetish nor an article of faith -- the important thing is that "It's broken... Fix or replace, please... Thank you!" is as far as they really WANT to get into it.

        Don't get me wrong; I am not OPPOSED to tinkerability. By the time that I retired my MDD G4 duallie as my main machine last summer, I had maxed out my optical and HDD bays (and upgraded all of those repeatedly as disks came down in price), tossed in more RAM, USB 2 and Firewire 800 PCI-e cards, added extra fans and (slightly) modded the case, and it served me well for more than a decade. But that level of component swapping was about as much as I EVER wanted to get into it, and the vast majority of my family, friends, and co-workers consider me to be an absolute computer geek because I chose to do that. For the rest of them, "It's broken..." is really as much trouble as they want to go to. They don't want to fix or upgrade their own computers any more than they want to fix their own cars, stoves, or vacuum cleaners when they have -- in their opinion -- better things to do with their time.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Batteries!

          "It's broken... Fix or replace, please... Thank you!"

          The unspoken addendum to this statement is always, "Preferably fix, as it's cheaper, thank you AGAIN." A machine that lends itself to easy self-repair ALSO lends itself to easy repair in a shop. If batteries need changing, for example, it would much be preferable to just disconnect and remove old batteries and hook in a replacement set.

          1. Don Jefe

            Re: Batteries!

            'but nobody saying how you can do it without making the machine larger, heavier and with less battery life.'

            I'm not sure what part of that equation I'm not grasping, but how does the weight of a computer affect the battery life? I could understand if your notebook physically transported itself around, but if that were the case any weight concerns would be offset by the fact you didn't have to carry it :)

        2. Hoe

          Re: Batteries!

          I marked you up and then down for this sorry.

          Though I agree that it is nice and good for ordinary folk to be able to pop into a Apple store and pay a Monkey to change a battery, why should that limit and expense those who do know how and would find it more practical to have a battery sent to their door rather than a pop into town?

          Why can't both be possible.

          All night I have been on here responding to bloody Apple fanbois, I am sorry but please think before you speak, there is no reason why both techie's and ordinary folk can both be happy and get what they want out of a design.

          Take a Dell \ Fujitsu \ INSERT HERE PC as an example, I can order one for me (a Techie) and one for my Sister (a Technophobe).

          The HDD could fail on both, I could call said company and place my "COMPANY Care" warranty order (or standard warrranty if within 2 years) and THEY WOULD PERFORM A MIRICLE...

          They would give me a CHOICE do I want an engineer to visit to replace the failed part or do I just want the part, OMG you see what they just did?

          FFS It's simple, there is no excuse for this so please Apple Fanbois go defend Apple elsewhere as in this instance it is just an EPIC FAIL FOR YOU!

      4. Mike H.

        Re: Batteries!

        "Given that Apple can replace the battery themselves at any Apple Store same day, this suggests to me that perhaps it isn't as difficult to do as it's being made out. The trick is going to be finding out the presumably secret method that Apple use to do it and there being a supply of replacement cells on the market."

        A screwdriver would be easier.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Batteries!

        "Given that Apple can replace the battery themselves at any Apple Store same day, this suggests to me that perhaps it isn't as difficult to do as it's being made out. The trick is going to be finding out the presumably secret method that Apple use to do it and there being a supply of replacement cells on the market."

        There's no secret - they replace the entire top shell (keyboard, trackpad, etc) and swap the mobo into it, and the screen onto it.

        The old top shell then goes back to Apple for reclamation of parts.

        It's faster for a local engineer to replace the clamshell than the battery. You might not like this, but it's the way Apple have decreed it be done. Same goes for keyboards and trackpads for those models where they aren't seperatable from the top shell.

        Anon, for reasonably obvious reasons.

      6. Dave K

        Re: Batteries!

        Did you read the article? Even Apple will have a tough job replacing a battery that's glued in place and also glued to delicate ribbon cables!

    3. Hans 1

      Re: Batteries!

      I had the same battery in my Ti powerbook for 6 years, still had over 2 hours of charge, which for the time was more than any new Dell I could get new - it got stolen, some bloke broke into my house to pinch not the telly, not the digicam, no, a 6 year old powerbook .... Apple know how to build proper battery management ... but that is not the point, totally agree that batteries should be replaceable.

    4. PJI
      Thumb Down

      Re: Batteries!

      Sounds like you should pay more for your computers. I've got an 12 year old, expensive at the time Thinkpad and a five year old, white Macbook. The former has had one battery change and, though clearly not as good now, still goes for a couple of hours and the latter, that I use every day, is still good for three to four hours.

      Next time, buy something better, such as an Apple device!

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Batteries!

      You've got it wrong: they are consumables and consumables are replaced, not repaired. This goes for laptops, toasters, washing machines. The cost of repair (parts, labour, tools etc.) is more than simple replacement. That's why we call them, "consumables". We live in a world where most people just replace their consumable with the latest model every couple of years, more often if it's an Android mobile - then every time the provider offers another free or very cheap upgrade.

      We may deplore it; but we keep buying and the alternative is ever harder to find and rarely matches the specs. and looks of the consumable version.

  5. peter_dtm


    it's modern cheap/efficient manufacturing and design

    almost everything nowdays is glued/heat wealded :

    it's not just an Apple thing

  6. tempemeaty

    Glued together = Disposable

    We have not yet reached a place where we never find ourselves occasionally short on RAM either. That also still happens from time to time. Now with this the only way to upgrade RAM would be to buy a Windows Laptop!

    As for gluing the works together like a cheep $2 calculator? At Apple prices...NOT acceptable!

    Stupidest things I've ever seen done by Apple.

    I"ve been bragging how I"m moving to all Apple. This stuff makes me I feel like I shot myself in the foot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Glued together = Disposable

      You shot yourself in the foot.

      Or the wallet.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can see why people want things to be repairable. Only a couple of weeks ago I replaced the (very slightly ailing) battery and (water damaged - my own fault) dock connector on my iPhone 4S. Cost me ~£10 for the parts, and another £1 for a 7-piece toolkit. Easy peasy, and I was a happy repairer!

    On the other hand, if someone told me that to allow me to do that would mean making it bigger, heavier, or less reliable then I'd say no thank you! Thongs soldered to the motherboard make sense - connectors take valuable space, and certainly seeing how well everything is squashed into an iPhone there really isn't space in there (and I assume the same is true for a MacBook) to have everything removable / screwed in. And using standard off-the-shelf parts is never going to work in a compact, lightweight design.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Thongs soldered to the motherboard make sense"

      That's a whole different ball game!

      1. cosymart


        Please don't talk about "Thongs", "motherboards" and "balls" in the same comment please.

        Thank goodness keyboards are repairable still! :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've upgraded the RAM and disc in my laptop once. Perhaps if I'd gone for a decent spec to start with I wouldn't even need to do that.

      But I don't take issue with the fact things are soldered to the board, I take issue with the fact that the laptops are so expensive as to make a regular upgrade pretty impossible.

  8. Curly4

    So the mac air will join the microsoft rt as a landfill object.

  9. Don Jefe

    The Future is Yesterday!

    OK. Apple gear is nigh on impossible for consumers to work on: 'No User Serviceable Parts Inside - Consult Your Repairman Before Opening!' has been on consumer goods of all sorts for ages: Longer than most of us readers have been alive. Serviceability costs a lot of money to build into a product and usually results in a product that doesn't meet the appearance and weight standards of the buying public. It's the difference between those stupid SUV's and a real commercial utility vehicle.

    What I find hilarious in all this is that direct attachment manufacturing (glue & solder) of entire systems is the lowest class of manufacturing. It's how children's toys and 'garbage' goods are manufactured. The exact opposite of the image Apple projects. I have an iPhone and I like it just fine, but knowing that those stuck up knobs in the Apple Store are buying sooo much image is just unbelievably funny to me :)

  10. john devoy

    for idiots

    Only an idiot would buy one of these; by sealing in the battery they have built in planned obsolescence that can't be avoided...even if you never use it eventually the battery will leak.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: for idiots

      You may want to get used to it. Apple tends to do things first and the others follow. If the rest of the market sees that it's now ok to build laptops to the same spec as a Furby, they're going to start doing it. I'm not a fan of the "light as a feather and thin as a sheet of paper" school of laptop design. A little heft helps the computer stay put and a bit of thickness adds rigidity to prevent cracking the circuit boards. I am also a big fan of upgradable memory, hard drives and user replaceable batteries. Oh well. If you buy one of these, invest in a really good case and start saving for a new one by next year when the batteries go flat.

    2. Don Jefe

      Re: for idiots

      There's a really good argument, with plenty of historical precedent, that any portable consumer tech is buying into a planned obsolescence scheme. No portable consumer tech has an exceptionally long lifespan. Even if you did manage to not kill your laptop on a fairly regular basis, it would be so comparatively slow in a useful environment it is practically worthless.

      Even with all that you're going to run out of a source for batteries. I've got a wonderfully powerful mobile CAD workstation, but it isn't mobile anymore. Nobody makes a battery. Now it's just an underpowered desktop CAD workstation.

      If you're buying a mobile device, you're buying into a limited lifespan of full functionality. That's just the the way it is. Surely you're not calling everyone who buys a notebook an idiot? That's pretty idiotic.

      1. Hoe

        Re: for idiots

        That depends what you want to use it for, I have an old XP System here and a 98 too, there is some old programs and games you just can't get to work on modern OS's, being able to save that device, software and in some way memories in something on it's own.

        With Apple's method if in the unlikely event the fixed battery hasn't leaked into the device within 10-15 you might have hope, but if it has you can be sure as hell Apple won't help you to fix so and old device to it will be over to Ebay to find out all the others have died a death too, all but a few, going for £5000 a piece of course.

        Lovin It!

        Damn I'm hungry now, anyway who says you need a battery? I have a very old Laptop from the 90s which I played Dune 2000 on a lot, the battery died years ago but the power pack is fine, so long as I keep it plugged in I can still get to my game \ data, where as in Apple's case it's back to Ebay.

      2. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

        Re: for idiots

        "If you're buying a mobile device, you're buying into a limited lifespan of full functionality. That's just the the way it is. Surely you're not calling everyone who buys a notebook an idiot? That's pretty idiotic."

        Umm, my machine is 7 years old (bought used), and I'm not having speed problems. I replaced the keyboard (it was worn out). I've upgraded the RAM. I don't know if it's the original HD. Buying a notebook is not idiotic. Don't use fanboi-logic to claim that buying a sealed-up non-expandable unit is the same as buying a notebook in general, because those are two completely different things. I've been there -- I just wanted to add a little more RAM to the netbook I had before this -- soldered on! I've learned my mistake on that one!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pentalobe only delays the inevitable.

    Drill out the pattern on all the screw heads and laser etch "Ha ha sucker!" in its place.

    I replaced the smashed up screen and digitiser on my phone for 20 quid, though I admit I had to wait a couple of weeks for the bits from China. The job could have been done by any reasonable DIYer. Just saying.

  12. psychonaut

    shit sucking bastards

    I run a repair shop. Had a mac book air in last year. Customer had cracked the display. Apple wanted over 600 quid to replace it. I said I could do it for £200. Ordered the spare for 100 quid or so. Took the glued aluminium (bastards) surround off. The fucking screen was also glued in. The screen is about 1mm thick. It is impossible to get the screen out without shattering it and producing millions of tiny glass shards and it leaking liquid everywhere. Behind the screen are 3 diffusers. If they are even slightly covered in say the liquid from the screen they dont work properly. They have thousands of tiny grooves in them and i tried to clean off the liquid but its basically impossible to get them clean. If they are half a mm out of alignment they dont diffuse properly and produce blotches. I managed to get the replacement screen working just fine but because of the fucking stupid design the screen was blotchy. The reason apple want 600 quid plus for a 100 quid part? They replace the entire top hood. Its disgraceful.

  13. Getriebe

    Cost and reliability

    If you want this or the Surface level of tech and reliability for the low cost they come to you, someone wil have to deisgn them so they can go down an assembly line at a speed and have station wait times that are the same. So you now have hot glue, one time snap fits and machine QA processes built in. The result is what you see. Furthermore warranty claimes, fear of being sued becuase some hipster leaves his/her coolisma device with their tiny offsping and it damages said offspring. (that does call into question if hipsters breed by normal means - discuss) also drive design this way

    Same with lts of stuff. My pre-war car can be repaired with a hammer and two spanners, my 1970s car needs more spanners, a multimetter and go careful on teh hammer. A modern BMW, ha ha ha, just open teh bonnet at the golf club to show off and after that tere is nothing toi do.

    Bu theh pre-war does about 16 to the gallon, needs constant tweaking, and is dangerous, teh 190s less so and the BMW - just drive put petrol and you could go to Lake Baikal. Its the way stuff changes

    1. Ramazan

      Re: BMW could go to Lake Baikal

      Try this in the winter, buddy

      1. Getriebe

        Re: BMW could go to Lake Baikal


        In winter it would be a Ural 4320, or a Tatra T815 if I wanted to any the Ruskies

  14. jubtastic1

    I repair macs

    News like this is fairly depressing to me, it's pretty clear the only thing I'm likely to be upgrading in these machines in five years time is the SSD cards. People are making a big deal about the batteries but they're still replacable for $199, or £169 inc VAT, which Isn't a bad price for parts and labour on a >10hr battery, and I can understand the motivation to use glue when they're trying to cram as much battery into the smallest space possible and keep the machine feeling solid.

    The RAM is a real problem, the base spec is 4GB and that's what's going to limit the lifespan of the machine, not a hard to replace battery.

  15. Haku

    Disposable computers that don't have disposable prices.

    This is not the future I was looking for.

    1. Vociferous

      Re: Disposable computers that don't have disposable prices.

      > This is not the future I was looking for.

      The exact words I thought yesterday, in the context of Office 365, Skydrive, and Windows 8.1.

  16. etabeta
    Thumb Down

    Adhesives & Glue = cheap junk

    During normal use, a laptop battery will last at the most for 2 years after which its capacity becomes noticeably impaired. I would immediately put such devices on my black list knowing the difficulty of repair, or in the case of replacing batteries, just ordinary maintenance. It is not the pentalobe screws that bother me, but their excess use of glue and adhesives. There is no excuse for high-tech to be assembled in such a cheap low-tech manner. People are just plain stupid to spend so much hard-earned cash to go out and buy this crap that will prematurely wind up in a landfill.

    1. WhoaWhoa

      Re: Adhesives & Glue = cheap junk

      "People are just plain stupid to spend so much hard-earned cash to go out and buy this crap that will prematurely wind up in a landfill."

      Only an increasingly chavvie minority of people of the Winnie-the-Pooh brain type.

    2. Philip Lewis

      Re: Adhesives & Glue = cheap junk

      I have a MacBookAir 11" - the very first model that came out - the "game changer".

      I actually have no idea how long I have had it, certainly more than 2 years I would think.

      According to iStatPro it has been recharged 274 times, is currently 100% charged and the battery life shows as 88%.

      I think most of the people on her dumping in this thread are detached from reality

  17. bex

    the thing I am most concerned about is the battery, my macbook is 2.8 years old and according to the menu bar needs replacing, so I will, it's a bit of a faff as there is a tri-wing screw but easy enough apart from that. One this after 3 years the macook would be on it's way to useless.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Have two MacBooks bought in 2009 (so 4+ years old) - no battery issues - before Maverics getting about the same battery life as always did - since Maverics it's probably actually slightly better.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funny how this sort of thing doesn't matter when it is a tablet computer.

    1. bex

      it's the difference in £300-£500 and well over a £1000, that's why.

      Tablets are more vulnerable and less likely to last as long anyway

    2. Mage

      Tablet Computer

      Most Smart Phones still have pop-in cells. No excuse for a Tablet to not have user replaceable batteries. It's a deliberate design decision to build in obsolescence. It would add no weight, cost or thickness to have it designed in on the new Mac or Surface or any Tablet.

      1. Philip Lewis

        Re: Tablet Computer

        "It's a deliberate design decision to build in obsolescence"

        More likely it's a deliberate design decision to increase rigidity, reduce the component count, reduce the complexity of construction, eliminate exposed contacts etc. etc.

        And in any case, pop on down to Apple and I am sure you can have the batteries replaced. I haven't needed to on my MBA.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Has anyone actually said that Apple will not replace the batteries?? I've bought other branded laptops before and had issues getting original replacement batteries after a few years with only potentially iffy 3rd party batteries available.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the repairability index of a Z80?

    Integration is such a tiny step away from hot melt glue.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's the repairability index of a Z80?

      About the same as every other microprocessor out there - nil. Unless you have an electron microscope to look at the silicon wafer and some sort of method to re-etch the damaged parts.

    2. WhoaWhoa

      Re: What's the repairability index of a Z80?

      "What's the repairability index of a Z80?"

      My ZX Spectrum still works after 30 years, mostly in a dark, damp loft. Apple could learn a thing or two from Sir Clive.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's the repairability index of a Z80?

        Mmmm, "wafer scale integration". ;-)

        1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

          Re: What's the repairability index of a Z80?

          ... however, the repairability of the kit the Z80 is inside is close to 100% - even now.

  20. Tim Almond

    Not just about cost

    I have thinkpads because they're better for upgrading.

    The cost is part of that - I can get a repairer to swap out the HDD for a small cost, but it's also about time and privacy. I don't want to have to get to an Apple store (nearest one 30 miles away) who will send it off. I want it turned around that day so I can get on. That means I can call around the repair shops locally and see if someone can do it then.

  21. Dieter Haussmann

    We have hundreds of Macs where I work, and thousands of Dells.

    The Macs are much, much more reliable, in fact, I don't think we have had any hardware problem for 3 years, and that was a spate of Seagate hard disks only which were replaced fairly easily, but needed a fan fix driver as the new drives didn't have the SMART thermometer.

    1. WhoaWhoa

      "I don't think we have had any hardware problem for 3 years, and that was a spate of Seagate hard disks"

      What? The inside of an Apple consiste of the same bog standard components as every other computer. Not fairy dust? And I thought the we're such clever designers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Standard parts?

        As far as I am aware, the basic parts may be common to lots of machines. But the buyers, e.g. Apple or Dell or HP and so on, have their own standards for testing and acceptance. To anyone who has used Dell and Thinkpad and compared the problem rate, that should be self-evident - different level of quality control and testing.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If those Dells are Optiplexes then I reckon you can get the harddrive out in under 10 seconds. Is it as quick with a Mac?

      to paraphrase P Daniels - "now that's repairability"

      1. Tridac

        That's because Apple are cheap consumer electronics quality with added hype, while Dell build primarily for the corporate market, where a down machine costs money. Same with the old Compaq machines - one torx driver to replace any part. Sure, they all use the same componts these days, but it's how they are screwed together. Having said that, gluing everything together in the case provides added stiffness and allows thinner plastic all round, so a win win situation all round, I guess ?.

        I see no advantage to buy Apple, when a good quality laptop would have the same or better performance, easy replacement of parts and most likely more affordable apps. I guess you all must have seen this:

        Says it all really...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          As the idiot in control had the policy of saving money, on one occasion we bought six Dell laptops, fortunately with Gold Service. Within six months, every one had at least one repair. Two had two repairs, not user repairable. Their big servers were all right, if you checked they had supplied compatible and ordered parts.

          You b-gg-s seem to prefer saving money short term to saving time and effort to have working hardware that is also a pleasure to see on your desk or lap.

          1. Philip Lewis

            Re: Dells?

            Same experience here ... The two chassis' worth of Dell blades have been quite good, and while under service there were some issues that were remedied without issue.

            Dell make crap laptops for Joe public. They make blades for the enterprise. The only think that these two machine types share in common is the Dell logo

          2. M Gale

            Re: Dells?

            a pleasure to see on your desk or lap.

            Speak for yourself. I'm not a fan of massive logos, especially ones that glow in the fucking dark.

            I'll say the same thing to Apple that I'll say to Nike, Adidas and all the rest: You want me to be a billboard for your products? Pay me.

      2. DiViDeD


        I used to love the OptiPlex desktops. Puh a button, case comes off. Slide that lever, remove the expansion port daughterboard. That lever let's you remove the HDD. Now you have a naked motherboard with nothing obscured. More memory? slap it in the (now) easy to access socket and squeeze the red lever to fix it. Nice big chrome lever to replace the CPU in the ZIF socket.

        Damn, you could get the whole thing dismantled and rebuilt in 5 minutes!

  22. saltysol

    I've loved using Macs going back to the late 80's so I suppose I qualify as a fanboi but it's sad to watch a company with such a loyal user base screw their customers so unashamedly. Normally I would have upgraded from my 2010 MBP by now and assigned the older machine to another member of my family but now I've decided to swap the hard drive for a SSD and maxed the RAM so I can cling to it as long as possible. Honestly can't see a future for me and Apple as long as they continue designing disposable products.

    Until somebody wants to compete with Apple for the the loyalty of fanboi love I'll likely continue my slow migration toward Linux/Ubuntu.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You're lucky, my MBP model is getting on for 6 years old now. The upgrade costs alone are enough to make you think again, £1699 for a 15" MBP? that's insane. But when you consider you're effectively buying a x86 tablet with a keyboard and non-touch screen the price seems even more stupid.

  23. Simple Simon

    Genuine Question:

    Does glueing (rather than screwing) stuff together make it easier and cheaper to recycle? If you want to reduce a screwed-together item to its constituent parts, you have to pay someone to sit there with a screwdriver. If it's glued, could you just heat it up and watch it all fall apart?

    Writing as someone who's replaced batteries, hard drives, memory and logic boards in my own Apple laptops and desktops, I'm very disappointed to note that I won't be able to do this if I buy another machine. However, if we accept that the modern consumer likes to have new shiny-shiny every couple of years, does this method of construction make the disposed items more recyclable?

    Like I say, it's a genuine question.

    1. hplasm
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Genuine Question:

      Hot melt glue is the devil's jizz.

      It's just not very good. Batteries might just fall out after a few years.

      However, bear in mind the metal content of all of those screws - recyclers are interested in gold plating, for instance, and that can be microns thick.

    2. Getriebe

      Re: Genuine Question:

      Glue makes the machine harder to recycle by standar meas. But if you were doing it in industrail quantites there are a few tricks - eg use utrasonics to make the glue melt. But apart from the moral PoV I'm not clear what the economic value of breaking a Surface or Ithing down to its component parts is at EOL.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Genuine Question:

      Warming such batteries is the last thing you want to do.

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

        Re: Genuine Question:

        ... and probably will be!

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Genuine Question:

      "If you want to reduce a screwed-together item to its constituent parts, you have to pay someone to sit there with a screwdriver. "

      Or just hit it with a hammer.

      Seriously. recyclers don't disassemble these things. Mostly they just get dumped into an industrial shredder.

  24. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Another cost saving idea here...

    Which is what it looks like they're doing on this. You can design it one of two ways or with a mix. One way is to design for repair meaning take apart and replace parts. The other way is to design for assembly. It's cheaper to design and build but nothing is replacable... even the damn battery. Or, you can do a mix where it's logical. Apple seems to have chosen the cheap design and build method to maximize profit.

  25. Unicornpiss
    Thumb Down

    Battery life

    I can almost understand the steps made to prevent people from replacing the SSD, upgrading memory, etc. I don't like it, but I can sort of understand it. But a non-replaceable battery? That's just idiotic. In real world use, a laptop LiOn battery lasts maybe 2 years for most, and that's being optimistic. Forcing people to spend a fortune to replace a $50 battery, whatever Apple's motivation, is just very poor engineering and thumbing their nose at their customers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Battery life

      2 years - don't think so. Many lithium rechargeable batteries are now rated as good for 1000-2000 full cycles and that does not mean they are useless - it just means their capacity has dropped to around 75-80% or original. Add to that the fact that the new Apple MacBooks have a 9 hour battery life - in reality they are unlikely to be discharged to 100% every single day.

  26. Vociferous

    So the macbooks are so cheap to build...

    ...that it's cheaper for Apple to replace defective ones than repair them?

    Or is it a new chapter in the planned obsolescence saga? Computers no longer need to be replaced every 1-2 years because applications no longer become more demanding, so to keep sales up computers have to be unserviceable and built to break just after the warranty expires?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You can't have it both ways - want a light, thin laptop and you end up having it less user serviceable. Having the memory / components hard wired will make it more reliable.

    1. DiViDeD

      Having it Both Ways (ooer missus!)

      Just to go on record. I always found the first laptops heavy and unwieldy. But over the past few years, ALL laptops/notebooks are thin and (at the very least) not too heavy. When you start gluing and soldering to save space, and end up with a machine that's 1.3mm thinner than the previous model, what sort of anal retentive micrometer wielder either notices or cares?

      Not an Apple user, but Windows notebooks are going the same way, and we're losing ports and drives simply to shave another millimetre off a device that's been plenty thin enough for the past 5 years.

      Just saying

    2. Robert E A Harvey

      You can't have it both ways

      But what products do Apple (or Microsoft Surface for that matter) offer for people who [i]do[/i] want to chose serviceability rather than thinness?

    3. nichomach

      That's just silly. My other half has an 11.6" screened Core i3 which is thin and light and on which (thanks to an errant heel) I've just replaced the screen. Perfectly serviceable, process took about 15 minutes, and I was taking my time. Hard-wiring components doesn't make them any more reliable, it just makes repair when they go wrong almost impossible, which, one suspects, is kind of the idea.

  28. Hoe

    Apple might replace the batteries now, but what about in 2-3 years time when it's 2 or 3 models old!


  29. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Don't get used to this kind of engineering

    "Anyway I guess we'll have to get used to this kind of engineering, it's cheaper and Chinese drones can be trained more easily to glue parts together than assembling them carefully (and slower) using more expensive structures."

    Not really, you only need to get used to this if you are buying Apple products (or, apparently, Microsoft ones), this is all on them. I think it'd be easier to line up some screw holes, line the screw up, and screw it in (keep in mind they have electric -- or possibly air? -- powered screwdrivers on the assembly line), then to make sure glue doesn't glop around where it shouldn't.

  30. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Macs in the 80s

    "I've loved using Macs going back to the late 80's so I suppose I qualify as a fanboi but it's sad to watch a company with such a loyal user base screw their customers so unashamedly."

    Nah, you're an Apple fan. But, not a fanboi, because you are being rational. Fanbois say Apple can do no wrong, and are perfectly willing to come up with some kind of circular argument, or "fanboi-logic" as it were, to make their case. So for making a non-repairable, non-expandable system, they'd either make an argument how it doesn't matter like...ohh..." It's not a PC, this is for real humans, not hack-a-whacks" , or ignore the real issues of non-expandability, for example responding to concerns of non-expandability with "If you are worried about support, AppleCare is by far the best-rated support in the history of computing." I wouldn't of minded a Mac II 8-). Man was that thing expandable.

    "Until somebody wants to compete with Apple for the the loyalty of fanboi love I'll likely continue my slow migration toward Linux/Ubuntu."

    Yep. Ubuntu with "Gnome Classic" (no Unity -- ugh!) is the way to go for me so far. If I wanted to, I can even run it on a Mac 8-)

  31. Ripperroo

    now Mac's use the same architecture as winblows machines what's to stop someone buying a windows lappy and installing Maverick on it? why lock yourself into irreplaceable hardware when there are options available?

  32. etabeta

    Programmed obsolescence

    Time will come that Apple (and maybe some other manufacturers too) will assemble their ware and then just seal everything with some low-density potting compound to make it impossible to disassemble without destroying it.

    Then they might add a timer and/or hour-meter to disable the entire unit (except to back-up data?) after a certain number of working hours or after a certain date. The unit will just display:

    "This device has expired; please visit your nearest Apple store and purchase one of our new great products".

    They probably haven't started used potting compound yet because of the added weight.

    Look out for a new patent for "Low-weight potting compound for tamper-proof portable electronic devices"

  33. Robredz

    You pays your money and mazke your choice, at least the punter should be told that it has no realistic chance of repair if anything should fail. Mind you if it is a business machine, it will go agaionst tax foir the replacement

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Apple will repair them. It's none of your business if they swap a part or replace a whole unit. It is exactly the same with all manufacturing, a simple calculation of costs and failure rates. You, as the punter shouldn't give a shit.

      If you think the repair costs might be out of your budget, buy something else.

  34. Pointer2null

    Simple: don't by over priced and over rated (cr) apples.

    Buy something that costs half as much, performs as just well and can be fixed or upgraded.

  35. 080

    It's not a PC, this is for real humans, not hack-a-whacks.

    Real humans don't use iJewelry, they just feel sorry that the world has so many gullible fools.

    1. PJI

      Re: It's not a PC, this is for real humans, not hack-a-whacks.

      Odd, but the vast majority of technical reviews, really technical, rate the current Mac laptops as rather good and, for instance the MBA, as cheaper than some of the new Windows equivalents for the equivalent performance (note, performance).


  36. Prndll

    No motivation to make this purchase

    Apple in it's entire line of products are moving into very expensive mass produced disposable terminals. Users/customers are pretty much forced into their world where Apple retains full control over every little thing. There are no WILL do it Apples' way or they don't want your business.

    They can have it....they can keep it....sell it to people that don't care.

  37. Chris 171

    A Machine Built For Obscene Profit

    Is what all apple designs look like to me. Shiny on the outside, cheap corners cut on the inside.

    Never a better metaphor really, thinking on it.

    Buy another one, rather than fix this finely crafted and slapped together with a glue gun 2k device of mine...

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple will always take the low road, pay the workers as little as possible, design the product to break as soon as the warranty runs out, carefully designed to cause as much damage to the environment as possible.

    They change all the plug designs every single model to make everyone buy all new accessories once again filling the landfill with huge amounts of irreplaceable resources. Apple are above and beyond the worst company in the USA except perhaps monsanto.

    1. Unicornpiss


      Apple doesn't change plug designs at every iteration. But I would agree that for a company that markets themselves as being "green" and tries to attract the demographic that thinks Priuses are green, they are pretty pitiful. Case in point: The iPhone 4 and 4s were packed in an elegant cardboard box that looked nice and did everything it should. The 5 series of phones are in a plastic box with an idiotic plastic retainer, like some 1955 vision of what the future should look like. Yes, it's sort of pretty, and theoretically recyclable, but I'm pretty sure most of this unnecessary plastic will end up in a landfill somewhere. And as a side note, Steve Jobs (whatever you think of him) would not likely have let iOS7 out the door looking like it does.

  39. Lee D

    There's a choice here. Just don't buy it if you don't want it. Personally, anything "non-repairable" is junk to me unless it's literally cheap enough to replace whenever I want (Apple tends not to fall in the bracket for ANY of their products).

    Also, no. You don't get my hard drive if I need it repaired. You certainly don't transfer my data for me. Not even if I've bought the machine from you and am returning it quite soon after for a replacement. The hard drive has private data which I cannot provide to you, or grant you any form of access to, under the DPA. Yes, even my own laptop drives. It might be encrypted, but it's still not going to happen. Hell, I have to have a signed form concerning guaranteed data destruction when throwing out 20+ year old drives I've found in a cupboard, I'm not going to let anyone do it - even as a provided service - where there's a chance they could take a copy of the data (and if the company that does the destruction fails? Case law says me/my employer are the ones being fined anyway, but at least we'd have a way to probably recoup that loss).

    If the solution is to buy your support packages to fix all this stuff, then that's a loss to me. I don't buy warranties of anything, and the hassle of enforcing even standard and compulsory warranties is not worth my blood pressure. There are any number of appliances in my house that it's just not worth bothering with even the statutory warranty for. Most of the things that can "break" on them are a £10 part I can replace myself or where buying a whole new thing is cheaper than messing about for even the postage back and forth (whether that gets refunded later or not).

    I don't like laptops, because they always break on the screen hinges and there's little you can do for those parts when they go that isn't more than a laptop costs. But still, all my laptops allow memory, wireless, hard drive, battery, etc. upgrades. It's a personal choice. The fact is that the purchase price of the laptop + the cost of the warranty replacements + labour + average levels of wear and tear MUST be greater than necessary or Apple wouldn't be making a profit. I'd rather that profit was in my pocket - even if only on average over time - and buy something that doesn't require a warranty to be serviced adequately, and that I can get working or transfer parts out of myself.

    And a lot of people I know are the same - most people I know with even Apple hardware don't touch the warranties etc. as they know they are a con.

    The control of a device I own is, and will always be, with me. Nobody else, unless absolutely 100% unavoidable.

    (I'm writing this on an 8-year-old Linux laptop that I dug out of the cupboard after my more recent one is out of commission - plugged in the hard drives from the new one into the old one, swapped a battery out from a big pile of cheap spares I have, I'm back and working along like nothing has happened within minutes. The laptop itself? One that other people "threw out" because it didn't have enough RAM. Well, it has more than enough for me, and a cheapy upgrade could have fixed their problem. But, no, let's just bin it.)

    I'm the same with cars, even though I know NOTHING about them. Give me an old banger that lets me buy parts cheap and have someone replace them as they (inevitably) fail. No warranty. No supplier problems. No tying in to the original manufacturer. When it dies, bin it and buy another. And yet in all the time I've been driving (and the 100,000+ miles I've driven), all of my cars and repairs added together would barely pay for a year's monthly payments on a new car with fancy warranty and no MOT required.

    It's not a question of expertise. It's not a question of even money (though any warranty is unlikely to be "profitable" to you on average, or else they'd quite literally be generating money for you out of nowhere entirely at Apple's expense - Apple would be bust, and we'd all be rich). Nor is it environmental concerns or business methods. It's a question of how much control you'd like over your devices.

    Personally, you couldn't make me buy expensive crap that I have to even buy a certain screwdriver to fix/replace without me weighing up that gamble (I have a Wii - the chances I'll need to take it apart to do anything useful are near-zero, especially given the purchase price I paid). If your "time" is so important that you are willing to pay for the privilege of warranty replacements - do so. But don't scream at others that they're idiots not to. Gimme a cheaper machine with bog-standard screws and modular parts that I can get from any plastics / battery manufacturer any day.

  40. Radelix

    Just like some cars...

    Are not designed to be repaired but there are design considerations taken for assembling. Repairs are a dealership/ mechanic problem

  41. Potemkine Silver badge

    Applian Logic.

    Everything within Apple, nothing outside Apple, nothing against Apple.

  42. phil mcracken

    If this is a sign of things to come...

    ...I won't be buying any more Apple kit.

    I bought a 15" Macbook Pro last year for music production and DJ use. I'd researched the serviceability (if there is such a word) of my potential purchase before committing to it, as I've been caught out previously by laptops with limited or no capability for DIY fixes.

    It's not just about repairing the unit when it goes wrong - it's also about being able to customise it and increase its functionality as you need. With the way Apple have gone about the new model, you're locked into them for repairs and locked into them for upgrades as well. Most kit nowadays seems to have deliberate obsolescence built in - to me this is unforgivable when you should be able to extend the computers life with some relatively easy and simple upgrades.

    At the online checkout, I had the option of paying an extra £75 to get 8GB of RAM, or £75 to get a 750GB HDD instead of the standard 500GB and decided to decline both (even last year you could get 8GB for £40 and a 1TB for £60). I've followed the fixit guide to upgrade the HDD and will probably do the same for the RAM when it starts to slouch. Ten standard screws later, the entire bottom of the MAC lifts off and I can get at the RAM, the battery and the HDD (plus a lot of the other components) without any problems. Looking at this years equivalent model that no longer seems a viable option.

    I'm not interested in buying the latest flashiest Mac when my current one develops a fault or gets too slow for my liking - I want to be able to upgrade it and increase its ability as required. I got six years of trouble-free service out of my HP laptop and it's still going strong. Is it wrong to want the same from my mac, especially given how much I've paid for it?

  43. Pete Hinch

    Glued-in batteries and resale value

    Before I bought this second hand laptop I checked that replacement batteries were readily available, and that changing them was a user operation rather than a service repair.

    A very plausible usage case of a laptop with all-day longevity is where the thing is on charge overnight then used on battery all day. Hence at two years old the battery could easily have done 500 charge discharge cycles. Depending on the precise detail of the batteries' design this could indicate that their capacity was becoming seriously impaired. This would make it a very unattractive proposition to a potential buyer - someone who, not knowing the machine's actual history or the precise battery technology, would be well advised to assume this worst case.

    Unless Apple make a statement to the contrary the assumption must surely be that the batteries are not intended to be replaced. If it proves as difficult as the teardown implies, nobody is likely to offer clone replacements.

    So a good working assumption for anyone thinking of buying one with a view to upgrading a couple of years down the line is this: assume that your old machine will have a resale value of virtually zero.

    As others have pointed out, glued-in batteries are strictly for cheap toys.

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