Apple diagnostics software blocks third-party repairs of 2018 MacBook Pro and iMac Pro

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 73
    Read this article...  it is more important than ever to ensure hardware component integrity.

    The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies  

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-10-04/the-big-hack-how-china-used-a-tiny-chip-to-infiltrate-america-s-top-companies
  • Reply 22 of 73
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,175member
    Yes, how dare Apple want to limit repairs of security components and other complicated parts to only people who have been trained and certified by Apple to be competent at doing so!

    The nerve!

    LOL
    svanstromwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 23 of 73
    rcfa said:
    This is ridiculous, Apple undermines ownership of a device.

    Further, I don’t buy the security argument: few people carry nuclear secrets around in their machines, and with FileVault on, a criminal would still need to first get physical access to the machine, AND be savvy enough to decrypt an encrypted file system. 

    Apple is also refusing to service a system with a non-Apple battery. So you replace a laptop battery, and then later on you need service; Apple won’t provide service, because it’s a third party battery, and a third party can’t provide service, because they don’t have the software.
    So in short, you may have to toss an expensive machine if you realize this after the fact, and if you’re aware of it, you’ forced to buy Apple’s totally overpriced batteries, just to prevent the risk of having later an unserviceable machine.

    The argument, that this isn’t an issue, as otherwise people would leave the Apple platform, is a stupid one: most people toss a broken machine, because either the computer is old, and they figure before they waste money on (Apple’s expensive) repairs, they use that money to make the down payment on a newer, faster one, or the machine lasts without repair until people replace them.

    the fact that Apple builds high-quality machines, which for most people work without breaking until they are replaced for new computers, doesn’t contradict the fact that Apple’s repairs are overpriced and that their repair policies suck big time, if you’re in a position where you need to get an older machine repaired.

    case in point: got an 2012 MBA 11”. The original batter got bloated, which I noted when a few days before a trip I couldn’t close the lid properly anymore.
    I’d had to send in the computer to get it serviced in Ireland (not sure how safe it would be to have the machine transported in that state!), and it wouldn’t have been back in time for the trip. Shipping aside, Apple’s repair was way expensive.
    For less than $50 I got a battery over the internet, put it in myself, and it lasts to this day.
    One thing the bloated battery did, was introduce some contact problem, somewhere: if a TB cable is plugged in, the machine works great, if not, it crashes within minutes.
    So after I got a new MBP and didn’t rely on the MBA for my daily work, I wanted Apple to fix the issue their bloated battery caused.
    Not only would they not repair the damage for free, they wouldn’t even to the $500+ repair to swap the motherboard because I have “a dangerous non-Apple battery installed” (the Apple original was dangerous and almost blew up, not this one!)
    Fast forward to an independent repair shop: they quoted my about $70 to fix the contact issue, if they can find it, and about $200 to replace the motherboard with refurb one from a computer with a damaged display.
    So third party repair gets me in total for under $250 fixed what Apple’s bad battery destroyed, and for which Apple would have charged around $700+

    <sarcasm>But, yeah, having to throw out repairable machines to stuff Apple’s coffres is awesome, because Apple can do no evil, and everyone who criticizes Apple is automatically a troll...<\sarcasm>
    Maybe most people feel that they don’t need that level of security, but they sure will benefit from it nonetheless; like how their devices will be less desired by thieves.

    It’s a package deal, and if you don’t want to pay premium for a premium product you simply don’t… There are lots of alternatives on the market. 
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 24 of 73
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    At this point apple is just seeing how much sodomy the fan base is willing to take. In my circles developers and designers are abandoning the apple eco system in droves. Interestingly my non tech friends are lining up to have the prestige of paying a huge premium for the Apple Shiny.
    It is not that. It is just that they need to make sure the security system that they put in place, is not bypassed or broken.
    He doesn't really care about the reasons, but you are correct.

    I'm still baffled that anyone would consider taking such a pricey piece of kit to someone who isn't an authorized dealer.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 73
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member

    rcfa said:

    Further, I don’t buy the security argument: few people carry nuclear secrets around in their machines, and with FileVault on, a criminal would still need to first get physical access to the machine, AND be savvy enough to decrypt an encrypted file system. 

    which they could possibly do if the T2 chip was compromised.

    So you don't carry nuclear secrets? Fair enough? But you don't want to protect your financial records? Social security details? Private correspondence between you and your doctor? Your address book containing the names and addresses of your kids' schools? Happy to let pictures of your kids out into the wild where they can be accessed by any nonce who now knows where you live?

    Me? Not so much.

    But!

    Paragraphs … good work!
    edited October 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 73
    At this point apple is just seeing how much sodomy the fan base is willing to take. In my circles developers and designers are abandoning the apple eco system in droves. Interestingly my non tech friends are lining up to have the prestige of paying a huge premium for the Apple Shiny.
    It is not that. It is just that they need to make sure the security system that they put in place, is not bypassed or broken.
    Exactly. There was much hullabaloo yesterday about the alleged "spy chip" planted in servers Apple and Amazon used. This kind of requirment is meant to prevent exactly that from happening. It won't make it completely impossible of course, but at least the adversary would need to obtain a functioning copy of the configuration software or subvert an ASP. And even then they would have to provide a compromised component that passes muster with AST Configurator and T2.
  • Reply 27 of 73
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member


    Reputable repair shops like ours offer a quality alternative when Apple are too expensive or just downright won’t help. Deliberately hampering our ability to help customers is not in the interest of the consumer or Apple, because while many will shrug their shoulders and give Apple more money, many can’t or won’t which will mean, as is the case of the iPhone Apple will continue to raise its price to compensate for lower sales. 
    If you're not an authorised dealer then how do I know you're reputable? How do I know you even know what you're doing? Where's the come-back if you mess up?

    I'm not saying you'll mess up, but the point is, without the Apple stamp, how do I know?

    1983watto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 73
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    I'm actually in favour of this move, if you don't have hardware-level security assurances then your software-level ones don't mean anything. And if third party repairers are willing to get authorised they can get the required diagnostic programs.
    svanstromwatto_cobra
  • Reply 29 of 73
    While management is counting their billions, I hope the EU will prepare to sue them for this.
    The consumer needs to be able to have parts repaired everywhere, it’s that simple.
    I understand how hard it is to ‘decrypt’ if a part is broken, but at least allow end users to turn it off at first use (or at cost of waiting for the computer to ‘re-index’ the drive in a later stage). 
    dysamoria
  • Reply 30 of 73
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,015member
    The silver lining: This feature will come to the iPhone and iPad pretty soon and that will greatly reduce the demand for stolen iPhones as even the parts will no longer be usable. Probably a good thing but Apple will probably be forced to bless independent repair companies by state law in many places.

    Why don't these "independent" repair shops simply apply to become an Apple Authorized Service Provider? Surely being able to advertise you're authorized by Apple and only use official Apple components would be a big draw for customers.

    I'll tell you why they don't. Because Apple has minimum standards that must be met to qualify, and a LOT of these shops wouldn't meet those requirements. Plus you have to use Apple official parts (which Apple will sell to you). No more cheap knockoff clone parts that offer you huge margins/profit.

    I laugh when some whiny independent shop complains Apple won't provide them with official repair parts (like a TouchID home button), tools to do the work or repair procedures. Well, you know what? Apple DOES provide this to Authorized shops.

    Totally agree.  Any service provider wanting to repair Apple products should get trained and authorized.  End of story.  Anyone here stating this is a bad idea ... when your Mac needs a repair just think about that ... do you really want an untrained, unauthorized tech fiddling with your Mac?  They are not the simple designs they used to be these days, not to mention the data security issues.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 73
    You can justify this any way you want, but in my opinion this is a A-hole move on Apple’s part. Once I buy a computer it is mine and I should be able to do whatever I want with it as long as I understand the consequences. If I want to modify it by adding a larger hard drive or get it fixed by a non-authorized dealer at a fraction of the cost, I should be able to do that with MY computer, understanding that I will void the warranty and put my precious data at risk of getting corrupted or stolen by the boogie man.

    What Apple is doing is trying to lock down a revenue stream by making it impossible to modify or repair your computer without Apple making some money off of the deal.

    I’ve been using Macs for almost 30 years, and I have modified and repaired quite a few. The boogie man never showed up and corrupted or stole my data, not once. 

    But it now seems that Apple has benevolently decreed that I am too much of a danger to myself to modify or repair my computer without their involvement, for my own good of course.

    Give me a break!
    singularitygatorguygrifmxdysamoriacolinng
  • Reply 32 of 73
    danvmdanvm Posts: 708member
    The silver lining: This feature will come to the iPhone and iPad pretty soon and that will greatly reduce the demand for stolen iPhones as even the parts will no longer be usable. Probably a good thing but Apple will probably be forced to bless independent repair companies by state law in many places.

    Why don't these "independent" repair shops simply apply to become an Apple Authorized Service Provider? Surely being able to advertise you're authorized by Apple and only use official Apple components would be a big draw for customers.

    I'll tell you why they don't. Because Apple has minimum standards that must be met to qualify, and a LOT of these shops wouldn't meet those requirements. Plus you have to use Apple official parts (which Apple will sell to you). No more cheap knockoff clone parts that offer you huge margins/profit.

    I laugh when some whiny independent shop complains Apple won't provide them with official repair parts (like a TouchID home button), tools to do the work or repair procedures. Well, you know what? Apple DOES provide this to Authorized shops.

    I think would be a better option if Apple release the service manuals, as for example Lenovo and HP does for the business devices, and open source the diagnostics tools, so repair shops have access to them.  Then the customer decides if he/she goes to an authorized service center for the best experience, or takes it chances with a non-authorized shop.  I think this should be a customer decision, and not one forced by the manufacturer, in this case Apple. 
    edited October 2018 larz2112gatorguydysamoria
  • Reply 33 of 73
    deminsddeminsd Posts: 103member
    Can someone tell me why replacing a faulty display, or power adapter would require this ridiculous policy?  Display, battery or power adapter are probably the most common items replaced after warranty, have nothing to do with the T2 "Fort Knox" but Apple requires this diagnostic be run if you replace your battery or power adapter?

    Consumer laws will prevail and despite the "do not tamper with label" that is BS and doesn't hold up in court, neither will this.  

    Would I desolder chips to make a repair?  No.  And neither would 99.9999% of people. But I might want a cheaper power adapter or a replacement battery at some point and I have the right to make such repairs myself without being forced to pay a repair shop.

    Maybe it would be best if Apple just welds the MBP and iMac shut so no one can tamper with it?
    edited October 2018 muthuk_vanalingamdysamoria
  • Reply 34 of 73
    rcfa said:
    case in point: got an 2012 MBA 11”. The original batter got bloated, which I noted when a few days before a trip I couldn’t close the lid properly anymore.
    I’d had to send in the computer to get it serviced in Ireland (not sure how safe it would be to have the machine transported in that state!), and it wouldn’t have been back in time for the trip. Shipping aside, Apple’s repair was way expensive.
    For less than $50 I got a battery over the internet, put it in myself, and it lasts to this day.
    One thing the bloated battery did, was introduce some contact problem, somewhere: if a TB cable is plugged in, the machine works great, if not, it crashes within minutes.
    So after I got a new MBP and didn’t rely on the MBA for my daily work, I wanted Apple to fix the issue their bloated battery caused.
    Not only would they not repair the damage for free, they wouldn’t even to the $500+ repair to swap the motherboard because I have “a dangerous non-Apple battery installed” (the Apple original was dangerous and almost blew up, not this one!)
    Fast forward to an independent repair shop: they quoted my about $70 to fix the contact issue, if they can find it, and about $200 to replace the motherboard with refurb one from a computer with a damaged display.
    So third party repair gets me in total for under $250 fixed what Apple’s bad battery destroyed, and for which Apple would have charged around $700+
    Seems like you made the wrong choice. If, as you mentioned, the swollen battery had caused residual damage your first stop should have been at an Apple Store or AASP.  Typically, if your computer is out of warranty in this situation you only need to pay the cost of replacing the battery ($129) and the other parts damaged by the battery are fixed at Apple’s expense. If the same thing occurs within the warranty the repair is the same but doesn’t cost you anything. 

    If I’m following you correctly you spent almost double to replace your battery yourself and fix the other issues over what it would have cost if you had gone to Apple originally and let them handle the entire repair. 

    edited October 2018 Rayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 35 of 73
    dewme said:
    No surprises here. To ensure the integrity of certain components/subsystems it is important that the tools used to service these components have intimate knowledge and capabilities that ensure the integrity of the systems is not compromised when repairs are made. As long as Apple provides a legitimate way for service providers to gain access to the required tools I see no problem with this approach. These are nontrivial components with specific system-level configuration and commissioning requirements, not something that can be fixed with a screwdriver and a soldering gun. Conflating this into a "planned obsolescence" conspiracy theory demonstrates a complete lack of understanding for how complex integrated systems like iPhones/iPads operate. Replacing an iPhone's logic board is not like replacing a fan belt on your car. It's more like replacing the engine control computer (ECC), flashing the firmware that runs in the ECC, and running system verification tests to ensure everything is working as planned. Do you think your favorite auto maker is going to give you the firmware, flash tools, and system verification tools to do this in your own garage? No. 

    There will always need to be a balance between "right to repair" expectations between consumers and makers. For example, I could argue that Apple should provide me with the software design documents and source code for macOS so I can troubleshoot and fix a software bug that is plaguing me on my iMac. Hey, why not? 
    What baffles me here, is that whether I have the control over my device.  Alright I will not gonna question a crap ton of morality here, but as a hobbyist I do like to tweak the machines sometimes.  There aren’t a lot you can do in a modern MacBooks, but I’d still like to re-paste the thermal compound to make it cools better, and now it sounds like if I do that again, then I will never be able to fix my Mac because I can’t change parts my own and none of the AASP gonna fix for me.  That’s going to be way ridiculous for me, like you have to behave as what they expected, otherwise you will never fix your own stuff.
  • Reply 36 of 73
    DuhSesame said:
    dewme said:
    No surprises here. To ensure the integrity of certain components/subsystems it is important that the tools used to service these components have intimate knowledge and capabilities that ensure the integrity of the systems is not compromised when repairs are made. As long as Apple provides a legitimate way for service providers to gain access to the required tools I see no problem with this approach. These are nontrivial components with specific system-level configuration and commissioning requirements, not something that can be fixed with a screwdriver and a soldering gun. Conflating this into a "planned obsolescence" conspiracy theory demonstrates a complete lack of understanding for how complex integrated systems like iPhones/iPads operate. Replacing an iPhone's logic board is not like replacing a fan belt on your car. It's more like replacing the engine control computer (ECC), flashing the firmware that runs in the ECC, and running system verification tests to ensure everything is working as planned. Do you think your favorite auto maker is going to give you the firmware, flash tools, and system verification tools to do this in your own garage? No. 

    There will always need to be a balance between "right to repair" expectations between consumers and makers. For example, I could argue that Apple should provide me with the software design documents and source code for macOS so I can troubleshoot and fix a software bug that is plaguing me on my iMac. Hey, why not? 
    Alright I will not gonna question a crap ton of morality here, but as a hobbyist I do like to tweak the machines sometimes.
    I get what you're saying but you are definitely in the minority, not just for Apple but computer users in general.  I highly doubt that most consumers have any idea what a logic board or an SMC reset or thermal compound are, let alone would think about performing their own repairs. I know many many people who have been using computers at work or at home for 25 years who can't explain RAM or a hard drive.  The types of things mentioned in this article just aren't even on their scope.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 37 of 73
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 204member
    deminsd said:
    Wonder how long before a consumer lawsuit is filed?  Sounds monopolistic, especially after the warranty expires and now you are FORCED to pay Apple (and their prices) to repair your consumer device.
    The likeliest violation is of the Magnuson-Moss Act, but that was specifically made to target automotive manufacturers, and they all have similar restrictions on diagnostic and security tools which work with their cars. SDS for Mercedes-Benz, TIS for Toyota, VAS-PC or ODIS for Volkswagen Auto Group, OSS for BMW, and so on. They are only available to authorized service centers, and they all check in with central servers for authorization to perform most actions. For example, to reset the engine immobilizer to accept new keys, the tech needs to log in to the software (which checks their credentials on the central server), then request an immobilizer reset. A manager needs to authorize, then the server will tell the software it is allowed to reset the immobilizer and give it the data to do so.

    This is generally accepted as an anti-theft mechanism. If only authorized service centers can reset the immobilizer, and they will only do so after verifying ownership, large, valuable parts of the vehicle become much harder to effectively sell after theft. That is almost certainly the rationale here, too. The software appears to interact with the T2, which performs security-critical functions like storage encryption management as well as arbitration of the camera and microphone.

    The display assembly is specifically called out as requiring AST2 to fully install. I bet if someone were to swap the assembly without the AST2 run, the display would work, but that the camera would not. If the T2 will only work with parts after an authorized service center tells it about them, the fence value of a stolen MacBook Pro drops, making it a less appealing target for thieves.
    roundaboutnow
  • Reply 38 of 73
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 204member
    deminsd said:
    Can someone tell me why replacing a faulty display, or power adapter would require this ridiculous policy?  Display, battery or power adapter are probably the most common items replaced after warranty, have nothing to do with the T2 "Fort Knox" but Apple requires this diagnostic be run if you replace your battery or power adapter?

    Consumer laws will prevail and despite the "do not tamper with label" that is BS and doesn't hold up in court, neither will this.  

    Would I desolder chips to make a repair?  No.  And neither would 99.9999% of people. But I might want a cheaper power adapter or a replacement battery at some point and I have the right to make such repairs myself without being forced to pay a repair shop.

    Maybe it would be best if Apple just welds the MBP and iMac shut so no one can tamper with it?
    The battery and power adapter don't interact with the T2, so they don't require AST2 to be run after replacing them.
    roundaboutnow
  • Reply 39 of 73
    The silver lining: This feature will come to the iPhone and iPad pretty soon and that will greatly reduce the demand for stolen iPhones as even the parts will no longer be usable. Probably a good thing but Apple will probably be forced to bless independent repair companies by state law in many places.

    Why don't these "independent" repair shops simply apply to become an Apple Authorized Service Provider? Surely being able to advertise you're authorized by Apple and only use official Apple components would be a big draw for customers.

    I'll tell you why they don't. Because Apple has minimum standards that must be met to qualify, and a LOT of these shops wouldn't meet those requirements. Plus you have to use Apple official parts (which Apple will sell to you). No more cheap knockoff clone parts that offer you huge margins/profit.

    I laugh when some whiny independent shop complains Apple won't provide them with official repair parts (like a TouchID home button), tools to do the work or repair procedures. Well, you know what? Apple DOES provide this to Authorized shops.

    The implications of this are vast. This would mean not just independent repair shops, it would mean people at home couldn't do a simple task like replace an SSD.

    Additionally, I don't know if you've ever been an Apple authorized shop or worked with folks who were part of one, but getting Apple to reimburse for work WE do on their busted equipment is often a nightmare. And parts...$200 for a memory module or SSD is also comical when we know third parties can provide these parts for much less. Heaven forbid if you have a simple component failure like a capacitor which in most cases is leading to a practice of "replace the logic board" and associated lazy/wasteful mentality instead of "let's learn to troubleshoot and repair this 25¢ component".


    dysamoriacolinng
  • Reply 40 of 73
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 281member
    Very clean looking CCA in the picture.  You can see that industrial design extends to the interior electronics.  Wish someone would sacrifice a CCA and cut it to see how many layers it has.  Also, does anyone know how many pins the A12 has?  Just curious.
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