Most often, issues with the supply of components work against the typical computer user, particularly when it involves an older machine. For a short time, however, some lucky Apple users with 2012 or 2013 MacBook Pros benefited from the company’s supply constraints by receiving a brand-new machine as a replacement. Those fortunate circumstances are now over, and it’s back to business as usual.
According to MacRumors, Apple had a brief problem getting its hands on the integrated battery assembly for mid-2012 and early-2013 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro models. This meant that anyone who visited an Apple Store looking to get a battery replaced was out of luck. In a testament to Apple’s focus on customer service, however, the company made things right in a big way for some customers.
Normally, Apple will replace a worn battery at no charge for customers who purchased an AppleCare+ extended warranty that’s still in effect. Or, customers without AppleCare+ can pay $199 in the U.S. to replace their battery. However, Apple was having some issues getting the battery assembly in stock, with a delay anticipated through September 15, 2017. Therefore, it was offering to either waive the $199 charge if a customer was willing to wait until then or to replace the affected machine with a newer, similarly configured MacBook Pro.
According to reports from places like Reddit, users received a variety of different replacement options. Some received refurbished 2015 MacBook Pro machines. Others, however, received brand-new 2016 or 2017 MacBook Pros with Touch Bar. Some owners were required to pay the standard $199 battery charge in order to receive the replacement — still an incredible bargain for receiving a brand-new machine.
However, it looks like Apple now anticipates getting the battery assemblies in stock more quickly. As MacRumors reports, Apple has issued an internal memo letting its own Genius Bar workers and Apple Authorized Service Provider employees know that the required battery parts will now be available within 15 days for customer repairs. That means that the offer to replace affected machines with new models is no longer in effect.
If you think the battery on your mid-2012 or early-2013 15-inch MacBook Pro needs to be replaced, then you’ll now receive the usual offer to let Apple put in a new battery for $199. If you have an AppleCare+ plan, then you should be covered as long as there are fewer than 1,000 charge cycles and your battery shows a “Service Battery” of similar notice when checked in About This Mac > System Report > Power > Health Information.
Updated: Revised story to reflect that Apple is no longer offering new machines to replace older systems with worn batteries.