The repair service provider finds that apple-watch-series-8-will-feature-a-new-shade-of-red-according-to-rumors/">Apple even makes its MacBooks “less repairable” by including them in the Self Service Repair program – because of the costs.
The renowned repair service provider ifixit, which has been campaigning for Apple’s right to repair for years, finds that Apple’s expansion of its self-repair program to MacBooks with M1 chips is insufficient in its current form.
battery broken? A whole top case, please
As stated in a first review on the organization’s official blog, take the step the devices are even “less repairable” than before. The reason: Apple has ensured that frequent service work such as replacing the battery is far too expensive and time-consuming. In the latter case, Apple only offers the entire top case to participants in the Self Service Repair Program (SSRP), which is currently only available to end customers in the USA but will soon also be available in Europe. This consists of the entire underside of the computer including the keyboard. The batteries are not sold individually, although Apple has now made it easier to remove them for certain models.
“You have to disassemble the whole thing,” writes iFixIt expert Samantha Goldheart. “All components.” Apple recommends reading the entire repair manual. The price is also a problem: Apple likes to keep more than 500 US dollars, if you send in the top case later, you end up at “only” 440 dollars. That, in turn, is between 30 and 50 percent of the retail price of brand new MacBooks in the US. At least iFixIt praised the quality of the repair manual, which explains everything well.
Conclusion: It doesn’t get any easier
All in all, according to iFixIt, the SSRP on the MacBooks means that the repairability score that the provider assigns has to be reduced again on the M1 MacBooks. “We ask ourselves: Does Apple even want better repairability?” After all, it could be that Apple will add to the batteries in the future. The group states that it may make batteries available at least for the MacBook Pro at a time “in the future”. When the time will come – and above all, how much it will cost – remains unclear.
All of this makes self-repair rather unattractive at the moment, although it’s very welcome that Apple is finally releasing info like the one in the repair manual. The problem remains that Apple is still trying to control everything massively and practically nothing can be saved with the self-repair. By the way, anyone who came up with the idea of equipping their MacBook with a better motherboard with a faster SoC via the SSRP will be disappointed: That Apple explicitly doesn’t allow it because the availability of spare parts depends on the respective serial number.