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Apple Repair Policy Change Is Focused On Security

Newer Macs such as the 2018 MacBook Pro include a security chip that now prevents hardware repairs from non-authorized service providers.

Apple has informed its Authorized Service Providers that hardware repairs on Macs including the 2018 MacBook Pro will require running system configuration software provided to partners, effectively preventing repairs by non-authorized service providers, according to several media reports. t

The reports, from Motherboard and MacRumors, say that the new repair policy applies to Macs that include the T2 security chip. The chip runs the Touch ID sensor, FaceTime camera access and other security functions on newer Macs.

[Related: 'Holding Onto The Hope' Of An Apple Mac Launch This Fall]

"Everyone wants security, and there've got to be trade-offs with security," said Jerry Zigmont, owner of MacWorks, a Madison, Conn.-based Apple consultant, speaking with CRN.

Along with the 2018 MacBook Pro, the T2 security chip is included in Apple’s iMac Pro. In the case of both Macs, there are very few hardware repairs that service providers can make anyway, since most parts are no longer replaceable, Zigmont noted.

"It's next to impossible to replace anything now on a 2018 MacBook Pro," he said.

Of the Apple repair policy change, "I don't think it is some sort of dark sinister plot to take away people's right to repair," Zigmont said. "The handwriting's on the wall—this is the future."

The reports on the repair policy change indicate that Macs that have undergone repairs will not be able to operate unless diagnostic software, known as Apple Service Toolkit 2, is run following the repair. Apart from Apple repair centers, the software is only available to authorized Apple Service Providers.

CRN has reached out to Apple for comment.

Ultimately, however, the move by Apple "just makes your computer more secure, and we need that," Zigmont said.

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