Some 2012-2013 MacBook Pro owners are getting new machines due to battery shortage
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If you're an owner of a 15-inch MacBook Pro from between mid-2012 and early 2013 and your battery needs replacing, you might be about to catch a very lucky break. MacRumors has reported that due to a manufacturing shortage of upper-case assemblies with integrated batteries, the company will be unable to replace this part until September 15. That might sound like bad news but as short-term solution, Apple is apparently letting users choose between a free battery replacement when they become available or a functionally equivalent model.
That choice seems like a no-brainer when you consider that "functionally equivalent " apparently has qualified users for for refurbished 2015 and even 2017 15-inch MacBook Pros. While a few users have reported that their attempts were unsuccessful, it seems that the majority of people have been able to make the trade so far. The trade-in cost is US$199, but that's still a very cheap price to pay for a 2015 or newer 15-inch MacBook Pro, which fetch upwards of US$2000 when normally purchased from Apple.
To check if your MacBook Pro qualifies, you must have a 15-inch MacBook Pro from mid-2012 to early-2013 and a System Report from "About This Mac" that shows the battery needs servicing. It isn't clear how much longer Apple will continue this internal policy, but if you have an eligible MacBook Pro then it's advised you try for a replacement as soon as possible.
Of course, a cynical read of the situation is that Apple is scared that abandoning its customers in this situation would be seen as hard evidence that "Right to Repair" legislation is needed to prevent situations like this, which Apple has been fighting against for years. Still, although it isn't an official policy, it is nice to see a manufacturer err on the side of generosity with its customers. It's easy to imagine a situation where another OEM might have just have hung its customers out to dry.