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Apple's (AAPL) next-gen MacBook Pro is "much less accessible than anything which has ever...

Apple's (AAPL) next-gen MacBook Pro is "much less accessible than anything which has ever carried the 'Pro' name in the past," observes Felix Salmon. The device's RAM, solid-state drive, and battery can't be replaced/upgraded, and even some of its screws are proprietary. This gives consumers more reason to purchase a $349 AppleCare Protection Plan, and demonstrates how recent Apple products have a "built-in obsolescence" that drives future upgrades.
Comments (16)
  • Herr Hansa
    , contributor
    Comments (3080) | Send Message
     
    It's the type of product that can get people into a store, even though they may buy the lower priced version. Nice display, but frustrating that the RAM is soldered in place. Apple has historically overcharged for RAM, and unlike third party RAM vendors has never offered a lifetime warranty on RAM. Felix makes a great point about the 3 year Apple Care, and with this expensive a laptop it almost seems like a buyer should have that. I'm actually looking more at upgrading my MacBook Pro than buying a newer version.
    15 Jun 2012, 02:54 PM Reply Like
  • COBeeMan
    , contributor
    Comments (1294) | Send Message
     
    Isn't this exactly how Apple originally lost (or didn't gain) market share to IBM PCs in the 80's? Other than the Apple zealots, normal people will opt for a more open system.
    15 Jun 2012, 02:57 PM Reply Like
  • Stan Low
    , contributor
    Comments (39) | Send Message
     
    To my recollection, this was also how Compaq (which also built a good but proprietary computer) lost the battle to Dell. However, the proprietary approach has also served Apple very well ..
    15 Jun 2012, 03:02 PM Reply Like
  • GaltMachine
    , contributor
    Comments (1140) | Send Message
     
    "products have a "built-in obsolescence" that drives future upgrades."

     

    or drives people away!

     

    The first step in destroying the Brand is to cheapen its value (Maxwell house started to use cheaper beans in its mix to boost profits, works in the short-run death in the long run). The insurance part smacks of desperation because as anybody selling this stuff knows, the profit in the insurance blows away the profit from the product but it creates the impression of product unreliability in the mind of the consumer.

     

    However, insurance is a "fear" purchase so at some point the idea that you can't fix the product is going to discourage buying at the replacement stage especially when you factor in the total cost of buying. I suspect only the diehards will do it and new buyers (like me) will be that much more unlikely to give them a try.
    15 Jun 2012, 03:01 PM Reply Like
  • pollyserial
    , contributor
    Comments (1067) | Send Message
     
    As a lifetime apple user whose entire home and work ecosystem is based around Apple's products, I completely agree with Galtmachine here. I've been getting fed up with Apple's increasing disposability, decreasing quality and increasingly bulky and unconfigurable OS builds for years, and have been looking for alternatives. I think that as computing becomes more and more mobile and cloud-based, these policies (not to mention the price tag!) will expose Apple to tremendous risk.
    15 Jun 2012, 03:18 PM Reply Like
  • Mad_Max_A_Million
    , contributor
    Comments (1175) | Send Message
     
    Would this be a good time to remind us that it takes 30 seconds to replace the battery in a DROID. But it is next to impossible, and voids the warrantee, in an i-phone. Unless this has changed...
    15 Jun 2012, 03:46 PM Reply Like
  • pollyserial
    , contributor
    Comments (1067) | Send Message
     
    Thanks, and I say this very humbly and with greatest respect for Android users, but I just don't trust Android! Too much fragmentation, too little oversight of the marketplace.
    15 Jun 2012, 04:01 PM Reply Like
  • Sirvasq
    , contributor
    Comments (322) | Send Message
     
    I am writing luscious letters on svelte soft keys, the cool thin aluminum beneath my wrists, and grinning ear to ear 10 minutes after I opened the beautiful, small box on my new Macbook Pro retina display.
    15 Jun 2012, 04:08 PM Reply Like
  • thotdoc
    , contributor
    Comments (1628) | Send Message
     
    Really? I bought mine while Tim Cook was on the stage and as soo as the website allowed me to buy it. The machine won't be in till Monday.
    16 Jun 2012, 03:56 PM Reply Like
  • Sirvasq
    , contributor
    Comments (322) | Send Message
     
    It's fast, gorgeous, light, crash- and bug-proof so far. Movies are delectable, and Outlook works like a charm via Intermedia.
    19 Jun 2012, 11:47 AM Reply Like
  • DeepValueLover
    , contributor
    Comments (8526) | Send Message
     
    Apple knows that the best income is imprisoned income.
    15 Jun 2012, 04:11 PM Reply Like
  • dividend_growth
    , contributor
    Comments (2888) | Send Message
     
    WTF wants to tear apart a notebook anyway, other than a few techno geeks who represent less than 1% of the population?

     

    I put together a dozen or so desktops together for myself and my friends, but I don't think I'm good enough to fool around with notebooks.
    16 Jun 2012, 03:16 AM Reply Like
  • pollyserial
    , contributor
    Comments (1067) | Send Message
     
    Well, before I got my mb air I had a mb pro which had hard drive and ram upgrades which were fairly simple to install, were relatively cheap and extended the machine in ways that were important to me. And I'm no 1% techno geek.

     

    I do agree with the idea that these upgrades are less necessary.

     

    But more than this I'm beginning to chafe at the software controls of various sorts that are kind of annoying.

     

    For instance, how hard it is to get rid of the bloat that accompanies the OS, or for instance the extras that come with final cut.
    16 Jun 2012, 03:35 AM Reply Like
  • danf
    , contributor
    Comments (735) | Send Message
     
    On the MBP everything serves the retina display and the desire to thin it down. Thus the optical drive goes and the removability of ram, ssd and battery are sacrificed to thinness (not to mention cutting costs to pay for the display). Fundamentally I think this means that the display is not ready for prime-time. They are hard to mfg, consume too much power and cause the rest of the system to run hot. I think the SSD migration is also premature as the long term reliability of those drives in a consumer setting is unproven. Over time performance degrades. My guess is the apple release just 1 MBP Retina display model, because they know they cannot build them in the quantities needed.
    16 Jun 2012, 06:52 PM Reply Like
  • Herr Hansa
    , contributor
    Comments (3080) | Send Message
     
    That's the issue I think some will have with the changes. If the changes mean cutting costs, why not pass on some of those costs to the end purchasers. It's not like they couldn't maintain the profit margin. It's there right as a company to charge a premium, and even a slight loss of sales might be made up by the higher prices and greater profit margin. Yet it appears more and more that Apple is becoming the company they warned people about in their famous 1984 commercial.
    16 Jun 2012, 07:07 PM Reply Like
  • pollyserial
    , contributor
    Comments (1067) | Send Message
     
    I'm an artist,educator, software developer; there was a time, believe me, when folks on the fringe were proud of being Apple and anti-Microsoft, etc. The people I know don't feel that way any more, for just the reasons you cite, and more. Look at the backlash to the new final cut x. I'm not a professional video editor, so I think it's actually pretty great, and ultimately I think a lot of people are adopting it, but that episode did drive a lot of business away from Apple and more than this it shows how much underlying anger there is, towards Apple, among its long-time user base.

     

    Hardware moves more slowly than software, but if at some point a disruptive force emerges in this sector, Apple strikes me as vulnerable. (dons flame-retardant jersey). But, I thank them for the money they made me! And, even though I'm less enthusiastic about their ethos, I still buy their products (laptop, desktop, phone, tablet) and they mostly work ok for me.
    16 Jun 2012, 07:21 PM Reply Like
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