MANILA, Philippines – New Macbook owners may soon be forced to send their laptops to Apple service centers next time they need repairs as the company may be implementing software locks that will prevent independent and third party repairs.
According to the internal documents obtained by Motherboard, the new system will render Macbooks inoperative unless an authorized Apple employee runs a diagnostic software called Apple Service Toolkit 2 when parts of the system is replaced.
The policy only applies to Apple computers with the “T2” security chip present in 2018 Macbook Pros and iMac Pros. This likely means that older Macbooks are safe from the new system.
The software lock will activate in Macbook Pros when the display assembly, logic board, keyboard, touchpad, internal housing, and Touch ID board are touched or replaced during repair. iMac Pros, meanwhile, will lock if the logic board or flash storage are replaced.
The proprietary software Apple Service Toolkit and Apple Service Toolkit 2 ensure the computer is functioning properly by checking the system’s memory, display, power adapters, and other aspects of the computer.
It is only available to people working for Apple-authorized service facilities as it can only function if it connects to Apple’s Global Service Exchange (GSX), the cloud-based server that Apple uses to handle repairs which requires a login.
Apple has yet to issue a statement regarding the report nor when it may become operational, but according to a test by do-it-yourself repair site iFixit, the software isn't operational yet. The site tested the so-called “killswitch” by swapping its display, and it reported that the laptop didn't get locked. – Rappler.com