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Teardown shows Retina MacBook Pro is nearly impossible to upgrade, difficult to work on

Bill Detwiler shows you why the MacBook Pro with Retina Display is nearly impossible to upgrade, a pain to work on, and lacks an essential Pro feature.

Apple's MacBook Pro with Retina Display is one of the most powerful and portable laptops on the market. But in this week's episode of Cracking Open, I show why it's also nearly impossible to upgrade, a pain to work on, and lacks what many consider an essential Pro feature.

There's a lot to like on the Retina MacBook Pro. It's thinner and lighter than the traditional MacBook Pro, measuring 0.71" (H) x 14.13" (W) x 9.73" (D) and weighing 4.46 pounds.

It's also powerful. Our MacBook Pro with Retina Display test unit had a 2.3GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics processor, 16GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD. And, the 15.4-inch LED-backlit Retina display (2880 by 1800 pixel resolution at 220 ppi) delivers a wonder image.

Unfortunately, all these positives are offset by some serious negatives--at least for fans of the traditional MacBook Pro line.

Full teardown gallery: Cracking Open the Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Cracking Open observations

  • Tamper-resistant case screws: This is the first MacBook Pro with pentalobe case screws. Apple uses these annoying tamper-resistant screws on the MacBook Air and iPhone 4S. Apple doesn't want you inside this machine. And once I popped off the back cover, I saw why. Unlike the standard MacBook Pro, which is designed to be upgraded and serviced by you--should you so choose, the Retina MacBook Pro isn't.
  • Can't remove the battery: Instead of being a single, removable unit, each battery cell is glued to the machine's case. This makes the battery nearly impossible to remove without damaging it or the components underneath. It also means you can't get to components under it, like the TrackPad.
  • Proprietary solid state drive (SSD): As on the MacBook Air, the Retina MacBook Pro has a proprietary solid state drive, which will make it difficult (if not impossible) to swap it out for a larger, third-party one.
  • Can't upgrade RAM: Also like the Air, this machine's RAM is soldered to the motherboard, which makes adding more memory impossible.

Missing "Pro" features

And if all this wasn't enough, Apple also dropped two features that set the MacBook Pro apart the thinner, but less "professional" MacBook Air--an Ethernet port and optical drive.

I don't think losing the optical drive will anger many Pro fans. I have an optical drive on my 2011 Pro and can't remember the last time I used it. But, the Ethernet port is another matter.

When Apple first announced the new Retina MacBook Pro, I asked TechRepublic members if they or their co-workers still needed machines with an Ethernet port. A resounding 88 percent said yes. Sure, you can use a Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter, but that's one more thing you have to buy and carry.

Honestly, this new machine is more like a MacBook Air than a MacBook Pro. And as such, you'll need to plan your purchase carefully. It's may be pricey, but you'll want to buy all the RAM, storage, and processing power needed for the life of the machine.

Bottom Line

Now as of this taping, Apple still sells traditional 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pros (Ethernet ports, optical drives, and all).

But, I can't imagine they'll keep both Pro lines around for very long. Once the price of solid state drives and the Retina display are low enough, all MacBook Pros will probably look like this one, at least until all that hardware will fit into an Air.

For more information on the Retina MacBook Pro, including performance and battery life benchmark test, check out Dan Ackerman's full CNET review.

Internal hardware

Our MacBook Pro with Retina Display test unit has the following hardware:

  • 2.3GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics processor with 1GB of GDDR5 memory
  • 16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM (Hynix H5TC4G83MFR x 32)
  • 256GB Flash Storage (Samsung Model: MZ-DPC2560/0A2)
  • 15.4-inch LED-backlit Retina display (2880 x 1800 pixel resolution at 220 ppi)
  • Broadcom BCM94331CSAX wireless adapter
  • Broadcom BCM57100 Integrated Gigabit Ethernet and Memory Card Reader Controller (BCM57100B0KMLG)
  • Parade Technologies PS8401 HDMI Jitter Cleaning Repeater
  • Intel BD82HM77 Platform Controller Hub (PCH) (E209B413 SLJ8C)
  • Intel Z213T010D L213TA57 DSL3510L (Thunderbolt controller?)
  • Texas Instruments/National Semiconductor VM21AC 45-EXTJ
  • Texas Instruments (58872D TI 1CI A37S E4)
  • Intersil ISL8014A 4A Low Quiescent Current 1MHz High Efficiency Synchronous Buck Regulator (8014AIRZRF213JC)
  • TL02043A 6352.113 ZSD205
  • SMSC USB2512B USB hub controller
  • Texas Instruments/Stellaris LM4FS1AH microcontroller
  • Maxim MAX15119 GTM 203 ISM0QAF
  • Intersil ISL62882C multiphase PWM Regulator (62882C HRTZ F209DMD)
  • Pericom PI3VDP12412 Thunderbolt signal switch - x4 Lane, DisplayPort 1.2 switch with support up to HBR2 (PI3VDP 12412NEE 1145EG ES12)
  • Renesas Semiconductor R2F2113 16-Bit Single-Chip Microcomputer (R4F2113 XLG A02 AD00279 1215JPN)
  • Hynix H5GQ2H24AFR GDDR5 SGRAM (2Gb x 4 = 1GB)
  • Texas Instruments TPS51980 TI 21K CSCV G4
  • Intersil ISL6259A battery charger (6259A HRTZ F207BZ)
  • Cypress Semiconductor CY8C24794 PSoC Programmable System-on-Chip (CY8C24794-24L TXI 1207 A 04 CHI CYP 606491)
  • Linear Technology LT3957B DC/DC inverting switching regulators (215 3957 B68413)
  • Cirrus Logic CS4206B Audio codec (4206BCNZ C2LH1203 MAL)
  • Texas Instruments CD3210 A0 TA 221 A4Sk (x2)
  • 02313 06SD201

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

62 comments
macbrook
macbrook

I was going to buy this when I spilled my coffee on my 2011, but ended up just getting a new logic board. For my uses, the performance is almost identical. Used the guide at ifixit, but bought the logic board for significantly less than they charge. Generic-but-appropriately-named ebay seller:


http://stores.ebay.com/macbookproparts


Grabbed a second battery while I was at it, and I'm back in business, hopefully for a few years more!

jmhunter77
jmhunter77

Which is this, Apple computers are a luxury item, like a BMW or a Harley. If you just want a computer you can tinker with, get a $40 Raspberry Pi, a car get a Hyundai, or a bike get a Honda. If you want luxury, then buy it, if not, stop deriding those that do and enjoy your "upgrade-able" items.

BIO Hazard GXP
BIO Hazard GXP

First... A hats off salute to Bill Detwiler and Tech Republic for an excellent tear down and honest review of the "New" Mac Book Pro. This article is another reason why I will never own anything made by Apple. When you purchase Apple, you are stuck in the Apple world of Proprietary BS. An endless list of special cables, connections, charging devices, and equipment. Apple has never played nice with others and treats consumers like crap. Everything you do with Apple (and I dont care which device you want to talk about) costs more and is over priced for what you get. Batteries (I dont care who makes them) **FAIL**. Its a fact of life. Whether its the Iphone Ipad or the "new" Mac Book Pro, a consumer cannot replace the battery. That is just wrong. To top it off, in the new Mac Book Pro they glue the battery in place. Soldering memory in place is insane. Every computer I have owned has had memory upgraded or replaced at least once. Memory also fails. Not a sure thing like a battery but still significant enough to make this move by Apple idiotic at best and irresponsible at worst. A proprietary hard drive.... What a shocker.... Another bad idea but no surprise. I have upgraded or replaced hard drives multiple times. To limit me to Apple hard drives only is completely ridiculous. If the initial price doesnt drain you... buying Apples add-ons and upgrades will. True one can buy external hard drives from third party vendors or you can store everything out in the i-Cloud (again more money). But thats no help if that proprietary drive ever fails. Apple can keep all of their i-Crap. I personally cannot wait for the day Samsung or some other company finishes off this company once and for all!!!!

speacock0
speacock0

I think your analogy only partially works, in that Apple products aren't really luxury products, they are commodity components packaged in a way to make them feel luxurious - the styling, branding, packaging, advertising and market positioning are all aimed at creating a luxury feel, while the actual system isn't really anything special, it's made of the same cheap commodity components that every other system is. The analogy with BMW cars doesn't work for me, they are actually designed and engineered to a very high standard compared to a Hyundai. Comparing Apple with Harley does work for me though - both style over substance, branded and positioned as luxury items while in reality being no better and often not as good as their competitors. With regard to the serviceability, we all know that batteries wear out and hard disks fail, to make these components not serviceable by anyone other than Apple is to lock people into a maintenance contract. I'm sure that's what Apple want to achieve and from their perspective it's good business, but it doesn't make much sense for the purchaser who will find his system increasingly expensive to service once the warranty runs out. It's also another push in the direction of disposable technology, a trend which is dreadfully wasteful of limited resources. Car manufacturers tried to push down this route some years back when they made things like sealed unit headlamps which required you to replace an entire headlamp complete with the garage labour costs to do so, simply because a bulb had failed. Consumer backlash and common sense has luckily put a stop to such short-term, wasteful and proprietary practices in the car industry so it's a shame to see Apple trying to do the same for their products. It may be profitable for them in the short term, but many people who find themselves having to shell out lots of cash just because they want to replace a worn out battery will be wary of purchasing an Apple product next time around. We have a mix of Apple, HP and Dell computers in our small office, and it's fair to say that the last Apple Mac Pro purchase last year was such a poor experience that it was likely to be our last, if this is the way that Apple are heading then I very much doubt we'll be buying any more.

Nitramd
Nitramd

Apple's reputation was built upon its ability to forfil the needs of professionals, becoming (almost) the industry standard for photographers, editors, sound designers, ect. It is a concern that this tool of the trade may have its life span shortened by its inability to be upgraded to cope with future software developments, which will need to deployed for one's buisness competitivity. It is fortunate for Apple that MS appears to be turning its back on its desk/laptop customers with its W8 Metro, it is sad to see Apple to also, in this case, treat their loyal customers simularly. May be they should rename it the MacBook Lux!

HypnoToad72
HypnoToad72

(and before the phone's release), followed by said CEO blaming customers and saying they were holding the phone wrong... plenty of articles broke both of these issues and it's amazing this company is still revered. For if any one of us was a CEO and was such a condescending jerk to our customers, we'd be toast in a minute. For ethical and moral reasons, Tim Cook has a lot of repair work to do thanks to that creep who used to run the joint, doing more to sell a false image rather than true quality. His 'capture' of possibly-defective iPad3 for the wi-fi issue is a good start, but I do feel sorry for him. His predecessor treated people like fertilizer and really does not deserve the respect he gets. Man vs myth and humans should be intelligent enough not to kow tow to myths.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

[i]Apple has never played nice with others and treats consumers like crap.[/i] The more accurate statement would be, "... treats techies like crap," because the consumer, Apple's primary customer, absolutely couldn't care care less that they can't crawl around inside their machines. Apple is saying that it's the techies that do most of the damage that causes a machine to go in for repair in the first place. Personally, I agree with them. Why? Because through personal experience the machines that last the longest--whether speaking OS X or Windows machines, are the ones that never get opened up. I have a G3 iBook, a G4 Mac Mini, a first-gen MacBook, two iMac Extreme 24" models, two first-gen iPads, 4 iPhones (two now used as iPad Touch) and 4 iPods and with the exception of the iMacs needing replacement hard drives, not a single one of them has been opened for maintenance or upgrades of any kind. That's 12 years of Mac ownership where I haven't had to pay a single penny for support and haven't had to crawl around inside them for any reason. In other words, Apple's machines are flat-out designed to be left alone. You, the techie, are not the intended customer for Apple's products--at least, not in the sense you'd like to believe. A MacBook Pro is not intended for the "pro" techie but for the enterprise professional--the doctors, lawyers, engineers and executives. Photographers, videographers, musicians, none of them have a need or a desire to know how their computers work--so long as they do work. Fine, you won't buy a Mac? More power to you. Apple could care less whether YOU buy one of their machines or not. On the other hand, the people who really count--the consumer--they care a lot about and do everything they can to offer the best product and the best service they can within the limitations that they refuse to be defrauded by people who intentionally--by whatever means--damage their machines.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Take 100 generic (any brand) Windows PC and put them beside 100 Macs. Install Win7 clean on all 200 machines and then put them all to performing the exact same tasks--processor and device-intensive tasks--and leave them alone. Check on the number of machines still running un-touched a week, a month, three months, a year, two years, etc. and see which ones break down over the course of time. What you're going to find out is that after 3 months between 5-10% of the Windows boxes will have failed while maybe 1-2% of the Macs fail. At one year the ratio will be around 25:10. Two years nearly 50% to maybe 20% and 5 years roughly 80% to 40%. Macs simply last longer because they're built to last. You complain about them gluing the batteries down but let me ask you this: If components inside the case are allowed to shift even the tiniest bit, doesn't that mean connections are stressed and soldered joints break? Sure, they're not serviceable by the typical user or even a moderately-trained techie, but they're not meant to even require servicing over their lifetime. Denigrate them all you will; Macs are still more reliable than the average Windows PC. Oh, and for all your complaint about auto manufacturers and "sealed beam headlamps", why is it that cars are so much MORE expensive now that you can do some of that work yourself?

jscott69
jscott69

... predicts that computers will get twice as fast every 18 months or so, for the same relative price. For decades, that theorem has driven the PC product lifecycle and lifespan. Apple's new products will most assuredly work fine for 18 months. In fact, I'm quite certain they'll work fine for several years beyond that. But NO computer made by any manufacturer (yet or in the foreseeable future) will beat Moore's Law: they'll all be replaced within 18 months or so with a much faster version with other upgrades and features. So what's the point in whining about how "obsolete" someone's new MacBook (Pro or Air) will be in 18 months? Every laptop will be. Every desktop, too. Sure, not everyone can afford to buy a new one every 18 months. And the bulk of people won't try. But a stocked-up MBA or MBP should deliver at least 4 years of solid service. I have MBP's that are 8 years old or older that still function fine (albeit, on older versions of the OS). I even have a 25 year-old Mac SE that I started up the other day and it beeped and fired right to life, and I was able to type up a document in no time. Worked as well as you can expect a 16mhz machine from 1987 to work. Every new PC becomes obsolete the day it's assembled. Some can be upgraded later on, but the reality is that only a tiny fraction of them ever will be. No enterprise is going to bet it's future on some fly-by-night processor upgrade company's promises that they might be around in two years to support what they sold today. So the fact that PCs can be upgraded doesn't necessarily make them any better than a Mac that can't be, when, in the end, they're both going to be replaced in 3-4 years anyway for the latest, greatest thing.

CharlesDR
CharlesDR

Upgrade? 90's 1MB was a killer, few years later 8MB, around 2000 521 MB was good. So it took ten years to go from 1 MB to 1000 MB. (1000 times more) It took another 10 years to go from 1GB to 4GB as an almost standard. (4 times more). Now we have 8 or 16 GB for top notch apps. Average user is still perfectly happy with 2 or 4 GB. This is from my point the reason why Apple did it the way they did. With sound, video and photo we work with resolutions human ear and eye is not able to distinguish anymore. We are on the edge now. If something super new will not come, whole industry may slow down. Smaller? Yes. Lighter? Yes. There is no need for upgradability the way it was before. Ntb is good for 3-4 years for pro things. If it makes our living we will buy new after 3 years, if not, it will be still good enough. Same for HDD - I use external device for big data. What else one needs?

Nitramd
Nitramd

Fertilizer, that essential item which promotes vigorous growth & yield! Please see definition of SNAFU,

plandok
plandok

Sounds to me like you are hoarding Mac stuff rather than using it everyday and feeling rather virtuous. I am not a techie professionally but I tried to maintain my mother's iMac (older version) over 4 years with a recall on the power supply, replacement of 3 hard-drives, a new MB battery and 2 Mac Keyboards. Wound up using corded stuff because the iMac wouldn't retain bluetooth connection. She became terrified of doing something wrong because of all the problems - just so she could e-mail, browse family websites and print (usually) photos of the grandkids. Wouldn't think of spending more money for a Windows machine after the cost of the iMac and subsequent repair bills. And, after 4 years the iMac was "only" worth $250 on a local sale site since no Mac dealer would take it in trade. How's that for Apple goodness? I won't go into the Mac Hell, my son had during his student days with a MacBook Pro. He even went up to Steve and a VP promised help but made him a "do not serve" customer at the local authorised fixer. And they also "lost" his machine when he sent it back for replacement. He is young enough to be OS bilingual and still prefers his "old", "slower", IBM ThinkPad which hasn't failed in 10 years and which he got off the IBM site refurbished and at a student price. Guess where my loyalty lies. We are using 10 year old Win machines here at home although I built my own gaming level machine so I can do photo editing and graphic arts. Don't know if anyone has ever "built" their own Mac.

Nitramd
Nitramd

Yes we do, thats why we decided on a business basis not to buy!

emarques
emarques

I have to disagree with your comment. A real tech won't "damage" anything, normaly the ones who "damage" computers (either Apple or Windows) are USERS. They randomly download and install crapware; remove, delete and erase important system and application data. Now, if you don't have any need for upgrading your computers (either Apple or Windows, I can't care less), that's great for you! Now.. most 5 year old Apple computers won't even run the latest OSX (Lion) proper, and as such won't benefit iCloud and many advantages of the new OS. And sometimes, just adding some more RAM is just enough to make it run better. I work with Apple computers, I am a tech guy. I know what I'm talking about. I upgrade a bunch of Apple computers for clients who NEED upgrade, REAL users who need their computers to WORK, and sometimes need more power of them, without having to buy more modern Macs - most wouldn't even buy more modern computers, because they wouldn't afford it at the moment. From a TECH point of view AND THINKING ABOUT THE USER, it can be really bad having no serviceable parts. And if I can't repair/change hardware on them, neither will Apple authorized service. They'll simple replace the whole computer. An example: Apple service doesn't change a broken lcd GLASS on a macbook pro (old model), they change the WHOLE screen and lid. The price doubles, as you can imagine. Why won't they change it? Because it's more work. It's better to ask the customer to pay 2x more, than to have the Apple Tech work more. Recently my macbook batery failed. Solution: Replaced battery. If I had one of these new macbooks? Buy a new one. My client broke his LCD glass, but the screen was ok. Solution: Replaced glass. Price? Half the price he was gonna spend with Apple Authorized dealer, changing the WHOLE screen. I don't have anything against the new macbook pro. If I could afford it and had money to buy a new one if I needed more power or if something broke down, I'd buy it instantly. But I just don't have that amount of money laying around. I'm just the average joe, who's money comes from very hard work, and doesn't come in easy, or falls from trees. Also, if a customer comes in with one of these computers out of warranty, I'll just have to tell him: "sorry dude, go buy a new one".

HypnoToad72
HypnoToad72

And, as a photographer and web designer, and in college for web development and programming, I like and want to know how things work and how to optimize them... or repair them to keep MY downtime as a SMB low. Since that's rather important. And I know Apple couldn't care less. I've observed their attitude. I'll praise them for being good with AppleCare and legitimately so based on what I've read, but there's a lot I dislike. But life isn't so simple I can blindly hate, even if it's simpler for people to be so blind. And that's why most customers are blind. It's too much effort for them to do...

jscott69
jscott69

Apple isn't Acer or Asus or Dell. They don't build enterprise computers, they create consumer products, for which the needs are definitely different. Bio Hazard GXP does a great job of pointing out all the "non-standard" stuff in the new MBP. Apple has -- for years! -- used standard RAM, standard drives (optical, hard and SSD), and more. No one really cared. Sure, it helped a little when it came time to upgrade the machines -- more RAM or a bigger drive -- but I saw somewhere that Apple's research showed that something like 75% of all customers never upgrade their MacBooks from their as-shipped configurations. So ... it became advantageous (again) for Apple to use proprietary components, because they can design them to be smaller, lighter, more power-efficient, and even less expensive. For example, to offer an easily removable battery, Apple has to design the system to retain the battery yet release it when needed. Those elements of the design require extra space and manufacturing time. Making the batteries a dealer-serviceable item removes all that complexity -- which opens up space in the system so the battery can be bigger (and thus last longer) or so that the entire system can be smaller. Same goes for soldered-on RAM (though I, too, am not a big fan of RAM soldered to the main logic board). And probably even the SSD. Most consumers will appreciate the design trade-offs that Apple made, because they're undoubtedly based on some survey data, in addition to Apple's forward-thinking product planning teams who are paid big bucks to figure out what should be done to improve Apple's products without ticking off the bulk of its customers. If you happen to like standard PC components in a standard PC form factor, you're in luck! Because pretty much every other PC maker makes pretty generic-looking laptops and desktops. But even with them, as you start getting into the ultrabook lines, they start using proprietary designs. Fortunately, you've got the freedom to choose which device works best for you and your needs. Judging by MacBook sales (both Pro and Air), a VERY significant number of people feel the MacBook line fits their needs quite well. That's great for them. If it doesn't work for you, buy something else that will. Funny ... that's not all that different a situation than religion, politics or just about any other passionate pursuit.

garyleroy
garyleroy

Sounds like you're the ultimate Apple customer...don't want to fix or upgrade, just buy a new one of whatever they make. Then defend that as being the wisest approach. It may be the wisest approach from a "sell more things, make more money" standpoint, but not for most of us who don't want to spend every spare dollar on Apple's newest whatever, and don't mind it being a disposable product tied so tightly to Apple's supervised use. A proprietary hard drive? No Ethernet port? The hard drive is an obvious attempt to force any repairs to be done by Apple at their high prices, and the lack of an Ethernet port is just plain stupid; wireless may have come a long way, but still lacks the speed and consistency of wired connection, and when you need to transfer a lot of data, performance of wireless is poor in comparison. Perhaps it's their way of keeping users satisfied with a 256GB hard drive...much more easily filled with a good connection. Next we'll hear from the fan base who will staunchly defend both the hard drive and the (lack of) Ethernet. Problaby the battery too, which will probably be the first component to go, and with replacement likely to cost several hundred $$$, the Apple faithful will just toss the old and buy the new. (it's a "feature" to help prevent the Apple faithful from falling into the trap of using outdated equipment, because any good and true Apple customer would have replaced it with the latest long before the battery fails)

Nitramd
Nitramd

Reliability reports produced by Square trade, Consumer Reports & PC World from 2008 to 2011 with samples of around 40k each, place Apple 4th, with a malfunction rate of 11% yr 2 & 17% yr 3. (Asus 1st with 9% & 15.6% & Hp last with 16% & 25.6%!) Apple came a clear 1st in customer support, noting it was the easiest & fastest to get it fixed (guess where HP came!) As it has been stated in this discusion that Apple places higher quality demands upon its suppliers to reduce component failure rate, so what accounts for the no. 4 spot? Admittedly these surveys do not indicate type of usage & PC World's could be influenced by owners with a grudge! so results be treated as a guide & general indication of trends only. The other factors could be contributing to this failure rate could be any of or combination of the usual suspects: compromised board layout, failed soldered joints through thermal fatigue,thermal grease/heatpad problems &/or heat sink/fan design, or have we all sat it down on one's lap the wrong way (for Apple), leading to the high temps some owners of MacBook Pro's have reported here. (Apple are allways first to admit & correct problems inherent in their designs, (just like HP!)) However if this failure rate (or even Asus's) is applied to the new Retina Macbook Pro, (with its sealed rtb protocol) due to manufacturing or design flaws, then Applecare is essentual. I would be pleasantly supprised if the combination of Intel i7, SSD, reduced parts count & simpler manufacturing proccess yielded by the soldered RAM & Battery, could bring the failure rate down to levels that would offset this additional Applecare cost.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

In many ways you can look at PCs similarly. But that doesn't make sense, does it? Ok, I won't deny that Apple, like anybody else, will have the occasional 'lemon.' What you overlook is that while that MacBook may be "overheating", what you have is a massive heat sink drawing the heat away from the components and thus protecting them as compared to, as you put it, "... my cheap, plastic Sony." Then again, your complaint about the 'light leaking' displays seems to fade away as the device 'ages', merely pointing out that most of those products where people have complained are barely off the assembly line where the adhesives used aren't fully cured yet. For that matter, that 'light leakage' problem barely affects most users as the device is used in full daylight or a brightly-lighted office most of the time. Only somebody looking for defects with the intent to denigrate the product would even consider that a failure. On the other hand, I'm fully aware of 'ghosting' and quite honestly I've seen it even on Apple's older displays. Quite honestly it's little different from the old CRT's 'ghosting' due to a high-contrast image sitting at one place on the display for any kind of significant time. This is why screen savers were originally created and honestly it's why they're still needed. Reducing the intensity or sharpness of the display would obviously reduce the ghosting. The retina display is only a higher-resolution display using the same old LED technology. Apple does tend to set the display to a high-contrast mode by default, which I will complain about, but merely reducing the brightness and the contrast by about 25% makes a huge difference in the level of ghosting. By the way, Apple's displays aren't the only ones that 'ghost', they're merely the ones people choose to make vocal complaints about as they try to denigrate the brand. You are right; on average people don't know and don't care about the internals of their devices--they simply want them to work. That also means that a more reliable device will last longer for them. Which again means more overall savings. Since most laptops now are placed on some sort of cooling stand any more, that 'overheating' thing isn't nearly as bad as you'd like us to believe. Oh, and that cars tangent? Cars themselves supposedly have razor-thin profit margins--if any. Trucks on the other hand have anywhere from 20% to 50% profit margin (depending on model and equipment) that means for most brands their trucks subsidize their cars and at least where I live trucks appear to be a good 30% of the traffic if not more. Part of this is obviously due to the less expensive construction (body on frame vs unibody) but they obviously don't need to be quite as tightly engineered simply because the truck has so much more room in the cab compared to most cars, which makes the engineering itself less expensive. True, trucks are becoming more popular as family vehicles, but they're still easier and cheaper to build as a result. Those headlights? Sealed-beam was a federal mandate back in the '50s and only for the US as far as I know. The models that went with plastic lenses and reflectors went to smaller but no less expensive replaceable bulbs that could still be user-replaced--if the user knew how to dismantle the assembly. It wasn't an attempt to force users to take it in for replacement, it was merely the user's ignorance of the procedure that made them take it in.

HypnoToad72
HypnoToad72

regarding Macs overheating. "2010 Macbooks seriously overheating" being the first of many series of keywords you should be using to find out issues that grossly contradict your point. iFixit has shown macbooks to have poorly applied thermal grease, even in the 2011 models, leading to overheating and questionable long-term viability... 2009 models just about overheated... the ones I've used got 15C hotter than my cheap plastic Sony of the time... Never mind warped screws, dripping oil under a fan, and other appalling issues for a device hyped up as being quality.i MacBooks have a better built case. The INNARDS are what are slopped together. Right down to the unevenly lit backlight. For such a "quality, well-built" product, the 2011 year model was a total nadir. I exchanged the one I'd bought twice. See one of my responses above; when my MBP's battery dies, if the rest of it still works, I would rather spend $200 for a battery than $2500 for a new laptop that might not work with my software. Adobe won't always bend over backwards to any other company, and most of us SMBs have to look after our budgets after a certain point as well. If Apple wants me to spend $2500, then maybe I should migrate to Windows and bankrupt myself in the process because of it preferring me to spend more money just to make itself look better (and more vain) in the process... but I digress. A friend bought a 2012 model recently and had problems, leading to an exchange. That's a lot of "coincidences", and nobody's talked about the ghosting issue in the retina screen yet... Like I said in a response above - most people don't care to know about details or specifics. Maybe if people bothered, they wouldn't resort to crude generalizations about Macs being more reliable. I want real stats of your claim, with all the computers doing the exact same things over the period of time. Given how HOT macbooks get, and being in technology for two decades, anybody telling me macs are better isn't going to win me over very quickly. Even Apple's own website has loads of people complaining about issues that DO affect the long-term lifespan of the electronics. But to get to your cars tangent: Cars are probably higher in price to make profit margins look better, since more and more people don't have the money to spend. Inflation, wage devaluation, stagflation, wage cuts, and other issues all contribute to that as well. There are other factors, yeah, but I may as well mention the ones that aren't said the most often.

elangomatt
elangomatt

I'd like to see your source for those statistics, but I'll accept them as valid. At the two year mark, I bet most of those Window's PCs either had a RAM, hard drive, or power supply failure. Those are easily fixed with a screwdriver and a replacement part. Those 20% of the Apples that failed at the 2 year mark? They may as well be bricks since they are 1 year out of warranty and sealed like Fort Knox.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

"twice the components", in other words, half the size. Now, admittedly this tends to work out to "twice as fast" in most cases, but there is also a law of diminishing returns, where halving the distance of a line means you get there twice as quickly. When you start talking in nanometer lengths it becomes an inverse logarithm because it still takes data a certain time to travel through the components. Just as charging a capacitor or an inductor to full takes a 'practical' 7 time units, in truth that component isn't truly at 100% until much later. Each 70% rise per time unit is 70% of the remaining distance so that the 'effective' charge is short but not complete. The same is just as true in devices like our computers, even if not as obvious. A more practical demonstration might be the parable of the frog hopping half the distance down a 10-foot path with each leap. He will never cross that 10-foot line because he will never reach it. How does this apply to your discussion? First off, as you say eventually any product, no matter the brand, will fail--it's only a matter of time. The difference is that while that "Retina" MBP will eventually fail, it is significantly less likely to fail than its competition over the same period of time. Apple's obvious effort here is that Apple intends for the device to remain reliable over its practical lifetime (I'll call it 5 years just to set a point) so that it's more efficient to purchase a new one rather than repair and update the existing one. The enterprise has on average developed a replacement/upgrade cycle of 2.5 years--some at two, others at three. Why? Because the average commodity-priced hardware only lasts from two to three years before requiring a repair that costs more in IT labor than the device did new. Apple's devices on the other hand, tend to last more than twice as long and this fact was proven even 20 years ago in a public documentary that, unfortunately, I can no longer locate but which I watched on a cable channel in the early '90s. Reduced maintenance costs with increased productivity can offer higher savings and even higher profits to the manufacturer and the user. So setting your arbitrary 18 months may be legitimate for the generic Windows/linux PC, but fails abysmally for Apple's products when speaking of productive lifespan. Laptops in particular almost never see in-box repairs unless it is an easily-swapped component like the hard drive--but even that is fading due to the relative reliability of SSDs. Laptops simply don't get repaired any more unless the problem is software--at which point the fix is a simple re-imaging rather than troubleshooting. Anything more becomes too costly. In other words, Apple's demonstrating that replacement will be cheaper than repair while ensuring that you won't need to replace it until long after the 'equivalent' PC has been replaced a minimum of once and more likely twice.

Nitramd
Nitramd

I consider your comment reflects current status quo due, & not unreasonably so,to fulfill the needs of current market forces, I look forward to any comments. regards nitram

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Extended warranties aren't--except in some European countries where they are extended by law. You may think those cars are servicing for nothing, but in all honesty if that light comes on, there is a problem, even if only an intermittent one. You mention the iPod battery issue; are you talking about the one where Apple replaced [i]every single third-gen iPod Nano for free?[/i] Maybe you're thinking of the motherboard capacitor issue which affected every single computer brand--including Apple--which Apple recalled and repaired/replaced those affected motherboards? Oh, and it's obvious that you've forgotten that Best Buy does sell Apple computers too.

plandok
plandok

Someone insisted on standardized error codes for any and all cars, at least in North America. How much time is spent servicing for nothing because of this weak spot. And it can happen anytime. With new cars you get between 3-5 years standard at "no visible extra cost". With Apple you want 2 extra years, that'll be $300 dollars please. Does that tell you anything. Macs are expensive to fix after 1 year (remember the iPod battery fiasco?). Just like Best Buy tries to sell you an extended warranty. That's where they make their money. But their extra 2 years on a non-Mac is much cheaper than Apple Care and there are (still) a lot more Best Buys around than Mac dealers.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Does define their reputation, as Apple carefully and meticulously ensures both that the breakdown is a warranty-covered item and has proven to offer the best customer satisfaction before and after service compared to any other brand. Oh, I don't deny there are some errors made; techs are human after all. But those errors are far fewer and less expected of Apple and therefore often see far more publicity than similar 'errors' by the other brands. The problem is, those other brands go out of their way to dodge warranty work, even going so far as to delay resolution until the warranty period has expired in some cases. Why? Because warranty costs money and when you're already on razor-thin product profits you can't afford to repair every little return on an already cheaply-built product. Apple's hardware profits do cover that service and more by the simple fact that by using higher-quality components (even if they do look like commodity parts) they have fewer breakdowns and experience higher savings. Too many people simply refuse to believe that just changing the failure rates of on-board components can have such a significant impact on overall reliability. Having been an engineering technician for an electronics company [i]and[/i] having worked for an Apple component supplier, I've seen very clear evidence of this practical fact.

Nitramd
Nitramd

You have highlighted one of my bugbears. Why is it that PC's efficiency have not kept pace with Moore,s law. The only answer I can come up with is that it allows the developer to produce software more rapidly to present to the market place, hence increase his/her profits by beating their competitors, and who could blame them, after all they are in business! As the cost of processing power due to Moore's law is offsetting this coding inefficiency, (at this moment), then no one notices or cares that the same tasks could have been performed on lower powered equipment, (as the overall combined cost of software/equipment might of been more). However, as I come from an aerospace background, it does really annoy me of the inefficiencies that the market forces have forced upon the developer to produce his "bloated lazy code" and the tantalizing possibility of equally capable smaller & energy efficient equipment is denied, It has to be stated that the commercial & the environment I work in demand different limits to be met, which for us also demands time consuming rigorous debugging, testing before release & flight that can take months (years), so I can not be too harshly critical, but hopefully offered a new perspective of what could be. With the advent of smaller form formats such as the Tablets & Ultrabooks, it is a shame that the opportunity to produce efficient code & comparatively outstandingly powerful, highly portable & long life productive machines is again being lost to market forces. Does it really take a war (armed conflict, not commercial) to achieve this? Apple with its unique position to produce both software & specify design to its sub contractors is in a prime place to do this, if the will was there. One thinks back to the genesis of Apple, their goals & first products, then look to their present positions which appears to be profit oriented and one is saddened at what might have been & has been achieved. This betrayal, I believe is what makes every one angry at Apple. I would like thank all here for their contribution to this constructive discussion, especially to both Vulpinemac, jscott69 for their interesting, kind & informed opinions.

Nitramd
Nitramd

Taking your car analogy, it has been pointed out in other comments that other than to change the oil, filters, brake pads ect, one takes the vehicle to a garage who can afford the expensive diagnostic equipment & other special tools to correctly service & repair the car. The car manufactures have justified this specialism & additional complexity, by making todays car very reliable, have increasing distance/time between service intervals , increase its availability and overall life span,so reducing the total life costs. They back this & generate the confidence we are expected to have to invest in their product, by increasing the length & often the scope of the warranty ( 7 years & 100,000 miles best seen yet). Perhaps Apple should follow this example, and demonstrate equal confidence in their new sealed for life construction, by increasing the scope & length of their warranty. By doing so, not only would it possibly silence any critics of the increased risk & cost, but also raise the standard again for the industry. As to the 3 to 4 year life expectancy, if the rate of change for required performance of is indeed reducing, negating the need for internal upgrades, wouldn't this imply that the overall laptop is still viable for its original task, Should it not be unreasonable then to expect a longer expected productive lifespan too? Performance degrade over time is expected, but this should be, especially in this case, be accounted for in the original spec, (this degrade is sometimes a reason for replacing with higher spec components), The traditional reliability bath tub curve of high initial failure rate followed by the long flat low productive use phase, followed by a rapid increase towards the end of life is not entirely accurate, studies show that there is a gradual increase of failure rate from the initial low point. Note that this is a probability and someone can experience a failure any where on this curve, and how the prime contractor, Apple in this case, fairly responds to that unfortunate, will & should define their reputation.

jscott69
jscott69

Work does expand to fill time available. And customers are being asked to expect that Apple's components will last 3-4 years. But isn't that reasonable to expect? When you buy a car, do you expect to have to replace the cylinder heads in a year or two so that you can gain the 15hp that BMW will add to next year's version of your M3? No, most M3 buyers -- despite the performance nature of the model -- are more than happy to live with the car as-is the moment they take delivery. (Second owners tend to do more mods.) Studies also show that most failures in modern equipment tend to happen within the first year or after the fourth (when the machine becomes so slow -- due to bloated software upgrades -- that it churns and churns, generating loads of heat that then "fries" components). Year one is covered by warranty. And after 3-4 years, the machine is due for replacement anyway. And there's always extended warranty coverage (AppleCare). So, I'm not arguing the validity of your points -- they're all very accurate. But my question would be: So what? Few people fix their PCs. Most just replace them once they're out of warranty. In that case, what's it matter whether the "dead" machine is loaded with standard or proprietary parts? It doesn't. Except maybe for the second owner ... and Apple sure isn't concerned about them (nor is Dell, Asus, Acer, Lenovo or any other PC maker -- they all want to sell new machines to users every couple years).

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

The current round of tablets emphatically proves it by the fact that just like the PCs of the '80s, '90s and '00s, Operating systems and software in general have inflated to take advantage of technology improvements that were required to better handle ever-larger software. It's become a very vicious cycle and until the new tablets was getting worse and is now going the same direction with them. Apple temporarily broke that chain back in 2001 by switching from their in-house MacOS to the UNIX-based OS X. That switch pared the size of their OS by more than 50% while offering even more features than W2K and even WinXP. Vista was Microsoft's attempt to do something similar but we all know how well that went and even now Microsoft is having to patch un-needed and supposedly well-hidden Win95 code that has become a vulnerability for malware. Vista wasn't a re-write but rather just another, albeit extensive, revision. I believe Win8 is Microsoft's first real attempt to make legitimate changes but until I know more about it I really can't say they've gone to the extent Apple did to break from legacy issues. Patching is one thing, completely re-writing the code is something else and it's something Microsoft seriously needs to do.

Nitramd
Nitramd

Where I can agree that need to change has slowed, I am not comfortable that Apple sealed the spec in such a manner that it makes it very expensive to its customers if they've got it wrong. Although the spec looks generous, I question will it be after applying a variation of Parkinson's law, (Work expands to fill time avaiable for its completion.) to that of, Applications will grow to exploit all of the resources available. Those dynamicaly increasing required resources spec's are being set by that general market sector average & not the R McPro's static set. Also Apple are asking us to trust that the reliabity of their SSD, ram & batteries are now at such a level to be able to maintain the specified performance over 3 to 4 years?. Again the risk of additional cost due to parts, labour (outside of warranty)& decreased availabity due to rtb, would be ours & not Apples to bare. Anyone, how much for a used 4 yr old Retina Macbook Pro (unrefurbished)!? At the end of the day its up to you, if you trust Apple & like the sealed utility aspect, buy it. Otherwise explore the other options that are available whilst there is a free market (patents pending of course !)

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

My wife and I use our mid-'07 iMacs heavily every day and yes, I will admit that each of them have needed their internal hard drive replaced--once. They were covered under AppleCare. They're both valid for use with Mountain Lion when it comes out next month so we will continue to use them at least until the next big cat comes out. But that doesn't cover the other three. The '05 aluminum MacBook still runs well, though admittedly we did need to replace the battery last year. Wife had a habit of leaving it plugged in all the time. She's still able to do everything on it that she does with her iMac, though she is limited to Snow Leopard as the OS. It hasn't slowed her down. The white, G3 iBook also still runs--limited to Tiger but now loaded with Ubuntu--and never used because it just doesn't have any purpose to us as a Linux box. It's the wife's play-toy as she keeps up with the Linux distros. Last but not least we have a G4 Mac Mini that for the last 4 years has served as a DVR and now that it's been replaced by an AppleTV box will turn into a local web server for our 5 websites. The iBook and the Mac Mini have never been opened for service and the iBook is still on its original battery. Of those three devices, only the iBook sees minimal use. Hoarding? We currently have about 5 home-built PCs sitting in closets and the basement always with the thought of rebuilding them to modern standards--and never going anywhere with that. Our Macs have just been too reliable.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Regretfully, Accountants have been running too many industries lately and as a result, many companies have failed and others have become mere shadows of what they used to be. Steve Jobs alone proved this with Apple itself, hiring an traditionally-trained CEO back when Apple was young and, after getting fired himself, watched his company go from a leadership role to near bankruptcy. When he returned, he fired the then-CEO and effectively took over the company. I believe we all know that Jobs was neither traditionally-trained nor an accountant, yet he carried Apple from the gutter to the top in a mere 15 years. Take a look at Sears--once one of the most respected retailers in the world. Where is Sears now? So many other companies have taken that same route--the one you used to work for is a prime example. Companies need leaders, not bean counters at the top. Accountants should only keep track of income and outlay and not even try to advise on actual business policies. In any business you have to spend money to make money or you simply will not succeed. To paraphrase too many cliches, you can't make something out of nothing. This is why Apple has been winning for so long and why I believe they will continue for the foreseeable future; Jobs instilled his staff and company with the need to ensure the product was the best it could be before release and if some feature wasn't ready, then either disable that feature or delay release until it was. The three-month delay of the iPhone 4 nearly 2 years ago pretty much proved that he didn't feel it was ready for release. Yes, I do remember the so-called 'antennagate'. I also remember that for such a media circus, it had very little real affect on product sales itself. Where you say "they hang their customers out to dry," I see where they're still trying to make the best product they can--up to the point of at least trying to prevent misuse and mis-handling. Apple's reputation for customer service is still far higher than any competitor. Now, to tell you the truth, I think Cook is right about litigation; he didn't agree with Job's drive to have all things Android killed outright even though we all know (but may not want to accept) that Google effectively stole the iPhone's concept. It was simply too coincidental that Android spawned so soon after the iPhone itself. Rather than taking it to court as strongly as Jobs did, simply blowing it away with superior technologies would have been cheaper and more effective. In my opinion, the court battles went farther towards promoting Android than they did killing it. That said, Apple still needs to protect the patents it does have and you have to admit that many of the OEMs have directly copied Apple's methods over the years and have only recently been able to bypass most of those patents. Samsung, on the other hand, has used nothing but pure industrial espionage; easy for them since they've been Apple's primary component supplier for several years now. Apple's punishment to them is slow in coming but practically inevitable as they have already started sourcing components from several of Samsung's competitors--not letting any one of them handle a majority share of the orders.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

We where the Country Distributer and the Service Center was there to Serve the Customers most defiantly not make a profit. What I did notice was when the Accountants took control of the company and started wanting the Service Section to make a profit the Sales of new product dropped to such a point that the company failed completely and no longer existed within 5 years. When I was there we where the Market Leader who everyone else was judged by, with the best product and then 8 years latter they no longer existed. So while Apple may be within their rights I firmly believe that their actions are adversely impacting on their sales and it's only going to get worse the more that they hang their customers out to dry. Unfortunately Winning in Court very rarely shows who was right or wrong just who had the better Legal Whores to represent them. ;) Col

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

... because quite honestly on seeing the condition of that return I would have refused to service it. Sure, by LAW the owner may have the right to open the case, but that law shouldn't force the service center to 'repair' obvious negligent handling. I don't care who the manufacturer is, they're only going to authorize a certain payment based on the average repair time and materials use for a given problem. Your shop only got paid for that 15-minute fix and had to eat the remaining 11 hours plus of labor. If your shop was the manufacturer's own shop (and not an "authorized service center") they would have refused service even to the point of going to court if necessary. How do I know? My shop did that more than once and put all the onus on the factory to accept or refuse the service. You might remember the outcry when Apple refused warranty service on an iMac, claiming negligent abuse by the user because the interior was all grunged up. A lot of people declared Apple in the wrong, but in the end Apple won out because they proved that the breakdown was due to nicotine and tar from cigarette smoke, not any defect in the material or workmanship of the machine itself. My own shop refused repairs on cat-pi$$ed devices that was supported by the manufacturer itself on several occasions. No, an unqualified owner should and in most cases will affect warranty coverage. Anything else becomes fraud against the company.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

[i]"... most 5 year old Apple computers won't even run the latest OSX (Lion) proper, and as such won't benefit iCloud and many advantages of the new OS."[/i] Sorry, I'm using a 5-year-old iMac that has been running on Lion just fine ever since it came out and is cleared for running Mountain Lion as well. I will acknowledge that Mountain Lion won't work on the white iMacs or older machines, though. Anyone who says Lion doesn't work right on a Core2 device needs to get their facts checked. First-gen aluminum MacBook runs it fine. Now, I don't deny that machines will go bad over time. In most cases Apple's machines last far longer than any other brand's, but not always. However, if the breakdown occurs during the warranty period [i]and[/i] is a warranty item, Apple treats its customers significantly better than their competition as evidenced by their customer satisfaction ratings which are still in the 80% range. Considering AppleCare covers you up to three years then normally you're fine even after the warranty runs out since if it lasts 3 years it's likely to last longer. If it's not a warranty item, then I don't care what brand it is, it's going to cost you. If you're not an Apple-authorized repair shop, you don't need to be repairing Apple computers. Sure, they may be more expensive, but I'll guarantee you they do it right.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

By reducing the number of Parts that they have to carry. The fewer parts that they carry the cheaper it is for Apple to [i]"Service"[/i] their products. Though it's most certainly not confined to Apple they have taken it to the extreme with the Glued in Battery concept. I remember recently how Sony Batteries could catch Fire and here you have to believe that Apple isn't making the Batteries but buying them from one of the Big Battery Makers who in the past have had problems. So if they get a Bad Batch of Batteries just who do you think will pay for the replacement of the Case, M'Board and so on. I can guarantee that it will not be the Battery Suppliers who will be part of the real problem. I currently have a iPhone 4 to replace the screen on well actually the front glass after a fall. The back is easy 2 screws and it slides off. The front is a different story with a lot of work involved to get it off let alone back together and working again. As for Techs damaging the units I vehemently disagree! I always find it's the users who do the real damage and here they are within their rights to dismantle devices to attempt a repair as the warranty under our LAW only prevents third Parties from dismantling the devices. If you work for Apple and the user dismantles it you have to carry the costs as they are one of the parties that is allowed to after all it's theirs not Apples. ;) Sure you can charge for what they may break but if they completely strip the thing and hand it to you you carry the cost of the time to repair and rebuild the thing. I can remember 45 years ago a customer ringing up internationally asking how to secure their product so it wouldn't get damaged in transit tot he Companies Distributer here. I said just bolt it to the case and it will be fine. What I didn't know is that they had totally reduced it to component parts so they screwed the base to the case and threw the rest into the case before closing it up tight and giving to the airlines to transport. What was a 15 minute repair to do took well over 12 Hours and we had to eat the costs of the reassembly because under the Warranty only the Supplier and the owner had the right to pull the thing apart. The idiot thing here is if a Qualified Repairer that was not either from the Distributer or it's Authorized Service Agents or the Owner the Warranty is Void even if they do no harm where as a Unqualified Owner in no way affects the Warranty. Col

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

... at least as far as Apple is concerned. Do your research.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Ever since this latest recession started, the average PC market has been flat or even in decline--with the exception of Apple's PCs. This seems to go counter to your argument that, [i]"Apple is a psycho-selling genius of a company ... convinced ... customers, new is better."[/i] People, for whatever reason, despite the economic downturn were buying Apple's computers often instead of significantly lower-priced Windows computers. Why? Now, if we were to believe you, then somehow they've managed to brainwash the un-brainwashable--the PC user. Where else could they be getting the millions of customers every quarter when they could once only manage a few hundred thousand a year? No, the more logical explanation is simply that Macs do last longer and Macs are easier to use--though I won't deny that like any other brand there will be a few that are less reliable; that percentage is lower than anyone else's, however. Apple has never catered to the 'cheap' crowd. The reason for that is that Apple actually pays more to ensure a certain quality level for every discrete component on their boards. They balance that buy buying higher quantities which pulls the per-component price back down. I worked for one of Apple's inductive component manufacturers and watched as 40' trailers full of a single-rated device would pull out of our shipping bays--after undergoing 100% testing for accuracy. Now, I'm talking about components sometimes sized no larger than 1/8" diameter with tens of millions of individual pieces on that trailer. I've also seen those trailers return, requiring another 100% testing under even tighter conditions before Apple would accept delivery. That's not a company that accepts mere commodity components for their hardware. Apple is not a WalMart* brand. You get what you pay for with Apple; you pay for what you get with anybody else.

plandok
plandok

when it gets to the landfill (or ocean), all those lovely little atoms of heavy metals, get de-ionized by rainwater or groundwater (is there anything which is actually impermeable. Or the stuff is sent to Africa or China where it is dumped - by mistake - on saltwater coasts or taken inland to be burned in old oil drums. Guess what? All the crap creeps into the creeks which flow to the coasts or rise up into the atmosphere. And satellite imaging shows stuff from China blowing right across the Pacific and into California and Nevada. That's recycling on a global scale. Heh?

plandok
plandok

Any business today is in the business of making money. Doesn't matter how, just make money. Banks used to be in the money service business but now they are run by lawyers hiding all the nasty stuff in small print (really, really small). Computer companies are in the business of making money by selling techno products and will do so by any means like changing the shape or color. Etc. Until there is a catastrophe, personal or national, people won't stop buying until they can't. As far as I'm concerned, Apple is a psycho-selling genius of a company as it has convinced a set of consumers, new is better. Yet, what is being done on these things is more or less the same. Retina schmetina, thinness, etc. Parts failure is an excellent excuse to buy a new something. Thus, developed, formerly wealthy countries are all experiencing deep failure and social dissonance because the only mantra left is "jobs" even if it further ruins the world we live in. China (and Walmart) control most economies and Apple is tagging along as the richest business entity but are they making the world better? "Oh, that's not our job." Just like a president or commander saying, "I didn't know. Not my fault." But, trust me, everyone dies eventually and everyone is going to live in the doggie poop before they go to wherever they go when their bionic systems fail.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Even my iPhone 3G still gets 2 days of standby on its original battery and my iPhone 4 gives me at least 3 days of average use (not counting the Mophie battery case which effectively doubles that.). Of course, I don't leave the thing plugged in 24 hours a day or run the thing 'til the battery is totally dead. Maybe that's why my batteries last so much longer than yours.

rhonin
rhonin

I have my doubts. 12 year old iBook on original battery? Hmmm..... My MBP is only 3.5 years old, on it's 3rd battery. My iPhone 3GS is getting its second My iPhone 4 won't last past lunch anymore My iPad 2 has a noticeably shorter battery life than when I bought it. This is normal. I am unaware of any new technology that allows the level of battery life you are describing. If there was, it would make headlines. Call me skeptical and very concerned about "throw away" electronic devices. Oh, and Apple just pulled all of their EPEAT certs. AND. ...... when that battery is replaced, who is recycling it?

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

First, the article said "glued" not "superglued"; odds are if it does need to be replaced they have a valid, non-destructive solvent for it. But even that's beyond the point. Apple has clearly stated for the last couple years that their batteries are intended to last a full 1,000 cycles and I've heard hints that, even taking aging into account, they could last double that [i]with proper use.[/i] This doesn't mean that they'll last that long if the device is plugged in almost 100% of the time; honestly no battery will survive that and some die far faster than others under those circumstances. By making those batteries non-replaceable they reduce the wear and tear on the machine and the battery both. Batteries need to be almost fully cycled with each use--brought up to full charge and used down to 20%-10% before recharging. I'll grant that you can't do that every time, but any user should be able to do that most of the time and that's what Apple is counting on. Even my 12-year-old white iBook still gets 2 hours of practical use on a charge with its original --admittedly replaceable--battery that was only designed for a 3 to 4 hour charge. Number of cycles? Just over 300 because the only time the laptop even got used was when I was on vacation which means about 10 to 15 days a year. My iPad, first-gen purchased about a month after release, still gives me 5 days of standby time or about two days of 'normal' use reading and browsing the internet on a daily basis. As such, any complaint about the battery in the new "retina" MBP is misplaced from the outset.

Nitramd
Nitramd

This I believe is a product of short term profit, reward to the shareholders, options awarded to executives first, ( plus in some cases bolstered by the LLC (limitedLiability Companies) status), that come before those of their customers. Of course if it goes wrong (or spotted), the too big to fail & important stratigic home industry card is played to the government! So you still loose! What do I think about the USA having a free market? A good idea! ( apologies to Gandi).

HypnoToad72
HypnoToad72

for which I'm ironically laughing at the tragedy to follow... I'm just worried the battery, superglued in, will cause more headaches for the company. When a battery goes bad, and they will within 2~5 years, I want to spend $100 for a new battery. Not $2500 for a new laptop without a very good reason. Apple can choose to be customer-friendly or be Apple-friendly. And since most companies really don't give one whit about customers anymore, which is one reason why the whole bleeping world is in such a mess - nobody thinking, having consideration, or even empathy... since that might hurt their profit margin... but as taxpayers we'll still be giving Apple and others plenty of subsidy to stay afloat, since we're apparently in a free market where certain types of government involvements are welcomed more than others... Sorry for the tangent into 6 different directions... but they're all inter-related, in one form or another... nothing is ever so simple... except bumper stickers and I'm too busy driving and the ramifications to care about one-liner throwaway bumper stickers...

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

... why would you want to buy anything else? Ok, for tax purposes you say you should replace your MBP, [i]but[/i] you also clearly point out that it still works great. In other words you're getting a far higher return on your investment than any of your other machines. Why, then, replace it if you don't need to? You worry about the maintainability of the new MBP and yet you clearly point out [i]that it doesn't need maintenance.[/i] Which, really, is the short-sighted viewpoint?

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

... if I felt I needed a laptop. What I've personally seen in both private and corporate use is that most laptops are used as 'portable' desktops, a function they fill very well, rather than mobility devices. As such, most of my clients set their laptop on a desk, plug it in, and never move it from that spot; they would have done just as well if not better with a true desktop computer at the same price. Many of today's AIO PCs are proving that. So for me, I simply don't have a need for a laptop. Other views will vary. Having been a technician (not a so-called IT professional) for almost 40 years now, I've seen technology change and I've seen what works. Cheap makes sales and are often quite easy to work on--but the cost of the repair frequently exceeds the retail price of the device (Boombox, VCR, even TVs and computers). The devices that lasted the longest without repair were the ones used regularly and yet treated with respect--usually mid-priced to higher priced components that were well-built and often harder to work on. While technology has changed, habits--both corporate and individual--haven't. People still leave their laptops plugged in full time and then complain when they get less than half the advertised charge life out of them. That's not the battery's fault, it's their own. Computer keyboards still get grunged up with food particles, dust, hair, liquids and who knows what else and yet the users complain when, for whatever reason, those keyboards quit working. This is pretty well true of every electronic device. Which reminds me, I was just given a laptop that quit working to see if I could fix it. The keyboard looks like the user did nothing but eat at his computer and the case itself is simply grungy from his (or her) dirty hands. The real problem for failure, though, is the broken plug-in adaptor where once I clean the thing up I should be able to fix by simply re-soldering a broken connector. This is a problem Apple solved 7 years ago with its Mag-safe connector. Yet another reason you don't even NEED to go inside a Mac laptop. I don't just look at my immediate needs when I buy something, I try to look at how it will be used over its lifetime. I didn't NEED to buy a Jeep Wrangler when I bought my mid-sized SUV, but I knew it would take me places almost no other SUV could go for the price as well as giving me a drop-top convertible on a 4-door car that will cost far less to replace the top when it finally weathers through than any other convertible on the market (well, maybe except for the Fiat 500). So really, when you buy a product do you simply go impulse buy or do you think it out. If you think it through, I believe you'll find that Apple's concept is extremely well conceived.

rhonin
rhonin

If you read Hypno's entire post, you will notice "made for OSX". Not available on Windows. Let me add to that. I have a self owned consulting business and I need at least one MBP for design / testing. From a tax perspective I should replace it. From a functional it works great. When I do replace it, I am having serious concerns over the new design trend. See my reply above for details. Now to my "real" job. We primarily use Windows machines. This is not a concern over function, but a concern over a single source global supply chain - hold the business hostage, basically. Now add in the latest "no fix" design. Deciding to use Apple is fiscally foolish. I grant the right of any and all to use what they want / need. When you start taking all pieces into account, you have to really ask why you would buy a Mac.

rhonin
rhonin

[i]"you will find that I do NOT buy the "latest and greatest" but rather buy what I need, when I need it" [/i] Great statement btw - I do the same. That said, when I look at this, I am being tasked with buying not what I need, but what I think I may need over the next 3+ years. This relegates my purchase to a guess (even if educated) and at a premium cost. Based on this, will you buy into these latest "disposable black box" designs?

JohnOfStony
JohnOfStony

Back in the days of the Apple ][, I chose the Acorn BBC Micro which was a significantly more versatile and better designed machine which would work with third party add-on disk drives, printers, etc., unlike the Apple which only worked with Apple peripherals. Credit where credit's due, Apple did adopt USB (but not USB 3), so they're not quite as bad as they used to be. However, my brief foray into the Mac world was a failure because my Mac Mini wouldn't talk to my camcorder via firewire, nor would it talk to my musical keyboard via MIDI/USB, and as for being user friendly - as a software engineer for over 30 years working on a variety of operating systems, I couldn't figure out how to record an edited video onto DVD. I had to ask an Apple enthusiast friend of mine at work. Overall, I'm very glad that I didn't get locked into Apple as so many people have. I have a 6 year old Dell laptop which I've opened up and upgraded 3 times (2 new hard drives for increased capacity, 1 RAM upgrade for improved performance) and it's never let me down although it does need a new battery now - but at least I can unclip the battery - I don't even need to open the case! - and buy a replacement at a reasonable price. I don't hate Apple, but I don't see myself ever buying an Apple computer, and even the iPhone is now off my shortlist in view of what Samsung and HTC have to offer.

nwallette
nwallette

This may be the first time I've ever heard someone whine about their business-critical software tying them to OS X. If the machines are so overpriced and ridiculous, won't you save money in the long term by buying a cheap PC and purchasing new software? Heck, most people purchase new licenses (or re-up their subscriptions) every couple years anyway, just to be up-to-date. I'm not saying I like the fact that everything's nailed to the case, or that there's no Ethernet port, but this is where I see the engineering decisions made, and then make a simple pass/purchase decision of my own. It *is* that simple.

HypnoToad72
HypnoToad72

See my big post above with the 5 points, but spare us the one-dimensional mantra of "choice". Most of our apps that are made for OS X don't run on Windows, therefore if we want to save money by NOT replacing all the Mac software with Windows software, we stick with Apple. This means Apple has to have some responsibility as well. You might find, out here in the real world, it's really not as simple as you want it to be. Try being in a business for once. You might not like it.

jscott69
jscott69

... you don't have to buy any Apple products. Not one. If you don't like them, don't buy them. That's it. Easy. But, obviously, a helluva lot of people DO like Apple's products and choose to buy them -- either despite or because of Apple's designs. For every "negative" that you point out, there's at least a counter-balancing positive. They're just different approaches. If you like your PCs to use standards-based components, great. You've got lots of options that will undoubtedly make you perfectly happy. For whatever reason, those systems do not satisfy the needs and wants of Apple's customers. And that's okay. Choice is good, isn't it?

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

If you bothered to actually read my comment, you will find that I do NOT buy the "latest and greatest" but rather buy what I need, when I need it and so far my newest computer is 5 years old and my newest iPad is the first-gen model bought more than 2 years ago. Who's wasting money? Not me. I clearly stated that you were perfectly within your rights to say you don't like them; that does not give you the right to say I'm a "sheep" because I do. I've used Apple's computers right beside Windows (and before that DOS) machines since 1980 and my Macs have never required replacement in less than 5 years while my Windows boxes almost never lasted more than three. In fact, my first Apple II, purchased in '79 even before the IBM PC came out, remained a viable PC for me for over 12 years. The simple fact that Apple's sales of computers have been ever-increasing since the first iMac in '98 shows that USERS, not techies, like the Apple product to the point that Apple is now the #3 PC manufacturer in the world [i]when you don't count the iPad which has driven Apple to #1.[/i] Again, techies are NOT Apple's primary customer base--users are.