Apple is making it extremely hard for third-party repair services to fix recent MacBook Pro and iMac Pro models. According to an internal document acquired by MacRumors and Motherboard, Apple is locking down Macs if portions of the repairs don’t utilize a proprietary software diagnostic tool, meaning the machines will be left with an “inoperative system and an incomplete repair.”
The new hurdle seems to stem from the new Apple T2 chip Apple includes with the 2018 MacBook Pro and iMac Pro as they must pass the diagnostic tool to enable certain repairs.
The T2 chip is utilized in many ways including system management and controlling the SSD, but probably the most crucial way is it handles elements of security by using a secure enclave coprocessor that delivers encrypted storage, secure boot capabilities and authenticates Touch ID. It looks as if Apple doesn’t want third-party repair services to be mess around with it.
According to the document, third-parties cannot repair the MacBook Pro’s display assembly, logic board, trackpad, keyboard or Touch ID. As for the iMac Pro, the restricted repairs apply to the flash storage and logic board.
The new repair restriction is part of the Apple Service Toolkit 2 software that is limited to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers. This means third-party repair shops that specialize on Macs won’t be able to perform certain repairs. Customers will have to go through an authorized repair service, which unfortunately may mean a very expensive repair if they are out of warranty.