By Andrew O'Hara
Monday, November 12, 2018, 7:24 pm PT (10:24 ET)
A new Mac hardware repair, such as the Mac Mac 2018 and MacBook Air, an unauthorized service center may soon become impossible thanks to the new diagnostic requirements of the Apple T2 security chip, the company recently approved.
Apple has confirmed The margin Because, under a recently amended repair process, only certain authorized spare parts will work in a machine equipped with T2. Specifically, when critical hardware such as a touch detection module or logic board is replaced, the T2 chip makes the Mac unmanageable until the repair device runs on a special diagnostic piece of software.
Apple could not confirm which products or amendments the new policy affects, and can not tell when the procedure was first implemented.
The revised policy word came up in October, a month after Apple issued a document to authorized service providers detailing an amended repair procedure that requires proprietary software "system configuration" to operate after replacing certain hardware components.
The software, called the Apple Service Toolkit 2, works in conjunction with the T2 security chip and includes a Mac Resource Inspector and tools that examine a variety of computer systems, including memory, display, power adapters, and a cooling system. Importantly, the toolkit is limited to authorized personnel who have access to Apple's global service network (GSX).
Apple's new process makes it very difficult, or in some cases impossible, for consumers to have their machines repaired by a third party. This is a problem for people who do not live near Apple Store and rely on third party repair shops to get the equipment fixed on time.
The protocol reinforces suspicions of "planned obsolescence" and, more directly, a potential game in "correcting the right" legislation in several states in the US The latter lawyers already speculate why Apple introduced the T2-based protocol.
"It's very possible the goal is to exercise more control over who can make repairs by limiting access to parts," said iFixit CEO Kyle Vince in a statement The margin. "It could be an attempt to capture a larger market share than independent repair vendors, or it could be a threat to keep their authorized network in line, we just do not know."
At the beginning of last month, the repair specialist examined the T2 repair procedure by replacing the display and logic board of one 13-inch MacBook Pro with another, finding some replacement not rendered machine unusable. Replacement display does not require the use of AST 2, Apple confirmed The margin, Although it is not clear why iFixit was able to replace logic boards.
The T2 processor is used for a wide range of functions, including "Hi, Siri" functionality always on the new MacBook Air, preventing Nir-do-wells from accessing the microphone when the computer is turned off, secures the touch sensor ID, and stores cryptographic keys used in the secure boot process.
Apple has included T2 in a number of Macs so far – the new Mac Mac, MacBook Air and iMac Pro – and is expected to continue the launch of the chip as new models are released.