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MacBook Pro with retina display unfixable: Apple planned obsolescence?

If you are in the market for a 15-inch Apple computer with an amazing retina display, are willing to spend $2,200, and are also prepared to throw it away if it needs repairs, then the 2012 MacBook Pro is perfect for you.

After months of eager anticipation and fuss over the 2012 MacBook Pro, the 15-inch model boasting a cutting edge retina display finally made its debut at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco last week. But there is a major flaw in Apple’s redesigned 15-inch MacBook Pro. It can't be easily repaired.

The parts inside the retina display MacBook Pro that would most commonly need repair or upgrade are either glued or soldered into the machine. Not only that, but even the screws to access the underside of the new 15-inch MacBook Pro are difficult to remove.

iFixit gave the new retina display MacBook Pro a reparability score of 1 out of 10.

Since the 15-inch MacBook Pro cannot be easily repaired, if something goes wrong, you will have to buy a new one. That might be fine for some people. But for anyone who plans to keep their laptop for more than a year or two, having a machine that is virtually glued shut by the manufacturer makes it a bad choice.

Treehugger said that Apple “just took some serious leaps backwards, all in an effort to compete with Ultrabooks. It's telling of the real direction of the company, and that's extremely disappointing. Tim Cook, you're slipping up already.”

Apple is either becoming overconfident in their marketing by thinking that their customers will be willing to shell out between $2,199 and $2,700 every year, just to have a retina display MacBook Pro, or they are moving into an obvious posture of planned obsolescence. What other possible reason could there be to be the first laptop manufacturer to glue just about every repairable part into a computer?

“Apple talked about how it used a new display process on the MacBook Pro with Retina Display’s screen during its WWDC keynote Monday. Apple built the layers of the display into the unibody case to eliminate the need for a separate cover glass. Although this makes for a striking-looking display with lower glare and reflectiveness (thank goodness!), it means that if something manages to break the display, it’s going to be a very pricey repair process indeed. In fact, it might require a complete replacement of the laptop,” according to wired.

One of the best features of owning a MacBook Pro was its longevity. But all machines can break, and building a laptop that can’t be easily repaired is an Apple innovation that does not warrant praise, no matter how ground-breaking the technology may be.

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