Apple is using the new T2 security chip to prevent some third-party repairs of the newer Mac laptops and desktop computers.
The co-processor is responsible for safeguarding Touch ID data and enables a secure boot of machines like the new MacBook Air, Mac mini and last year’s iMac Pro and MacBook Pro.
However, what Apple has not revealed until now is the way the chip restricts who can repair certain aspects of the relevant Macs. Apple has confirmed that this is true for repairs involving the logic board and the Touch ID sensor.
The confirmation to The Verge comes after Apple told Authorised Service Providers that a repair is not complete until Apple’s AST 2 System Configuration software has been run. If not, the Mac will remain in an “inoperative system.”
The document says: “For Macs with the Apple T2 chip, the repair process is not complete for certain parts replacements until the AST 2 System Configuration suite has been run. Failure to perform this step will result in an inoperative system and an incomplete repair.”
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Given the third-parties don’t have access to said AST 2 System Configuration suite, it effectively rules them out of completing Mac repairs for faults pertaining to the T2 chip. Apple did not tell The Verge the list of repairs that do or do not meet this criteria, but it’s a worrying development for Apple fans who’d rather choose who repairs their machine.
Given the T2 is likely to feature in most, if not all, new Macs from here on in, it’s also bad news for skilled professionals who repair Apple computers for a living, but don’t have the company’s seal of approval.
Just last week we brought word the T2 chip was responsible for preventing the Linux OS running on the new machines. Turns out that security chip limits Mac users as much as it does potential bad actors.
Do you always take your Mac to the Apple Store to be repaired? Or do you have ‘a guy’ who could be put out of business by Apple’s move? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.