Repairing your MacBook yourself is a real pain, according to iFixit

The DIY (Do It Yourself) repair of the MacBook Pro M1 is a real obstacle course, explains the famous American repair site iFixit. So much so that one of its experts wonders if Apple really aims to offer better repairability of its products. 

© Sahej Brar/Unsplash

On August 23, Apple announced a repair kit for all MacBook Pro and Air equipped with an M1 chip. This kit, available for hire, includes a manual, tools, and spare parts necessary for the repair (which must of course be paid for). 

A 162-page manual to read 

Unsurprisingly, iFixit hastened to test the Apple brand kit. It was Sam Goldheart who took care of it and who reported his experience in a not very good blog post for Apple. Note that the site is usually very lenient with the products of the Cupertino company. 

Sam Goldheart wanted to change the battery in the 14-inch MacBook Pro and got a 162-page manual to do so, with Apple saying to read it in its entirety. Replacing the battery of this device is much less simple than one might think: you have to replace the entire upper case and keyboard to achieve this. 

It’s unusual for laptop battery replacement to require the entire laptop to be disassembled, but Apple does not currently sell a replacement battery for the 14-inch model. This is of course reflected in the price of the DIY repair: you have to pay well over $400 for the top case with battery after the repair credit.

A very painful process, according to iFixit

Apple presents repairers with an excruciating number of hurdles: reading 162 pages of documentation without being intimidated and deciding to do the repair anyway, paying an exorbitant sum for an overpriced replacement part, deciding whether you want to drop an extra $50 on the tools they recommend, and do the repair yourself within 14 days, including completing the system setup to pair your part with your device. This makes us wonder if Apple really wants better repairability. 

Writes Sam Goldheart. 

A note of hope all the same: Apple specifies that in the future, a replacement battery will be available for those who want to repair their device, but we do not know when. As a reminder, last April, the Apple brand also deployed its repair kit for the latest generation iPhone 12, 13, and SE.


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