updated 03:16 pm EDT, Wed July 18, 2012
Internal service tech memo says whole top case must be replaced
Environmental site TreeHugger has gotten ahold of an Apple memo revealing that the battery in the new Retina MacBook pros cannot be easily replaced. The finding makes the new MacBooks even less repairable than previously thought. The revelation also casts doubt on the ultimate recyclability of the new MacBooks, as replacing the battery requires replacing a considerable portion of the computer itself.
Apple's memo to its own technicians notes that the battery is embedded within the top case of the Retina MacBook Pro, along with the keyboard, fan ducts, and microphone. The memo notes that the battery must be replaced along with the top case assembly and that the battery alone is not a replaceable part.
A previous examination of the new MacBook models by repair outfit iFixit has already dubbed them the "least repairable laptop" they've ever taken apart. The design of the notebook all but assures that it will need to be sent in to Apple for repairs, but that seems to have had no impact on the device's popularity, as supplies quickly sold out after its debut.