Apple charges 65% more to replace Retina MacBook Pro’s battery

Gregg Keizer
6 July, 2012
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Apple customers who purchase the company’s new Retina MacBook Pro will pay more to replace the notebook’s integrated, glued-down battery, according to Apple.

The battery, which is literally stuck to the case with adhesive, cannot be replaced by the user, but instead must be returned to Apple, either by mail or an express shipping service or by dropping it off at an Apple retail store.

That’s not new: MacBook Air owners have faced the same issue since that thin-and-light laptop’s debut in 2008 and users of other MacBook Pro models have, too, since Apple began equipping them with custom, built-in batteries.

But Apple’s price for replacing the Retina MacBook Pro’s battery is $229 or 65 percent higher than the fee for swapping out a MacBook Air‘s power supply.

Admittedly, the battery in the MacBook Pro is more powerful than the Air’s: Apple rated the former at 95 watt-hours (Whr), meaning that it can produce one watt of power for 95 hours or, say, 5 watts of power for 19 hours. The 13-in. MacBook Air’s battery, on the other hand, is rated at 50 Whr.

But while the 15-in. non-Retina MacBook Pro battery is also rated at 95 Whr., it costs just $149 — the same as the Air — to have Apple replace that laptop’s battery.

Apple claimed that the Retina MacBook Pro’s battery could be recharged approximately 1,000 times before its fully-charged capacity fell to 80 percent. If the notebook is charged once each day, its capability will have dropped by a fifth after two years and nine months.

The company estimates that the MacBook Air and other MacBook Pro laptops can be charged the same number of times before their lithium-ion polymer batteries’ capacity slips to 80 percent.

Apple said that a Retina MacBook Pro battery replacement was a same-day service in its retail stores if the owner had made an appointment, but that the process would take three to four days if the laptop was shipped to Apple.

 

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