Motherboard reported some interesting news yesterday regarding the independent repair of the new Mac computers. As most of us know, Apple likes to keep as much of its operation and ecosystem closed in. For the most part, that’s really only affected the mobile side of Apple. Working on and repairing Apple computer hardware was still in the realm of possibility, though not super simple either.
Motherboard is reporting that Apple is introducing new software that will make the independent repair of 2018 MacBook Pro computers impossible. According to Motherboard, who was able to obtain internal Apple documents, the new software will render the computer “inoperative” unless Apple’s new software is launched after repairs are completed.
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.
“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.
Apple’s potential locking out of independent repair on their new computers could come back to bite them. Of course, that’s debatable as the company continues to make profits from their software and hardware which isn’t easy to replace or repair for cheap. One could also speculate that Apple is looking to push more people into AppleCare. AppleCare is much like insurance which you may never actually use — which ends up putting “free” money in Apple’s pockets.