With the announcement that it would offer components for MacBook laptops with the M1, users were hoping to be able to order motherboards that would also allow upgrades to the devices, with RAM and SSD storage being glued to the motherboard. However, it seems that Apple will not allow this, requiring the serial number of the computer to order the parts, and only the parts that shipped with it.
Unsurprisingly, Apple continues to be against upgrades
Those looking to repair or “upgrade” their MacBook Pro or MacBook Air with M1 series processors at home will be disappointed to learn that Apple is limiting the components you can order. So if you have a MacBook Air M1 with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage and want to order a seemingly identical motherboard design that fits in your laptop, but with 16GB RAM and 512 or 1TB storage, you won’t be able to. Apple will just sell you, based on your computer’s serial number, another motherboard identical to the one you already own.
If you try to order other components that aren’t compatible with your computer, Apple will detect this and automatically cancel the order, according to 9to5mac, which contacted a company representative. However, that won’t prevent users from ordering parts for a similar but differently configured computer, if they have access to that model, to use the parts that then come in for an upgrade. It remains to be seen, however, if Apple has software limitations for these cases, as it does for iPhones.
Prices for parts can range from $5 for a cable to connect the battery to the motherboard to $500 for a motherboard replacement for the most expensive MacBook Pro model with the M1 Max. However, to order the higher-end motherboards, you’ll have to provide a deposit of up to $4,000, of which $3,500 will be refunded after the broken motherboard arrives back at Apple. For a MacBook Air, however, you’ll only have to deposit a maximum of $1,400, of which $1038 is refunded after the deal, for a configuration with 16GB RAM and 2TB storage.
As with iPhones, Apple also offers all the tools you’ll need to swap out components in the best possible way for 50% off.