In the picture above is a late-2009 iMac GPU (graphics card) after being baked at 200°C (392°F). Baking it solves a problem that makes the computer unusable and manifests itself as vertical pink lines during boot that gets the computer stuck.
My friends’ iMac suffered from this problem and after googling it I found out that its a rather common issue afflicting a lot of iMacs. It happens when an internal solder crack or break. Baking the card fixes the bad solder.
While serviceability is not the main feature of a Mac computer or an Apple computer in recent years, the fact that an iMac is large enough made it reasonably easy to service it, disconnect the GPU and bake it.
An “official” fix for this problem will set you back around $600 for a new card GPU + work. The other option is to buy a new iMac - the cheapest non refurbished one is around $1,100.
Serviceability allowed me to help my friends fix their computer. It what also makes it easier to upgrade certain components to allow you to extend the useful lifespan of a computer for far less than what a new one costs.
Serviceability gives you choice. The choice to decide to buy a slightly lesser “beefy” computer to save money and after 2 years spend a little to make the computer faster instead of replacing it with a new one or shelling out a lot of money in the first place.
Serviceability means that most components would not be custom made so that you can pick and choose your provider, be it RAM, hard drives or GPU.
Serviceability is a right that should not be taken from most devices.
When manufacturers use highly custom, none standard parts they are limiting your choice of fixing a problem or upgrading a device.
Sometimes, serviceability is sacrificed in favor of other features, for example, a super thin and light laptop. But that is a conscious decision a manufacturer makes when producing the product and conscious decision a consumer makes when deciding to buy an unserviceable or none upgradeable product.
That’s exactly the choice that we as consumer should strive to have and manufacturers should offer.