Let’s say your new Mac goes on the fritz. It doesn’t matter much which model because getting inside a Mac these days to effect your own repairs or to perform simple troubleshooting is difficult enough, let alone figuring out what is wrong and implementing a fix. What’s going on?
I remember growing up in Georgia and the Mincey Plantation always had something in disrepair and something else being repaired. If it wasn’t the innards of a washing machine scattered across the back porch, or a lawn mower’s guts littered on the garage floor, it was my mother complaining that the “damned transmission needed to be off the table before dinner.”
Those days of do-it-yourself repair are waning away because our gadgets, tools, and appliances have become too complicated to fix. I once changed the oil on my own pickup truck, and replaced a faulty compressor on an old air conditioner. And, yes, I’ve replaced RAM, hard disk drives, power supplies, and various and sundry parts of Windows PCs and Macs from yesteryear.
Those days are gone.
My last MacBook Pro no longer allowed RAM or disk drive upgrades or even a simple battery replacement. The latest MacBook Pro models are even worse for the do-it-yourself repairman. Got some dust or dirt impeding a key inside that butterfly design keyboard that’s out of warranty? $700. Ed Hardy explains:
IFIXIT disassembled a mid-2018 13-inch MacBook Pro and gives it a 1 out of 10 for repairability, the worst score possible. This is nothing new, as the last MacBook Pro receiving a good repair ability score launched in 2011.
In other words, the last repairable Mac notebook of notoriety was seven years ago.
iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watch are worse. Other than on iFixIt, I’ve never seen one open unless they had been dropped from a speeding car onto the pavement and technological guts went flying across the intersection.
I understand the Right to Repair issue and I agree with both the premise and the solutions. But I’m not going to be one who does the repair on any Apple product ever again. Those days are gone.
Software repairs? Perhaps. Hardware repairs? Uh, no. That’s what the Genius Bar at the nearest Apple Store is for. Most of Apple’s newer products are not even user upgradeable. How do you add memory to an iPhone? Get a new iPhone. Ditto for iPad and most of the Mac line.
Today’s gadget devices are sufficiently complex that mucking around the innards is an exercise fraught with potential disaster for mere users. Why? Machines– not humans– build products today and that means complexity that exceeds the home repairman’s capability. That’s the way Apple wants it. And, other than an aging desire to be able to upgrade RAM and SSD on a Mac, the days of user upgrades and repairs appears to be fading rapidly into the history books.
Goodbye, self repairs, we hardly knew ye.