In terms of design, the M2 MacBook Pro is virtually identical to the MacBook Pro from the previous version save from the M2 processor. The chassis, Touch Bar, and display are all the same, however there have been some internal upgrades.
Almost all of the components, as expected, were identical, and iFixit was unable to find any external alterations. The interior has undergone some minor chip and component updates, but the remainder is the same.
The M2 board was able to fit in the M1 MacBook Pro casing after being removed by iFixit. Although the boards could be switched, the component swap meant that the M2 chip would not work in the M1 chassis. Changes to the M1 and M2 chips result in malfunctions of the trackpad, keyboard, and Touch ID sensor.
According to iFixit, Apple is making a “blatant attempt to restrict repairs and replacements through software locks” because the components of the M2 MacBook Pro physically fit within the M1 MacBook Pro.
The previous justifications for the absence of intergenerational upgradeability focused on the size of the chassis, the cost, or manufacturing constraints. How then do we interpret this?
The SSD’s architecture, which has resulted in worse SSD benchmark performance on the 256GB M2 MacBook Pro compared to the 256GB M1 MacBook Pro, was validated by iFixit. The M2 MacBook Pro does in fact use a single 256GB SSD chip from Apple, as opposed to the M1’s dual 128GB SSD chips. Due to the simultaneous execution of two SSD chips, the system can read and write data up to twice as quickly. Apple hasn’t stated why it made this adjustment, but iFixit theorizes that it was motivated by a lack of components.
Overall, iFixit claims that by restricting interoperability, Apple wasted a chance to release its first upgradeable product in a significant amount of time and a chance to set the standard for repairability and environmentally friendly design.