When You Shouldn’t Repair Your Mac

The point of hardware repairs is to ensure your devices remain usable and in good condition as long as possible, so you don’t have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a new product. Spending a couple hundred dollars replacing a severely cracked MacBook screen is a much better option than buying a new one entirely, especially if your devices are still under warranty.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Canadian software developer Luke Tully recently documented an exchange with Apple Support over the potential repair costs for a 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro in need of a screen and battery replacement. According to the screenshotted emails in Tully’s post, Apple’s representative said it would cost nearly CAD 2051.84 (roughly $2,135) for the damages, and suggested buying a replacement instead.

For comparison, a new 13-inch MacBook Pro 2020 model starts at $1,999, and certified refurbished models from 2019 (the oldest refurbished models available in the Apple Store at the time of writing) start at around $1,300.

Screenshot: Luke Tully

Tully points out that Apple and other tech companies are being investigated for anti-consumer and anti-competitive behaviour, and questions whether the high cost for repairs is a result of Apple pushing users towards buying a new MacBook instead of repairing their (perfectly fine) older laptop.

While some, like Tully, notice the high prices, some users may not catch the discrepancy or may not question them. It sounds like a newbie move, but we’re confident that plenty of people have just sent their broken Macs over to Apple to fix up without even giving one glance at the estimate.

Instead of doing that, make sure you compare the estimated cost of repairs against the price of a new or used MacBook the next time you’re about to send a device in for repairs. If you’re looking at nearly a grand or more in repairs, you might as well look into replacing the entire laptop — especially if it’ll be a decent boost in specs over your current MacBook.

On the other hand, if the damages are superficial and don’t impact performance, bear with the cracked screens or chipped cases as long as you’re able to. And if you don’t mind a potentially lower-quality replacement screen, you might even be able to get a much cheaper, functional replacement from a third-party repair shop.

If you opt to replace your MacBook entirely, you don’t have to get rid of that old laptop just because you’re getting a new one. There are numerous ways to turn an old laptop into a helpful secondary device — or even some extra cash. A broken screen means nothing, for example, if you can remotely connect to the laptop using another computer entirely.

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