Late last month, Apple wrapped its annual October hardware event where it unveiled the new iPad Pros, new MacBook Air 2018 and a revamped Mac mini. Just like last year’s MacBook Pro, the new MacBook Air also comes with the company’s newest security-focused T2 chip. Acting as a co-processor, this new chip enables for some of the advanced features on new Macs.
One of the features that this T2 chip brings is Touch ID, enabling you to scan the fingerprint to unlock your Mac, and also pay for purchases made on App Store. However, the introduction of this chip also brings new concerns with Apple trying to lock down its devices from third-party repairs.
Watch: Apple MacBook Air 2018 Hands-on
With the recently revised repair process, only authorized replacement parts will work with a T2-equipped Mac, Apple confirmed to The Verge. So, when critical hardware like the logic board or Touch ID module is replaced, the T2 chip makes the Mac inoperable until the repair facility runs the specialized diagnostics software. However, Apple did not offer a list of repairs that will require this software.
The team behind iFixit did not encounter any issues with lockdowns when repairing a MacBook Pro. This could suggest that T2’s enforcement may cover only certain circumstances, while most repairs may not even need the tool.
“It’s very possible the goal is to exert more control over who can perform repairs by limiting access to parts. This could be an attempt to grab more market share from the independent repair providers. Or it could be a threat to keep their authorized network in line. We just don’t know,” iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens told The Verge.