At the recent Apple event there was a segment featuring Octavia Spencer as Mother Nature where Apple touted it’s efforts to make it’s products better for the environment. While Apple may be ahead of some companies in their efforts to reduce the impact of their products on the environment, there is one big step they could take that would make all existing products better for the environment.
Really support repairability so that devices can stay in use longer. Sure now that the writing is on the wall they support repairing their devices but it still takes a third party to unlock their parts pairing scheme to enable someone that’s not Apple to replace some parts of your devices.
The MacBook Pro 2019 gets a 1 on the iFixit repair report card. It has RAM that can’t be replaced by the user and a processor that is soldered to the logic board. The Touch ID sensor is locked to the logic board and doubles as your power button, which makes replacing it pretty hard.
The MacBook Pro 13″ scores a 2 with many of the same issues as the 16″ variant.
You have to go back to the MacBook Air 2015 to get an Apple devices that scores 4 for repairability. Then to the MacBook Pro 15″ from 2012 to get something that actually ranks as a repairable device with a score of 7.
If Apple was serious about the environmental impact of their products they’d take a look at Framework which scores a 10 for repairability. When I got mine I easily opened it and put the RAM in the device. When it fails, the Framework laptop fails gracefully allowing you to purchase replacement parts and then fairly easily swap them into the existing machine.
I know for many people that Windows as an operating system is a non-starter and while I love Linux, I also acknowledge it can be a rough transition, especially once you’re locked into the Apple ecosystem. But the satisfaction I get every time I open my Framework knowing I can swap in a new main board, or get a new screen or change the keyboard or upgrade the storage is something I value highly.
So when I watched the Mother Nature bit from Apple, I couldn’t help but look down at my Framework and think that there really isn’t a way they could be serious about environmental sustainability. If they were, they’d have to make choices that didn’t support just purchasing a new device, or getting a crazy expensive Apple repair that includes parts you don’t even need.