MacBook Pro 14 (M1 Pro) is found to have an anti-repair design
The YouTuber Hugh Jeffreys has set out to test reports of MacBooks Pro that exhibit sudden deficiencies in some fairly essential functionality following a non-Apple-approved screen replacement, in the manner of some iPhones over the last few years. The vlogger followed the channel's usual protocol for doing so: source 2 identical units of the same product, swap their screens and/or motherboards and see what breaks.
In the case of this latest video, the hardware to be assessed were dual M1 Pro-, 16GB RAM- and 1TB SSD-equipped MacBooks Pro 14, which can run a buyer thousands of dollars in Jeffreys' native Australia.
Following a disassembly stage (that involved the removal of 45 screws, compared to 9 in a Framework PC), the vlogger switched the 2 laptops' screens, which resulted in the abrupt appearance of LED backlight defects in 1 of the units.
Given the regular shapes of the darkened patches next to the MacBook's notorious notch, one might assume that they had arisen due to a faulty display connector, or the failure to pop one or more back in correctly.
However, given that the second laptop had the exact same issues following a simulated display replacement, it might be that Apple is indeed pairing each original MacBook Pro 14 display to its motherboard so as to dissuade third-party repair.
Jeffreys also found that swapping a small magnetic lid-angle Hall sensor resulted in significant discrepancies in the MacBook's trackpad, keyboard and sleep responses.
Therefore, it seems Apple is indeed discouraging independent repair right from the first generation of M-series MacBook Pros. Then again, the YouTuber did disclose that the laptops in question came from a supplier of refurbished Apple products in the UK, and not from Apple directly.