IMac Pro, MacBook Pro third-party repairs still possible, confirms iFixit

Image IFIXIT

The ability of the repaired Mac to keep working is apparently controlled by the T2 co-processor, which was introduced in Apple devices this year in order to control security features such as Touch ID.

For the 2018 MacBook Pro, the diagnostics requirements applies to the display, logic board, Touch ID, keyboard, battery, trackpad, and speakers.

The industrious folks at iFixit made a decision to put this to the test by heading to the Apple Store to buy a brand new 2018 13-inch MacBook Pro Touch Bar unit, disassembling it, and swapping the display with a teardown unit from this summer.

And that's a major problem, mainly because Mac repairs are incredibly expensive.

According to a new report from Motherboard, the company has deployed a new software that needs to be run on new Macs with the T2 chip after certain repairs.

The document in question is a policy update given to members of Apple's Authorized Service Provider program, which details that new MacBook Pro models will be rendered "inoperative" unless special "system configuration" software is run following the replacement of any parts.

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The Apple Service Toolkit 2, according to a report by Vice, only works with an active connection to Apple's cloud-based Global Service Exchange server with a valid Apple login.

The Apple Service Toolkit 2 software is only available to Apple employees and those working at Apple-authorized repairers, meaning users can not fix their own hardware or use third-party shops in order to get a fix at a cheaper price.

This means that, even if you were willing to void your warranty to install one of the parts listed above, you won't be able to with these machines.

After a T2-equipped Apple system is repaired, it'll only boot up if a diagnostic software called Apple Service Toolkit 2 gives it a green signal. For iMac Pros, you will need the tool for replacing the Logic Board or flash storage. The other possibility, as pointed out by iFixit's CEO in a statement to Motherboard, could be that Apple is looking to more finely control how its devices are repaired, thus increasing the chances of users upgrading to newer models early.

Apple has yet to respond to requests for comment about the matter.

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