Apple's T2 Chip Locks Out Mac Repairers

Apple's T2 Chip Locks Out Mac Repairers
Owners of new Macs will not be able to repair their own computers without the risk of bricking them.

(CCM) — Apple's T2 security chip blocks third-party repairers from working on the new MacBook Air and Mac Mini computers which were released last month, according to a Verge report.

The T2 chip is a co-processor which is fitted in these computer systems, storing cryptographic keys and enabling the MacBook Pro to respond when a user says "Hey Siri" without the need to press a button first, according to the report.

But it also locks down these Mac products if certain replacement parts such as a logic board or Touch ID sensor are replaced by an unauthorized service technician using parts from an unauthorized source.

It appears that after these parts are replaced, a piece of diagnostic software has to be run on the machine before the T2 chip allows it to boot. Without access to this software, unauthorized technicians or device owners risk bricking the computer if they carry out repairs.

"It's very possible that the goal is to exert more control over who can perform repairs by limiting access to parts," Kyle Wiens, chief executive of iFixit, said in the report. This could be an attempt to grab more market share from the independent repair providers. Or it could be a threat to keep their authorized network in line. We just don’t know."

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