Only Apple authorized service centers will be able to repair the 2018 MacBook Pro and iMac Pro, due to new software that will prevent self and third-party repairs on the computers.
The 2018 MacBook Pro was highly touted upon launch, as it offered the biggest performance improvement since 2011, according to Geekbench results. Its owners, however, will have to be very careful with the laptop, as they will not be able to self-repair or take advantage of cheaper prices offered by third-party services.
New Apple Software Blocks Self And Third-Party Repairs
According to internal documents acquired by Motherboard, which were sent to Apple authorized service center last month, the computers will need to run proprietary system configuration software by Apple after certain parts are replaced. Otherwise, the device will be rendered an "an inoperative system and an incomplete repair."
The software lock will engage in different circumstances for the 2018 MacBook Pro and the iMac Pro though. For the 2018 MacBook Pro, it will be locked if the display assembly, logic board, Touch ID board, or top case is replaced. The top case includes the keyboard, the touchpad, and the internal housing. Meanwhile, for the iMac Pro, it will be locked only if the logic board or flash storage is replaced.
Locked computers will only run after an Apple authorized service center runs diagnostic software named Apple Service Toolkit 2 on them.
Why Is Apple Blocking Self And Third-Party Repairs?
Presumably, Apple is implementing the measure for security purposes, to ensure that any fixes or parts replacements are properly done. This makes the MacBook Pro and iMac Pro move in the opposite direction of PCs though, which have historically been easy to open up and fix by anyone willing to try.
However, there are also speculations that Apple is blocking self and third-party repairs to force customers to only move within a tightly controlled repair market, or to simply buy a replacement device instead.
In any case, owning a MacBook Pro or iMac Pro just got became more expensive, due to the added maintenance costs of having to go to Apple authorized service centers for even the smallest issue.