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Apple tried to create a bigger MacBook Pro battery—and failed

Is Apple’s MacBook battery bungle proof it’s spreading itself too thin?


Posted on Dec 20, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 8:43 am CDT

Apple tried to create a longer-lasting battery for the new MacBook Pro, and failed, according to a Bloomberg report. The company was hoping to use a higher-capacity battery that would be form-fitted to the inside of the computer and would provide more than the estimated 10 hours of battery life. The report says the battery failed a “key test,” and was therefore replaced by an older design. That design ended up shipping with a lower capacity than the one in last year’s MacBook Pro model.

For the past decade, Apple has announced new products with a swagger, confident of sales numbers and positive reception. But things haven’t exactly gone to plan this year, and folks aren’t happy. MacBook Pro owners claim batteries are dying in as little as just a few hours, and that is on top of a bug that misrepresented the time remaining on battery (something Apple fixed by getting rid of the charge indicator altogether).

Bloomberg’s report goes on to describe even more concerning details about the production of Apple laptops. According to the report, the company has decreased the amount of resources it puts into designing and building computers, opting instead to focus more on smartphones and tablets. The company pulled engineers off of macOS, which no longer has a dedicated development team.

There were even some difficulties with the development of the 12-inch MacBook. Apple tested two final prototypes, a smaller design code-named Stealth Fighter and the larger, Stealth Bomber. Given Apple’s recent releases, it comes as no surprise the lighter design won out. But because engineers were developing two models, they had less time to figure out how to put all the internals into the more difficult-to-deal-with design. The result was a laptop that shipped months after its intended release date.

Of course, reallocating resources, development indecision, and even post-release bugs are things you see from nearly every tech company. But people aren’t used to it from Apple, and 2017 is looking to be an important year for the company. Earlier today we reported Tim Cook teased “great desktops” in Apple’s future. The electronics giant will need to prove it hasn’t spread itself too thin, and that it’s still in control of what made it the world’s richest tech company

H/T Bloomberg

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*First Published: Dec 20, 2016, 5:22 pm CST