iFixit finds third-party MacBook Pro and iMac Pro repairs still an option, at least for no...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 5
In the wake of revelations that Apple plans to employ a special diagnostics tool that effectively blocks certain third-party MacBook Pro and iMac Pro repairs, DIY specialist iFixit evaluated the issue to find the new policy is not yet active.


iFixit personnel swaps MacBook Pro displays to test Apple's new repair policy. | Source: iFixit


On Thursday, leaked Apple support network documents outlined a new process Authorized Service Providers must follow when repairing Macs containing the T2 security chip, currently limited to the 2018 MacBook Pro and iMac Pro.

Specifically, Apple said repair personnel must run proprietary system configuration software, "Apple Service Toolkit 2," after replacing the display assembly, top case, logic board or Touch ID board of a MacBook Pro and the logic board or flash storage on an iMac Pro. Failure to run the software suite renders the host system inoperable, Apple says.

According to iFixit, however, the repair policy is not yet in effect. In evaluating Apple's claims, the DIY firm purchased a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and proceeded to swap displays with an identical MacBook Pro model subjected to its annual teardown in July. iFixit also updated the older machine to macOS Mojave and traded logic boards.

In each scenario, both MacBook Pro models functioned normally following the repairs.

"Our guess is that this software tracks serial numbers and other parts data so Apple can verify AASPs are correctly completing repairs," iFixit said in a blog post. "It may also perform calibration, or it could simply be a way of keeping their authorized network in line. Basically it means Apple owns your device, not you, and could conceivably disable it remotely if they detect unauthorized repairs going on."

The firm goes on to say the AST 2 procedure might be a system for tracing parts used in Apple's authorized repair network. Alternatively, it could be a method by which Apple can monitor the quality of repairs or track replacement rates.

"It's possible that units with swapped parts may operate normally, but still report a failure in Apple diagnostic tests for having unauthorized' components installed-- much like earlier units did on earlier versions of AST for third party HDD/SSD, RAM and batteries," iFixit said.

The new policy was widely reported after its disclosure Thursday, with some voicing concern that AST 2 played into so-called "planned obsolescence" strategies. Depending on how the system rolls out, Apple can, for example, discontinue repair support eligibility for T2-equipped machines when they reach end-of-life, forcing customers to buy a new machine.

Others, including iFixit, ponder how Apple's strategy impacts -- or might be impacted by -- "right to repair" legislation being readied in a number of U.S. states. The laws seek to force tech companies like Apple to provide consumers and third-party repair outlets access to repair information, diagnostic equipment and parts.
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Comments

  • Reply 2 of 27
    chasmchasm Posts: 838member
    "Apple owns your machine, not you" is a bit rich, coming from -- oh look! -- a repair-tool supplier that encourages non-certified amateurs to do their own repairs.

    Again: how dare Apple move to limit repairs to trained and authorized repair outlets! LOL
    racerhomie3macxpressbaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 27
    danvmdanvm Posts: 655member
    chasm said:
    "Apple owns your machine, not you" is a bit rich, coming from -- oh look! -- a repair-tool supplier that encourages non-certified amateurs to do their own repairs.

    Again: how dare Apple move to limit repairs to trained and authorized repair outlets! LOL
    I think it would be better if Apple educate and show customers the benefits of repairing their devices in an Apple Store or authorized dealer instead of limit them. 
    edited October 5 bbhmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 27
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,577member
    This doesn't mean you HAVE to take it to an Apple Retail store to get repaired. There are still 3rd party Apple Certified Service Centers you can take it to as well. You just can't take it to Bob's Computers and have your 2018 MacBook Pro repaired...which I don't know why in the hell you'd do that anyways. They cannot get genuine Apple parts, or just Apple parts in general so its little or no benefit to you anyways. 
    baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 27
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 716member
    $600 to repair an apple proprietary keyboard? Anybody that defends this is nuts.
    ednllarz2112entropysmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 6 of 27
    macxpress said:
    This doesn't mean you HAVE to take it to an Apple Retail store to get repaired. There are still 3rd party Apple Certified Service Centers you can take it to as well. You just can't take it to Bob's Computers and have your 2018 MacBook Pro repaired...which I don't know why in the hell you'd do that anyways. They cannot get genuine Apple parts, or just Apple parts in general so its little or no benefit to you anyways. 
    So you're lumping in experts like Louis Rossmann (whose workshop, admittedly, does give off a bit of “Bob's Computers” vibe, but it's anything but) with shady, back-alley repair shops that may rip you off or install god knows what on your machine.

    You see, I totally get why some clients may wish to only use Apple or AASPs as service providers; there is indeed a security benefit to be had. What I take issue with is the fact that you are actively defending Apple's right to pretty much force people to use their channels and potentially leave them out in the dust by refusing them further repairs or, worse even, bricking their machines remotely. I surely hope Apple doesn't even attempt that kind of stunt, as they'd be faced with a lawsuit in no time.

    In any case, I believe sanity will prevail. They could've gone after the Hackintosh crowd, too, and they didn't, and it's been what, 11 years now since the switch to Intel? Arguably, having completely unsecured, hacked-together computers running macOS (and always a few versions behind, no less) connected to the internet in the first place is more of a security liability than having Macs without a T2 chip, or SIP enabled, or what you have it.
    edited October 6 larz2112avon b7
  • Reply 7 of 27
    mainyehc said:
    macxpress said:
    This doesn't mean you HAVE to take it to an Apple Retail store to get repaired. There are still 3rd party Apple Certified Service Centers you can take it to as well. You just can't take it to Bob's Computers and have your 2018 MacBook Pro repaired...which I don't know why in the hell you'd do that anyways. They cannot get genuine Apple parts, or just Apple parts in general so its little or no benefit to you anyways. 
    So you're lumping in experts like Louis Rossmann (whose workshop, admittedly, does give off a bit of “Bob's Computers” vibe, but it's anything but) with shady, back-alley repair shops that may rip you off or install god knows what on your machine.
    Thing is, Apple doesn't cater exclusively to a crowd able to tell the difference between an unauthorised expert, and some weird guy wanting to make a quick buck.

    The only way for Apple to make sure that they don't have to deal with straight up stupid people crying rivers about how Apple should fix their devices messed up by some third party, that is to make sure that people only go to authorised shops. This also makes it easier for Apple to slim down their software to only support the actual hardware that they put into the devices.

    Even without considering hardware security there are valid reasons for why Apple might want to make this move; and in the end it comes down to that unless you go with a completely open solution, then there will be limitations. Perhaps these limitations will be too much for some people, but I suspect that for most people this will actually be more beneficiary than an actual problem. Especially if thieves end up learning that any Apple hardware they steal will instantly become close to worthless.
    Rayz2016baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 27
    Shouldn't it just be up to the "owner" of their product whether they want to use an Apple Certified Service Provider or not? Just because there are people that think it's "nuts" to use a 3rd party service provider why does this opinion have to be mandated and enforced by Apple? This is the definition of fascism. I find it funny that people think its a good idea to force their opinion on everyone "for the good of the people". Wow.
    entropysmainyehcbbhmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 27
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,201member

    This is the definition of fascism. 

    🙄

    baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 27
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,228member
    I would maybe take iFixit more seriously if they didn’t have a repair kit business where they sell tools to DIYers. Also they seem way more obsessed with Apple than any other consumer electronics manufacturer. Heck they fly people to Australia when a new Apple product launches so they can get a product and do the tear down right away. That’s ridiculous. That’s more about clicks than right to repair or concerns for the environment.
    baconstang
  • Reply 11 of 27
    I would maybe take iFixit more seriously if they didn’t have a repair kit business where they sell tools to DIYers. Also they seem way more obsessed with Apple than any other consumer electronics manufacturer. Heck they fly people to Australia when a new Apple product launches so they can get a product and do the tear down right away. That’s ridiculous. That’s more about clicks than right to repair or concerns for the environment.
    Yeah, I have the exact same feeling about doctors; why go to someone with an interest in sick people. That just seems really weird. So I usually just ask someone not interested that I randomly meet on public transportation… "Hey, you wanna make a quick sum of money by checking out this suspicious looking mole that I've got?"

     ;) 

    Then again, maybe people with a really serious interest in what they are doing is a good thing…?  :)
    mainyehc
  • Reply 12 of 27
    majorslmajorsl Posts: 46unconfirmed, member
    I would maybe take iFixit more seriously if they didn’t have a repair kit business where they sell tools to DIYers. Also they seem way more obsessed with Apple than any other consumer electronics manufacturer. Heck they fly people to Australia when a new Apple product launches so they can get a product and do the tear down right away. That’s ridiculous. That’s more about clicks than right to repair or concerns for the environment.
    Well, as someone who has purchased their products over the years for repair and saved myself thousands of dollars, bravo to them.  They are filling a niche that people want, and by the appearance of it, a lot of people want.

    Hey, if you only want Apple-blessed hands to touch your device, that's cool. For some of us, we can do it ourselves, and if the product is out of warranty and not really worth it to repair through the Apple-priests, we really have nothing to lose except a little time.
    mainyehcmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 27
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,577member
    Shouldn't it just be up to the "owner" of their product whether they want to use an Apple Certified Service Provider or not? Just because there are people that think it's "nuts" to use a 3rd party service provider why does this opinion have to be mandated and enforced by Apple? This is the definition of fascism. I find it funny that people think its a good idea to force their opinion on everyone "for the good of the people". Wow.
    Well you can't have security the way Apple does and have Bob's Computers know what the hell they're doing to retain that security. If customer A buys a Mac with the T2 chip inside it which is a security chip that has to be handled a certain way for everything to work properly and be secure, then breaks the logic board and has Bob's Computers put a new logic board in and doesn't do what it's supposed to do to make it work properly again, customer A will blame Apple. And don't say they won't because it's happened time and time again with other products and then Apple has to deal with BS stories that their built-in encryption doesn't work or breaks, etc. 

    The other thing is...Its very hard for someone like a Bob's Computers to even get an Apple logic board these days. Its not like they can just go to Apple Support and purchase one. Sure, maybe you can go to a place like welovemacs and pay 2x the amount you should for the part(s), but why would a customer do that?
    baconstang
  • Reply 14 of 27
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,577member

    mainyehc said:
    macxpress said:
    This doesn't mean you HAVE to take it to an Apple Retail store to get repaired. There are still 3rd party Apple Certified Service Centers you can take it to as well. You just can't take it to Bob's Computers and have your 2018 MacBook Pro repaired...which I don't know why in the hell you'd do that anyways. They cannot get genuine Apple parts, or just Apple parts in general so its little or no benefit to you anyways. 
    So you're lumping in experts like Louis Rossmann (whose workshop, admittedly, does give off a bit of “Bob's Computers” vibe, but it's anything but) with shady, back-alley repair shops that may rip you off or install god knows what on your machine.

    You see, I totally get why some clients may wish to only use Apple or AASPs as service providers; there is indeed a security benefit to be had. What I take issue with is the fact that you are actively defending Apple's right to pretty much force people to use their channels and potentially leave them out in the dust by refusing them further repairs or, worse even, bricking their machines remotely. I surely hope Apple doesn't even attempt that kind of stunt, as they'd be faced with a lawsuit in no time.

    In any case, I believe sanity will prevail. They could've gone after the Hackintosh crowd, too, and they didn't, and it's been what, 11 years now since the switch to Intel? Arguably, having completely unsecured, hacked-together computers running macOS (and always a few versions behind, no less) connected to the internet in the first place is more of a security liability than having Macs without a T2 chip, or SIP enabled, or what you have it.
    The "Hackintosh" crowd is so few and far between its not even worth Apple's time and effort to even begin to care about it and the people doing that know the risk. Its not your mom or grandma is doing that thinking it's the same exact thing as a Mac coming directly from Apple, or its certified channels. Your entire argument is incredibly invalid because of this alone.

    I don't see Apple backing down at all on this and if you think cooler heads will prevail on this and customers will win you have another thing coming. If you want to tinker, build a Hackintosh or your own PC. This isn't the customer base Apple cares about. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 27
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,577member

    majorsl said:
    I would maybe take iFixit more seriously if they didn’t have a repair kit business where they sell tools to DIYers. Also they seem way more obsessed with Apple than any other consumer electronics manufacturer. Heck they fly people to Australia when a new Apple product launches so they can get a product and do the tear down right away. That’s ridiculous. That’s more about clicks than right to repair or concerns for the environment.
    Well, as someone who has purchased their products over the years for repair and saved myself thousands of dollars, bravo to them.  They are filling a niche that people want, and by the appearance of it, a lot of people want.

    Hey, if you only want Apple-blessed hands to touch your device, that's cool. For some of us, we can do it ourselves, and if the product is out of warranty and not really worth it to repair through the Apple-priests, we really have nothing to lose except a little time.
    Do you think Apple is the only one doing this? Ever try to get a Microsoft Surface repaired (of any model new or old)? Good luck! You have to send it to Microsoft to fix it. I only see more and more companies doing the same thing going forward. Its the same with soldered in RAM and storage. More and more companies are doing the same thing. 

    Quite honestly, the amount of people who do want to repair their own Mac or take it to a non-Apple Certified Service Center is very very very low so this is a non-issue for 99.9999999% of Apple's customer base. 
    edited October 6 watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 27
    majorslmajorsl Posts: 46unconfirmed, member
    macxpress said:

    majorsl said:
    I would maybe take iFixit more seriously if they didn’t have a repair kit business where they sell tools to DIYers. Also they seem way more obsessed with Apple than any other consumer electronics manufacturer. Heck they fly people to Australia when a new Apple product launches so they can get a product and do the tear down right away. That’s ridiculous. That’s more about clicks than right to repair or concerns for the environment.
    Well, as someone who has purchased their products over the years for repair and saved myself thousands of dollars, bravo to them.  They are filling a niche that people want, and by the appearance of it, a lot of people want.

    Hey, if you only want Apple-blessed hands to touch your device, that's cool. For some of us, we can do it ourselves, and if the product is out of warranty and not really worth it to repair through the Apple-priests, we really have nothing to lose except a little time.
    Do you think Apple is the only one doing this? Ever try to get a Microsoft Surface repaired (of any model new or old)? Good luck! You have to send it to Microsoft to fix it. I only see more and more companies doing the same thing going forward. Its the same with soldered in RAM and storage. More and more companies are doing the same thing. 

    Quite honestly, the amount of people who do want to repair their own Mac or take it to a non-Apple Certified Service Center is very very very low so this is a non-issue for 99.9999999% of Apple's customer base. 
    Well, maybe it is low, but anyone who uses percentages like that to backup their statement never gets much sway with me.  That's your opinion (and percentage claim), saying a number as a statement of fact doesn't make it so.

    I'm well aware of the problem that is the right to repair.  From car makers to even farm tractors. Corporations have adopted the model of renting (yearly software/storage subscriptions) to you not really owning, because you can't do what you like with your property, of these devices and equipment.

    But hey, like I said, if that's your thing, more power to you.  But it isn't everyone's cup of tea.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 17 of 27
    danvmdanvm Posts: 655member
    macxpress said:

    majorsl said:
    I would maybe take iFixit more seriously if they didn’t have a repair kit business where they sell tools to DIYers. Also they seem way more obsessed with Apple than any other consumer electronics manufacturer. Heck they fly people to Australia when a new Apple product launches so they can get a product and do the tear down right away. That’s ridiculous. That’s more about clicks than right to repair or concerns for the environment.
    Well, as someone who has purchased their products over the years for repair and saved myself thousands of dollars, bravo to them.  They are filling a niche that people want, and by the appearance of it, a lot of people want.

    Hey, if you only want Apple-blessed hands to touch your device, that's cool. For some of us, we can do it ourselves, and if the product is out of warranty and not really worth it to repair through the Apple-priests, we really have nothing to lose except a little time.
    Do you think Apple is the only one doing this? Ever try to get a Microsoft Surface repaired (of any model new or old)? Good luck! You have to send it to Microsoft to fix it. I only see more and more companies doing the same thing going forward. Its the same with soldered in RAM and storage. More and more companies are doing the same thing. 

    While MS and Apple do the same, there still vendors that are far more open.  For example, Lenovo business PCs, notebooks and workstation have user replaceable parts, with self encrypted hard drives.  They didn't sacrifice practicality for security or viceversa.  Would be nice if Apple would have done the same. 

    Quite honestly, the amount of people who do want to repair their own Mac or take it to a non-Apple Certified Service Center is very very very low so this is a non-issue for 99.9999999% of Apple's customer base.

    I think the answer is obvious, but just in case, do you make that number or do you have a link to an article or study that supports it?


  • Reply 18 of 27
    tyler82 said:
    $600 to repair an apple proprietary keyboard? Anybody that defends this is nuts.
    I was quoted $360 to replace the keyboard on a 3 year old mac book pro. Now its a brick and useless . Im never going to buy a mac again. Nice one apple, you just lost future revenue. Im sure im not the only one?
    jdwmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 19 of 27
    jdwjdw Posts: 632member
    I was quoted $360 to replace the keyboard on a 3 year old mac book pro. Now its a brick and useless . Im never going to buy a mac again. Nice one apple, you just lost future revenue. Im sure im not the only one?
    You're not the only one, Paul.  I myself will buy Macs again because I've been a Mac fan exclusively since my Mac 128k in 1984 and no member of my family would even ponder using silly Windows.  I doubt I will buy a MacBook Pro again.  Since 2016, Apple removed "Pro" from that line along with the SD card slot, USB-A, MagSafe, a good keyboard, the Apple glowing logo, and added uselessness like the Touch Bar.  But the point you make about Apple excessively charging for repairs (outside AppleCare) is sound.  That's why my YouTube videos about iMac video card repair consistently get comments from Mac lovers around the world thanking me for the advice.  (Some of us still keep our 2009 iMacs running to this day.)

    Mac users are not all a bunch of idiots like Mr. 99.9999999% implies.  Some of us actually expect to get 10 years of life out of our extremely expensive purchase; and sadly to do that, you'll need a repair at some point.  And to get a repair from Apple when AppleCare ends almost requires the selling of a kidney.  So I support you, Paul, and everyone else in your shoes.  I do not support the Cupertino worshippers in this forum who dare to ridicule their fellow Mac users only to defend Apple, the largest corporation in the world and with enough money and power to defend itself.  We Mac users need to stick up for each other and not tear down people for, well, "tear downs" or folks who want to either repair their Mac themselves or pay a quality third party to repair their Mac for a price lower than Apple would charge.  If Apple wants to lockdown its computers and make them impossible to repair outside Apple, fine.  They should do that on their iOS line of "computers" (which the iPhone and iPad really are).  But they should leave their "trucks" (Macs) repairable outside Apple.  For truly, when the Mac becomes as locked down a device as iOS devices are, I'm afraid they may lose me and all veteran Mac users like me.  I won't defect to stupid Windoze, but Apple may prompt me to join the Hackintosh crowd.  I don't think it's worth the trouble right now, but Apple could change my mind.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 20 of 27
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,577member
    Oh here we go...the 10 people who will as they say "NEVER" buy a Mac again. LOL you guys are hilarious! 
    watto_cobra
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