Apple locks latest MacBook and iMac devices from third-party repairs

Apple's T2 chip makes third-party Mac repairs impossible

Apple has implemented new proprietary software to diagnose MacBook Pro and iMac Pro.

While it is somewhat understandable that Apple wants to ensure that repairs are carried out either by itself or by authorized repairers - be that to ensure quality or to ensure profit - it's not something that customers will necessarily be happy about. A document obtained by Motherboard reveals that Apple's proprietary diagnostic software will render the machine inoperative unless a proper system configuration software is run after parts of the system are replaced. The device will not be used until Apple Service Toolkit 2 is used by the company's executive.

Apple's fix model, with this software lock that requires an authorized Apple repairperson to run the "Apple Service Toolkit" or "Apple Service Toolkit 2" software before returning a device to functionality, is a model seen with other companies as well. While getting your device repaired by Apple does give you the extra trust and security of your device, these repairs can often be quite expensive and can be done for cheaper elsewhere. In case of iMac devices, the software lock will be enabled if the logic board or the flash storage is replaced.

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MacRumors also report that Apple's new software diagnostics requirement stems from the brand's desire to better protect its custom T2 chip that can found inside the iMac Pro and 2018 MacBook Pro. The software is only available to authorized fix centers, and functions only when connected to Apple's Global Service Exchange (GSX) cloud server for repairs. The locking software impacts any repairs on the 2018 MacBook display assembly, logic board, top case, and the Touch ID board. AppleCare is much like insurance which you may never actually use - which ends up putting "free" money in Apple's pockets. You could also choose not to buy Apple, but it seems unlikely enough people would be willing to do that for Apple to even notice.

At the time of writing, MacRumors said that it had reached out to Apple regarding the matter, but the latter has yet to release any official statement.

As of now, 19 states in the U.S. have proposed legislation regarding right-to-repair rules, but none of them have passed a bill that prohibits the use of proprietary diagnostic software.

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