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2012 MBP Retina — Memory not Upgradeable

Last updated July 04, 2012 - Send Feedback

Be sure to order your MacBook Pro 'Retina' with 16GB memory.

My information is that the 2012 Apple MacBook Pro 'Retina' has its memory SOLDERED TO THE LOGIC BOARD.

soldered on memory in Apple MacBook Pro Retina
Caveat Emptor: no mention that there is NO UPGRADE PATH from 8GB to 16GB after purchase.

Meaning that if you get 8GB memory, you are screwed if you later want 16GB. Sorry for the use of overly technical terminology there, but the 'f' key was not working on my keyboard.

The failure of Apple to mention this critical buying fact sets a dismal low in product marketing. How many potential buyers will figure out that the choice at the time of purchase is a permanent limitation to a “pro” model. The verbiage about “clock cycles” is so irrelevant compared to the fact of “non-upgradeable”.

“Increasing the amount of memory in your Macbook Pro is an easy way to improve performance”.

Except that you cannot increase it. Cannot upgrade from 8GB to 16GB after purchase. Ever. It’s contemptible for Apple to omit this key fact for a $3000 laptop, especially when blathering on about memory speed and clock cycles, missing the forest for a tree.

Update: see July 4th note further below. Apple eventually came clean with the key facts, and I deem the description satisfactory as it stands now.

Why not have 16GB standard?

What’s really dumb here is that the Apple mission is to simplify things. So simplify them! Eliminate the choice of 8/16GB and just ship all units with 16GB— memory prices have been in a freefall for months, and Apple’s enormous market purchasing power would make the incremental cost not much higher. My guess is that Apple could have just standardized on 16GB for about $60 more in parts costs.

UPDATE June 18, 2012

The non-upgradable memory fiasco now includes a note buried at the very end of “Learn More”, which normal buyers will likely never see, let alone read.

Note to Apple marketing bozos (and to Tim Cook, who ultimately is responsible for this marketing)— the sin of omission of a critical limitation is still contemptible.

The only acceptable solution is to spell it out, not to hide it. It should not require user action and user technical expertise to learn about and understand this limitation.

Burying a note inside an obscure litany of technical mumbo jumbo about MHz, DDR, SDRAM, is contemptible, as was the complete omission at launch. This is the kind of bullshit that insurance companies and banks engage in— bury the important stuff so as to sell the feel-good bullet-points.

Isn’t Apple supposed to make things easier? Hide the nonsense technical crap, and spell it out in all-caps in red type without hiding it under “Learn More” at the end Because most of that stuff is useless mumbo-jumbo that no one needs there in the first place (MHz, etc belongs under tech specs, and is about 1% as important as the non-upgradable aspect).

The hapless non-technical buyer who fails to click “Learn more” will see this:

soldered on memory in Apple MacBook Pro Retina
Caveat Emptor: STILL no mention that there is NO UPGRADE PATH from 8GB to 16GB after purchase.

Buried at the very end of the fine print (gibberish to most buyers), is a note about your feelings (“If you feel...” — what the duck do feelings have to do with with facts, and how would regular users even know?!). Evasive marketing is contemptible.

soldered on memory in Apple MacBook Pro Retina
The key information is buried at the very end

UPDATE July 4, 2012

The message got through.

I deem both the short and long versions fully acceptable now.

The only further improvement would be to dispense entirely with the 8GB option (this is the expensive Retina model after all!), which Apple could surely do at only a minor increase in cost.

soldered on memory in Apple MacBook Pro Retina
MUCH better
soldered on memory in Apple MacBook Pro Retina
MUCH better

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