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New 12-Inch MacBook Teardown Reveals Tweaked USB-C Hardware and Tamper-Evident Screws

iFixit has completed an in-depth hardware teardown of the new 12-inch Retina MacBook that reveals only minor under-the-hood changes to Apple's ultra-slim notebook compared to the 2015 model.

iFixit-2016-12-inch-MacBook-teardown
Specifically, Apple has slightly tweaked the notebook's USB-C hardware by permanently affixing the cable to the USB board. The new arrangement is not compatible with the original 12-inch MacBook.

Apple has also switched from using a tri-wing screw to a repair-friendly Phillips screw, but the notebook's Torx hinge screws are filled with a tamper-evident substance that disintegrates when you insert a screwdriver.

USB-C-new-hardware-12-inch-macbook
iFixit confirmed that the slightly-longer-lasting 41.4-watt-hour battery in the 12-inch MacBook is not visually distinguishable compared to the 39.7-watt-hour battery in the 2015 model, suggesting improved battery chemistry.

The logic board and other internal components yielded no significant surprises, while the notebook's exterior looks virtually the same beyond a new Rose Gold color finish and an updated EMC number of 2991.

iFixit lists the new 12-inch MacBook's logic board chips as follows:

- Intel SR2EN Intel Core m3-6Y30 Processor (4M Cache, Up to 2.2GHz)
- Toshiba TH58TFT0DFKLAVF 128 GB MLC NAND Flash (x2, 256GB Total)
- Micron MT41K256M16LY-107 4Gb DDR3L SDRAM
- Universal Scientific Industrial 339S0250 Wi-Fi Module
- Broadcom BCM15700A2
- National Semiconductor 48B1-11
- F4432ACPE-GD-F
- Toshiba TH58TFT0DFKLAVF 128 GB MLC NAND Flash
- Samsung K3QF4F4 4 GB LPDDR3 RAM (x2, 8GB Total)
- Apple 338S00066
- Texas Instruments/Stellaris LM4FS1EH SMC Controller
- SMSC 1704-2 Temperature Sensor
- Texas Instruments SN650839
- Texas Instruments TPS51980A
- Texas Instruments CD3215B01 61AHXHW
- Intersil 95828

The new 12-inch MacBook retained a repairability score of 1 out of 10, which is the lowest score possible, as the processor, RAM, and flash storage are still soldered to the logic board, and the battery remains entirely glued into the lower case.

iFixit has a dozen replacement guides for 12-inch MacBook do-it-yourself repairs.

Related Roundup: MacBook
Tags: iFixit, teardown
Buyer's Guide: MacBook (Don't Buy)


Top Rated Comments

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12 months ago
Nice, lets make it even harder to open up the computer and/or punish those who do.
Rating: 25 Votes
12 months ago
What a pathetic update. Still crappy 480p FaceTime camera, still single USB-C Gen 1 connector without Thunderbolt integration, no price cut by at least $100.
Rating: 16 Votes
12 months ago
Stop buying them and things will change quick. Supply and demand works.
Rating: 14 Votes
12 months ago
Such whiners on this board. Go buy something else if you are so offended

Trying to make the Macbook serviceable would be a customer support nightmare
Rating: 9 Votes
12 months ago

If you want this form factor, it's not going to be user serviceable or repairable in any meaningful way. That's just the way it is. You can still build PCs with big cases and card slots if you want to tinker.

"The notebook's Torx hinge screws are filled with a tamper-evident substance that disintegrates when you insert a screwdriver"

Yes, this is absolutely necessary for the laptop to function.
Rating: 9 Votes
12 months ago

Cool, so now when one part of a laptop breaks, its time to fork out another $1,600 and give it to apple when you could just fix the single part.

:rolleyes:


Wrong. For portable Macs out of warranty, Apple offers a $280 flat rate-repair-all option.
Rating: 6 Votes
12 months ago

Trying to make the Macbook serviceable would be a customer support nightmare

Apple was repairing computers and laptop since the 80s, only now it has become a nightmare?
Rating: 5 Votes
12 months ago

Nice, lets make it even harder to open up the computer and/or punish those who do.


This is not an ATX box you buy from Newegg.
Rating: 5 Votes
12 months ago

The thinnest MacBook here is made of one single logic board with all the components on it and a custom-made battery. Expecting any user-serviceable parts inside is just unrealistic.

Exactly, wtf are people expecting to repair here? the entire computer is one gum stick sized logic board, and like 4 other components.
Rating: 4 Votes
12 months ago

I think that's actually happening with these. Everyone's pointing out how quickly this update came about. Apple would let the product stay as-is a little bit longer if it was a better seller.

As someone with a side business fixing up and reselling used computers and tablets (PC and Mac), I'll say one thing. I've *never* had as tough a time selling them as I've had in the last year or so! Even when the economy was in a depression back in 2008-09, I could sell a used PC or Mac pretty quickly and easily. People who wanted/needed a replacement but couldn't afford to buy new would happily buy one of mine.

But in 2016, the market has been "painfully difficult". I get the feeling what's happened is the bottom dropped out of the computer market for the "middle class" and "lower middle class". The people still spending money on computers are the upper-middle and upper-class people, who refuse to spend it for anything that's not brand new with a factory warranty.

This means that Apple can still find some buyers for $1000+ slim laptops like the Retina 12" Macbooks, but they have a VERY low resale value on the used marketplace. Kind of like a new luxury car purchase, they lose 40% of their value as soon as you "take it off the lot", so you better be sure you're really going to use and enjoy it for a while!

It's even WORSE for Windows laptops.... I have a practically new HP 15" model here, for example (literally only used for one trade show and upgraded to Windows 10 from the Windows 8 that shipped with it), PLUS it was upgraded with a 1TB SSD and 16GB of RAM from the original 512GB SSD and 8GB. As one of their "business class" machines, it sells for around $1700 new, before those upgrades. I've been trying to sell this for a friend of mine for about 5 months now, dropping the price as low as $750 -- and have had NO takers whatsoever. Listed twice on eBay and all I have to show for that are listing fees paid to them. Craigslist? No takers except a scammer from S. Africa wanting to "pay with Western Union".

Unless this trend turns around, I think even the people who have high incomes and can afford whatever they want will slow down buying these higher-end computers and tablets. (At least for the "upper middle class" purchaser, part of the attraction was an understanding you could always flip your 1 year old machine for 50% of what you paid and buy the latest and greatest version.)


Has already started happening. Hence the millions of PC's that Apple quoted as being over 5 years old during their iPad Pro announcement. I don't think these people are going to replace their PC's with a tablet, But we've hit a point of diminishing returns in the last 5 years with PC performance. The average user of modern computers is perfectly capable of using low to mid range parts for their computing devices. computers that are 4-5 years old are still running perfectly fine, and more than fast enough for today's light tasks (Standard Web style stuff). One of the reasosn resale is probably harder. Why is anyone going to buy a 3 year old used laptop for close to retail when their 3-5 year old hardware is still performing well for them.

Apple's approach has been to cripple the hardware so that in 3-5 years, that laptop will feel slow so you want to upgrade. Almost all the refreshes we've seen have been to reduce performance and costs to Apple, while we've seen increases to the price.

The MacBook air has been all but abandoned. It performs too well on the i5 or i7. These laptops, despite the bad display, could easily last you 5+ years. heck, the 2011 MBA's with IvyBridge are still performing very well.
The MacBook is highly throttled laptop that has the high res display, in a form factor nearly identical to the 11" MBA, but loses out on performance and connectivity.
the rMBPro's are really the only Apple computer that seems low on compromise. Except you know, No more expandible memory or replaceable hard drives.

the 23" iMac's all come with laptop based CPU's in a desktop class machine.
the 27" iMac's suffer from heavy heat throttling on desktop class CPU's, and never perform as fast as their components should be allowed to

the Mac Mini was cut from the mid range quad core laptop CPU's to the Dual Core ultra low voltage CPU's (same as the MBA), while removing expandible RAM and at base price, offering less storage options, with smaller hybrid drive, or coming with the cheapest 5400rpm hadr drive (in a computer that starts over $600

The last couple years have seen this catering to "just provide them enough so they'll want to upgrade / spend more money more frequently". its nto planned obsolescence, but it sure is Planned "provide by default as little as possible and hope they splurge on upgrades or frequent replacements"

and because its' Apple. There is a very large contigent of users who will buy it because it's new, and the Apple Logo is on it. Regardless if it's a good product or not. Saying this, the MacBook is not a bad product. But it's sure as hell not a $1500 laptop.
Rating: 4 Votes

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