Apple already has total control over the design and production of its hardware, but the Cupertino giant is now looking to take full control of the repair of its popular devices as well.
The company is said to have introduced proprietary software diagnostic tools that block third-party repairs of the 2018 MacBook Pro and iMac Pro, as per an internal Apple document distributed at authorized service facilities.
Both Motherboard and MacRumors have obtained a copy of the document and it reveals that Apple is using the new T2 security chip in the MacBook Pro (2018) and iMac Pro to render these computers non-operational unless the proprietary System Configuration software is used after the repair.
The Apple document reads, “For Macs with the Apple T2 chip, the repair process is not complete for certain parts replacements until the AST 2 (Apple Service Toolkit 2) System Configuration suite has been run. Failure to perform this step will result in an inoperative system and an incomplete repair.”
The document revealed that the security lock will be enforced if the repairs involve the display assembly, logic board, top case (the keyboard, touchpad, and internal housing) or the Touch ID board on the MacBook Pro and logic board or flash storage on the iMac Pro.
Any of these two devices won’t become usable until and unless an authorized personnel runs the Apple Service Toolkit 2 diagnostic tool. It helps guarantee that the Apple PC is working properly, running a quick health check-up for all major hardware and software functions.
This means any unauthorized access to the hardware could result in a non-operational MacBook Pro or iMac Pro, especially in the future when most Apple devices will include Apple’s T2 security chip.
Apple devices now store a lot of on-device data in its Secure Enclave and the company might fear data could be compromised at third-party repair centers. However, locking out all user-driven repairs seems to be a very anti-consumer move by Apple.