Right to Repair movement

This should be very interesting to see how manufacturers are forced into complying with whatever the Right to Repair legislation will turn out to be.

While not directly connected to web design or RW, it will certainly be a very good thing if Apple is forced into making repairability and sustainability changes to Macs.

I was reminded of this yesterday when I opened up an A1466 MacBook Air 13" to investigate replacing the crappy keyboard and mousepad cable which is apparently a very common component that needs changing. The cable is nothing but a straight connectionless ribbon cable, but it needs great care to fit in place with 2 very accurate bends needed for it to work well. In the end I gave up due the amount of other crappy connectors that needed to be removed together with the glued in speakers and KB backlight.

Go back in time to a 2011 MBP and it is far more repairable. My last G4 MacBook was an utter joy to work on and my Cube is more like something out of a Eurofighter cockpit.

Don’t get me started on this. I watched the news with interest over the corpses of 2 less than 4 year old MacBook Pro’s.

One of which had 3 new top plates (keyboard, battery, trackpad) and a logic board before the warranty ran out and became uneconomic to repair. That was new in 2015!

The other is a 2017 MacBookPro Touch Bar with a dead keyboard which is going to cost nearly £1000 to repair (2 days out of warranty).

You can start to see why even the owner of a company called RealMac has a hackintosh and not a real mac!.


@tav Maybe I remember this incorrectly but I believe Apple is now providing 4 years of support for the keybaord repair/replacement. Did you not also get the 3 years of service? (AppleCare or whatever it’s called.)

Since I’ll typically keep a laptop for about 4 years I wasn’t too concerned about me needing to cover the expense of a new keyboard.

… on the other hand … the keyboard itself (when working) is great for me. But I’ve had to replace once. And way way too many stories of others having problems.

By now I cannot complain about (older) iPhones. Camera, connector, home button, battery, was all not to difficult to exchange.

I remember in older MacBooks the change of RAM and HDD to SDD was also easy. Not todays…

What is the Right to Repair legislation? Is this a British thing? Somewhere else?

That has been mentioned in the news but it is very restrictive and only at their discretion.
I have 9 butterfly keys jammed followed by total keyboard failure which they have insisted that I will be liable for after 367 days of ownership.

I am not going to be buying any more apple computers, I will revert to Windows. In 20 years of consultancy, I have never been involved with a business that uses Macs so it is no problem for me to switch. I have only remained loyal because of the previous quality. My first paid application was written for an Apple II and supplied on 5 1/4" floppy disk. The sad end to a very long history.


Too many duck feathers got into that?

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Yikes, that’s terrible. And terribly short-sighted by Apple.

This is a typical story of a young, starving, but extremely ambitious tech company that, after the main brain’s demise, becomes fat, lazy and stock-holders-oriented money-making operation that somehow forgot about their customers. Cost-cutting and maximized profits is (almost) all that Apple cares nowadays. The only positive thing remaining is their relative commitment to privacy, but I am sure this will be gone soon, too.

It is an EU led initiative that I understand is open for discussion or consideration in the US.

The driver for this is nothing to do with customer satisfaction but is seen as a way to cut down on unnecessary greenhouse gas, pollution, packaging, resource use, etc. It is still a very good cause though and is getting lots of publicity in the UK perhaps in an attempt to distract from all the other crap gouging on at the moment.

@Tav Not a wind up and your recent situation has been on my mind hoping for a decent resolution.

The 12 months plus 1 day warranty culture needs to stop and perhaps in few years time we can look back at the pre right to repair times. Will Apple be even making Macs then? I somehow doubt it.

Having avoided buying a new Mac for many years in the miss guided anticipation that next years MBP or Mini will be the one to get, I really hope there will be reliable Mac clone hackinntosh bare bones systems available.

Today I had an email form eBuyer with attractive looking Intel barebones mini systems (https://www.ebuyer.com/767218-intel-nuc-tall-baby-canyon-nuc7i5bnh-core-i5-7260u-barebone-boxnuc7i5bnh) and just to wind you up even more they had 240Gb SSD’s for £29! It will be interesting to see if these become popular as hackintoshs.

Who would have thought that the untimely death of Steve Jobbs would become a macabre metaphor for macbook longevity!

You are right about “macabre”, but it regards ALL APPLE PRODUCTS except maybe an iPhone (I use my iPhone 6S for three years now, with no issue—I know, this is not very long, but I had some kind of an issue with all other recent purchases from Apple)…

No, I think I should stop picking my nose over the keyboard though !!!


I think we all know what you should stop doing over your keyboard mate. It’s not nose picking.


I wouldn’t buy a new Mac though, well, not by choice. Circumstances forced me to buy the MBA in Summer, but that was a one off.

I added a new Imac to my desk last week, 2011, picked up off ebay for £180. Made some upgrades and it’s perfectly adequate for my needs.

My main machine is still my 2010 27in imac, most of important internals have been upgraded for not very much, it typically has Photoshop, RapidWeaver, Spotify, a few Chrome pages, maybe Screen flow and a few other daily use apps open most of the time, it flies along quite happily.

I remember the days when I could open an MBPro and replace the HD, headphone jack (Lord I miss those now), and other items thanks to iFixit’s (usually) good instructions. God help you if your cat, kid or someone jiggled the paper with all the teeny tiny screws very carefully placed in order though. The old iPods were nice to work on too, despite those bloody plastic spudgers making your life difficult, and I did some repairs on my kids’s units that kept them humming along. I even replaced the processor on my old G5 tower unit which kicked it up several notches and I continued to use it for a couple of years after that.

Nowadays you can’t even open your laptop or main Mac yourself without damaging it. Too bad really, and expensive for sure.

The reason I went the Mac Mini route was because I prefer the modular nature of being able to custom-build my own system and just discard the bits as they fail or desirable to update - rather than having to chuck-away the entire computer and start again.

I try to make the peripherals (e.g. keyboard and mouse) last 2 years, the monitor 4 years and the computer 8 years. Because these different components become life-expired for me at different times, being able to ‘hot swap’ them has become mighty convenient. And the freedom to not be loyal towards any one particular brand.

Newer Mac’s are definitely NOT as reliable as the older ones used to be, by my own personal experience.

I still have an eMac G4 and iBook G4 at my parents house (which they still use). I think the eMac is 18 years old. It is a time capsule in itself - iLife '04, AppleWorks, RapidWeaver 4, Camino Web Browser, iDVD, QuickTime Pro, GarageBand, iTunes 2. It is fun to boot it up and just play with it once in a while. I still have all the original CDs for it. And other bits like the first generation iPod Touch and colour iPod - again both still working like new.

Every Intel iMac and MacBook I have owned has required major repair work doing on it. Sometimes I have been lucky and got repairs done under warranty. Other times, it has been a £400 bill. The iMac I had was the worst by far. I vowed never to have an iMac ever again after that one.

So yeah, I’m all for ‘right to repair’. I do feel there has been a tendency for manufacturers to use odd-ball screws, glue and other mechanisms to keep users locked-out of their hardware. Interesting to note how scathing some of the iFixit ratings have been recently.

Cars are becoming exactly the same. Gone are the days of some squibs of WD-40 here and there, give the distributor a few taps and checking spark plug gaps. Now everything seems to involve the diagnostic “box of tricks”, which then reads-out an infinite list of failed sensors - to which nobody has any clue what they are for. Or if it’s a VW, they are probably telling you something totally different anyway!



Interestingly a company I know has been replacing all their Mac minis with NUCs.

It will be interesting to see if these NUC’s gain traction with the Alt Mini crowd whom I hope exist.

Good thermal management, flexible ram slots and enough USB-C ports should do it.

Interesting petitions at Change.org including one for one for MacBook KB issues and this new display issue at https://www.change.org/p/apple-fix-all-macbook-pro-2016-and-later-with-stage-light-effect-or-backlight-shutdown-flexgate

Let’s hope Apple will fix these issues with customers and make changes to the product

Just an FYI- Costco now sells Macs (Air, MB, MBP and iMac) - and their standard warranty on all computers is TWO YEARS. After the hell I went through with Apple a year ago, I’ll be buying my computers from them, from now on. A short recap:

  • I bought a 3.1GHz machine in December, 2017. It had software issues from day one - but Apple “Support” convinced me that legacy software was causing the issue. Long story short- they attempted to repair it three times before, after EIGHT MONTHS, they finally replaced it (thankfully, the replacement machine has worked flawlessly). Getting them to replace it was a herculean effort.
  • We purchased an ASUS laptop for our son in December, 2018. It quit charging over the weekend; we backed it up, wiped it clean, and took it to our local Costco yesterday. Within eight minutes, they refunded the purchase price, including tax and shipping (I then bought another one, since our son really liked the machine).

To sum up: eight MONTHS vs. eight MINUTES.

Here is Costco’s warranty: Costco reserves the right to fulfill the second-year warranty obligation through a refund up to the purchase price.