Apple MacBook A ‘Repair Nightmare,’ Joins HTC One, Microsoft Surface Pro With Worst iFixit Score

The new Apple MacBook 2015 joins the ranks of relatively few gadgets that managed to achieve worst possible score on the iFixit Repairability Scale, according to Extreme Tech.

The 12-inch MacBook earned a one out of ten on iFixit’s DIY repair scale, making the newest iteration of Apple’s “future of the notebook” a bit of a dud with DIY lovers.

This rating comes despite some features owners love, such as the new keyboard and USB port.

iFixit states that the bad rating boils down to five major issues in the complete MacBook 2015 teardown guide – none of which is simple to get around.

Apple made it so difficult for a do-it-yourselfer to repair the MacBook 2015 at home that Extreme Tech and iFixit both call it “nearly impossible to service.”

In fact, says Extreme Tech, Apple doesn’t care that people want to repair the MacBook themselves.

An iFixit blog post about the MacBook teardown offers evidence to this point, stating that, “Apple really outdid itself here; it’s like they took note of iFixit’s Repairability Scale and actually tried to hit zero.”

It is tough to command the lowest score on iFixit’s Repairability Scale, but when a manufacturer decides to design a gadget on purpose so that servicing it at home is “practically impossible,” that gadget earns, and iFixit doles out, a low score easily.

New Apple MacBook Keyboard

This is exactly what happened here. Apple designed the newest Retina MacBook 2015 in a way that made it even more difficult than usual to repair at home.

The move earned it the lowest possible score on iFixit’s Repairability Scale – a one out of ten. According to iFixit, one means the device is more difficult to repair, and 10 means it is the easiest to repair.

In the guide, the iFixit team throws around such phrases as, “funky shapes,” “springy cables,” “newfangled,” and “devilry,” to describe the Apple MacBook and the steps it takes to repair various components.

Combine this with the unbelievable amount of glue and equally unbelievable number of proprietary parts Apple used to build its newest MacBook that require an immense list of proprietary tools to repair the device, and readers get a bit of a hint as to what’s in store for the DIY enthusiast.

According to “Step 28” of the iFixit Retina MacBook 2015 Teardown Guide, Apple has made the already “unnecessarily difficult” task of opening the MacBook case – because of its pentalobe proprietary screws – that much “trickier” because of the tightly tangled cable configurations.

Apple MacBook USB C Port

Then the proprietary “tri-wing screws” are “buried under the display bracket,” holding down the USB-C port, which itself is practically irreplaceable, not to mention a security risk all its own.

A ton of glue holds down the battery, and Apple calls that “user replaceable.” iFixit, on the other hand, calls that difficult to repair.

Even though Apple claims that users can remove the MacBook battery from certain models.

MacBook Battery

However, gluing a battery down seems to contradict that statement, and tends to instead steer MacBook owners to Apple’s Battery Replacement Program.

Lastly, the retina display is a single, fused component made up of the display and the glass covering. According to MacWorld, this means replacing two parts of the retina display when only the one is broken, which can be very expensive.

Removed MacBook Retina Display

Combining these issues with the fact that the MacBook’s RAM is non-upgradable, the MacBook earned its one out of ten score.

Other gadgets to earn a one out of ten over the years include the HTC One and a number of tablets, including the Microsoft Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2, MacBook Pro 2012, and MacBook Pro 2013.

Those who want to try to repair the Apple MacBook 2015 themselves should come properly equipped with the required tools, which iFixit lists on its website, and lots of patience. However, many users simply don’t care and will buy a new MacBook 2015, or a newer model, if something happens out of warranty, according to CIO.

Have you ever attempted to fix your Apple device at home? If so, which one and how did it go?

[Photo Credits: iFixit, Stephen Lam/Getty Images]