iFixit has an interesting editorial in which they blame the consumer, and not Apple, for the fact that the new MacBook Pro is both beautiful and completely unserviceable, with major structural components having a built-in limited lifespan (i.e. the battery).
Apple has consistently introduced thinner, lighter products. They learn from experience. They react to their customers. They’re very adept at presenting us with what we want. And they give us options from time to time and allow product sales to determine their future designs.
We have consistently voted for hardware that’s thinner rather than upgradeable. But we have to draw a line in the sand somewhere. Our purchasing decisions are telling Apple that we’re happy to buy computers and watch them die on schedule. When we choose a short-lived laptop over a more robust model that’s a quarter of an inch thicker, what does that say about our values?
As a point of reference, the Mac Pro got barely an upgrade last week (literally a CPU speed bump and a price cut), and the outcry was pretty limited.
I’ve long ago decided that the Internet has let me embrace what I consider the best of both worlds: a sleek, difficult-to-mess-up portable computer in the form of a MacBook Air, and a “server” desktop which is serviceable and upgradeable. The server holds all my data and runs long processes that are too taxing or long-running for my laptop, while my laptop, with the magic of
screen, VNC, iCloud, and various other services, can serve as my mobile interface to my server. For most consumers, though, a docking station for some hard drives may be all they need.