A leaked internal document from last month revealed that Apple’s T2 security chip made carrying out certain third-party repairs impossible on its Macs. Now, the Cupertino company has confirmed to The Verge that it the T2 chip will check for the authenticity of certain components in newer Macs on every boot.
This includes the Touch ID sensor and logic board, though Apple did not provide a list of components that are a part of this check. The leaked internal document, however, points to the logic board, display assembly, top case, and Touch ID being the affected components.
This move from Apple could be seen in two different ways. Apple already does something similar on its iPhones where Touch ID or the ambient light sensor will stop working after a third-party repair is carried out on a device. In fact, Apple once ended up bricking hundreds of iPhones repaired by third-party shops with Error 53 post an iOS update. In the same vein, the company is going to great lengths to ensure that only authentic parts are used for repairing its Macs for security purposes.
On the other hand, this move can be seen as Apple trying to discourage third-party repair shops from carrying out repairs on Macs. Unlike Apple’s authorized service providers, third-party repair shops cannot get their hands on authorized repair parts directly from Apple. The company essentially wants to make sure that all replacement/repair components inside its Macs come from a verified and authentic source.
Apple first debuted its T2 chip with the iMac Pro last year. Now, the chip is found inside the 2018 MacBook Pro lineup, the 2018 Mac mini, and the new MacBook Air. It manages a number of low-level system settings like ‘Hey Siri’ functionality, Touch ID, Storage encryption, Secure boot, and more.
Apple says that any repair carried out on a Mac with a T2 chip is not complete unless its AST 2 System Configuration suite has been run. If not done, it will be considered as an incomplete repair and the Mac might not function properly.
Macs are already very expensive to repair and with the introduction of its T2 chip and this new security measure, Mac repairs are only about to get more expensive.