The question, “Are Apple Macs Becoming Increasingly Difficult to Repair?” is rather a contentious issue. We at Affordable Computer Repairs and Services are however finding that unfortunately newer model Macs are both more difficult and more expensive to repair. This is borne out by iFixit’s analysis of the new 2015 Retina MacBook.
2015 Retina MacBook
iFixit gave the Retina MacBook an impressible low 1 out of 10 for reparability and yes you can’t really get a worse score than that.
The reasons why the Retina MacBook is very difficult to repair are provided below:-
- The large battery within the Retina MacBook is glued, yes glued to the case. Furthermore if you wish to replace the battery the logic board has to be removed first so that the battery cable can be disconnected.
- The display is a fused unit and thus will be very expensive to replace. Thus if you break your glass or the LCD panel, the entire display assembly needs to be replaced.
- The logic board includes the processor, storage and memory all soldered onto the board. Thus should one of these component fail, the entire logic board will need to be replaced.
- There is only one USB-C port thus it will get more wear and tear, being the only port available. This means that it is more likely to need repair at some stage. However as the port is buried beneath other components and under the display brackets as well as secured by tri-wing screws it is going to be a difficult and tricky repair job.
- Opening the Retina MacBook is also very difficult due to the proprietary pentalobe screws and the fact that some components are actually housed on the lowercase and connected to other components inside the laptop via cables. Thus ones needs to be very careful in even just trying to open the case.
Many Apple users believe that the Retina MacBook is difficult to repair as in order to make MacBooks increasingly slimmer and the ultra-slim design is the cause for the low reparability of the computer.
Others disagree say that they believe that MacBooks are deliberately being designed by Apple to be replaceable (disposable) items rather than repairable computers.
2014 Mac Mini
The latest Mac Mini received a much higher rating from iFixit for reparability – a score of 6. One of the main reasons the Mac Mini scored so much higher than the Retina MacBooks is because there is no glue used in the Mac Mini at all.
Some of the negative items listed by iFixit in relation to the reparability of the Mac Mini include:-
- The RAM of the Mac Mini is soldered onto the main board and thus no longer upgradeable.
- The same applies for the CPU.
- Due to the assembly including T6 Torx Security screws it is harder to access and clean the fan or replace the hard disk.
iMac 27” Retina
The latest iMac scored a 5 by iFixit in relation to how reparable the computer is. Again the main reasons given for the poor score were due to accessing difficulties. In order to reseal the iMac you need to very, very carefully remove the double-sided sticky tape and then apply new tape. It’s a fiddly and tricky job. Again as for the MacBook, the iMac glass and LCS is one unit meaning if you break the glass you have an expensive repair as the entire display unit needs to be replaced.
Affordable Computer Repairs and Services – Expert Apple Mac Repairs