Why You Really Need AppleCare On Your Retina Display MacBook Pro

Apple's retina display MacBook Pro may well be the platonic ideal of a portable computer: it's fast, it's thin, it's brilliantly realised. Oh, and it's a gigantic, expensive pain in the arse to fix yourself.

The fact that Apple made the retina display MacBook Pro a difficult nut to crack isn't a new revelation; iFixit already deemed it the "least repairable laptop" ever back in June. But now we know that if your fancy $2500+ laptop does break, it's going to cost almost as much as a new laptop to fix it.

Need to replace the FaceTime camera? You'll have to remove the LCD frame from the display first, which will break it, which means you'll need an entirely new assembly. Have to switch out one of Apple's proprietary components? Sorry, there's no third-party analogue. Oh, and replacing the battery alone will cost hundreds of dollars from a third party. Apple charges $229 in Australia, but not everyone has access to an Apple Store or can afford to wait.

It might feel weird spending over $400 on AppleCare for a rig that's already taking such a big bite out of your wallet. But there's perhaps no other Apple product that merits that kind of three-year all-inclusive protection more. Because if literally anything breaks or malfunctions, it's probably going to cost a whole lot more than $429 to repair -- if it's even possible to repair in the first place. [iFixit via 9to5Mac]



    Luckily it's covered under statutory warranty for at least the 3 years that Apple Care would otherwise cover it. Apple Care is a scam.

      Yep, ACCC laws, premium product, lifetime of the product as described by the ATO (3-4 years, can't remember exactly). You could have an interesting fight with Apple about it, but they're obligated by law to abide by our consumer laws.

        To update:


    Not sure if you can do this anymore, but when I bought my Macbook Pro back in 2009 I purchased Applecare off eBay for half the price than what you'd pay in Australia and it was legit.

    I don't know where you live (eu maybe?) but there is no three year warranties in Australia.

      Current legislation in AUSTRALIA states a product must be covered by "Consumer Guarantees" for the reasonable life of the product/component. With the ACCC now responsible for Consumer Guarantees we will see a huge reduction in scams such as Apple Care. The Implied Warranty and Manufacturer Guarantees are separate things. Read the legislation before telling someone they are wrong!


        Correct, but only if the device malfunctions. The nanny state doesn't make companies pay for repairs if the individual does something stupid with the device or they just break it.

        What's the "reasonable life" of a computer? I buy a new one every year but I still have my four year old Dell M4400 (it is still worth more to me that I would have got for it on eBay). The other issue is the level of service. If governments are mandating longer warranties, you can bet that companies are going to provide minimal service on those warranties and ask for money for speedier service, much as Dell offer different service levels.

          Two things. The first is that the reasonable life of a $2000+ laptop is most certainly at least a few years. The second is about levels of service; the government also mandates that the warranty service that they must provide must also be up to a particular standard. There's no "well, we'll just make our warranty service crap" option. If anything, all they can do is offer a paid warranty that goes beyond the reasonable life of the product or a service that offers above-and-beyond customer service.

          I strongly encourage you to read the link before commenting further.

            I think it is you who needs to read, or at least comprehend. All you've done is back me up. When I required warranty service on my TV, it took around 10 days for them to supply a replacement unit. That's fine, I can live without the telly for a couple of weeks. Same with my washing machine, stove and most other things around the home. My computer is entirely another matter but I can't see any government making a company like Samsung provide a different level of service on a computer than they do on everything else they sell. For that reason I would pay for next-day, on-site service. or buy a product that included it. In fact, that is precisely why I have bought two Dell laptops in the past; the machines were similar, the prices were similar but Dell's warranty was way, way better so they got my money. Now that I'm on an annual upgrade cycle, I don't care at all about warranty, the most basic will do.

        Thanks for that link silknfeathers it looks really useful.
        And it's pleading to know that my tv has a warrenty of ten years.

        My question is. How does one enforce this warrenty. Company offered warrenties are very clear. You call the number and are forced to take half a day off work and they may/may not come around.

        The accc's warrenty I'm a bit unsure on how to claim. And in addition, it's not that well known so as I understand it you take the item back to the PoS and tell them you want the item replaced under the accc's implied warrenty act.

        If the manager refuses to take the item what is the next step?

      Silk feathers is 100% correct.

      All pc's have an "expected" lifespan of 3 years. So all pc warranties regardless of what the paperwork mentions, are covered for three years.

    this is the reason why i never bothered with macbooks
    love the iphone, but hate the macbooks

    @silknfeathers: I skimmed through your attachment and from what I could find, the manufacturer is only liable for damages within the period of their 'express warranty' (a period stated by the manufacturer). For Apple computers, it's 1 year. If you want any longer, you will need to buy extended warranty.

    The idea on this article is to buy that extended warranty for MBP retina because it makes sense for your investment ... like buying a car insurance. If not, try taking your nice PDF to Apple Store when the computer breaks (oh! and a lawyer to argue that 'reasonable life' is forever).

    Contrary to what you think the documents clearly states:
    "The consumer guarantees are based on the same core principles as implied warranties and conditions that previously existed in state and territory fair trading laws and the Commonwealth Trade Practices Act 1974. They do not create significantly different rights and obligations, but set out the rights and obligations in a clearer way."

      That's not what an express warranty is, according to the link.

      "Suppliers and manufacturers often make extra promises (sometimes called ‘express warranties’) about such things as the quality, state, condition, performance or characteristics of goods."

      An express warranty is a warranty that promises things above and beyond what is legally required of them. For example, the article cites a promise that a bed will last for 10 years; that is likely beyond the reasonable life of the product (and so the manufacturer is not obliged to provide such a warranty) but because the promise has been made, it is considered an express warranty and is enforceable.

      Apple's 1 year warranty is not an express warranty and does not even cover their obligations under Australian law, as 1 year does not cover the reasonable life of such a costly product of that type.

      The quote at the end of your post isn't even relevant. It's just stating that implied warranties and conditions (a manufacturer's obligations to the consumer regarding their product) state much the same thing as consumer guaruntees, with the latter setting it out in a clearer, easier-to-understand way.

        @Peter.O, directly copy & pasted from the PDF @silknfeathers linked to:

        For example:
        A consumer buys a plasma television for $6000. It stops working two years later. The supplier tells the consumer they have no rights to repairs or another remedy as the television was only under the manufacturer’s warranty for 12 months. The supplier says the consumer should have bought an extended warranty, which would have given five years’ cover.
        A reasonable consumer would expect more than two years’ use from a $6000 television. Under the consumer guarantees, the consumer therefore has a statutory right to a remedy on the basis that the television is not of acceptable quality. The supplier must provide a remedy free of charge. This may also amount to misleading a consumer about their rights.

          There are three "types" of warranty- Manufacturers (with 12 months warranty! etc.) Implied- ("this baby will run for over 10 years!"- if you hear this one, PLEASE try and record it !) and Consumer Guarantee. If a salesperson tells you something will last for so long, won't break, is completely waterproof or similar- this is an implied warranty (also the hardest to prove, hence the "record this" comment. This is actually my main interest, as my job is teaching our retail staff to shut the hell up;-). The manufacturers warranty is nice, but is becoming more of a marketing tool than an actual warranty. You'll see (or already seeing) a bit of a marketing war on warranties- how many car manufacturers had five year warranties 8 years ago? The consumer Guarantee is the important one. Actually these laws have been in place for quite a while, the big change is that the big stick is now held by the ACCC. Motormouth has a good point- what is "reasonable"? Up until now this has been the stumbling block, often to determine this it had to go to court. (actually it my surprise you that when it did go to court the judgement was usually in favour of the consumer).

          The ACCC is already showing signs of using its muscle, hence my comment we will EVENTUALLY see these extended warranties die off. (sorry for the novel).

    Its a bet I'd be willing to make. I'm on my 6th laptop since 2004 and apart from a faulty nVidia chipset that affected 8 or 9 different brands, which was fixed for free outside of the warranty period anyway, the worst issue I've had was a dead PSU on my Dell M70. And now that I'm on a 12 month upgrade cycle, the standard one year warranty is more than good enough for me. I'd pay extra for better service - Dell's next day, on-site is well worth paying for - but not for an extended warranty.

    Some credit cards come with an extra year warranty on the original items basic warranty. So I guess this applies to Apple's statutory obligations here in OZ.

    Apple have been doing this scam for years. how about $2200 for a (refurb) motherboard (if water damage), $1500 if they can refurb it and give it to some other sucker. I was quoted $1000 for a damn replacement DVD slot drive. The keyboard is still not spill proof, surely one of the last. They basically force you to buy Applecare.

    This is what initially turned me off ever buying an apple product again, now there is no chance given their current behaviour in the courts. This company is laughing their asses off at all the apple obsessed. No matter what they do or how they act, more and more image obsessed people just have to have apple.

    lol can't beleive you guys are trying to justify this bullsh!t!

    "Apple make their computers so that they cannot be fixed cheaply, but thats ok, they've given us a repair center that is only a little bit overpriced.... but its still worth it.... honest"

    By this argument, every car manufacturer is dudding

    By this argument, every car manufacturer is dudding Australian consumers. Is the reasonable lifetime of a new car 3 years or 100,000km?

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