Original 12-inch MacBook becoming obsolete
Apple has announced plans to mark its original 12-inch MacBook as an obsolete product by June 30, according to an internal memo. Following this designation, the laptop will no longer be eligible for repairs or services at Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers.
Implications for MacBook users
Once the original 12-inch MacBook is declared obsolete, owners of this model will no longer have access to official support from Apple. This includes repairs for hardware issues or assistance with software problems. This change may force users to rely on third-party service providers or turn to online forums and support communities for help. Additionally, the unavailability of parts will make it increasingly difficult for users to find replacement components for their devices.
Apple’s obsolescence policy
Apple typically declares a product obsolete five to seven years after discontinuing production, depending on the laws in specific countries. At this point, the company ceases to provide service parts, documentation, and support resources. This policy ensures Apple can focus its efforts on supporting more recent products and delivering new innovations. Customers may still receive support from Authorized Service Providers, although this support is limited in scope.
Alternatives to the original 12-inch MacBook
Apple has since released updated MacBook models with improved performance, technology, and design elements. These include the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro, both of which are available in various sizes, configurations, and price points. For users looking to upgrade from the original 12-inch MacBook, these newer models offer a range of options to suit individual needs and preferences.
Classification criteria for obsolescence
Apple defines a product as obsolete when it stopped distributing the product for sale more than seven years ago. After this period, Apple no longer offers hardware service, parts, or support for these products. The company’s obsolescence policy ensures that its resources and services are focused on more recent, technologically advanced devices.
Original 12-inch MacBook and obsolescence criteria
The original 12-inch MacBook model was discontinued in April 2016 and replaced by a second-generation model featuring improved specifications. As more than seven years have passed since Apple stopped offering the original model for sale, it now meets the criteria for obsolescence. The 12-inch MacBook was notable for being the first MacBook model equipped with Apple’s controversial butterfly switch keyboard.
Other Apple products declared obsolete
Apple regularly updates its list of obsolete products, with devices like the third-generation iPad mini added in January 2022. The iPad mini 3, launched in 2014 alongside the second-generation iPad Air, was a popular model during its time. As Apple continues to evolve and innovate, more devices will eventually become obsolete, signaling consumers to consider upgrading to newer, more powerful, and feature-rich models.
Notable features of the 12-inch MacBook
The original 12-inch MacBook, introduced in March 2015, had several remarkable features that made it stand out as a portable and innovative laptop for its time. It played a significant role in shaping modern MacBook models.
Thin and light design
One of the most notable aspects of the 12-inch MacBook was its thin and lightweight design. Weighing just two pounds, it was easily portable and a favorite choice for users who prioritized mobility and convenience.
First fanless notebook from Apple
The 12-inch MacBook was Apple’s first fanless notebook, designed to be more energy-efficient and quiet. This innovative change contributed to the overall sleekness and compactness of the device.
Single USB-C port
The laptop was also one of the first Apple devices to introduce the single USB-C port, which aimed to simplify connectivity while promoting the latest standard in data transfer and charging capability. This innovative change, while controversial, paved the way for the wider adoption of USB-C across Apple’s product lineup.
Force Touch trackpad
Another noteworthy feature of the 12-inch MacBook was the inclusion of the Force Touch trackpad. This trackpad offered users a new way to interact with their laptops by providing pressure-sensitive input and haptic feedback, improving overall user experience and control.
Terraced battery design
The 12-inch MacBook also showcased a terraced battery design that maximized the available space within the device’s thin chassis, allowing for a longer battery life and more efficient power usage. This innovative battery design played a crucial role in improving the laptop’s overall performance and user experience.
Issues with the 12-inch MacBook
While the original 12-inch MacBook introduced several innovative features, it also faced criticism and issues related to some of its design choices, the most infamous being the butterfly switch keyboard design.
Butterfly switch keyboard design
The 12-inch MacBook was the first model to feature Apple’s butterfly switch keyboard design. This mechanism aimed to reduce the thickness of the laptop and provide a more responsive typing experience. However, the design was not well-received by users due to its potential for issues and lack of durability.
Prone to failure
The butterfly switch keyboard was prone to failure, with users reporting problems such as sticky or unresponsive keys, accidental double inputs, and premature wear. These issues significantly impacted the overall user experience and brought negative attention to the laptop.
Dropped from MacBook lineup due to complaints and lawsuits
As user complaints and lawsuits mounted over the years, Apple eventually acknowledged the issues with the butterfly keyboard and implemented a repair program for affected devices. Ultimately, this controversial design was dropped from the entire MacBook lineup and replaced with a more reliable mechanism in newer models, such as the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, to deliver a better typing experience and improved reliability.