Monday, January 15, 2007

Apple Macbook Pro Battery replacement

Google Battery replacement and Apple comes up on top. Position one for ipods and position two for other batteries. I've recently been without a battery for more than three weeks (in offfical language, 'shipping depends on availability'). I called in straight away but they are being brought from Europe. It's not that there aren't thousands of Macbooks sold every month in SA, just that Apple has a different view on batteries, and there are thousands sold here every month.

So what's their view?

Some observations:
- There's been a link from the Apple home page - centered on the bottom - for "iBook G4 and PowerBook G4 Battery Recall" ever since I can remember. This is before I bought my Powerbook G4.

- It says nothing on the main (laptop) batteries page ( nor on the page it links to for the MacBook Pro batteries about any battery exchange.

- Apple don't have the battery serial numbers matched to the machines they're shipped with, until you bring them back.

- I learned that there was a battery exchange program for 15" MacBook Pro's after my battery had died, and I called my local service centre. If you know that you can tell from the last few characters in the serial number (i.e. that ends with U7SA, U7SB or U7SC) then you'll know that in the support pages, Apple mention the FAQ:
I've never had any problems with my battery. Should I have it replaced?
Please (i.e. you should) check your battery to see if it qualifies for the battery exchange program. If it does, Apple will send you a replacement battery and recycle the affected battery for you.
Oh, if only I had known I wouldn't have had to live for 3 weeks having to shut down and find the next power point (that's Volts and Amps, not .ppt's :). The machine is less than a year old.

- The service centre is doing ther best by following up with Apple but in the meantime I turned the machine on friday afternoon and used the track pad instead of my usual docking mouse and keyboard. The mouse was clicked and there was little I could do. What do you do when the left mouse is clicked? It's on. Can't click on anything because t's clicked already. The USB mouse doesn't work either. Try with just the keyboard... and stop.

- This morning after calling - and not thinking about it during the weekend - the service guys said they still don't have the battery it's being escalated but) they'll look at the mouse problem straight way. Bring it in... oh, the mouse problem is really the battery problem, you shouldn't keep the dead battery in the computer because it expands after it dies. And then it effects other things in the computer. So it's worse to have in that have it out when other things can get in.

- Apple don't have an FAQ about the dead battery having any negative effect, the service centre doesn't warn me, although there is an FAQ:
I have one of the affected batteries. Should I stop using it?
No, you may continue to use the battery until a replacement battery arrives. The affected batteries do not pose a safety risk.
I suppose that if it had done more damage they will have covered it, I wouldn't trade my MacBook Pro for another machine, but I wonder... Why is there the same old link to the Powerbook G4 batteries on the Apple front page? My best guess answer... okay it's a little more than a guess, the Feds passed these as not posing a safety risk, the older G4 warning was due to a safety risk "may cause overheating" and so they have to have it there.

- I spotted a photo (and links) on flickr, and although mine bulged in and not out like this one, I feel a little hoodwinked and hope the next one's better.

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Blogger aLan said...

I'm now almost 4 weeks without a battery :( they say that there's a worldwide shortage. Apparently the Apple batteries come from the same supplier as Dell, Compaq, IBM and others. Nu?

3:45 pm  
Blogger Marc said...

try this for ammo.

especially this part:

This program extends repair coverage on the battery for up to two years from the date of purchase of the computer for Intel Core Duo-based MacBook and MacBook Pro computers. Apple will continue to evaluate the battery update program and will provide further extensions as needed. Apple also reserves the right to modify the program if other solutions that address the battery performance issues become available.

1:56 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My MacBook Pro battery has 142 cycles and only 1194 mAh on a full charge. It is 16 months old. I get about 15-20 minutes on the battery on a full charge, and when the battery gets to about 8 minutes, it just shuts down with no warning. I called Apple tech support. They had me verify all of this information. I referenced this document citing the eligibility of my failed battery for replacement.
First I was told it was past the warranty, but if I had Applecare they would replace it. I told them the document states the battery warranty is extended to 2 years. Put me on hold. He then, came back and asked for more battery info and more hold time. He then wanted my machine serial number. Then more hold time and when he finally came back on the line I was told that my machine serial number was not in the affected machines list. I pointed out that the referenced article does not cite serial numbers, and how could I verify that my MacBook Pro serial number was not on the list? He said I can only get that info by calling them, going to an Apple store, or going to an Apple service provider. I asked him why the affected machine serial numbers were not published?He told me the serial numbers were not being released to the general public as they could be faked to obtain batteries.
I asked him why then, had we spent over 45 minutes on the phone verifying this other info, and why didn't he just request my machine serial number in the first place??? He said there were different battery replacement programs and he wasn't sure which one my situation fell under., he kept looking for reasons to not replace the battery. I'm thinking he made one up.
Meanwhile, many users at are getting the battery replaced under the same criteria as my failed battery, with no machine serial number verification. Would appreciate any opinions on this. Thanks.

4:37 am  
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6:03 am  

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