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Apple's Proprietary Software Locks Kill Independent Repair on New MacBook Pros (vice.com)
472 points by rodneyrdx 67 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 436 comments



The impact of this will be much bigger outside of the US, as most countries outside of North America do not have a single Apple Store.

In those countries, usually there is a licensed repair provider, but the customer experience can be drastically different. In Bulgaria, I've had to wait of over 3 weeks for a simple in-warranty repair of a MacBook, like a keyboard replacement.

Using unlicensed repair stores has been the only choice.

Now that this option is gone, it will surely be harder to justify owning a MacBook as a business device.


It might be totally unfeasible for a consumer to get your rights over a small repair, but you do have EU-law protection for your rights as a consumer.

Article 3 of the directive [1] states your rights quite clearly: "Any repair or replacement shall be completed within a reasonable time and without any significant inconvenience to the consumer, taking account of the nature of the goods and the purpose for which the consumer required the goods."

If the seller does not meet these guidelines (possibly enacted in local law, but this has to be within the framework set by the directive) you can annul the contract and get your money back. For a laptop, 3 weeks seems unreasonable and with significant inconvenience.

The bigger point is that Apple seems to be totally in denial of European consumer law and actively seeks to hinder timely and convenient repairs. That is one that should be addressed at a European level. They allow stores to sell their product without being able to offer the minimum warranty. Via EU-law that's a problem for the seller, not so much Apple, but the EU could argue that it's Apple that is setting the agenda and hindering stores to give proper warranty.

[1] https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A...


I hope we get a "right to repair" law in EU, where the seller is required by law to provide repairability services next to their regular warranties. That means that, as a seller, you must provide a service to repair (and replacement parts) for "reasonable" prices for anything you sell.

For example, if you're selling notebooks, you must be able to provide notebook parts and repair as well for the products you sell.

Context: Imagine dropping your macbook and the screen breaks; You must be able to get it replaced for a "reasonable" price and you must be able to buy a replacement screen to repair it yourself. The seller must provide these services (either by delegating it to a repair or repairing it themselves)


Maintainability is a feature, so to speak. Another option would be to purchase the product that best fits your needs, including warranty, repair, parts, upgrading, etc.

If Brand A decides it's best to not provide Feature X and you __need__ Feature X, then you can decide that Brand A isn't for you.

If anything should be legislated it should be publishing the details about warranty coverage, average cost or repair, most common repairs, as well as turnaround times. Then, with that info, let the consumer make the decision that best fits them.


> Maintainability is a feature, so to speak.

Yes, but lets be clear, this is not lack of maintainability... this is very clearly _anti_maintainability, there is a big difference.

There is nothing inherent to the hardware design here that makes replacing components impossible, just the addition of this one chip for the single purpose of preventing it.

And it's not surprising, we all know Apple's position on Unofficial or user repair options.


As a "consumer" who develops iOS apps, what alternative choice to a mac can I make? With monopolies that tend to crop up these days, the phrase that customers have a choice rings hollow.


Today? Few. However, in doing this, Apple is creating opportunity - provided the market wants an alternative.

That being said, the arc of my point is, that if there's going to be legislation it should start with information that enables the consumer, not inject Uncle Sam into another problem that it's unprepared and unable to solve.


> you must be able to provide notebook parts and repair as well for the products you sell

You’re proposing commanding companies to erect and maintain new and complex supply chains and packaging schemes. It’s a well-meaning proposal. But it will be costly. That will deter new entrants and increase prices in your market. Do this many times from different perspectives and you end up with a towering bureaucracy and sclerotic economy.


But if "the nature of the goods" required them to ship the laptop to Apple to have a diagnostic run after the repair, and that takes a few weeks?


It doesn't, though. There is nothing fundamental to the concept of a laptop that requires lengthy, licensed repair. That's the point of the law--you're allowed to be realistic about your product's needs, you're not allowed to deliberately make it harder than it has to be, so you can corner the repair market.


Totally agree, and the more I think about it, the more I feel that apple products have started becoming inaccessible to me too.

From what I understand they want to protect their brand by building quality and repairing with quality as well.

Issue is that they are lacking on employees for what they want to do.

A week ago I was in the apple store in London, a guy next to me bought one of their new flagships through o2 and the phone's buttons weren't usable, he was told by o2 he has to wait 3 weeks on a replacement, so he tried his luck by going to the apple store. He was told that there is nothing they can do and that he has to do it through o2, which I personally find it appalling, having paid a big chunk of money and getting a defective product, which is under warranty and all that and being told that they can't fix it or replace it and you have to go through the person you bought it from to replace it. I felt like their service isn't going to do any justice to me if anything is to happen to my iphone, watch, airpods, macbook.

Not to say that i live in Greece as well where the waiting times to get something repaired is around 3 weeks as well, I managed to fix my own keyboard on my mac watching youtube videos and ordering the toolkit from amazon in 2 hours... they wanted 3 weeks, and looking at it, to an experienced engineer with the right tools would take about 2 mins to fix it.

They need to invest in their repairs worldwide if they want to keep their customer base imho.


I don't normally give salty replies on HN but I have to say no. This is incorrect.

> Issue is that they are lacking on employees for what they want to do.

That is not the problem. The problem is many of us do not accept the world in which everything, down to the hardware we touch is just licensed to us.

Some of us live to hack, crack and diy. We are jealous of the right to repair, tinker and transform.


> Some of us live to hack, crack and diy. We are jealous of the right to repair, tinker and transform.

Completely off topic, but here in Norway we also have a right to reverse-engineer software if the vendor can't or won't provide what you need to complete an integration. This has been the case since the 1960s if I remember correctly, and it's still in there after revising the law this year.

Ref: Åndsverkloven of 2018 §42 [0] (in Norwegian), https://lovdata.no/lov/2018-06-15-40/§42


The way I see it US govt won’t enact a law that makes their big businesses worse off (at-least) the current ones.

They brag about how well off the top companies are, valued at trillions and that’s their measuring stick.

But as a consumer, the govt is not for you. If you want repairability, don’t buy from Apple. There is a reason why Apple as a brand is not popular in places where they don’t have Apple stores and good support.


> That is not the problem. The problem is many of us do not accept the world in which everything, down to the hardware we touch is just licensed to us.

As far as I know, this is not allowed in most of the EU if you bought the device outright.

On the other hand: The customer probably bought the phone with a O2 combination contract in which case it is a phone-on-a-loan (as in banking). In that case the provider is responsible as seller and loan provider, and the Apple store employee is correct to refuse unless O2 has a direct servicing agreement with the Apple store.

If he bought it outright (even through O2) and O2 doesn't provide reasonable service (missing your phone for three weeks isn't reasonable) he can request repair within warranty at the factory but will most likely have to pay for it himself and then send the repair cost to O2 (which they will argue against doing in order to avoid paying). The "factory" can refuse to do so and send the customer back to the seller in which case he/she should argue for a quick repair or stop the contract with reimbursement.

It's a complicated problem, but the Apple store was most likely correct in this case.


I'm not commenting on the story the OP was sharing here. I'm commenting on the first broad observation they made. They implied that the main issue with Apple locking out repairs on their devices was that Apple themselves could not service all potential necessary repairs because they did not have the scale to do so.

But I say there's a problem way before we get to whether or not Apple can meet the demand for repairs worldwide. I don't like companies that intentionally attempt to prevent people from repairing, hacking or modifying things.

I don't like the term "Right to Repair" because it sounds kind of silly. But I recognize that the industrial revolution, the electronics boom, the invention of the personal computer, desktop software boom and the rise internet were all driven in part by people who tore other people's stuff apart, hacked it, modified it and reinvented it.

Art gets so much credit in terms of being an uplifting passtime but we massively overlook the joy of learning how things work, changing them and sharing them. Anyone who stands in the way of that has lost the love of that. They've lost their passion and I don't really want to pay for their products.


This is due to liability law. O2 is liable for the condition fo the phone they sold you, but if Apple take on the repair they adopt liability. Apple has a contract with O2 to repair the phone, not with you whom they don't have a contractual relationship with. They can't just waive that contractual relationship for every singe purchaser of Apple products from third parties world wide, it would open them up to a lot of risk. Suppose O2 screwed up warehousing and damaged a whole batch of iPhones somehow and then sold them to customers, Apple would end up liable for that. If you want a contractual relationship with Apple, just buy the phone from Apple.


I got an S8+ from Samsung on release via Telstra in Australia.

There was an issue with the screen, so I took it to Samsung in Melbourne Central. They confirmed the issue and were happy to do an on the spot replacement if Telstra didn't have any left in their nearby store - for admin reasons it was just a bit better to do that.

Telstra didn't, so I took Samsung up on their offer - very happy to have it resolved straight away. None of the BS as in the GP post with Apple.


You're in Australia, OP's anecdote is in the UK. Different laws apply in different countries.


I'm not sure if Samsung as the manufacturer was legally obliged to replace a device that I bought from a different supplier. I feel it would be well in their rights to tell me to just go to Telstra.

However as a combined service center / sales outlet they had a policy to replace DOA units as long as it was a genuine Australian, non grey import.

To be honest they just appear genuinely interested in looking after their customers and were just as excited as myself about the new release.

I had a USB port issue with the S6 Edge phone prior to my S8+ and the was also resolved quickly by a repair, ended up being on the day with a free loaner.

Service like that has pretty much guaranteed I'll stay with Samsung products for the foreseeable future (I upgrade every two years).


If it’s added as “Dead on Arrival” then O2 would have to give him a replacement right there. If it was classed as breaking after arrival due to a manufacturing defect then yep it’s up to O2 to do their repair process which sounds ridiculously long, but normal for phone companies. He would essentially be not accepting the phone, rather than accepting and returning.

The phone companies might try to push him into the return process so that they can sell the phone that would have replaced it to another customer, but they aren’t supposed to, and will change their mind when you push back and tell them your rights.

This is one of the reasons why I only buy my Apple products from Apple, their service is far better than this, although has declined in recent years.


They need to invest in making their hardware documented and accessible. Obviously their secrecy isn't doing their customers any favors regardless of how you look at it.

What's more valuable to the consumer? A device that doesn't work and cannot reasonably be repaired or a device that was repaired with knock off parts and inexperienced labor that still gets the job done?

To take an adage from farmers; "The best machine is one that can perform it's duties despite it's condition."


Why would you buy a phone through O2? Just go to an Apple Store and buy it directly.


Most likely: phone-on-a-loan contracts. You pay per month instead of the insane cost outright.


I dont know if its different in UK but in US the warranty is provided by Apple and the Apple Store would repair any Apple product as long as an authorized retailer sold it


> repairing with quality

relevant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUaJ8pDlxi8&t=703s


The three Apple Stores in The Netherlands so popular that it is impossible to even get an appointment at the Genius Bar. You’ll have to wait for new slots to become available at the end of their 7-day window. When you finally have your appointment after a week there’s usually another 20min+ minute wait before the busy Geniuses can speak to you.

Fortunately common iOS repairs (like a display replacement) can often be done on the same day. The situation for MacBooks is a lot worse however, with many days of just waiting for parts.


Fortunately there is an easy solution to this conundrum: stop buying products which can only be repaired by "geniuses" in a "licensed shop". The same spiel was tried by car manufacturers where it was quashed by legal requirements to open up for repair by third parties. It is currently being tried by agricultural manufacturers (John Deere being a well-known and not so well-loved example) which try to use firmware licenses to keep farmers from repairing or enhancing their equipment without giving Deere its pound of flesh. This practice will hopefully meet the same end as the automotive equivalent although there is a chance that lobbyists for the industry manage to buy themselves a reprieve given that the market is a lot smaller and as such the buyers don't represent as many votes. It may be clear that there is no Deere on my farm, nor will there be one for as long as they keep up these shenanigans. The only apples here are the ones on the trees, free to be handled by mere mortals.

Come to think of it I seem to remember the Bible warning us about certain fruits in Genesis 3:3 - "But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die."


Really appreciate the Bible reference there at the end! Not often you get a bible reference on here, and so topical :)


Given how hard these things are getting to repair and how long it takes, I think you could argue that Apple should just offer to replace faulty devices with new ones.

Having a pro device out of action for more than a week is just not acceptable. If it breaks, I want to have the replacement up and running ASAP. If Apple can then repair and refurbish the original at their own leisurely pace, fine. That will also put the pressure on cutting down on repair times and cost for Apple. They seem incentivized to milk their expensive care package a bit too much currently.

Anyway, my 2017 MBP keyboard is starting to become faulty. I've been dreading having to turn it in because I actually need this thing up and running. I'm actually considering permanently switching to a linux machine and then getting it repaired. After it comes back, I'll probably sell it.


> my 2017 MBP keyboard is starting to become faulty. I've been dreading having to turn it in because I actually need this thing up and running.

My '15 MBP retina had it's keyboard and trackpad shit itself about 12 months after I purchased it. It was becoming apparent at the time that a) apple wouldn't repair it (they told me that I must have damaged it myself so they wouldn't do a warranty job, before even inspecting it) and b) they wanted to take the machine for diagnosis and repairs at the "local" apple centre (roughly 400km away at the time) which through experience I knew to take at least several weeks.

This was not a viable solution for me as it was a work machine, and any downtime was problematic. So I've permanently had my wired keyboard and mouse with me since.

Needless to say I've got an 8th gen i7 Dell on it's way in the mail now.


Good luck with dell warranty/service.


The whole point of this story is that you can get such machines fixed at independent repair shops if the manufacturer is not playing ball. Apple is trying to stop that, Dell et al aren't (as far as i'm aware. )


Have you had bad experiences with them (genuinely curious)? The only time I've had to use dell onsite service, they came out the same day... So I bought their 12 month onsite warranty, but I also figure that after 12 months I'll feel happy to start doing repairs myself.

Side note, I'm not normally a massive Dell fan by any stretch, but no one else had a 8750h/16gb ddr4/1060 geforce for the money I wanted to spend (and available on the shelf), even though the chassis is super plasticy and doesn't really inspire the same 'wow' factor I got from apple hardware's look and feel. It's a G3 17 I've landed on ($1,900 aud with a docking station included), as the G7 was out of stock, and I'm an impatient prick. I'm hoping I don't regret it, haha.


Unless you'll get one of the defective units, you'll love your Dell. The plasticky coating os quite durable and it doesn't feel cold to the touch like the aluminium body of a MacBook. Still has sharp edges IMO.

If you'll get a bad unit, I advise you to return it immediately and re-buy. Their replacements come from refurbished units and their refurbishers are no good at fixing everything, and sometimes introduce other issues, so you'll be guaranteed to hate Dell's guts after going thru couple rounds of replacements (as per Dell subreddit). Onsite repair should be fine, though.

I personally like to tinker with my Dells, had performed a not-so-economical upgrade from 9550 to 9560 on mine with great fun and overall just enjoy the 15" laptop. One mistake I made is assuming that the touchpads on 13" XPS would be as good. Boy was I wrong, now my wife's suffering through one. It's the same across 9350 and 9360,but may have been fixed on the 9370, I haven't tried it yet.


No issues with Dell warranty/service here and I send Dells, Lenovos, & Macbooks out for repair a few times a week. Equally as good in my opinion.


I'm not sure which country you are in, but in the Netherlands when I bring in my Apple devices in for repair I just order a brand new one that I return when I go pick up my device after it has been repaired. You need to have money for a new device obviously, you need to order it online and you have to return it within 14 days but it's a great way to be able to keep working.

For anyone who thinks this is an abuse of the system, I don't feel guilty doing this if Apple takes weeks to replace a keyboard, doesn't offer a temporary replacement or do on-site repair the next business day. I have offered my local Apple reseller money for these services but they won't do it. Somehow they are OK with me buying a brand new device and returning it for every repair.


I get why you don’t feel guilty about it (I wouldn’t either), but another thing to consider is what impact it has. From Apple’s perspective, this is clear abuse (the goal of this policy is for new buyers to be able to return a product they don’t like, not a loaner service, and they take a 10% loss when they then sell the device as refurb). If too many people do it, they will make the policy more strict and everybody will loose this great escape hatchet for buying the wrong thing.

(Notice this is not EU mandated 14 day right of withdrawal, which only allows you to unpack and reasonably determine suitability, i.e. do a bit more than what you could do in a store. Heavily using the computer for 14 days is not permitted by it and is only allowed by Apple’s generous policy.)


FWIW I brought my 2017 MBP in for keyboard repair in Houston and had a new one mailed to me after a day. Had a whole new front panel. I left impressed with the service and the ability to digitally book with a face-to-face human.


This is often what happens anyways. I just had my entire MacBook Pro 2017 replaced, all but the bottom plate. Same happened to me 5 years ago..


Doesn’t Apple provide loaner devices during repairs?


No. But you can usually order a new one and return when the repair is finished.


AFAIK, only if you sign up for their "Joint Venture" business program. In HK, it's HKD 3838 a year (about USD 500).

EDIT to add: my 2016 MBP is so bad that I'm seriously considering joining that program.


I've managed it in the past, but only after emailing Tim Cook. Someone picked it up and sorted it.

Was an older Unibody MacBook Pro with a factory SSD, used to randomly decide to delete all the data on it every couple of months. In the end they replaced the entire machine with a newer model.


No.


In the Philippines, Macbooks that need servicing (e.g. the "free" keyboard repair offer for the 2016-2018 Macbooks) need to be shipped all the way to Singapore. Estimated waiting time: 4 weeks. At least it's free I guess.


I was literally yesterday in the shop of an official reseller in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia, there is no Apple Store here). I have non critical problems with my Macbook Pro and asked if they can fix it (including the keyboard problem for which there is a repair program).

"We will have to take it in for repair, this will take at least 14 business days."


At this point can’t you ship it to Apple ?


Sending it to their Cupertino address might be a good way of protest at least.


Just in case, it was not meant sarcasticly.

Repairs can be done by shipping it to whatever support address they provide. I haven’t done it in years but if your repair shop takes 14 days, it can be signifixantly faster.


The whole point with that 14 business days quote is that they will very likely ship it somewhere outside the country, or at the very least to another city. And if you ship it yourself you most likely have to pay for the shipping from your own pocket.


Not under warranty, Apple provides the shipping both ways.


I should have clarified: my macbook is out of the 1 year warranty. However the keyboard has problems for which there is an extended repair program (I'm not sure if this falls under an extended warranty or whatever).


Or a good way to get it repaired? Ship it to whatever address they tell you to.


Yeah, growing up in New Zealand I fixed many of my own and others' MacBooks/iMacs with aftermarket parts for this reason. We had no official channel, outside of shipping to Australia or further which required a 3-4 week wait, a potential invoice, and of course the entire time you're without a machine. It's a real bummer, because this is still the reality today, and some of these repairs are trivial (i.e battery).


My Bulgarian MacBook adventure was actually pretty great. I needed an arrow key for my 2014 MacBook and contacted a shop in Sofia. They were happy to ship (they had it in sock) it to their sister shop in Varna (closer to me) and once I got there the key and labor to replace it (granted, it only took them 3 minutes) was less than €2.

Yes, two Euros.


Did they let you keep the sock?


go back to reddit


Times have changed. That repair would now cost you 700€


I don't love the new keyboard, but keycaps are still replaceable as long as the scissor mechanism is OK. (Previously the scissor could be replaced, too.)


you can add all of LATAM to that list. FAIL


[flagged]


Apple stores are in 24 countries, excluding North America that's 22. Which means that most countries don't have a single Apple Store. So not only is your comment rude and inappropriate, it's also incorrect.


There are 195 countries in the world, 23 in North America.

There are 24 countries with Apple stores, 2 in North America.

So, there are 172 countries not in North America, 22 of which have at least one Apple Store.

So, “most countries outside of North America don't have a single Apple Store” is true, though it's even more true that most countries in North America don't have a single Apple store.


How are there 23 countries in North America?


Caribbean and Central America.



The extent of North America is quite country dependent https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_America#Extent


When I upgraded my MacBook Air, I decided to try switching away from Apple. Primarily because the new MBP’s & Air’s were expensive, and all the new feature which made them expensive were things I didn’t want or need. I also wanted to give Linux another shot.

I went for a Dell XPS, and while there are things I don’t like (primarily keyboard & trackpad) I’ve got used to them. (Keyboard still shits me).

But, when the motherboard & power adaptor died on me. A dell technician came to my house the next day, sat at my kitchen table and fixed it on the spot.

After being an Apple customer, my mind was blown!!

They also shipped a new charger. (The tech might have been able to just give me one, but I think the charger might have died shortly after the repair, details).

I will probably stay loyal with my iPhone, primarily for iOS (but my 6S serves me just fine, I have no need to upgrade). But I don’t think I will ever buy another MacBook.


For this reason MacBooks aren't really business devices in my opinion. What kind of business is okay with the service Apple provides? You have to send one employee to the Apple Store (if there is even one located near you), maybe get a replacement device, maybe wait for 2 weeks for it to return? This is so much more expensive than buying Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. with on-site support. On top of that you often get repair manuals for the slightly bulkier models.


We mitigate this risk by just having a spare device or spare laptop on premises. It works and it's cheap. We use tons of Macs in a business setting, and we're definitely not going back to PC's. The PC's were a nightmare (not in terms of the hardware, but because of the sofware) from a management and administration perspective. Primarily because of Windows. Using Macs running macOS has really been a gamechanger.


As a MacBook owner MacOS feels like abandonware to me.

When I reboot into Bootcamp and Windows 10 I feel like I'm using a machine 10 years in the future.


Whereas when I boot my games box into Windows 10 and it sits there saying "Applying updates" for 45 minutes before rebooting and then thrashing itself into unusability for another 45-60 minutes doing ... something ... I feel like I'm being trolled by MS.


I have the same experience with the force upgrades of OSX (due to xcode). Download is big, require massive 21G of free space, takes ages to update on older MBPs, everything gets more sluggish after the update and crashes more often...


That's just once per year?

Microsoft throws away all of your open work at least every month. NSDocument alone is 25% of the reason I stay with macOS.


I haven't used XCode in a while, but I was always amazed when I had to download the entire, massive, application every update. Android Studio has fairly consistent updates that are around 150-500mb on average.


You can turn this off. I haven't done an update in at least a year.


Wow. So you don’t apply security patches? Or am I not understanding what you are saying?


And then proceeds to show you adverts


> The PC's were a nightmare (not in terms of the hardware, but because of the sofware) from a management and administration perspective. Primarily because of Windows.

That's a human skills problem, not a software problem. Managing a large fleet of Windows PC's is a solved problem if your sysadmins know Active Directory. There are also third party solutions if Active Directory isn't your bag (we used one at a previous company to manage a large fleet of Windows PC's and servers - its name escapes me at the moment).


In what world is OS X more manageable on a large scale than Windows, that's the reason it's used in every large business to start with.


It's not large scale though. But if you have 50-100 fairly clued up users, macOS is better by an order of magnitude in terms of internal computer support tickets. The last people we had using Windows were struggling with all kinds of Windows-related issues and also the fact that Windows has bizarrely become terribly user-hostile. The UI is absolutely atrocious, in my opinion.


Yep! Issues like the above are among the reason I finally threw in the towel on MacOS after 20 years of being a Mac user. Between the precipitous diminution of their hardware repairability and upgradeability, software backward-compatibility problems, and unpalatable service model, it's clear to me that Apple hardware is no longer intended for the person who uses the computer as a tool for work.

After I switched to Linux / Thinkpad and only had to spend five minutes rather than an hour+ upgrading the hard drive, I wondered why I hadn't made the switch years ago [answer: brainwash].


What do you mean? Large enterprises will surely staff and train their own Mac support staff. I went to my companies walk up support desk in my building for an HP Zbook issue. They had a few Macs taken apart they were fixing.

Apple stores are for consumers like you and me. No large company is going to send an employee there. It’s likely the company has support contract with Apple or a 3rd party.

Beside you can just overnight your laptop to Apple for repairs anyway.


I was an employee in a startup and had to take my MacBook Pro to the Apple store myself when it had recurring kernel panics. They bought a new MacBook Pro in the meantime for me to use, since there weren't any spares available at that time and Apple doesn't provide loaners. Since then, the machines have gotten even more expensive, the extras have been reduced and they've gotten less reliable. Only Apple fanboyism keeps the brand alive in companies, usually when someone influential likes having a MacBook and an iPhone.

Not every company is big enough to have service contracts with Apple. The IT department (two people) at that startup could fix Lenovo and HP machines thanks to them being the business models.


Yes I agree for startups but middle to large size companies would probably have a dedicated Apple guy. It’s why I said large entprises.

Even startups can get service at Apple stores but if there’s not one close by in can be a serious pain.


Large enterprises are not what I'm talking about. Those already have large-scale support contracts and don't need the on-site support for each device. I'm talking about small to medium businesses and freelancers. Those often don't have the money to have a spare $2,500 laptop around just in case the manufacturer needs 2-3 weeks to repair the broken computer.


At least in Denmark, the official Apple repair company sends someone to collect the laptop, and posts it back after the repair.

It's still worse than the best Dell etc can offer, but it hasn't taken up too much of my time. The number of necessary repairs is presently very high though.

(I only know about the Dell service in theory. There hasn't been a problem with any of the laptops, and when a server HDD fails I prefer that they just mail the new drive.)


>What kind of business is okay with the service Apple provides?

Bunch of large enterprises do this and contract the service/management to people like IBM. Employees demand it and these days are likely to get Macs as an option.

I've been using a 2014 rMBP for the last 3 years at my job. Getting a Dell for my refresh next month. Dont want to keep fighting with MS Office on Mac anymore.


Apple Enterprise support programs exist. They're partially ran by IBM and on-site.


Has somebody experience with this? Is it comparable with Dell's?


I had a dell XPS laptop for work a long time ago, and it was one of those desktop replacement models with a desktop GPU. I was extremely unlucky and it happened to have a doomed GPU model - bumpgate, I think - so it would typically fail after a few months.

Dell came to my workplace during work hours, on a day's notice, 6 different times, to replace the GPU for free because it was under warranty.

I've had some bad experiences with Dell in the years since (their monitors have absolutely horrible firmware now so I can't recommend buying them anymore) but their warranty service was great then and is still pretty great now. Cross-ship RMA for things like monitors is a great perk.


HP also offers on site customer service. I bought the next business day one for the laptop I'm using right now. I payed it a less than 100 Euro for 36 months in 2014. It's more than 100 Euro for each following 12 months period. This should be telling about their expectations of durability and/or availability of spares.

I got the screen replaced for free at home after about one year (a failing contact in the hinges). I sent them a video recorded with my phone to demonstrate the problem. The technician came the next day.

I had to change the keyboard twice (an arrow key years ago and the left ctrl-shift keys died a few months ago). The customer service doen't replace keyboards but the replacement parts are cheap. I bought them on Amazon and looked at videos on YouTube to learn how disassemble and reassemble the laptop (a ZBook 15 first series.) I like that I can open it and replace RAM and disks, which I did. I could even replace CPU and GPU much like in desktops. OK, it's 3 kg and not slim, but it's worth the extra weight and size.


That option for on-site tech support is pretty good, but very very expensive.


In the UK at least, all XPS devices come with on-site repair included in the warranty.


Back in 2014 when I got it for 3 years, it was at around the same price as AppleCare at the time for an equivalent device. I don't remember the exact price, but I do remember thinking that the price was about the same as AppleCare.


Look into Asus laptops. Doesn't have to be ROG but very much worth the money


Asus? I damaged my Asus panel myself and they refuse to repair it (no warrenty claim, just "here, take my money, fix it plz") or sell me replacement parts.

Never again.


I just replaced the keyboards in two older (2011 and 2013) long out-of-warranty MacBook Pros. Both required the complete disassembly of the machine. One fix cost about $150 in parts and the other was less. If I'd been required to let Apple do the work, each machine's repair would have cost at least $500, and that assumes Apple would even have been willing to repair such old machines.

Apple just gave me yet another reason not to buy a new MBP and to keep milking my old ones along.


I had a 2013 Samsung ATIV Book and when the keys began to fail, I attempted to replace the keyboard. This is something that took < 5min on my 2008 HP laptop but was now impossible, because Samsung decided to glue and mold the keyboard onto the actual case.

So this isn't a problem limited to Apple, apparently most manufacturers decided that devices need to be as unfixable as possible.


More likely they decided devices needed to be as light and cheap to manufacture as possible and a by-product of that is being unfixable.


It might be the result of a compromise but it is still an active choice. I think it is within the remit of a designer to think how the product will be serviced.


Some designers maybe. Jony Ive clearly couldn't care less about repairability.


If he's selling Apple Care insurance, I bet he does (one way or another)


> glue and mold into tha actual case

Which is what Apple has been doing to their laptop batteries, for years.

Blows my mind.


Did you actually get a quote / estimate from Apple? I recently got my heatsink replaced on a similar MBP over a weekend for just $110.


Last year, my macbook (mid-2012 non-retina) starting acting funky (wouldn't boot half the time and would lock up intermittently). I took it in to the Apple Store (after I had made a reservation and had to wait a week) and the technician looked at it for a few minutes and said it was probably a logic board problem and that it would be about $900 IIRC and suggested I not even bother as it would be ineligible for repair soon anyways...suggested I just buy a new one.

I found a 3rd party repair shop down the road. Took it in, they did some diagnostics on it while I was standing there and confirmed it was a harddrive cable issue...they said it was a common issue for these models. Quoted me $100 (mostly for labor) and said I could wait or come back tomorrow...I decided on the latter. On my way home, they called and said it was ready for pickup. They said the cable was under warranty and bring it back if I have any more issues...fingers crossed it has been running great ever since.

I really enjoy my macbook, I had wanted one for years and finally saved enough money to purchase one in 2012 (I believe it was about $1200). I also made upgrades to the HD (changed to SSD) and upgraded the RAM as I didn't have the $ to buy all the upgrades at time of purchase but knew I wanted to make it better over the years. It has allowed me to work on iOS and use a great OS while still have access to UNIX bash. That said, I don't think I would buy the latest model...probably out of principal (I disagree with the high cost, the inability to upgrade the machine and the gimmicks being added rather than making it a Pro device). I might try to find a 2015 model the day my 2012 dies but I don't really think I could justify a $3000 purchase on an item that I can only take back to the manufacturer for a solution...should a problem ever arise.

I doubt any of this matters to you, just wanted to share my experience.


But the heat sink is just (1) remove bottom case, (2) unplug battery, (3a) remove heat sink (if Retina model) or (3b) remove motherboard, then heat sink from the other side. The keyboard is part of the top case, which is the part everything else is attached to.


Exactly. I can replace the battery, hard drive, or RAM of an older MBP in 15 minutes, but replacing the keyboard is at least a 3-hour operation.


This is true for farmers in many places who buy or lease machinery from companies like John Deere. Using IOT, Deere can tell when a non-OEM part has been installed and they can remotely disable the machine until the "proper" part has been installed. Their customers are locked into their parts and service.


Here's [0] a nice article from Vice which discusses the Tractor-Hacking movement and the wider push for right-to-repair.

[0] https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/kzp7ny/tractor-ha...


Fact. Considering the financial situation of the vast majority of farmers, this gets me furious. Independent agriculture advocate and "Apple Grower" author Michael Phillips strongly suggests using 50-year-old tractors, etc, for just this reason.

p.s., in addition, a significant proportion of Deere's manufacturing is now overseas / outsourced -- but of course they still trade on their historical image as an American working-class icon.


To be fair, there is a pretty big difference between something like a tractor, where most of the parts are simply large pieces of machined metal, and something like a computer where most of the parts are not repairable and, due to security concerns which benefit the customer, there are things like secure enclaves which may entail chain of custody concerns to be properly replaced.


A modern tractor isn't simply a bunch of machined metal, they have several computers on board, including integrated laptops with vendor branding, to control various equipment or the engine or many other things. Several of these parts are not repairable and need to be swapped entirely (if you want a taste of this; modern car lighting assemblies with LEDs can't have individual sections replaced, the entire assembly needs to be swapped).


What you’re saying is true. What I’m saying is also true. I worked in construction for a while. The equipment is similar. Most of the repairs are fixing worn out or broken pieces of machined metal or broken or leaky hydraulic lines, not electronics.

Phones are different. Usually repairs on a phone involve replacing a piece of highly integrated electronics, not a work out or broken piece of metal or plastic.


If a secure enclave requires chain of custody for replacement, is it even secure? If it was possible to circumvent by replacing a hardware module, wouldn't law enforcement/(industrial or government) spies/thieves/etc. just do that?


It isn’t possible to circumvent it; it just won’t work if it’s repaired outside of a trusted chain of custody.


Security is a completely baseless excuse here. Apple could easily provide a repair unlock key to users via their Apple accounts.


These videos created by a third party Apple repair shop convinced me to ditch Apple: https://www.youtube.com/user/rossmanngroup/videos?view=0&sor...

He goes into the poor practices they use in manufacturing in general that literally every other manufacturer gets right. They might use under-sized capacitors to save room on the board. The first "unibody" they advertised had two aluminum parts glued together. Some of their repairs for recall-level issues amounted to burning the board, which masks the problem and kicks the can down the road until your warranty runs out. They actively fight your right to repair.

I like how their products look and work, but they really make unreliable products that look and feel premium with substandard engineering, overcharge, perform shockingly shoddy first party repair and generally try to shift blame to customers.

So, for the engineering, you'd want to get AppleCare.. a very expensive extended warranty, on an already overpriced machine, where they will give you refurbished boards/computers, using their own often highly questionable repair tactics, like placing rubber over things to push it harder onto the board instead of re-soldering, or baking the board to mask problems.


One small note: Every single OEM sends out refurb'd major components, that is not a behavior unique to Apple.


Rossmann is advertising his own repair shop with those videos. And of course he sees only the bad stuff, since he repairs the broken ones.

MKBHD explains the issue pretty well here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndphYju6PVM

tl;dr Apple produces craptons of stuff, if just 0.01% of it fails, it's thousands of devices - and those users jump to social media to bitch about it, making it seem like a huge number of devices is affected.


FWIW every single Apple user I know had problems. From the deliberately ill-engineered flimsy cables to the Apple's BSOD-equivalent.

None of them upgrade their iOS firmware. Even grandmas know not to click "update".

BTW thanks for the UI dark patterns Apple assholes.


This is a shame and another setback for Macbooks / Macs. I'd agree with "planned obselescense" over security being the motive as the article pointed out. This will also not hurt Apple in the slightest, only their consumers who are blinded by their unwavering loyalty to the brand.

Sent from my iPhone


I’m not “blinded by [my] unwavering loyalty to the brand” but the suggestion that this sort of thing is going to send me over to Windows or Linux is ridiculous.

I’m a normal guy who works in IT and does pretty much everything with my MBP. Work (Citrix, email, Office), play (Logic, Lightroom), development (Sublime, Chrome, the Terminal) ... I mean come on.

For my “loyalty” to be considered “unwavering” there would have to be a legitimate alternative that does just what Apple does, but lets me repair my own [incredibly powerful, thin, built-like-a-slab-of-rock, trivial to keep up-to-date] laptop. That laptop would have to seamlessly sync my phone and watch, there would have to be superb Bluetooth in-ear wireless headphones available for this ecosystem ... it goes on and on. I’m all-in on the Apple ecosystem for a damned good reason and, while I may not love this approach to repairs, that does not make me an unwavering loyalist.

Don’t tell me that I can get this all with Linux and a Dell. You know I can’t.


I'm mostly in the same boat as you, but I've had consistently poor experiences with MBPs and the MacOS ecosystem in general since roughly 2013.

At the beginning of this year I was in the market for a new personal laptop -- even though I got to keep a top end new MBP from my last job, I couldn't consider it reliable (and it hasn't been) so I got a ThinkPad X270. It ended up being a fantastic decision and I've never been happier with a laptop.

I switched my workstation at my job over to Arch Linux this week after not having run desktop Linux in roughly 10 years and the experience is _miles_ better already.

I'll continue to use iOS devices, but I am done with MacOS and Mac hardware forever.


In case anyone asks: XMonad


Did you already use haskell?


Never. I had a vague, casual familiarity with the syntax and got together a working configuration for my monitor setup and preferences in 20 minutes though.


> apple-only, apple-only, apple user lock-in, apple walled garden, apple. > don't tell me I can do this with something else than apple.

Of you cannot play windows game on your linux box and you cannot get the same experience you have in the walled garden outside of it unless you change and adapt you devices.

I have a client with a Linux ecosystem and a single iphone, apple does not provide itunes for linux so making backup and generally dealing with the iphone required buying a second hand windows laptop specifically to deal with this because with each update of the iphone OS apple breaks previous compatibility with linux that had been added by enthusiasts.

I have a thinkpad running linux, it is cheaper, more powerful, thin (though this is not important), trivial to keep up-to-date, repairable, serviceable on site. I've set up a seamless sync for my computerphone which I use exclusively for phone calls, SMS and as a clock (no need for a gadget computerwatch that cannot even tell what time it is for 24h straight), lastly I do not use wireless headphones but I could if I wanted to.

I'm out of the apple prison-system for a damned good reason too, it's overhyped, very expensive, is often not compatible with hardware outside it (could it be a reason you're all in on the apple walled garden ?), does not allow me to do what I choose, engage in huge amount of tax evasion with significant social consequences, locks user in, relies on free software makes huge profit but doesn't donate back and it goes on and on.

What you describes here is nothing else than the existence of an impenetrable wall designed and built by apple to keep control and increase their profit, you choose to live inside the wall and I choose to live outside.

We, outsiders, like to think people choosing to live inside the wall do so because they are blinded not because they are evil as this is easier on us than riskig losing faith in humanity.


Basically everyone in my family used to call me for tech support (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins), but in the past 3 years or so, I’ve convinced everyone to iPhones and iPads and MacBook Airs, they have have basically zero tech support calls to me. Everything just works as long as they keep track of their Apple ID and iCloud login. There is definitely value to not spending any time or brain cycles worrying about how to do something, and having everything integrated and always working.

With Windows, it’s always update this, restart that, where is this menu option, drivers? It’s not for people who don’t want to spend their time figuring that stuff out. Plus Microsoft is not as trustworthy of a brand.


Fun thing, I was in the exact same situation so I told them I would only provide support if they switched to Linux (no need to buy new hardware) and got similar results: support call lowered dramatically to almost none (except when mozilla forces stupid changes on users in firefox, solved by dropping firefox for waterfox, or when systemd breaks something that work perfectly before update).

99% of their needs are covered for a total cost of 0, only remaining pita is the odd iphone owned by teen cousin wanting to boast social status and missing itunes so he bought a macbook and has a variety of issues with it.


With Portuguese salaries it is cheaper to spend the difference sending the family members to our trustworthy PC repair shop and there is still budget left after a couple of years.


After upgrading every older family member to Chromebook, I have had zero calls for support.

Apple isn't the only game in town.


Unfortunately, Google has lost all of its goodwill with lack of software updates for their products, lack of battery/power efficiency, and constantly changing names, designs, apps. I tried it, people in my network tried to invest their time into it, at the end everyone just said screw it and went with Apple products. Bonus is Apple stuff re-sells for quite a bit also or lasts much longer, so effectively it doesn't actually cost more.

I know I sound like a fanboy, but after playing with Nexus phones, Xperia phones, Android tablets, Surface book, Lenovo Yogapad, I have decided that I no longer want to invest anymore time into figuring out how to get all of these to work the way I want them to, and the extra cost (if that) for Apple stuff is much cheaper than the time I used to waste on the other stuff.


After doing something similar, I get tons of calls because no one knows how to use anything with it and stuff they want just isn't compatible.

Plus, you're 100% tied into google. Everything google - so how can that be considered an alternative?


I'm a developer. I just bought a 2018 MBP. I seriously thought about jumping ship to Linux. If I'd known about this, I would have.


Yeah, you folks are the ones making all the noise. Meanwhile the silent majority just doesn't care at all. I haven't performed hardware repairs on a computer in more than a decade and don't plant to start any time soon.


Most customers don't care, they don't care about repairability because modern devices are so reliable, they don't care about upgradeability because they bought the appropriate spec in the first place. Even if it does fail they don't really care about the cost of repair because they bought a premium product and their expectations are set accordingly.


Actually, people do care about repairability more than you think, just look at the growing popularity of repair cafes.

To me the issue is that devices are made to appear obsolete, a marketing scheme to boost profit, in a limited time frame and replaced instead of repaired not because they are reliable (for example the lawsuit for prone to breaking keys on recent macbooka[1]).

People who care about upgradeability are people who know better and the vast majority does not and endure lack of performance from their badly chosen device for years due to not having enough money to replace them.

Just look at the sheer quantity of people using expensive smartphones despite broken glass, damaged screens and slowly failing touch because they cannot afford the cost of repair. This alone is tell sign that the cost of repair is a serious and significant issue.

[1]: http://www.businessinsider.fr/us/apple-macbook-butterfly-key...


Actually, people do care about repairability more than you think

If they really cared it would be reflected in what they buy.

People who care about upgradeability are people who know better

I see, you are so smart and the rest of us are sheep like idiots for buying products they can't repair.


> If they really cared it would be reflected in what they buy.

This is wishful thinking, caring about repairability does not magically make such devices appear on store shelves.

Besides people caring about repairability often have few option due to limited budget which is often why they care for repairability in the first place.

> I see, you are so smart and the rest of us are sheep like idiots for buying products they can't repair.

Being knowledgeable about a kind of product has nothing to do with being an idiot. Not knowing that you can buy a 4GB RAM with mid range cpu computer now, and upgrade to 8GB and better cpu later does not make you an idiot. To each her own field of expertise and most people are not computer hardware expert or do not have the luxury of having time to spend on this.


FWIW, I upgraded a 5+ year old MacBook Air to the new MacBook Pro basically because I wanted to. I think the screen was the main driver, but really there was nothing wrong with that Air; as evidenced by the fact that a good friend is now using it as her primary computer.

Planned obsolence is another meme that needs to die.

Regarding the cost of screens for a phone, what, you wish they were lower? Me too! But they aren’t, if you want an original Apple screen. They cost a bunch to source ($110) [0], they cost a bunch for Apple to train up techs, and to have the systems and procedures and checklists such that every time you get an Apple replacement, it’s like new.

Would everyone who dropped their phone wish for a $20 replacement? Of course. Tough luck.

I’m not suggesting that non-Apple repair is different, but you have to admit that a knock-off 3rd party screen is probably not going to be as reliable. And who wears the pain and anger when that screen doesn’t work? Apple.

You can’t fault them for wanting to control this stuff. If it was my company, I would.

[0]: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/iphone-x-teardown-parts-c...


>I’m not suggesting that non-Apple repair is different, but you have to admit that a knock-off 3rd party screen is probably not going to be as reliable. And who wears the pain and anger when that screen doesn’t work? Apple.

>You can’t fault them for wanting to control this stuff. If it was my company, I would.

Your example with the screen would be similar to changing say a car part you are forced to go to the manufacturer to get the original part, the fun part is that the windscreen is half the price of a new car so you now start considering buying a new car or gluing your windscreen.

So Apple does not sell parts, forces you to use their repair shops and tax you tons for simple repairs, PLUS they make you pay for their own faults until some class action forces them to admit the hardware faults.

I never seen companies suffer PR impact because someone repaired their old phone/laptop/computer/electronic at a third party.

My points stand for products that are out of warranty, if products are in warranty then the laws apply.


A car doesn’t store all your personal private data, so your analogy doesn’t fit.


Neither a laptop, the data is in the harddrive, you can protect the drive encryption without putting software checks so if I put a "unauthorized" component the thing won't work anymore.


A car also starts at $15k, so a windshield being half the cost of a car is not reasonable, whereas a new screen plus labor being 1/5th the cost of a phone is.


A simple example, there are 2 old Macbooks, no warrenty, one has the screen broken one the motherboard, Apple will not sell me a screen, maybe there are no more screens or if they want to sell me the screen and replace it, it could cost me half of a new laptop .

I could use the good screen from the broken laptop and give a few more years to this old laptop instead of throwing the good components to the bin. Third party repair shops have salvaged this components and they will install them to the customers, everyone wins except Apple who is not selling a new laptop or a new screen+services.

This issue happened with iPhones where changing a button bricked the phone a few months later when Apple did an update, the excuse was security but it was only an excuse, you could keep the security too, worse case scenario wipe the data but don't force people to throw old hardware because is too expensive or impossible to repair.


I didn't use to care about repairability because Apple laptops used to be pretty solid - by the time they give up, you want to buy the latest generation (with vastly more power & speed) anyway.

But recently, I'm having so many problems (that damn 2016 MBP) that repairability looms large.


For someone not blinded by unwavering loyalty you sure do love being locked in to a single vendor.

> Don’t tell me that I can get this all with Linux and a Dell. You know I can’t.

That's a feature, in every category of electronoic life I have multiple companies competing to provide me with nearly everything I want.

> For my “loyalty” to be considered “unwavering” there would have to be a legitimate alternative that does just what Apple does, but lets me repair my own [incredibly powerful, thin, built-like-a-slab-of-rock, trivial to keep up-to-date] laptop. That laptop would have to seamlessly sync my phone and watch, there would have to be superb Bluetooth in-ear wireless headphones available for this ecosystem ... it goes on and on.

That whole paragraph sounds like an ad.


“For someone not blinded by unwavering loyalty you sure do love being locked in to a single vendor.”

That’ll be a logical fallacy whose name I can’t be arsed finding.

I sure do love not having to deal with a bunch of shit just to keep my computers (phones, tablets, watches, earphones, tv) running. That’s what I love.

This sad trope of the Apple fanboy needs to die. Just because I love not having to deal with all the crap does not mean that I love Apple to the depths of my heart. Would I prefer it if they didn’t lock independent repairers out of their new MacBooks? Sure! (Well “probably”, I haven’t considered all of the security implications. But probably!)

Does that mean I’ll stick by them, no matter, what, for eternity? Of course not. If they start to fuck things up, I’ll look for something better.

The point is, right now, there is nothing better. Don’t lie to me and tell me that Linux on a Dell is better. It is not. It is different in some ways, some of which may be important enough to you such that you classify it as “better”. But, objectively, for the everyman, is the Apple ecosystem currently the best? It absolutely is. Does that make me a sad fanboy? Shame on you if you think so.


> But, objectively, for the everyman, is the Apple ecosystem currently the best? It absolutely is.

Sorry but that is simply delusional. Cost alone makes Apple products non-starter for a lot of "everymen" (assuming you don't mean by that US upper middle class), as is "objectively" backed up by market share stats (same assumption).


> But, objectively, for the everyman, is the Apple ecosystem currently the best? It absolutely is.

Have any evidence to back up that spurious claim?


The posts above listed a lot of evidence. Maybe you’d care to read them, since you ask. Or provide your own counter evidence.


I'm sorry but anecdotes do not prove that something is objectively better, and if the argument is built on anecdotes, then the argument should be rejected.

Also if you make a claim that something is objectively better than the alternative then the burden of proof is on you to show why it is, objectively, better.


That's only one way to assess reality. There are other ways, just as valid. We're not in a debate club here.


Aftershot Pro could replace lightroom, Reaper appears to be suitable for music production although there are other options. Both run on windows and linux.

Every other laptop maker in existence lets you repair your own machine.

Lenovo and Dell make solid machines that are powerful and light. Microsofts are even supposed to be pretty good.

The fact that your Apple phone/watch syncs with fewer platforms seems to be a point against your phone and watch not a point in favor of your mac.

Do you really honestly believe that nobody on earth makes decent bluetooth headphones except for apple. Seriously BOSE makes bluetooth headphones.

So far legitimate criticisms include your iphone's playlists not syncing with a different laptop.

Just admit you're a fanboy.


I'd mention darktable[1] and bitwig[2], both are cross-platform linux/win/macos.

[1]: https://www.darktable.org/ [2]: https://www.bitwig.com/


Nothing like a cross-platform app for that real smooth user experience.


It's not like java gtk or qt were a thing.


It’s not like they weren’t fucking awful either.


So now to get "just as good, but cheaper" laptop which isn't as light or thin since somehow thouse aren't the primary functions of a laptop. I now should also buy a new expensive phone which sends all of my data to Google or I would have to buy the same phone and then research how to install 3rd party ROM which gets updated months later than stock Android and has god knows what security holes. Then I'd need to spend even more money on new watch/health tracker that syncronized seamlessly with both my new phone and my laptop.

Before you get your panties on a knot I run both Windows and Linux and at home whole trifecta Windows, Linux, and OS X


> Seriously BOSE makes bluetooth headphones.

With serious build quality issues. Mine are literally falling apart.

> So far legitimate criticisms include your iphone's playlists not syncing with a different laptop.

Neither windows nor linux come close to how seamless macOS is. Keyboard navigation with consistent shortcuts across apps and a fantastic touch pad. Watching someone use Windows (a developer even) is like nails on a blackboard. They move unbelievably slow and take forever to do something.


"Sent from my iPhone" - nice!

I bought my last ever Apple product, an IPad v1 and was dismayed when less than 2.5 years later it stopped receiving OS updates. Its battery still lasts 20 hours and yet bugs in the browser makes it crash on so many modern web pages. I can get an Android tablet every year for $70 if I just want something I'm going to throw away.


That's the problem with early versions of products though, from any manufacturer. My wife has an original iPad Air, released in 2013, and it just got iOS 12. But it has a 64bit CPU.


The iPad 1 was pretty much the worst case, if you bought just before it was discontinued then you would have got 14 months of updates.

We had one and upgraded for the reasons you mentioned, it couldn't cope with JavaScript heavy web sites. However even without the bugs I don't think it had the horsepower to handle the modern web, no amount of updates would have fixed that.

iOS 12 supports devices back to the iPhone 5s, so more than 5 years.


EDIT: I misread the comment I'm replying to. Parent makes a valid point. Ignore the following.

You're actually complaining that a consumer computing appliance you bought received OS updates for 6 years? And your proposed better alternative is buying a device that will probably never receive an OS update?


The last OS update the first-generation iPad received was iOS 5.1.1, released just over two years after the first-generation iPad was released.

The first-generation iPad was a bit of an odd case for software updates, though (due to insufficient RAM); every other iPad has gotten at least four or five major updates before losing support. And Apple has yet to drop support for any iPads from the iPad Air on (October 2013).


I totally misread the person I responded to. Thanks for setting me straight.


Implying that "unwavering loyalty to the brand" is the only reason to want this. I like that my computer is locked down and potentially less vulnerable to random attacks thanks to proprietary locks designed and reviewed by security experts.

(I also use an iPhone for this reason.)


I'm actually a little disappointed in Apple's service considering the cost of their hardware and the cost of AppleCare.

Back in the 80s and 90s many companies excellent service was you'd call customer support, they'd express ship you a replacement for free and you'd send back the broken item. They would take your credit card number just in case you didn't send the broken item back but otherwise it was on their dime.

I had this experience with NEC 21 inch monitors, 2 different video card companies, and Matrox hard drives as just 4 companies off the top of my head. Yes, NEC FedExed me 70lbd 21 inch monitors over night. No idea what it cost them but the monitor cost me around $2500 in 1995, certainly comparible to an MBP.

Compare to Apple, they were going to service my MacbookPro and I was without it for 2 weeks. The only reason I was able to get by is I had just bought a new Windows laptop for VR so I'd have something to use while they serviced the MBP.

It made me wonder why they couldn't do it the way those other companies did. Send me the new machine, I'll transfer my data, wipe the old machine, send it back. Even if my old machine is unusable (and therefore I can't get the data off) I'd still prefer the instance service I use to get. Just give me a new machine, factor that into the cost.

The fact that they didn't do as good a job as those other companies was disappointing.


They generally do a better job if you have a nearby Apple Store (an official not a third party one). Unfortunately if you don't have one of those you end up a little worse off.

On the plus side, most brands don't have stores in the majority of non major cities. Apple Does. So they're ahead of a lot of brands in that regards.

You can get repairs usually done same day or within 1 or 2 days in the worst case if you can walk into an Apple Store in most cases (with some exceptions obviously) - for both iPhone and Mac.

EDIT: The comment below points out they only have stores in 22 countries. I agree in some regards that is low but I would suggest it is probably high compared to many brands for not requiring a 2 week turnaround as you had above.


The repair experience for MacBooks (not iOS!) is abysmal, even at Apple Stores. Whereas other vendors (HP, Dell, Lenovo) will happily send you customer-replaceable parts (keyboards, disks, etc.) or a technician for on-site NBD repairs even with their standard warranty plans, Apple requires you to buy Apple Care (~10% premium) and then you still have to wait for appointments and repairs at the Genius Bar. This can easily take a week or two, and they do not provide a loaner devices so you’re without your computer for the duration of the repair. I’ve been told that there are professional Apple Care plans that do provide them, but they come at a (even higher) price.


I think the main issue here is the availability of repairs, if my sony ps4 breaks down, I most likely won't take it to sony as they will take 3 weeks to send it back. I'll prolly take it to an individual shop and get it done within a day.

Also the other downside e.g for iphones is that apple is not selling genuine screens... you broke your screen on your $1500 iphone? cause thats how much it costs in the EU... you will get a knockoff screen if you want to get it done in a day, if you want you can wait 4-5 weeks for them to get back to you, unless you live in london, paris, berlin etc.


Are MacBooks really that expensive? The MacBook Pro retina with 516ssd is a lot cheaper than the Microsoft surface book and around similar to the XSP, but the XSP is much lower quality.


An i9 macbook pro is 3100 with Applecare and tax its 3800. If you don't buy the Applecare they can charge you whatever they like to fix it because you wont be able to take it elsewhere. Have fun when a new battery costs you $250.

Regarding the XPS with 6 cores, 16GB ram, 512 ssd it still comes in closer to 2K you could bank the extra 1800 and use part of it to have it fixed if you dropped it.

The surface laptop 2 seems to start at around 1K doesn't appear to be the in the same ballpark although with integrated graphics, a lesser display, and lesser processor it also doesn't look to be in the same class.


You can buy a MacBook Pro 13" 2018 edition with retina and 512gb for 13000 danish kr, if you use the students discount. A similarly specced 13" XPS is around 12000-14000 danish kr.

A 512gb surface book is at least 21000 danish kr, because it only ships with the 15". A 256gb one is around 12000-13000 danish kr.


Dell XPS laptops have user-upgradable RAM and SSDs.


The RAM is soldered on.


This is incorrect, at least on 9550 / 9560. It's extremely easy to upgrade both of them, just open the back without even fully disassembling the machine.


It is the case for the 13-inch ones.


FWIW my experience has been mostly ok, there have been highlights and one pretty major let down. This comment copied from elsewhere in this comment section:

edit: I should also point out, I've never bought AppleCare.

I have had a few run-ins with Apple over the years. Mostly semi-positive. These have been where I've had to take my main work machine in for repair and they've quoted me 14 days, but then turned the repair around in a few days. They've also often thrown in unrelated free stuff too. Last time when I took my Macbook Pro in for the free screen replacement (due to delamination) they also replaced the battery (it was bulging slightly apparently, I'd not noticed) and top case (the trackpad click wasn't reliable), totally free and not required (years out of warranty).

The one case that really sticks in my mind though was when I took a 13" Macbook (pro I think) in to have the keyboard replaced (the trackpad stuck). It was a US model with a US keyboard that I'd bought off the company I used to work for, and I figured that while they were replacing the keyboard they may as well put a UK keyboard on. The Apple reps on the phone, then in store both said this was a reasonable request (as I also thought) and so I left it with them.

I get a call a day or so later saying that they couldn't do the repair because "they had to replace components like for like". Bear in mind this was a paid for repair, not under warranty. I was willing to pay for the parts and labour. Apple confirmed that the new UK keyboard would work, but they weren't allowed to repair the laptop with a different keyboard. Nothing I could do could change their mind, I'd hit a complete brick wall. No keyboards could magically fall through the cracks in the back room and no favours could be done. As reasonable a request that all involved continued to think this was, they wouldn't do anything.

They even called around local apple dealers and none of them would do it either because they were all constrained by Apple's back-office systems.

In the end I bought a genuine, brand-new top case (keyboard, trackpad, integrated battery) off eBay and did the work myself, it worked just fine. No idea where it came from originally.

I guess this shattered any remaining idea I had that Apple was anything other than a machine. The operations side made so efficient by Tim Cook is also incredibly inflexible and as soon as you stray outside the bounds of what it has accounted for you hit a wall. As friendly as the geniuses and store employees are, Apple is not your friend.


Can the T2 chip be accessed via a publicly accessible API? Or would some reverse engineering be required?

Since the third party check is software based, it's theoretically possible to write a piece of software that could either overwrite the flag on the T2 chip or man-in-the-middle spoof the return value to relevant applications.

EDIT:

I'm also curious to find out whether it's the OS or EFI that's performing the check. Because if it's Mac OS, the easy "hack" fix would be to use an alternate OS such as Windows or Linux that doesn't care about the T2 chip. But I guess that would defeat the purpose of buying a Macbook Pro in the first place.

Also, now that I think about it, if the check is in EFI then you're kinda screwed since you can't really patch it preemptively or man-in-the-middle it without booting an OS first...

...No wait, that's why projects like rEFInd exist. I guess someone could write a custom EFI manager that would bypass the check. Just install rEFInd first before replacing parts.

Seems that this is super hackable and is just a matter of time until we are able to spoof the flag.


Isn't the whole point of the T2 chip to prevent these kinds of attacks?

The T2 starts the boot process and verifies the integrity of the system (including OS) and you can't flash the T2 without a digital signature from Apple.

Unless someone finds a serious flaw in the system, or one of Apple's signing keys is leaked, I don't see how you'd circumvent it.


The check in question is likely happening on the T2 itself; it's a small ARM processor (derived from the ones used in iOS devices) running its own OS (a variant of watchOS, which is itself ultimately a derivative of macOS).

Among other things, it's responsible for the early boot process; it performs firmware and OS verification and can stop the boot process if it thinks things don't look right.


> it performs firmware and OS verification and can stop the boot process if it thinks things don't look right

Well crap. There goes my ideas.



Back when end users could replace (upgrade) RAM and storage, I cared about keeping that flexibility. Now those are soldered to the motherboard and generally non-upgradeable from the start.

This change affects “display assembly, logic board, top case (the keyboard, touchpad, and internal housing), and Touch ID board”. I could see wanting an alternate, after-market keyboard, but otherwise am happy to stick with Apple parts. The main hindrance, as others point out, seems to be for people in sparser areas with no authorized repair shop.


... and anyone who likes to keep their system a good long time https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201624

Given the lackluster upgrade options in the last 5+ years, I can see a lot of people trying to hang on to their next/last PC as long as possible. Now they'll have no options once Apple decides their system is done.


I just spent a day eviscerating my 2012 unibody MacBook Pro to replace its keyboard and battery. It’s a little depressing to think that after over 2 decades of using Apple hardware and software it will probably be the last thing I ever buy from them.


I bought my first Mac (which was also the first Mac) in 1984, and between purchases for work, home, and family I've probably spent upwards of $300K on Apple products since then.

Now I'm done. And yeah, it's sad. But Apple left me; I didn't leave them.


Just curious: have you really purchased an average of 6 $1500 Apple products per year? If so, why? Say devices last 5 years, do you own 30 laptops/etc. at any given time?


Most of that dollar figure was for work, and most of those machines cost over $3000. A lot were maxed-out Xserves, which are [were] much more expensive.


Indeed -- Apple's pro machines were really expensive pre-1998 -- I remember in particular that the Quadra 950 [maxed out with 256mb memory! a rendering monster in like 1992] retailed at around ~$4500ish


Not to mention the limits being reached into raw processor power. Hanging on to our devices (and receiving software updates) makes a lot of sense from the user's point of view.

I find it disgusting that Apple labels my iPad 3 "vintage" and refuses to give it updates, not even browser updates or security patches. They cannot claim to be looking after this planet's interests or user interests by abandoning their hardware after only a pathetic 5 years. They need to step up and offer a solution to an e-waste problem they are creating in the first place.


Apple does offer a trade-in and recycling program so that old devices can be properly disposed of. https://www.apple.com/shop/trade-in


That's clearly not the point, and a lousy suggestion.

Why would I want to "dispose of" perfectly functioning hardware which has no fault except for reaching an artificial expiry date imposed by its maker?

The best way to help the environment is to build things that last, keeping them alive for as long as possible if people choose to do that.

Apple says NO, they don't give a stuff. "Buy a new ipad because you'll be supporting Apple, and we make millions of the things, there's unlimited Earth resources allowing us to do that."


They're currently running a pilot with a couple models on extending repair services to vintage models in all areas, not just the handful of places where it's required by law.

Assuming that is continued/expanded in the future, that'll give you ~7 years or so of official hardware support after the model goes out of production instead of 5.

I do not in any way support locking down hardware, but most hardware will be pretty shot and not worth putting money into at 8 years or more down the line.


My nearly 15 year old PPC Macs take offense! Seriously, for light tasks around the house, they are still useful (granted, not at all secure or current but that's not an issue in all use cases.) Yeah, I get that I'm an edge case...


Requiring authorized/first party repair is manifestly bad. Consider what the automobile landscape would look like if the same were true.


While it’s not automotive, the farming industry has fallen victim to this at the hands of John Deere. Although, they can still use “authorized” dealers for repairs, there has become a black market for software and repairs. [1]

[1] https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/xykkkd/why-americ...


It’s true for Tesla. Especially for body work. Takes many weeks due to backlog.

But anecdotally, after many many years of disappointing experiences with independent repair shops, when I could finally afford repairs at the dealer, I was no longer disappointed.


> It’s true for Tesla. Especially for body work. Takes many weeks due to backlog.

That's growing pains though. Give it a few years and there should be greater parts availability and independent electric car repair shops.

> But anecdotally, after many many years of disappointing experiences with independent repair shops, when I could finally afford repairs at the dealer, I was no longer disappointed.

There are a lot of bad mechanics out there. The trouble is as many of them work for the dealerships as not, so it's not much of a filter in general. Even if the quality at dealerships is slightly higher, the possibility of going to an independent shop is the only thing keeping their prices in check. Or their service quality for that matter.

You'll find no trouble getting service for your ten year old car. Ask Apple to support your ten year old iPhone.


I've watches some videos on youtube of guys who try to salvage Tesla's. I am not sure if these are growing pains or if Tesla is just more interested in a model without independent mechanics.

In these videos it seems more that Tesla is VERY hostile against people who repair their car. They have no access whatsoever to parts, so their only chance is to buy damaged cars and salvage the parts. My feeling was that it was very hard for the owners to keep the cars updated and to super charge these cars.

My experience with dealers repairs and independent contractors is that most of the dealers change assembly groups and good mechanics change what's damaged. You've got less problems if you change assembly groups but it is way more expensive.


Using used parts for repairs is normal practice. It makes little sense to manufacture a new body panel when there is a perfectly good one from a vehicle with a bad drivetrain just sitting there in a junkyard.

The trouble right now is because Tesla has only recently started delivering in meaningful volumes, there is no big supply of them in junkyards to pull parts from. And for much the same reason there are no independent parts suppliers yet, so the company has a temporary monopoly on parts.

Whether their attitude changes when the parts monopoly erodes remains to be seen, but competition has a way of shifting corporate behavior.

And some of the current behavior is within reason, e.g. if you have free supercharging it's not so you can modify your car to sell that power back to the grid, or take the VIN of a wrecked car with free supercharging and try to transfer it to an entirely different car by exchanging a couple of parts. There has to be some process to make sure that's not what's happening.


Car dealers love repairing cars because the repair shop is where most of their profit comes from. Not so with Apple, which makes most of their profit on hardware sales. I expect this is at least partly a ploy by Apple to discourage repairs altogether, so they can sell more new hardware. Virtually all of Apple's behavior for the last 10 years has supported that idea.


You are explaining why Apple prefers to do it this way, not why a customer or legislator should prefer it.


See also: John Deere and tractor repair.


> Consider what the automobile landscape would look like if the same were true.

It more or less is that way already, have you had a recent car in the shop? With the diagnostics and systems in all cars going more digital every day, there are lots of things a local independent mechanic can’t fix anymore. I’ve been pushed to the dealer with foreign and domestic brands alike.


You don't need to imagine it. Just look at Tesla. Lots of customers in Norway for example wait months to get service. Nobody can get parts to do even simple repairs themselves, because Tesla will not sell them.


> Back when end users could replace (upgrade) RAM and storage

They still can, by purchasing an older laptop or newer "business class" device. A 2011 Sandy-bridge Thinkpad is perfectly usable even today, and is serviceable in most aspects from battery, SATA/PCIe slots, aftermarket display, and even the CPU on some models.

> Now those are soldered to the motherboard and generally non-upgradeable from the start.

Which is exactly why it's so important to have the freedom to repair. It's no longer a simple SSD swap that any end-user can perform themselves, now to do any such repairs you need specialized tools, knowledge of circuitry, and even a dedicated lab. For Apple to hinder these efforts is Apple turning otherwise perfectly serviceable parts into disposable junk that only they have the capacity to repair - it doesn't need to be like this.

> The main hindrance

What about the hindrance in being restricted in servicing and repairing something you paid for and own? Have you heard about John Deere and their practices?


Yep. Lenovo T-series laptops are still chock full of Field Replaceable Units (FRUs). And they still publish the maintenance manual to tell you exactly how to replace them: https://ok2.de/media/ThinkPad/HMM/t480s-hmm_en.pdf


Word. T520 / T61 user here -- upgrades and repairs are a breeze compared to when I was using an MBP -- to say nothing of the design that is actually ergonomically sound [within reason] as opposed to merely cool-looking


My p51 has upgradable storage, an extra slot for more m2 storage and I can double the ram.

The obvious tradeoff is that it is heavier and thicker than similar machines. Also the power brick is gigantic.


Check out the XPS 15 9570 (2018 version), it has wi-fi card, SSD and RAM all slotted and standard form-factor. And every other part is cheap and available to be bought and replaced if not by you, then by anyone who has the skill. Apple and other manufacturers make it hard to believe that a slick light modern laptop can't be easy to repair, but it in fact can be, if you engineer it to be serviced on-site.


Then why hasn't a manufacturer done it?

I still haven't found a laptop that has a trackpad anywhere was good as a Macbook. Still waiting.

I'm still waiting for this mythical huge market of people who want to tinker and repair everything themselves. It doesn't exist. It's a vocal minority on here, and nothing more.


My point is that it has been done, repeatedly, by many manufacturers over many years. You can find a YouTube channel called Dave2D, the guy reviews Windows and Mac laptops and always takes the cover off and shows upgrade options, most 15" laptops have RAM, SSD and Wi-Fi upgradeable. Until about a year ago, in 13" systems, the SSD AND Wi-Fi were also upgradeable but lately they've been soldering the Wi-Card onboard (it still is a standard form-factor and you could replace the Wi-Fi with another one using a hot air rework station).

The trackpad is unrelated to repairability. In my opinion, XPS 15 has a very good trackpad which closely matches MacBook's. My thinking about why MacBook's trackpads are better is that there are two reasons - one is that Apple holds some kind of patent on some kind of tech or way of making trackpads (they bought a manufacturer long ago), plus there's a problem with slow adoption of the new scrolling APIs by Windows app developers. All of the UWP apps are fine by default, but the older way of writing UI in Win32 apps leads to them not being able to retrofit the smooth scrolling into the apps. Even Windows Explorer's scrolling is quite bad in this regard compared to Finder.

This really is a personal question of whether it's fine for you to sacrifice some things for others. I know, I prefer to be able to replace the keyboard on the laptop myself with a $20 part instead of $150 part (and lots of hassle where you can permanently damage the Mac in the process), but some people would actually not care about that. What I adressed in the parent comment were the facts that there are in fact quite a number of laptops that are repairable and upgradeable right now on the market, and they've got little in terms of compromises built in.


I'd love to be able to replace the storage in this Mid 2014 Macbook Pro, I'm pretty sure it's on its way out (about every 2 weeks the filesystem and finder completely hang). I can buy an SSD for a couple of hundred £, and I have replaced the disks in a fair number of older macs (mostly spinning rust -> SSD) for family members. The cost of getting it replaced by Apple would be a lot higher, and if it turns out that wasn't the issue then I don't have a spare SSD to use as external storage either.


What dystopic future world do you live in where everything is integrated on every device? Maybe for phones, but that kind of lock-in isn't THAT common. It even makes economic sense for OEMs to use standard parts, so it's not like upgradeable RAM is some wild fantasy. And making a replacement a hassle is waaaay different from making it impossible. This is a HUGE problem and probably the most anti-consumer move I've ever seen.

Let's ignore that it actively discourages users (think students and kids) from tinkering with computer parts and learning, which was how I got into technology. It affects all non-Apple Authorized repair shops, which are currently able to take salvaged working parts from broken machines to provide fixes at a fraction of the cost.

Right now, Authorized repair shops are forced to buy parts directly from Apple at basically double the cost, so many do not have a large stock of newer or more rare parts on hand. Apple has moved towards selling entire assemblies and not individual parts - logic boards include CPUs, coolers, RAM, etc. So, if you have a busted USB port, you're getting all of that replaced and paying for it. Does your MacBook Pro have a busted keyboard key? Let's hope the heat didn't warp any of those warranty void stickers, because you're getting a new entire top half of the chassis, trackpad, and battery.

Even though those stickers are not legally binding, I'm about 98% sure they CAN be enforced through the service provider's contract with Apple. AASP are "permitted to deny service for any product that has been opened or modified by a customer, regardless of warranty, both for safety reasons and to avoid responsibility if the machine cannot be fixed.” Regardless of warranty. To get fair prices, AASPs return broken parts to Apple for recycling, so any aftermarket fixes mean the AASP gets the crazy price if they look the other way. It's in Apple's best interest to void an active warranty, and they have plenty of nit picky, obnoxious tests that are fully sanctioned by the company.

It isn't that you can't get a warrantied device repaired by a certified technician - it's that you can a device, regardless of warranty, repaired AT ALL. The AASP are the only ones that could use these special tools. They are punishing you even if you repair it successfully.

Imagine if you were completely unable to start your car because you took it to a non-certified auto shop for a timing belt. The new belt is fine, but it wasn't 'activated' by the manufacturer, and now no certified shop will touch the car because it's blacklisted. They won't even put a new certified belt on and activate it because to get the belt at a reasonable price, they have to send the entire engine back to the manufacturer with a ruined certified belt, and even then there would be a record of Shop X assisting with Y machines that failed the Certified Tool Test. Let's take a closer look at Shop X's replacement part submissions... Looks like this user replaced their wiper fluid with a slightly more blue wiper fluid. Warranty voided.

Locking out third party repairs means you do not own your computer - Apple is allowing you to use it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwEInwvFbwk https://www.macrumors.com/2018/04/18/linus-tech-tips-imac-pr...


> “Another is security, but I don’t see a security model that doesn’t trust the owner of the device making much sense.”

It’s not the owner of the device that Apple doesn’t trust. I wonder if there has been any major instances of people other than the owner of an Apple device trying to get into it? Maybe the CEO of iFixit can think of one?


I love OS X, but nowadays I can't stand Apple's hardware.

Living outside of the US, using Mac products purchased in the US means you have to go to third-party repair shops. Last week I took my 1-year old, $2,500 MBP to an Apple store in Istanbul, only to find out that Applecare doesn't work here, and a replacement screen would cost me $650 (thanks to super high import taxes). Tomorrow I'm taking it to a 3rd-party repair shop where the repair, with what is likely a counterfeit or stolen screen, will cost $400. I'm considering just buying a used Dell instead, but I hate Linux on the desktop.


FWIW you might find that Windows 10 Pro + WSL can get you a lot of what you want in terms of desktop capabilities.

MS have been improving the WSL/Windows Interop quite a bit. I find that for things like scripting, text file manipulation and connecting to Linux servers, WSL works fine.


But I'm not prepared to have Candy Crush adverts in my Start Menu, which counts Windows out.

Additionally, I know I can deactivate them by jumping through a couple of hoops, but that's not the point.


It does take some setup and tweeks; but you can create a perfectly serviceable W10 laptop without the crappy start menu and advertising. I primarily use ClassicShell (www.classicshell.net), although others exist, coupled with Spybot's antibeacon (https://www.safer-networking.org/products/spybot-anti-beacon...)


> It does take some setup and tweeks; but you can create a perfectly serviceable W10 laptop without the crappy start menu and advertising.

What a ridiculous situation. Microsoft used to have the fig leaf that it was the OEMs stuffing crapware into new computers but at some point they decided to cut out the middleman and do it themselves.

I'm dreading the day that I have to move off of Windows 7. So far it's still creaking along, but eventually something will force me to upgrade. All I want is to give Microsoft a sum of money (even a big amount of money is fine) and get an operating system that's supported for at least 1 year. If I could get access to Windows Enterprise without jumping through hoops (like self-incorporating) that might be an acceptable compromise.


Seems like a strange hill to die on, so to speak. I can’t say I’ve ever noticed the ads in the start menu for more than a few seconds.


That's a few seconds too much.

If it were a free OS where you could upgrade to get rid of the ads, I wouldn't mind it.

But it's not. It's an operating system whose basic price is over $100 and you cannot get rid of them permanently in any way without using third-party software. That piece of shit will never become my choice of the operating system.

The very least they could do is to offer ad-free experience in the Pro version. At this moment, I see no benefit of buying Pro at all.


Out of curiousity, why do you feel that's not the point? Customizing an operating system after installation is a common part of the process for any system

Having to remove unwanted software seems like an odd reason to rule out an entire environment.


Having to fight against a vendor who feels entitled to advertise to you via your general purpose tools is the point, or rather, not going down that path.


I disagree. I want an environment that works with me, not against me. There's no guarantee that Microsoft won't make ads harder to remove in future versions, and it's a worrying trend that they're there at all. I don't want to invest in a system that I don't feel is aligned with my personal values.

The name Windows 10 Professional suggest that it's suitable for Professional use. I was happy using Windows 2000, Windows XP Pro and Windows 7. But ads are a step too far, and something I don't expect to see in software I've paid for.

I'm happy enough with Linux on my workstation and macOS on my MBP. I can get up and running quickly without doing any pointless tweaks.


Because it shows their willingness to throw the consumer under a bus for an extra dollar. Luckily I have an option (Apple, even though they pulled that bullshit U2 music album move). Unfortunately, I don’t see any other option in the market.


Hackintosh is surprisingly easy these days if you find the right hardware.

Running a "virtual Mac" in a VM is even easier.


This is an excellent step for protecting MacBook Pro users against hardware invasions (such as US and China border authorities). If you trust the user to replace hardware, you permit the user’s hardware to be altered by malicious actors. By restricting final approval of hardware replacement to a vetted subset of all humanity, you ensure that it’s vastly more difficult for the vast majority of malicious humanity.

Yes, in a theoretical world, you could set up your own crypto authority and sign your own device repairs, assuming Apple were to build support for this. But if you brick your CA you’d brick your laptop if it ever needed repairs someday, which would leave you thousands of dollars poorer and in need of a laptop.

I trust Apple to run this CA and gate access to it _far_ more than I trust my personal self to do so. This security improvement will make me safer, as well as my non-engineer coworkers, and my mom.


"By restricting final approval of hardware replacement to a vetted subset of all humanity, you ensure that it’s vastly more difficult for the vast majority of malicious humanity."

This is a foolish statement.

Any bad actors with power can just add themselves to that subset of humanity - this is the same reason we dont add software special backdoors that only special sets of humanity can unlock.


> Any bad actors with power can just add themselves to that subset of humanity - this is the same reason we dont add software special backdoors that only special sets of humanity can unlock.

This analogy doesn't make sense.

The alternative to adding backdoors is to not add backdoors (which is safer). The alternative to restricting hardware repairs to a subset of humanity is not restricting them at all (which is more dangerous).


Well, the FBI famously DIDN'T manage to get themselves onto your "bad actors with power" list.

Sometimes I think people vastly overestimate the skills and powers of the security services...

And the analogy to backdoors doesn't work, because for the user who isn't a crypto-analyst (and, tbh, even for those) this system is almost tautologically safer than not having it.

It bears mentioning that security of personal computers has vastly improved over the last decade or so, both Windows and Mac. It's ridiculous to disparage their efforts as useless.


Prohibiting 3rd party repairs doesn't make you any safer than you are now. If you were concerned about hardware attacks you could continue to bring your computer to the apple store, and never have to worry. All this action does is remove options for those of us who do wanna fix their own machines.

And this is assuming you trust apple to inspect their parts closely. Their computers are still made in china. Why couldn't the chinese governnent coerce their suppliers to commit sabotage?

Also, when was the last time your Mom was the target of a hardware attack? Is she a foreign diplomat or intelligence officer?


I hope you see the irony in asking me whether my mom is a spy. Your question is rhetorical and unhelpful to this conversation. If she isn’t, the answer is no. If she is, the answer is still no. Please don’t use conversational warfare tactics here.


> All this action does is remove options for those of us who do wanna fix their own machines.

I don't see how this removes any choices. It's still possible to buy other non-Apple hardware that doesn't have those restrictions.


Consider this: the majority of the consumer demographic is largely ignorant to these issues. As such, Apple's largest customer demographic is in no place to make informed decisions. By restricting hardware and serviceability, Apple directly fosters mass consumerism by selling non-repairable, disposable gadgets. This undoubtedly contributes to climate change and non-renewable resource drain. Even if every Apple customer decided to make a change with their next purchase, you would still have a huge number of devices heading to the landfill, all simply because of Apple deciding to impose hardware restrictions for profit.

And note that, as mentioned in the article, Apple is actively lobbying against Right-to-repair, which will help other corporations get away with similar practices. So for how long is it "still possible" to have any choice whatsoever? Can you buy, for example, a mobile device with an open baseband? No - already the consumer can't vote with their wallet nor have choice in many, if not most, matters of consumer technology.


The number of users who simply want/need cheaper repairs and upgrades dwarfs those who are at risk of getting their hardware bugged by state-sponsored actors. And considering these laptops are made in China in the first place, any assurances of security are already moot.

If security was the primary concern, Apple would sell this as a separate model variant (manufactured in the USA) and charge a lot more for it.


I also used to believe that privacy was only for spys but I have very quickly changed my position.

Gays, minorities, journalists, dissidents, whistleblowers etc are all being targeted and jailed in many countries in the world. And in China it's entire swathes of the general public. And so much of this is directly attributable to lax privacy and security.

And I don't know believe that there is a huge market for cheaper repairs of Macs. Most people are still just going to local service providers who are authorised by Apple anyway. Otherwise getting hold of parts can be difficult.


The repair market for Apple products isn't huge precisely because Apple has done everything it can to kill it.


The repair market for apple laptops is probably small anyways because apple is a small fish in that market. Why bother?


Because your three thousand dollar laptop has shat the bed, and you couldn't shell out for Apple Care or they failed to help in proper corporate fashion.

If they weren't actively shitting on repair companies, I'd say there'd be more of a market.


Apple has never been a major player regardless of this. They never will be. That goes back for decades and they barely have moved the needle. They are the artisanal version of computers.


In Asia you can get an iMac sad upgrade done for $10. You just supply the ssd. If you buy the disk from the shop the margin is tiny.

You can get an iPhone screen repaired for peanuts. Apple quoted $190 to do it. Shop did it for $95.

Speakers replaced on a MacBook Pro? $45.


On the flip side, none of those parts (the SSD, the iPhone screen, or the MacBook speaker) are the same parts as Apple uses.

Third party iPhone screen replacement is generally not worth it due to shoddy warranty by the shop and noticeably worse screen quality. Where it is worth it is when you are already out of warranty and trying to extend the life of your phone.

The SSD is probably closest, although Apple does have custom part #s with custom firmware.


Unless the alternative is discarding the hardware completely.

See, it's all about pricing, not quality of the parts. Last iPhone I sent for repairs at work came back with an invoice of 340€ for a screen replacement. At work that's something we _have_ to do, we can't send the phones anywhere we want. But if it was a personal phone, if I'm out of warranty and I'm going to be billed 1/3 of the cost of the phone for a new screen, or 100€ for a refubrished part somewhere else, it would be an easy decission.

Now, if that aftermarket repair was out of the question, you start wondering if it's worth to spend 1100€ for the more basic version of the phone, or you just spend 200€ on a Xiaomi and if it breaks you still can buy 4 phones more if they break. Or maybe you buy an iPhone still, but then when it breaks you just throw it away and buy an Android phone. Maybe the first time it won't happen, but after you have spent 1500€ on a phone and something else breaks(battery? lightning connector maybe?) it comes to a point where you stop throwing money into the hole.

On the laptop side, I get what Apple is doing. It has their new flashy T2 chip with integrated Touch ID and they're trying to do the same thing they did with the iPhones and nobody is going to stop them (well, maybe in EU they force them to allow the sale of Apple Diagnostic software to 3rd parties or fine them)

They're trying to convert their computers into big iPhones and treating everyone like a child that has to be taken by the hand and told him what to do all the time. And that is my problem with Apple. I'm not worried of somebody putting a backdoor in my laptop (and if they wanted to backdoor my laptop a year ago they only had to type 'root' [enter] [enter], no need to open the case), I'm not that interesting to anybody or any agency, but I don't like to be treated like I have no rights on the things I buy, and I don't need permission from anybody to do whatever I want with whatever I paid with my money.


> none of those parts (the SSD, the iPhone screen, or the MacBook speaker) are the same parts as Apple uses.

With the exception of the SSD. The screen and speakers etc are the same as Apple uses.


Apple is fine with owner repairability for the parts you listed.

The issue is with allowing replacement of parts where you could do something that compromises security. Replacing someone's display assembly with one that disables the on light. Or swapping keyboard with one that has a key logger.


We all absolutely believe this is their logic. Truly, utterly.

It has nothing to do with ensuring product turnover whatsoever.


Yeah but that has nothing to do with Apple specifically. If you're doing stuff that's potentially going to get you jailed, best not do it online.


Why not sell to both markets?


Apple is shipping devices which are safe from state actors intervening when the devices are manufactured. This affects who can make repairs. They are not restricting the repairs to prevent state actors from intervening when devices are being repaired.


This security improvement will make me safer

If society as a whole constantly falls for the "security" argument then it won't be long before every aspect of your life is controlled by some central entity.

I feel obligated to bring up that timeless quote again: "Those who give up freedom for security deserve neither."


That argument is slightly lazy, in that it applies to far too many situations where it's obviously wrong... Looking both ways before crossing the street does not make my life controlled by some central entity, etc..


You do not give up any right when you look both ways before crossing the street. Which other situations you can suggest?


Wouldn't state actors be able to steal the software used by Apple to re-enable the software? With a network of thousands of "Apple Authorized Service Providers" there's gotta be leaks (that is, if state actors didn't have access to Apple's own internal systems).


Agreed, there is zero chance that Apple is doing any deep background checks on these Authorized Service Providers and all their employees.

In fact chances are, most third-party repair shops are going to end up finding such an employee who's prepared to authorize a bunch of additional repairs for a little extra cash on the side.


You're committing the most common sin of thinking-about-security: considering possibilities without adding the weight of probabilities.


If I'm going to be targeted by state actors then I wouldn't fix my computers anyway, I'd have professionals worry with that. For example, if I was an important worker for another state, the hope is that the state that employed me would take care of it. Re probabilities, the probability that a random hacker who wants to tinker will be targeted by a state actor is nilch.


My opinion about Apple has changed recently. They're now actively promoting privacy and I am OK with trading repairability with privacy.

Also, Louis Rossmann on Youtube one of the most vile, deeply corrosive personalities out there and his audience enjoys the bashing of Apple left and right. He has essentially marketed himself as Anti-Apple and his message is always "Apple is Evil".


Watching Rossmann vids is why I have given up on Apple.

He points out bad engineering/manufacturing in $2000+ laptops and I agree with his insights regarding how Apple makes it seem like the customer/user is wrong to cover their bad engineering.

Ala -- the antenna is fine, it's your fault you have bad reception. You are not holding the phone correctly


Blame the consumer and sell a fix. Think Different.

https://venturebeat.com/2010/06/24/steve-jobs-on-iphone-4-re...


> Ala -- the antenna is fine, it's your fault you have bad reception. You are not holding the phone correctly

But it turned out Apple was right about that; the iPhone 4 sold for years after the bumper program ended and with high consumer satisfaction.


Even if anyone had mentioned Rossman, your second paragraph is one of the most textbook ad hominem arguments it's possible to make.


Yeah, what a baseless, unprovoked attack that was.


How on earth is this being spun into "Apple protecting your privacy!"?

This is the RDF in action.


It's amazing how so many of these comments read like Apple PR.

"I trust Apple to run this CA and gate access to it _far_ more than I trust my personal self to do so. This security improvement will make me safer, as well as my non-engineer coworkers, and my mom."

Holy goodness. In the 2000s it was Google will save the world "Do no evil". Now it's Apple "Keeps us safe".


Why do you think malicious actors won't get their hands on these programs?


This also enables governments like China to prevent its citizens from modifying apple hardware. In essence it provides a tool for a government to retain control.

You might trust Apple but do you trust your government to not pressure Apple? Apple cares about making money, not its users.


And if this were an optional service that Apple provided for security-conscious customers, then I don't think anybody would have a problem with it.


I highly doubt that’s Apple’s reason considering they didn’t give a comment when asked for one


Apple rarely comments on anything. You can't make assertions based on that.


What about protecting our computers from Apple? I’m far more concerned about them dictating our future than China.


You could allow EITHER party to authenticate a repair. You could even let Apple issue you a new key.

Hardware attacks are virtually a non issue now. Pretending this is about security is just nonsense.


Why do you assume such malicious actors can't get a copy of the software, or leverage someone who has access?



> If you trust the user to replace hardware, you permit the user’s hardware to be altered by malicious actors.

The correct way to handle this, however, is to offer to sign the customer's key for a given unit or order, with a mechanism for succession (i.e. simultaneously sign a successor key, and expire the current one).

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