Several outlets speculated that since Apple's Mac Studio SSDs are not soldered in place, it was possible to upgrade the storage on the new Mac Studio. However, a recent Youtube teardown by Luke Miani discovered this was not so.
During the fifteen-minute video, Miani tested the Mac Studio to see if it was user-upgradeable by removing and wiping the current SSD of a Mac Studio and inserting the clean SDD into another Mac Studio. Sadly the Mac Studio would not boot up and the status light blinked out an SOS.
While the Mac Studio recognized the freshly mounted SSD, Apple's software prevented it from booting up. So it seems Apple is preventing users from upgrading their expensive Mac Studio SSDs with more affordable options. To be clear, Apple states on its website that the storage is "not user-accessible" and they should purchase their devices with the amount of storage they will need in the future, so this isn't Apple pulling a bait and switch on anyone.
However, it is a disappointing response from Apple because, as any content creator will tell you, there is never enough storage for all your photo and video projects. When you consider that image sensors are getting bigger, and if you're shooting your stills in RAW, you're going to eat up massive amounts of storage quickly.
Most of today's cameras also shoot 4K, 6K, 8K, or higher resolution videos, demanding even more storage. Having the ability to upgrade the internal storage on your Mac Studio is a major want and would be a huge plus. It would be ideal for Apple to open up this option to users, especially when you consider that the M1 Ultra Mac Studio's starting price is $3,999 (going up to $8,500 with all the bells and whistles) and even the M1 Max build starts at $1,999, which is nothing to sneeze at.
With the Right to Repair movement growing, users seek devices and machines that will last longer, are easily upgraded and are future-proof enough to last for at least five years to get the most out of their financial investment. Apple seemed to acknowledge that last November with its new Self Service Repair program, but this seems to fly in the face of that.
In the meantime, since Apple has yet to address the issue, please feel free to check out our best portable SSDs for content creators, seeing as you might need them.