Apple will brick your iMac Pro or MacBook Pro if you try to repair it yourself
Hit me baby one more time.
The best part about paying several thousand dollars for a computer is never being able to repair it yourself. At least, that’s the sentiment that Apple hopes you feel with this latest closed ecosystem news. According to an internal Apple document snagged by MacRumors, it appears that trying to repair your iMac Pro or 2018 MacBook Pro yourself or through a third-party repair service will result in an inoperable system. Fantastic news for MacBook users who abhor lingering in the stale air and condescending polo shirt atmosphere of an Apple store.
The document states that because of the security features of the Apple T2 chip, in order for a machine to be functional post-repair, it must pass Apple diagnostics, part of the Apple Service Toolkit. That means that only an Apple Authorized Service Provider can repair the machine. Similar to luxury cars, it appears that Apple fancies itself too complex or classy for you savages to dare open up its machines — even if you fucking own it — for repair.
If I own it, I should be able to tinker with it
This applies to any repairs on the MacBook Pro involving the display, logic board, touch ID, keyboard, battery, trackpad, and speakers. For the iMac Pro, owned by three graphic designers who prefer to use Surface Laptops anyway, it only applies to the logic board and flash storage repairs, something most people aren’t mucking around with anyway. For the price of the iMac Pro, paying for repairs from an authorized Apple vendor is already part of the plan.
Apple has proven, through its continued insistence that it has re-invented pretty much every technical spec of its phones and computers, that it prefers to remain a closed ecosystem only accessible by the lucky few. It has made no strides to make its hardware more accessible or upgradable or repairable by the common man — even if you fucking own the thing(s). If one owns a piece of technology outright, one expects to be able to repair or tinker with that piece of technology without it requiring some white glove prick to authorize the repair.
Apple and future right-to-repair legislation
Apple doesn’t want you heading to YouTube to watch a video on how to repair your device. It wants you paying a premium to stay trapped in its ecosystem. Why? If you break it, and you probably will, you’ll have to buy a new one. Not everyone is adept at repairs. Plus, this move once again hampers third-party repair services, which are more available to more people than a freaking Apple store.
Plus, what happens when your devices are obsolete but you are still using them? I’m typing this on an eight-year-old Lenovo laptop, of which I’ve replaced many parts. It’s obsolete as far as the manufacturing is concerned, but with new parts, it’s still quite usable. Plus, it was a whole hell of a lot cheaper than any laptop that Apple puts out.
Obsolete Apple devices (every year when it comes to phones) will no longer have a support network for repairs. That would kind of suck, but most of you are already trapped and committed to the Apple ecosystem, buying a new phone every year, so this news might just be a shrug. Right-to-repair is important for users, as we move further into technology owning every aspect of our lives, but Apple seems to think only it has the right — not you.
We’ve reached out to the company for comments, and will update accordingly.
What do you think of Apple’s decisions? Let us know in the comments.
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