Apple’s T2 chip will block some third-party repairs of new devices

Apple's T2 security chip borks third-party Mac machine repairs

Apple's T2 security chip borks third-party Mac machine repairs

Details about Apple's new chip blocking third-party repairs surfaced last month, when Motherboard and MacRumors got their hands on an internal document.

Some third-party fix shops are authorized by Apple, which means they have access to the tool, but many don't and might never get accepted to the authorization program. It suggested that a special piece of software - available only to authorized service centers - will check if the replaced parts are authentic.

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Apple's latest T2 chip was first introduced to us past year when it made an appearance in the tech giant's then-newest computers, the 2017 iMac Pro and MacBook Pro. The T2 chip performs a check during post-repair boot and the AASP then runs AST2 on the repaired Mac to communicate to the Apple Global Service Exchange (GSX) server that the new parts are genuine. Ostensibly, the T2 is a co-processor meant to keep your system secure by managing sensitive functions like encryption and secure boot. So it makes sense that Apple is preventing unauthorized shops from replacing critical parts. The 15.9mm Air still has the distinctive wedge shape, but the rest is all new- Retina IPS 2560 x 1600 display with black bezels, Intel 8th gen low power Core i5-8210Y (from a 5 watt CPU family increased to 7 watts for the Air), up to 16GB RAM, SSD and Apple's 3rd generation Butterfly keyboard. "The 2018 model brings a much better display, faster CPU, Thunderbolt 3, Touch ID fingerprint scanner and several design cues from the 12" MacBook and 13" MacBook Pro line. Of course, the company could flip the switch on this at any time. This feels more like Apple trying to maintain a stranglehold on Mac repairs.

It is understandable why Apple made a decision to implement the security check though as the T2 chip can help unscrupulous codes to be run from infected third-party components. Repairs conducted without said tool could basically turn gadgets like the new MacBook Air into expensive and impractical paperweights. Also, since the T2 controls most security functions on newer Macs, the diagnostics will likely ensure that the chip's security functions are not compromised as a result of repairs to the logic board or Touch ID sensor.

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