Another MacBook Pro battery to be replaced

The replacement battery I got from Apple almost 5 months ago didn’t live very long. During the last days I recognized that the battery capacity dropped dramatically from almost 5500mAh when it was new to about 300mAh after about 45 (complete) recharge cycles and run out of power when the battery meter in the menubar showed about 0:30 to 0:45 hours of left battery capacity.
If you want to find out how your battery is doing, click on the Blue Apple in the upper left corner of your Mac, then on “About this Mac” -> “More info”. You can check the battery details under “Hardware -> Power”.

So I again brought the MBP to the Apple Store (not that I’d been there a few days ago to have my broken Superdrive replaced) and informed them of the issue. I didn’t have to say much (using the keywords “MacBook Pro” and “battery” was enough information). I saw a bunch of replaced batteries behind the counter. As I suspect that the Genius Bar is (most likely) kind of cleaned every night, they must have replaced at least about 6 to 8 batteries only today–the customer who had the Apple Genius appointment just before me had the same problem with her MacBook.

Apple is aware of this kind of battery problem and has set up a corresponding battery replacement program. If you experience similar problems please see your local Apple dealer.

I must say I truly love Macs and I really don’t want anything else anymore. I think I’m also a “good” customer because I’m so overwhelmed by (and happy with) the Mac experience that I try to talk others into buying a Mac 😉 Worked so far with at least 3 buddies… and that seems to be an upward trend!
But I’m really afraid of the quality issues Apple seems to have right now. The third battery in 8 months and in addition the optical drive that needed to be replaced. They will have to address these problems. I’m lucky that the MBP is still under warranty and after all I’ve seen so far, I really consider buying an AppleCare Protection Plan–will sure be worth it (just in case) but that’s not so easily affordable for a student.

6 thoughts on “Another MacBook Pro battery to be replaced”

  1. I was maybe a bit more lucky regarding MBP hardware, but so far, no parts failed on my machine, I just returned the battery because I could do so for free, and I frankly didn’t want to find out what these ‘quality issues’ were really about. So far, I’m touching wood.

    Else, the new Apple hardware is very nice, compared to an old WallStreet powerbook I had for so long.

  2. I didn’t want to mention this unnecessarily… but it looks like you link to a previous post is something you wrote in German.

    So let me ask/offer a suggestion. Apple recommends that for a new laptop you (1) fully charge it, then (2) fully drain it before recharging it. Seems this helps their powere management work properly. Here’s hoping you did that!

  3. DaveD: thanks for mentioning that (here’s Apple’s support document). I just recently decided to write all tech-related posts in English, so some of the old stuff I wrote is still in German.

    I did follow Apple’s recommendations on improving the battery’s life (as you described in your comment) with every new computer and/or battery I received.

    The first battery from my PowerBook was recalled from Apple through a battery exchange program; the second battery worked more than fine und still had great capacity (90%) when I sold the PowerBook a year later.

    My first MBP battery suddenly died after 3 months of usage (that’s what I described in the German blog post mentioned above) and was replaced under warranty. The second battery then became very bad in the last days was also replaced under warranty.

    I recognized that the service concept is quite different here in the U.S. (serve the customer in the best way you can) compared to Germany (try to squeeze as much money as you can out of your customer; don’t treat him friendly; try to sell, not to help). But I think Apple still wouldn’t replace batteries that went bad due to heavy usage (if you can call 45 charge cycles heavy usage).

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