Apple to replace 17-inch MacBook Pro batteries in stores

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Apple this week served up the details of its battery replacement program for the new 17-inch MacBook Pro, which offers customers the option of having a new battery installed at their nearest Apple retail store.



The top-of-the-line Apple notebook will ship later this month with a new built-in battery which the company says is capable of delivering up to eight hours of use and up to 1,000 recharges for more than three times the lifespan of traditional notebook batteries.



The design of the 95 watt-hour lithium polymer part is also more compact than conventional batteries due to Apple's proprietary manufacturing process, helping to make the new 17-inch MacBook Pro the thinnest and lightest in its class.



One tradeoff is that new 17-incher doesn't provide the same easy access panel for battery replacements as its 13- and 15-inch cousins. Instead, Apple plans to offer a $179 battery replacement program that includes installation of the new battery and environmentally responsible disposal of the depleted battery. (Prices for other regions can be seen in the chart, below).



According to the Mac maker, the length of time to complete the battery replacement will depend upon the repair location and availability of service stock. Generally speaking, customers who use the Apple mail-in service will receive their MacBook Pro back with a new battery within 3 to 4 business days after the notebook ships out to its repair depots.







Unlike battery replacements for the iPhone, however, Apple has also announced that customers can have a new battery installed in their 17-inch MacBook Pro at their local Apple retail store with a Genius Bar appointment. MacBook Pros serviced at Apple stores will be returned the same day. Several Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) may also offer the in-store service. Customers interested in this approach should contact their local AASP for turnaround times.



Apple warrants both the battery that ships with the MacBook Pro and the its battery replacements against manufacturing defects for one year from the date of purchase.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    I dunno, but I still don't like the idea of having to go in to an Apple store, or sending your laptop away for half a week for a simple battery replacement. It just makes me question something.



    No iPods have user replaceable batteries. (Same goes for iPhone). I didn't like this idea either. But with those batteries only lasting a year or two, and a MBP17 battery lasting probably 3 years, it just means more foot traffic into the Apple store.



    Anything to get us back into the Apple store right? "Is there anything else we can help you with?" While you get your battery replaced, may as well get your OS, iLife/iWork, and what ever apps you need updated too. Once you are in there doing the battery replacement, more likely to buy the upgrades too I suppose.



    I dunno... just seems kinda weird and not in the good way.





    On another note, how come the lines to the genius bar are so long often filled up within the first few hours of the day? I see so many dead products come back to the Apple store... and I see a lot of replacement products head out too... Just something to notice.
  • Reply 2 of 44
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    Somehow waiting all day for my battery to be replaced doesn't appeal to me.



    If you don't live near an Apple store, then you're SOL unless you want to be without your laptop for a week and pay shipping charges on top of that $179 battery.
  • Reply 3 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    If you don't live near an Apple store, then you're SOL unless you want to be without your laptop for a week and pay shipping charges on top of that $179 battery.



    I'm pretty sure shipping is included in the $179. My bet is they ship you out a box (takes 2 days), you ship it back in the box, they return it. That's how all other apple repairs go. Apple warranty care is pretty darned good.



    Also, if you're under warranty (and/or Applecare), and you're battery dies earlier than you'd expect, call apple. Ask for a replacement, saying the battery is holding only X change after Y cycles, and that you'd like a new one.
  • Reply 4 of 44
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by federmoose View Post


    I'm pretty sure shipping is included in the $179. My bet is they ship you out a box (takes 2 days), you ship it back in the box, they return it. That's how all other apple repairs go. Apple warranty care is pretty darned good.



    Also, if you're under warranty (and/or Applecare), and you're battery dies earlier than you'd expect, call apple. Ask for a replacement, saying the battery is holding only X change after Y cycles, and that you'd like a new one.



    Agreed.

    I don't see how this is any different from brakes on a car or a million other things. Most folks don't even change their own tires even though they are "user replaceable" but there is nothing stopping you from doing it if you want to.



    There will also be "kits" for those that want to do it themselves. Anyone handy with a screwdriver of average intelligence can do this replacement and it's theoretically only going to happen every five years or so. In other words it might not happen for the entire time you own the product.



    Seems obvious to me that if putting a replaceable battery in screws with the design and is not actually necessary in most cases, then this is clearly the way to go.
  • Reply 5 of 44
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post


    I dunno, but I still don't like the idea of having to go in to an Apple store, or sending your laptop away for half a week for a simple battery replacement. It just makes me question something.



    No iPods have user replaceable batteries. (Same goes for iPhone). I didn't like this idea either. But with those batteries only lasting a year or two, and a MBP17 battery lasting probably 3 years, it just means more foot traffic into the Apple store.



    Anything to get us back into the Apple store right? "Is there anything else we can help you with?" While you get your battery replaced, may as well get your OS, iLife/iWork, and what ever apps you need updated too. Once you are in there doing the battery replacement, more likely to buy the upgrades too I suppose ...



    I really doubt they would screw with one of their flagship products just to get more foot traffic in the stores.



    Apple's design ethic is fairly established at this point. They don't consider retail issues when designing cases for laptops, they consider issues relevant to laptop cases instead.



    Makes sense too!
  • Reply 6 of 44
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    Agreed.

    I don't see how this is any different from brakes on a car or a million other things.



    I don't have to drive two or more hours to see a mechanic.
  • Reply 7 of 44
    boogabooga Posts: 1,076member
    Apple's current guidelines are that after 4 or so years of regular use, your battery should hold 80% of its initial capacity. Somehow I don't think doing this once every 5 years or so (or, for most folks, replacing the laptop entirely before the first battery replacement) will be a deal-breaker. If after 10 years when your 2nd battery is ready to change in 2019 if you're really hurting maybe we can all pitch in for a Mr. Fusion replacement.
  • Reply 8 of 44
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post


    I don't have to drive two or more hours to see a mechanic.



    Well lots of people do though.



    And those that are unreasonably far away from a garage learn how to change the brakes themselves.



    I'm not disagreeing with the idea that there isn't a down-side, just that it's a trade off and that all things considered it seems like a great decision to make it non-replaceable. Nothings perfect, but the chorus of folks saying (paraphrased) "OMG, I might have a hassle with the battery years from now, I ain't buying that!" are being silly.
  • Reply 9 of 44
    alanskyalansky Posts: 235member
    My concern about the non-replaceable battery is that many working pros need to use their laptops in remote locations for more than the 5.5 hours one can reasonably expect from an "8 hour" battery. Kinda limits the usefulness of the king of MBP's for working on location.
  • Reply 10 of 44
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alansky View Post


    My concern about the non-replaceable battery is that many working pros need to use their laptops in remote locations for more than the 5.5 hours one can reasonably expect from an "8 hour" battery. Kinda limits the usefulness of the king of MBP's for working on location.



    I don't know anyone who carries a spare battery for a laptop. However, if you really need it, just carry a spare MBP.
  • Reply 11 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    Agreed.

    I don't see how this is any different from brakes on a car or a million other things. Most folks don't even change their own tires even though they are "user replaceable" but there is nothing stopping you from doing it if you want to.



    There will also be "kits" for those that want to do it themselves. Anyone handy with a screwdriver of average intelligence can do this replacement and it's theoretically only going to happen every five years or so. In other words it might not happen for the entire time you own the product.



    Seems obvious to me that if putting a replaceable battery in screws with the design and is not actually necessary in most cases, then this is clearly the way to go.



    Agreed. By the time anybody needs to replace the battery there will be a slew of replacements available and instructions to boot. Probably longer life and cheaper to.



    Let's face it, one can still plug it in while the part is being shipped. Overnight if need be.
  • Reply 12 of 44
    I personally don't mind having to send my apple product away though their service is insanely location dependant.

    Here in New Zealand we don't even have an Apple Store, so i guess I will 'lose' my laptop for a week for a pretty simple battery replacement.



    Also: You've got to love their pricing strategy, US$179 but AU$299 (~US$200) and judging by the past premium for NZ (in local retailers anyway) we'll probably end up paying ~US$250. No thanks.
  • Reply 13 of 44
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    I don't know anyone who carries a spare battery for a laptop. However, if you really need it, just carry a spare MBP.



    People just complain for the hell of it. I bet 99% of complainers have either never replaced their MacBook Pro battery or never owned a MacBook Pro and most likely have never worked away from a power source for more than a few hours. A little planning is all it takes to make sure you don't run out of power. As far as battery failure, Apple is estimating that under normal circumstances the battery should last 300 recycles (quite a few years in most cases.) If it fails before then it is just like any other component that fails prematurely - You just have bad luck and have to deal with it. At least Apple is informing you of your options. If this doesn't work for you, buy a different computer.
  • Reply 14 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alansky View Post


    My concern about the non-replaceable battery is that many working pros need to use their laptops in remote locations for more than the 5.5 hours one can reasonably expect from an "8 hour" battery. Kinda limits the usefulness of the king of MBP's for working on location.



    http://apexdistribution.stores.yahoo...rsopapoge.html
  • Reply 15 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post


    I don't have to drive two or more hours to see a mechanic.



    Many mechanics aren't open on the weekends or during hours that I'm not at work either. Apple Stores are, not to mention I'm sure there is a certified service center for Apple products near you that can do the replacement. It is 10 screws at the bottom of the case, certainly something that should take less time to replace than an oil change.
  • Reply 16 of 44
    walshbjwalshbj Posts: 864member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by meemorize View Post


    I personally don't mind having to send my apple product away though their service is insanely location dependant.

    Here in New Zealand we don't even have an Apple Store, so i guess I will 'lose' my laptop for a week for a pretty simple battery replacement.



    Also: You've got to love their pricing strategy, US$179 but AU$299 (~US$200) and judging by the past premium for NZ (in local retailers anyway) we'll probably end up paying ~US$250. No thanks.



    Are you serious? For a battery change that far in the future you say no thanks because of a surcharge you're not even sure about yet - you say no?



    I would have thought living in NZ people would be used to doing things a little different than the rest of the world, definitely different than in the continental US. I'd surely expect to pay more for many things living there.



    I know I wouldn't say no to the machine that suited me best because MAYBE I'm going to have to replace the battery at some point and pay a surcharge less than a hundred dollars.
  • Reply 17 of 44
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,197member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post


    and a MBP17 battery lasting probably 3 years,



    they designed it for 3 to 5 years of use depending on your use. after that long, you are just as likely to want to buy the latest and greatest new model rather than just replace your battery.



    Especially the power users that shell out for something like a 17 inch MBPro. Rarely are these the typical users. They are the gaming geeks, the hard core professionals, the indie film makers. they will definitely want top of the line. and will get a new computer by then



    The average user is going to bleed their current 17 inch dry which means buying a replaceable battery at least 1-2 times and not getting a new computer for another 3 years anyway.



    Quote:

    On another note, how come the lines to the genius bar are so long often filled up within the first few hours of the day? I see so many dead products come back to the Apple store



    do you work at a genius bar. do you actually know how many of those 'dead' products really are dead and how many are frozen because of user error or are so old it's a wonder they are still working and not newer but defective product.



    and do you have detailed statistics on how many comparable products from other manufacturers haven't come back dead in order to imply that Apple is so inferior to everyone else. I bet you don't.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    Somehow waiting all day for my battery to be replaced doesn't appeal to me.



    actually from the sounds of it, the replacement can be done in a Bar appointment, so that's like 30 minutes tops. probably half that most of the time. so long as you bother to make an appointment and don't play the 'I think I"ll just drop by, i'm sure they can squeeze me in' game



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    As far as battery failure, Apple is estimating that under normal circumstances the battery should last 300 recycles



    if by 'recycles' you mean charges then you need to add about 700 to that number.
  • Reply 18 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post


    I don't have to drive two or more hours to see a mechanic.



    You can't drive 2 hours once every 3-5 years? C'mon. Like others have said this is a lot to do about nothing. Is there not electricity where some of the whiners here live? I mean how hard is it to buy a $40 car power inverter from Best Buy if you're really going to be on the road? Every where I go there are these awesome little things called "electrical outlets".
  • Reply 19 of 44
    tjstjs Posts: 31member
    It's simple... plan ahead. Skip a couple of trips to StarBucks a month, set that money aside and by the time you need to replace the battery you'll have it paid for.
  • Reply 20 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Unlike battery replacements for the iPhone, however, Apple has also announced that customers can have a new battery installed in their 17-inch MacBook Pro at their local Apple retail store with a Genius Bar appointment. MacBook Pros serviced at Apple stores will be returned the same day.



    This is wrong.

    Apple has a battery replacement program for both the iPod and iPhone in place.

    It works a little different for iPods and iPhones.

    I took my 2nd Gen iPod to an Apple Retail store and paid $60 + tax.

    I left with a Refurbished 2nd Gen iPod with a brand new battery and a brand new outer case.

    It looked as good as the day I bought it in 2003(five years ago).



    You can do the same thing with an iPhone.
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