Apple’s New Proprietary Software Locks Will Kill Independent Repair on New MacBook Pros
iFixit testing has found that Apple’s software locks are not yet operative.
“This service document certainly paints a grim picture, but ever the optimists, we headed down to our friendly local Apple Store and bought a brand new 2018 13” MacBook Pro Touch Bar unit. Then we disassembled it and traded displays with our teardown unit from this summer. To our surprise, the displays and MacBooks functioned normally in every combination we tried. We also updated to Mojave and swapped logic boards with the same results. That’s a promising sign, and it means the sky isn’t quite falling—yet.”
Failure to run Apple’s proprietary diagnostic software after a repair “will result in an inoperative system and an incomplete repair.”
— The Verge (@verge) October 5, 2018
iFixit states, that Apple has a “kill switch” in the new MacBook Pros. The service bulletin Apple sent to AASPs is genuine but is not yet operational.
Reports of using new proprietary software diagnostic tools to repair MacBook Pros and iMac Pros that, if not used on key part repairs, will result in an “inoperative system and an incomplete repair,” reads a document distributed to Apple’s Authorized Service Providers last month.
MacRumors and Motherboard confirmed the report on this issue
“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,” the document reads. MacRumors reported the new policy earlier today.
A separate internal training presentation obtained by Motherboard about how to use the diagnostics states that the “Apple Service Toolkit and Apple Service Toolkit 2 are available only to persons working at Apple-authorized service facilities.” This means that it will become impossible for you to repair your new MacBook Pro at home, or for an independent repair provider to repair it for you.
A tough deal to Crack
The software lock will kick in for any repair which involves replacing a MacBook Pro’s display assembly, logic board, top case (the keyboard, touchpad, and internal housing), and Touch ID board.
On iMac Pros, it will kick in if the Logic Board or flash storage are replaced.
The computer will only begin functioning again after Apple or a member of one of Apple’s Authorized Service Provider repair program runs diagnostic software called Apple Service Toolkit 2.
— Geeky Gadgets (@GeekyGadgets) October 8, 2018
Apple Desires for a repair & hassle free future and wish Customers to purchase new devices over time
The Mac is apparently moving a little more in that direction. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The measures are presumably there to ensure security.
Apple’s proprietary chips have taken on increasing responsibilities over various functions inside the Mac, including storing secure enclave data and handling disc encryption.