Old MacBooks and eBay "OEM" batteries. Are they pretty much all knockoffs?

Mar 11, 2000
22,595
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#1
I have an old 2009 2.26 GHz Core 2 Duo 13" MacBook Pro (MacBookPro5,5) with the original battery. System Information tells me it only has 294 cycles and a supposed max charge capacity of 3539 mAh. It still works but Mac OS X tells me to "Service Battery", and my battery life is max maybe 2 hours with light usage on a good day, but sometimes just one hour. These laptops never had long battery life to begin with but obviously 1 hour is a way worse than before. Plus, the battery indicator fluctuates so it's often hard to know how much battery life I really have left.

I see places like iFixit claim to have OEM batteries, but they're used and $80-$90 US. I'm not keen on spending that on a used battery for a computer this old, esp. since I may order a new 12" Retina MacBook a couple of weeks.

I see "new OEM" batteries on eBay for considerably less. Should I just assume all are not OEM, but knockoffs? I don't know how I'd know otherwise. The iFixit used batteries are guaranteed to have 90% of the load capacity at 5220 mAh which suggests the batteries were originally 5800 mAh. The so-called "new OEM" batteries on eBay are usually 5800 mAh too, but not always.
 

JeffMD

Platinum Member
Feb 15, 2002
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#2
yes, OEM does not mean its a first party battery, just that it is made under their specifications as a direct replacement.
 
Mar 11, 2000
22,595
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#3
yes, OEM does not mean its a first party battery, just that it is made under their specifications as a direct replacement.
Except I don't think these are made to Apple's specifications. It seems to me these are all knockoffs / copies of the originals. If true I'm wondering how to ensure better quality knockoffs.
 

thecoolnessrune

Diamond Member
Jun 8, 2005
9,310
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#4
Except I don't think these are made to Apple's specifications. It seems to me these are all knockoffs / copies of the originals. If true I'm wondering how to ensure better quality knockoffs.
Sometimes knock-off is all you got. In the case of batteries, general lithium ion packs will start degrading on their own after about 2 years anyways. So even if you got new genuine stock, chances are it would be degraded old stock. In this case, getting a new battery from a reputable brand would be the way I'd go. I'd personally pick up iFixIt's stock.

https://www.ifixit.com/Store/Mac/Ma...body-Mid-2009-to-Mid-2012-Battery/IF163-019-1
 
Oct 18, 1999
20,775
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#5
Sometimes knock-off is all you got. In the case of batteries, general lithium ion packs will start degrading on their own after about 2 years anyways. So even if you got new genuine stock, chances are it would be degraded old stock. In this case, getting a new battery from a reputable brand would be the way I'd go. I'd personally pick up iFixIt's stock.

https://www.ifixit.com/Store/Mac/Ma...body-Mid-2009-to-Mid-2012-Battery/IF163-019-1
Yep. I did that last year on my mid-2009 MBP when the original one swelled so much the trackpad literally popped off! Been working great ever since.
 


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