Mac software locks will hit third-party repair shops

By

Repair shop
New rules affect Macs with the T2 chip.
Photo: Streetpho/Flickr CC

In the event that your 2018 MacBook Pro or iMac Pro runs into problems outside warranty, would you try and save money by going to third-party repair shop? If so, Apple seemingly has some bad news for you.

According to a new report, Apple has introduced new software locks that will brick these machines if they’re operated on by anyone not using Apple’s proprietary diagnostic software. Failing to do so will, “result in an inoperative system and an incomplete repair.”

A document distributed to Apple’s Authorized Service Providers last month describes the measures. They apply to every Apple computer with a “T2” security chip, currently found in the 2018 MacBook Pro and iMac Pro.

It means that, if your problem involves replacing the computers’ display assembly, logic board, flash storage, MacBook top case, and Touch ID board, your only choice is to go to an authorized Apple repair shop. If not, you’ll wind up with a brick until the Apple Service Toolkit 2 is run.

Right to Repair?

Apple hasn’t yet opened up about why it’s taken the steps that it has. The company, however, has a history of battling against “Right to Repair” demands, which frequently pits it against independent repair shops. Records show that Apple has previously spent money lobbying against Right to Repair legislation.

Previously, Apple delegates have opposed the proposed Right to Repair bill in Nebraska. It said that giving users and third-party repairers access to Apple components and service manuals would make Nebraska would become a “Mecca for bad actors.”

The problem isn’t just about Apple wanting users to go to it, rather than to a third party, though. Making these devices impossible to repair for third parties means that, when they are eventually considered too old for Apple to carry out hardware services, there may be no other way to fix them.

For a company that has prided itself on its environmentalism, that’s not a good look!

Source: Motherboard