Swapping Retina MacBook Pro battery costs DIYers $500
iFixit warns of possible toxic fumes and fires if the job's not done just right
Computerworld - Replacing the battery in the nearly impossible-to-repair Retina MacBook Pro laptop will run do-it-yourselfers $500, two-and-a-half times what Apple charges for the service, said iFixit.com today.
The popular website, which today published a repair guide to the laptop, explained the high price. "We estimate that third-party battery replacements will cost over $500 if technicians follow the safer Apple-suggested procedure and replace the entire upper case assembly along with the battery," said iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens in an email Wednesday.
Apple charges $199 to replace a Retina MacBook Pro battery, 54% more than for a same-sized 15-in. notebook minus the high-resolution screen.
According to Treehugger.com, Apple's own technicians have been told that the battery is not a replaceable part. Instead, the top case assembly, to which the battery is fixed, must be swapped out.
Shortly after Apple unveiled the Retina MacBook Pro, iFixit dubbed it the "least repairable laptop we've ever taken apart," citing assembly practices that included proprietary screws, copious amounts of glue, expensive parts that must be completely replaced even after the smallest failure, and fused components that may break when a neighboring part is removed.
The notebook's battery is fixed to the case with so much adhesive that in June, iFixit was not able to remove it.
The site's pull-it-apart experts have now done that, although Wiens continued to stress the difficulty do-it-yourselfers will face.
"It's clear that Apple did not design this computer for the sake of repair-conscious customers," Wiens said on his company's blog today.
In his email, Wiens forewarned Retina MacBook Pro owners who decided to replace the battery. "While it's possible to remove the battery, chances are high that it will be punctured in the process," said Wiens. "Puncturing Lithium-polymer batteries releases noxious fumes and can cause fires."
The firm's repair guide seconds those comments. "Removing the battery is very difficult. There is always a chance of inhaling noxious fumes and lighting the battery on fire. Work in a well ventilated area," it cautioned.
That guide listed 45 different steps in the battery replacement process, most with multiple sub-steps.
Apple's Retina MacBook Pro starts at $2,199, and comes with a one-year warranty that covers, among other things, defective batteries. An AppleCare support plan, which adds two more years to the warranty, costs $349 for all 15-in. MacBook Pros, 40% more than the same extension for the smaller and lighter-weight MacBook Air notebooks.
AppleCare does not cover batteries unless they have failed or are not up to specifications as "the result of a manufacturing defect," according to Apple.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is email@example.com.
- Apple unveils minor bumps to MacBook Pro laptops
- Feds arrest Florida man who allegedly conned Apple out of $309K
- Yosemite's traffic share triples after public beta debuts
- Apple hasn't exhausted its supply of Yosemite betas
- 13 pieces of advice for Yosemite beta testers
- The other Apple economy: $2B in devices on eBay
- Apple sends users scrambling for OS X Yosemite
- Long replacement cycle drags down iPad sales
- Apple unwraps OS X Yosemite public beta Thursday
- Apple grows Mac sales by 18% on the back of the MacBook Air
Read more about Macintosh in Computerworld's Macintosh Topic Center.
- Agility & Scalability for Oracle EBS R12 and RAC on VMware vSphere 5 This white paper outlines extensive performance and scalability testing of Oracle EBS applications on a Vblock™ Systems with vSphere 5.
- Oracle and VCE: The Next Step in Integrated Computing Platforms In this ESG Lab review you will learn how a VCE system driven by Oracle, delivers the perfect blend of high performance and...
- Migrate Oracle Apps from RISC/UNIX to Virtualized x86 Ready to move Oracle to a virtualized environment? This brief explains how true converged infrastructure can help you migrate from a RISC/UNIX environment...
- Step Out of the Bull's-Eye Learn about the evolution of targeted attacks, the latest in security intelligence, and strategic steps to keep your business safe.
- Keep Servers Up and Running and Attackers in the Dark An SSL/TLS handshake requires at least 10 times more processing power on a server than on the client. SSL renegotiation attacks can readily...
- On Demand: Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed, and it continues to escalate. IT must answer to users who demand access to their... All Macintosh White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!