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iFixit Tears Down The Retina MacBook Pro: Apple’s Least Repairable Product Yet!

iFixit Tears Down The Retina MacBook Pro: Apple’s Least Repairable Product Yet!

While most people have yet to get their hands on a new Retina MacBook Pro, the folks at iFixit have already got their screwdrivers on one, and have torn down the new MacBook to reveal it’s internals. What they found, however, is that the new $2000+ notebook is nearly impossible to repair.

iFixit reveals (as I suspected) that the RAM in the new device is soldered to the logic board, and that Apple is using a proprietary design for the blade SSD, meaning that neither of these parts are user upgradable (although companies will likely eventually product SSD upgrades for the device).

Even worse, Apple is using proprietary screws throughout the body of the machine, and a battery that is firmly glued (and not screwed) into place – and it’s glued right above the trackpad connector, making the trackpad nearly impossible to replace as well.

The teardown also did a great job at revealing the beauty of the new MacBook Pro’s internals – this thing is just as gorgeous on the inside as it is on the surface! Unfortunately, that beauty won’t mean much to users who need the machine fixed after the 1-year warranty expires. Get ready for some expensive (really expensive) repair bills!

The team at iFixit concludes that the new MacBook Pro with Retina display is Apple’s least repairable yet. Put in more practical terms: If you think there’s any conceivable chance you’ll need 16GB of RAM or extra storage space, get them from the very beginning, because you won’t get a second chance.


The entire teardown, with pictures, can be found over at iFixit’s website.

  1. C Eric Peters says:

    Sounds perfect for some Apple Care upgrade action

  2. JG says:

    I am really not at all happy about this development.  I refuse to believe that with all of Ive’s design prowess and Jobs previous insistence that users be able to have at least SOME access to the internals of their pro level kit, that it was necessary to lock the notebooks down like this.  I am all for Apple setting boundaries on what can and can not be played with in the guts, but this is absurd.  Calling it a MacBook “pro” is like calling Ford Fiesta a “race car” because it has a spoiler on the back.  One of the hallmarks of their pro level kit has always been a certain amount of user upgradeability which is now totally absent in their notebooks.

  3. BjornSM says:

    This sounds like it is just driven by an overwhelming desire to make it as thin as possible.

    I do not believe it has anything to do with “locking down” components for upgrades.

    1. I find that hard to believe. They used proprietary security screws throughout the whole machine, and their own proprietary connector for the SSD that’s almost (but not quite) exactly like PCIe.

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