The "more efficient and longer lasting" case materials he brags about are irrelevant in their disposable products made of low quality components that are not user serviceable or upgradable.
It's like bragging you made your automobile frame out of solid titanium with a carbon fiber shell, but ignoring the fact that you built the engine without any way to change the oil, so you're going to be throwing it out or sending it in for major costly service after a short time. Such planned obsolescent designs are certainly not environmentally sound, and claims of the longevity and strength of the frame materials, and even of certifications, are just PR to distract and hypnotize the marketplace into believing the opposite of the reality of the situation.
It's a compromise most regular customers will probably accept.
And I don't get ""disposable products made of low quality components"" at all. Low quality?!
Apple's new generation design of Macs have soldered-in RAM and a proprietary disk. Will we be able to upgrade them in 4 years?
edit: Imagine if you could upgrade the RAM in an iPad. I could still have used my original iPad now instead of it being junk.
I have a first generation iPad and it does more things than the first day it was purchased.
Not being updated will mean that it will do the same things it does now but no more. That's far from junk.
>> I have a first generation iPad and it does more things than the first day it was purchased.
That's certainly true of mine, crashing 3rd-party apps notwithstanding.
If your issue is "developers have only tested it with the latest device", that's not an issue Apple can correct.
I also use a 1st gen iPad.
I'm not saying I like it. I would probably buy a Retina MacBook Pro if it wasn't "crippled" (for me), now I just use my 2009 MacBook Pro a year longer, hoping for a better rMBP next year. It's crippled for me, but the retina MacBook Pro does more things than anything 95% of the world could hope to do in 3 years (it's a beast).
That doesn't mean it's not an environmentally unfriendly design.
It's a design decision. If you want an ultra thin/light machine then you have to compromise. If servicing the machine yourself is an issue then buy one of the 'regular' Macbooks.
Also, how do I upgrade the RAM in a Galaxy Tab or a Kindle Fire? I think the lack of upgradability is endemic to the tablet form-factor.
You probably cannot, but iFixit gives the Fire a repairability score of 8 and the iPad a score of 2.
Main positives are for ability to remove the back side and use of Phillips screws: big pluses. However, primary iPad issues: glued on front glass, RAM, persistent storage: all true for Kindle as well.
If no, you need to take that trip anyway. And a 5 hour trip every 3 years is better than carrying 60 grams more in your backpack for 800 days (in that 3 year period).
I'm not saying it's ideal, and I don't like it myself that much. I'm just saying it's a compromise most people accept.
I fail to see how that would change ...
Amazing! Well, if that's the case, you've certainly made your point!
5-hour round-trip when (and _if_) your laptop fails!
1) Oh, the humanity.
2) Oh, how I wish I had a 5-hour round-trip solution available to me...
3) Whereas your alternative would be what? Opening it yourself and using the stack of compatible batteries, screens, logic boards, touchpads etc you have on your house "just in case"?
4) Even if you had that crazy alternative, that applies to what percentage of laptop buyers? And what engineering tradeoffs would it take in that form factor to have user serviceable parts?
Apple has made it clear they want a tight relationship with the customer at every step of the product experience. This is (from Apple's point of view) just strengthening that relationship.
I also don't understand how alienating the implications of how apple manages to get to this poor state of pissing on everyone and just going with shallow statements like this, erodes to: "The only group this really isn't good for is the third-party repair companies.". That is really past the point of this whitewash of a public relations exercise and a further non important apologetic unrelated point by itself.
You responded to a poster that takes the spin out of the statement and all you have is; you don't care it isn't done properly. You don't mind glued batts, say it. Let us not further this pathetic marketing spinfest. That, is very tiring and at this point really see through when it comes to speaking about apple like if any negative view on this brand is to be squashed by people that never even seen a spinning beachball while waiting for their computer to catch up... please.
If you value the ability to service a product more than the qualities I mentioned, you should choose to buy from a company other than Apple.
> We are criticizing the way the company does business.
I love the way Apple does business. They focuses on creating products that almost perfectly fit my needs.
This can also be interpreted as: I don't care if they make products that are not as environment friendly as some of the others in the market because their products are shiny and cool. Thanks for caring for the planet.
The irony is Apple's one of the greenest, if not by far the greenest, manufacturers in the world. Can you name any tech manufacturers that are better?
I take it that you love to live in Apple's reality distortion field?
EPEAT's website has all the details you need: http://ww2.epeat.net/searchoptions.aspx
If the statements made are true, then there really is a problem with epeat. Just cause a company has many products certified, it doesn't mean that company is more green than Apple.
"Companies like Dell have 171 products listed on EPEAT, but yet if you look on Dell’s Web site, none of their computers are even Energy Star Compliant."
"By its own admission, the EPEAT certifications are old.
“Part of it is expanding EPEAT’s global reach through the multiple certification [process]; as well as moving into new, additional products; as well as updating the EPEAT [certifications], because they’re a little long in the tooth. [Each of those] is a huge project on its own,” Christine Ervin, an EPEAT board member told GreenBiz in March."
"The hubbub over Apple pulling out of EPEAT is interesting because the products that were listed as gold products by the environmental organization are the same ones Apple is currently selling."
You are operating on the assumption that Apple (or Dell, Lenovo, etc) have no say in the materials used, methods of construction or the materials not used in manufacturing their goods. They do—they don't just hand over a spec sheet and tell the supplier to get to work. They supply a detailed specification and set of drawings and likely engage their manufacturer to ensure their requests are feasible and/or meet particular national standards.
Do you believe it goes like this:
Apple: We want 20,000,000 SSD drives.
Samsung: How do you want them?
Apple: Surprise us!
Sent from my 2010 Macbook Pro...
Because I will "service" my laptop maybe once, if even that many times, during its operational life. Meanwhile, I will enjoy its "weight, form factor, etc." every single time I use it.
Not everybody is going to prioritize environmental issues over all others. Those who have a problem with that can deal with it and get over it.
> And why should serviceability be sacrificed for qualities
> like weight, form factor, etc?
Because serviceability is a one-off process you do when the product fails or when you want to update it, whereas weight, form factor are things that make you buy a product specifically in the first place, and things you deal with every day.
Not that Apple products require service, but when they do Apple provides a premium service- a global network of stores that will replace even motherboards in 30 minutes. (Something no other manufacturer does, and very important for travelers who don't want to send their computer back tot he continent where it was bought.)
Sure, I'm including the cost of Applecare in the price here, and calling the service free, but Applecare is cheap and very, very often Apple will replace things out of warranty, again, for free, because most of the time something does go wrong it is due to an actual defect (e.g.: the NVIDIA chips that were failing a few years back after being used for a couple years.)
3 years is the lifetime of the product for me. And these days after 4 years the product is generally obsolete.
There is no "premium" you have to pay-- you just get premiums service at the minor cost of the extended warranty (which I'm sure has nice margins, but still is the best deal out there.)
So how can you say Apple is overcharging when nobody else offers as good a deal?
EDIT: Of course pointing out hat Apple offers a free global service network - something others don't offer at any price- being a statement of fact, is being down voted by the apple hating hordes at HN. I know, I'm not allowed to point out facts that disagree with the predominant ideology. This just proves to me that this is not a place where intelligent discussion can take place, and you guy are just a waste of time.
But even I find the argument somewhat silly. If you are a "poor student" then don't buy it. It's like saying that a Porsche is too expensive for you. Well, then get something else.
Your premise is based on falsehoods, and you make assertions and then claim others are "uneducated" because they don't agree with your denial of reality?
Online parts shops are already selling replacement batteries and can even replace it for you if you don't want to send it to Apple. That's the reality of the situation, if you care to do some research.
I've replaced the battery on an iPhone 3GS (also glued in) and it's not a big deal.
And if the batteries has to be glue free, then practically all laptop and cell phone batteries can't be recycled because the plastic battery case is glued together.
It's almost as if the recyclers are too lazy to keep their processes up to date. Nah, couldn't be.
The Retina MacBook Pro is rated gold EPEAT, despite criticism regarding the glue used.
I seem to remember some components were glued in early versions of some iPhones/iPads, but were later silently updated to have no glue.
So no, not really.
EPEAT registry does not yet include certifications for smartphones or tablets.
True, but OTOH, then can't go back in time and change it's design now that they decided to go back with EPEAT, can they?
>It's like bragging you made your automobile frame out of solid titanium with a carbon fiber shell, but ignoring the fact that you built the engine without any way to change the oil, so you're going to be throwing it out or sending it in for major costly service after a short time
Yes, if we ignore the fact that for the analogy to work:
1) Most people would not ever have the oil in their cars changed.
2) The car runs fine without an oil change for as many --or even more-- years as others cars that do permit oil change.
Buying a MBP Retina now, with Apple warranty repairs and/or Apple Care, you get as many years as you would use any Dell or IBM or other laptop.
Maybe some people would like to update RAM and HD and use them for 1-2 more years, but how many are those people? Judging from the giant success of Apple retail stores and the relative obscurity of iFixit and such sites/services, not that many.
The only big issue I see is the battery which will definitely break. Those things have a limited lifetime (shorter than, say, five years you at least would want your laptop to make it) and there is nothing you can change about that.
Thanks for setting me right.
tldr; recycling != recycling bin
Either Apple has changed the glue used in the retina MBP's to go in-line with EPEAT's certification, or the glue was not rated by EPEAT, which would cause them to not certify it in the first place, but it did satisfy the other requirements, so Apple was able to force the certification through.
The display assembly (the actual screen where the lights shine true) is glued together. I’m not sure but I think that part of the display is always pretty tightly integrated, probably even glued together. (I tried to find information on that and I would be very glad if someone could point me to resources about how laptop displays are usually built.)
The difference with Apple’s design (as far as I understand it) is that the frontmost layer of that assembly is also the front glass of the screen. Other laptops with glass in front of the screen put an extra layer of glass in front of the display assembly. The Retina MacBook Pro doesn’t have that extra glass. (My understanding – but please correct me if I’m wrong, I’m really not sure and I would like to know more – is that old displays had a sort of plastic outer layer, now Apple uses a glass outer layer. But that’s not that a big deal, as far as I know, since on the inside all LCDs use glass substrate also – so it’s not as if Apple introduced glass into the display assembly, some was always there, they just added more. But maybe I’m wrong about that.)
That display assembly is screwed – not glued – to the case. Behind it are the LEDs and light diffusers.
Here is a teardown of the display: http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook-Pro-15-Inch-Retina-Di...
The battery is glued to the case - but it seems to that it is eminently removable with the application of some force. If you don’t care about breaking the laptop (since you want to recycle it) that should be no big deal. I mean, Apple replaces the battery for $200, no questions asked. I don’t think they replace the whole Retina MacBook Pro every time they do that, so they must remove the glued-in battery, and that inside a working laptop. If Apple can do it, so can you (especially with a laptop that’s beyond repair).
This is the best explanation I've seen. Somehow everyone has forgotten this.
She can have the transmission in her Honda replaced for about $3300 (10% of the sticker price), or do it herself.
Silly girl, she must have forgotten.
I don't see how replacing a transmission in a car is related to getting a glued-in battery out of a laptop for the purpose of recycling (the main discussion here) ?
I'd like to point out that no one has had a RMBP serviced yet, so everything you've said is entirely speculation. As is the following:
They will replace the entire RMBP.
The only user customizable part is the data on the SSD. Why go to all the trouble of taking the laptop apart when Apple could just move the data and give you a new one? Much faster turn around time. (And fixes any other dings/dents. Yay Apple!) It will be interesting to see how they deal with unorthodox customization, such as stickers on the exterior of the case. Probably will separate those out and give them the special full service treatment.
After they ship you your new laptop, they will take apart the old one and unglue the battery - but only so the unit can be resold (as refurbished) as part of a student discount service.
They probably won't even take apart the laptop and swap the SSD - just dd the whole thing over their fast little thunderbolt port. In theory, they could offer battery replacements in the Apple Store - the sales rep just has to connect the two laptops, start the sync and wait 3.5 minutes. No skilled labor involved.
From a bottom line perspective, this makes too much sense not to happen. They'll be making money on every step of the process and the majority of customers will love it.
In the Retina MacBook Pro the glass is an integral part of the display, not some separate piece glued on just cause – as far as I understand it. If it weren’t there, there would be a piece of plastic glued to the display. (And since LCDs already contain glass elsewhere I don’t think the extra glass changes the equation much.)
I know some may consider it blasphemy, but I'm hoping certain aspects of Apple will improve now Jobs is gone, especially in the realm of open and honest communication.
They've got a top-notch environmental story regardless of what sticker is on what webpage. They're clearly trying in their designs to use less toxic materials. They're clearly working on energy efficiency. They buy back almost any old equipment. They recycle any old equipment for free, including free shipping for chrissakes. And they're swearing up and down they're not just binning their recyclables and washing their hands as it ships off.
Apple plays business hardball as hard as anyone ever has, but that trait can be found in any b-school. Steve's twist on that is that he truly, personally despised the bozos and he'd freely break decorum to let them know it. His only interest was in Apple and, arguably, Apple's customers. Every other entity lower on the totem pole could expect rock pelting or the silent treatment at any time and for any reason. Antennagate was an example of this: no apologia was ever offered, customer concerns were treated with patronizing kid gloves, and internally the design team for iPhone 4 got their clocks cleaned over the issue.
"Fuck you" is costly, and I'm not sad to see less of it from Apple.
I don't know if you'd consider that an apology per se, but it's definitely him admitting mistakes.
I’m also not sure why you are worried about that. Not everything Steve did was gold. Some of the things he did were pretty toxic, and I think being unable to really admit you were wrong in public is one of those things.
If this is indeed a change in that direction (and I somewhat doubt it is) it is to me unquestionably a positive one.
How is this possibly true? Nothing Apple makes can be easily opened, upgraded, or have their batteries replaced. They are made to be obsolete in 2-3 years.
When my iPad screen cracked, they made me buy a new one (at discount) instead of fixing it. I doubt they even fixed the old one I gave to them - just discarded it. How is that environmentally friendly?
I own almost everything Apple makes. But they need to better explain how built-in obsolescence and impossible-to-fix devices equates to environmentally friendly.
It can be true if ease of opening and component swapping aren't the sole factors in determining the environmental impact of the devices.
"When my iPad screen cracked, they made me buy a new one (at discount) instead of fixing it. I doubt they even fixed the old one I gave to them - just discarded it. "
It was probably refurbished. Someone else is likely using it now. Though neither of us know for sure. At any rate, Apple's policy is to refurbish and resell damaged devices when possible, and they sell refurbished products directly in their online store.
"I own almost everything Apple makes. But they need to better explain how built-in obsolescence and impossible-to-fix devices equates to environmentally friendly."
Here is data from their website on your iPad, for example:
As far as them needing to explain how the factors you mentioned equate to being environmentally friendly, I think that that need rests on your assumption that those two factors are the most important ones. The fact that Apple is probably the biggest reseller of refurbished devices speaks to that point, but again, that question is so complex. An economist could probably write an award winning dissertation just trying to answer it.
As for your iPad screen, it seems rather unfair to criticize a company by imagining the worst case outcome and then imagining that's what they did. It's pretty common to give customers refurbished replacements, then take back their old broken stuff, refurbish them, and give that out to the next customer who needs a replacement. This way customers are insulated from the annoyingly-long repair times, but they can still reuse repairable equipment. There's no reason to think Apple just tossed your old iPad in the trash.
As for your cracked iPad screen, just because Apple may not have refurbished it in the way you think they should have does not mean it ended up in a landfill. It's quite possible that it's cheaper for them to recycle the case and logic board than to re-validate the machine after putting a new screen on it.
'Environmentally friendly' != 'easy to open'. There is a lot more to it than that.
>I doubt they even fixed the old one I gave to them
They do. It's sold as refurbished.
Would you prefer to spend the same amount of money, and then wait 3-8 weeks for it to get shipped off to a repair facility to be worked on?
My comment was with regards to the grandparent post that claimed he had to purchase a new replacement--complaining it was wasteful.
My point was that he very likely got a refurb, and then related my refurb replacement story.
Sorry for not being clear.
There are lots of facets to environmental friendliness.
Making everything out of aluminum and glass instead of hydrocarbon-based plastic, for example, or making higher quality devices that have a longer useful life than cheaply made ones.
I recently upgraded to a new tower after my old one worked dutifully (running ~95% of the time) for 7 years. And it still works OK; the videocard sometimes takes a few minutes to kick on both monitors, and the latest software/OS is sluggish on the older hardware, but otherwise it's fine.
I foresee it running headless for years to come. Perhaps running an older OS or another OS--but running nonetheless. Come to think of it, it will definitely be an older or other OS as it's one of the ones that isn't upgradable to Mountain Lion :P
Despite the attention the new rMBP gets, they are still selling iMacs, Mac Minis, and MBPs that are easily upgraded.
* Apple makes thin, light, durable products. Reduce > Recycle.
* Raw materials are a small amount of the embodied energy in electronics. The microchips themselves constitute many times the embodied energy. Again, reduce > recycle.
* As others have pointed out, Apple didn't do this because any of their newly-released products weren't eligible.
Putting it all together, Apple did this to send a message to EPEAT: "Disassembly isn't the end-all be-all of green." Looks like EPEAT caved.
I wonder how they are going to spin this one.
EPEAT is outdated. Horribly outdated. By EPEAT's own admission.
Apple made a mistake by opting out of it rather than working with EPEAT to try to improve it. I think that's what they are doing now.
Article on brain scans
Any fanatic does. Find someone passionate about Android, or model railroading, or knitting, and they'll show up the same way in a brain scan.
If you think Apple is unique in having over-the-top fans, that may be a sign that you're some sort of a fanatic yourself.
I'm not disputing that there are folks who treat a brand choice as a religious issue. Not one bit. I'm disputing that it's somehow unique to Apple fans.
I wonder the same thing about them.
I have no problem with Apple Fans.
I dislike Fanboys whether they are for Google, Apple or Microsoft.
Reads to me like EPEAT is moving (a bit) in Apple's direction with the new future IEEE-standards.
Almost all power cords and extension cords in the US contain lead: the lead is added to the plastic part of the cord when the plastic is still "molten" and its purpose is to make the plastic less flammable.
Although I did not do a chemical assay on it or anything, I am pretty sure that the power cord Apple included with my 2011 Mac mini contains no lead. (The cord has a different, more rubbery feel to it that strongly suggests a completely different material, and I might have seen a claim to that effect somewhere on the web.)
But if it's all true, why did they pull the products from EPEAT at all?
Who knows....not I.
EPEAT realized that they needed Apple on board to make their certification meaningful.
And thus an understanding was formed...
A middle finger, the Apple way.
The pattern is typical – more or less. Some criticism appears. Apple is dead silent for a few days. Apple has a comprehensive response to the criticism. (Alternative that also happens frequently: Apple doesn’t ever mention the criticism.) That’s what used to happen in the past, that’s what nearly happened here.
The difference is that they responded with a different message pretty quickly after the criticism (arguing that EPAT isn’t such a great certification) so it’s not true that they staid completely silent.
When it comes to the message itself, I don’t think it’s that atypical. Apple rarely responds to criticism, so there are few situations we can use to compare. It’s not as big a deal as Atennagate – so they picked a less involved way to respond (basically a press release instead of a press conference) – but in every other respect it’s pretty similar.
This time there is a clearer Mea Culpa but the undertone is still that EPAT is a bad certification. (During the Antennagate press conference the undertone was that it’s not really that big of a deal – and it was a much more obvious undertone.) The tradition of Apple execs writing letters is also continued.
I would only say that Steve’s letters tended to be more about presenting arguments. That has certainly something to do with the different purposes (explain why DRM/Flash are bad vs. admit that you were wrong and reverse direction) but I still would have preferred if Bob Mansfield had explained more of Apple’s reasoning.
Apple has been pretty consistent in being able to just stay silent until they really have something to say. (I think that has more to do with their general lack of chattiness than anything else, though.)
San Francisco officials told the Journal this week that "they are moving to
block purchases of Apple desktops and laptops, by all municipal agencies"
due to a 2007 policy that requires all desktops, laptops, and monitors
procured with city funds be EPEAT-certified. 
In 2007, President George W. Bush issued an executive order mandating that
all federal agencies procure EPEAT-registered electronic products "for at
least 95 percent of electronic product acquisitions, unless there is no
EPEAT standard for the product," as outlined by the EPA. 
This is one of those. Apple knew that certain government agencies are required to purchase only EPEAT certified hardware. They knew they would lose that business. And they nevertheless decided for the change, knowing that consequence.
That leads me to think that Apple changed direction because of other consequences they did not expect and (apparently) could not predict, in this case the public outrage.
If any conspiracy theory is plausible at all then it’s that they wanted to make EPEAT be more willing to change their standards – but I would imagine that even that is something you would rather do behind closed doors (maybe they did and it didn’t work).