Apple's T2 chip won't allow third-party repairs to your MacBook

Joanna Estrada
November 13, 2018

Apple at its October hardware event last month announced the launch of the new MacBook Air and Mac mini models in its PC lineup. Because while some part of the new Macs and MacBooks can be replaced with no problem or issue, some parts, like the logic board and Touch ID fingerprint sensor, would now require official re-authentication using a diagnostic tool that only Apple provides to its authorized service providers.

This could be just another step to ensure Apple products are repaired with authorized service centers or an attempt to grab some market share from third-party fix services. However, it didn't confirm if this extends to last year's iMac Pro - the T2 chip's first host. Or it could be a threat to keep their authorised network in line. "We just don't know". That victory, however, might have been short-lived at least as far as Apple's latest Mac products are concerned. This piece of silicon is responsible for quite a number of things, like storing cryptographic keys, processing Touch ID data, protecting mics from being remotely hacked and control, and even responding to Siri prompts without pressing a button. So it makes sense that Apple is preventing unauthorized shops from replacing critical parts. However, it's unclear if the T2 chip also restricts replacements for more common parts like the display, speaker, and keyboard. Lately, this new technology by Apple has been in the talks for all the right reasons, however, as per the latest report by Verge, there might be more to the new T2 chip, and it might not be all that good for the consumers.

The custom T2 chip is integrated with the logic board on all Macs from the late 2017 iMac Pro forward. However, it couldn't list out the repairs which were required or the devices which were affected. Of course, the company could flip the switch on this at any time. You could argue that Apple does this to make sure the parts you get via repairs are authentic and high-quality. But its introduction on more and more Apple devices hints towards the fact that Apple might be locking down its devices to prevent third-party repairs. Repairs conducted without said tool could basically turn gadgets like the new MacBook Air into expensive and impractical paperweights. We'll have to wait and watch if more common parts' repairs are restricted by the T2 chip.

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