M1 iMac Teardown - iFixit certifies poor repairability

On April 20, 2021, Apple presented the first iMac with its own ARM chip, the 24-inch model with an M1 SoC and different colors. Now the first devices have also reached the users and specialists who deal with repairs. At iFixit the new 24 ″ iMac with M1 chip taken apart and examined for repairability. The individual components were also determined and further information was given. In the following I have summarized a few important points from the report and the teardown instructions for you.

The inside of the M1 iMac from Apple can only be reached by removing the display. That's not the only point that makes a difficult repair.

The inside of the M1 iMac from Apple can only be reached by removing the display. That's not the only point that makes a difficult repair.

iMac interior can only be accessed via the display

You can't really say that the new Apple iMac was "screwed on" at iFixit, because its case is not screwed at all. Instead, the hardware is behind the display, which is glued to the housing and which has to be removed to reach the interior. Once this has happened, a few screws have to be loosened in order to e.g. B. to get to the M1 chip and other parts. You can also find the fans, speakers, microphones, batteries and the like. The Apple logo on the back does not hide any LEDs for possible lighting, but a flat antenna for WLAN.

Quite clear: The most important hardware of the Apple iMac (early 2021) would probably also fit in a laptop. You could at least unscrew this.

Quite clear: The most important hardware of the Apple iMac (early 2021) would probably also fit in a laptop. You could at least unscrew this.

iFixit Repairability Index of the Apple iMac with 24-inch display (2021)

It's not just the fact that you have to remove the display to carry out a repair, replace a component or clean the inside of the iMac that lowers the repairability index. The fact that the SSD storage is soldered on doesn't exactly speak for the hobbyist quality of the device. RAM expansion is also not possible. Removing and inserting the display is also quite tedious. All in all, there is only a 2/10 rating for repairability. This also applies to the outsourced power supply unit; it's easy to replace, but not so easy to repair. More details, pictures and information can be found with this link.

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4 comments

  1. Peter says:

    It's a tragedy: glued, soldered and “sealed” by software - Apple is developing more and more towards reducing the users of its products to the status of underage children who just have to take what is offered to them at a given time. After that, the train has largely left. Oh no: you can buy a new, different or differently configured device at any time ...

    Long ago, when you could still get to the inside of the iMac through the relatively (!) Repair-friendly magnetic display attachment, an internal plate should have to be replaced about once. Even with the "small" models, the user could at least expand the RAM himself, should it become necessary because tasks and / or demands had increased.

    Quite apart from the fact that the professional user could remain relatively relaxed for a long time, even in the event of an HD crash, since in addition to a TimeMachine backup (hopefully) he had an external disk with a current bootable complete clone - thanks to CCC, for example so, if necessary, could be "up and running" again in a very short time. Saving the important project deadline was an absolutely realistic and reassuring option - unless it was due to other internal, but statistically significantly less failure-prone hardware components ...

    But today - with Big Sur and M1 Macs? In an emergency, several days of complete downtime are likely to be planned. In professional life it can be an eternity. Unless you have a real, dedicated, second "BackUp Mac" with all the data and programs - which you actually somehow hope never to need ... (but which Apple would of course only too gladly to sell us - which they never do will say, because they presumably classify such emergencies [at least publicly] as so rare that they practically do not exist).

    30 years of professional work with the Mac are for me 30 years in which I ultimately feel that I am being taken less and less seriously as a "responsible user" by this manufacturer, which I once thought despite the astronomical price level in comparison, because always more in hardware and software is withdrawn from my more or less direct influence.

    Pity!

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hi Peter! I can understand the criticism, but on the other hand I care less about this than many others. If the hard drive wears out, you can always plug in an external SSD and finish working until the Mac comes in for repairs. I am also not someone who likes to tinker with his computer. But I can imagine that it is disappointing that the possibilities are being reduced further and further.

  2. Peter says:

    Why are the line breaks not included in the post ???

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      This is due to the WordPress theme ... urgently needs to be exchanged for something modern. But currently I don't have the time for the renovation.

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