Replacing Battery in Apple MacBook Pro Retina (Late 2012)

The battery on my Late 2012 Apple MacBook Pro Retina is garbage. It holds a charge for no more than 20 minutes, completely dies at approximately 50% reported battery charge remaining, and the menu has an exclamation point noting that I need to service my battery. Admittedly, this is after over four years of continuous usage for my research and studies and I’ve downplayed the warnings for almost a year now. I have avoided replacing the battery because I was nowhere near the maximum number of cycles that Apple claims I should be able to reach before the battery is considered “consumed” (~600 charge cycles vs. Apple’s stated max. of 1000). But I could not stand the fact that I can’t use my laptop without a power cable and none of the fixes suggested online were working (e.g., resetting the SMC). So, it was time to replace the battery.

Apple charges $199 (+ tax) to replace a 13-inch/15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display battery. However there are a number of 3rd party batteries available on Amazon that cost ~$50$80 with Prime shipping, meaning that I could save $125+ by doing the repair myself. After a very successful SSD transplant, I decided to try out iFixit’s MacBook Pro 13″ Retina Display Late 2012 Battery Replacement guide.

My old batteries are from September 2012 and have gotten some good use out of them, so it’s about time for retirement:

There are a number of batteries available, but all appear to be from no-name 3rd parties:

Many of the links have the same product photos, so I suspect there are a number of “companies” reselling the same batteries. I ended up purchasing the BRTONG battery for $49.99 with a credit card that offers an additional 1 year extended warranty, so if I have any issues in 30 months (2.5 years), I should be covered for repair/replacement. My one complaint is that the battery I received has a manufacture date from 2013(!). Hopefully there are no issues, but I’ll keep an eye on it.

There are also some oddities with the controller (note the white epoxy and the replacement information sticker), so I am suspecting that the battery may be remanufactured:

One more weird aspect is that the batteries were very difficult to remove from the protective backing, leaving quite a bit of remnants on the protective sheet:

Following the iFixit guide, I disassembled the laptop, carefully removed the old battery, and installed the new one.

And it worked! The hardest part of the procedure was removing the old batteries and the old adhesive from the Macbook’s case. However, it took about 30 minutes to complete, so I would highly recommend this fix for anyone having battery issues with their older Macbook Pro Retina.

Here’s my battery stats from the Apple System Information, with the old battery on the left and the new battery on the right (interesting info highlighted in yellow):

2 thoughts to “Replacing Battery in Apple MacBook Pro Retina (Late 2012)”

  1. Thanks for your informative article. I am considering the same replacement battery. Is your Brtong battery still working well months later?

    1. Yep, still working. Here are the current stats (currently 103 charge/discharge cycles): http://www.semifluid.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/2017-06-02-Macbook-Pro-Battery-Stats.png

      Note that the full charge capacity has decreased 800mAh from when I initially installed the battery.

      My only complaint is that I believe the adhesive included with the replacement batteries has loosened because I now have a little rattle when I shake the computer. I need to open up the machine and make sure that the batteries (and connections) are secure.

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