Apple confirms its T2 security chip blocks some third-party repairs of new Macs

Apple’s annual October hardware event wrapped late last month with the announcements of a new MacBook Air and a revamped Mac mini. Both computers, like the newest MacBook Pro and last year’s iMac Pro, come equipped with Apple’s security-focused T2 chip. The T2 chip, which acts as a co-processor, is the secret to many of Apple’s newest and most advanced features. However, its introduction into more computers and the likelihood that it becomes commonplace in every Mac going forward has renewed concerns that Apple is trying to further lock down its devices from third-party repair services.

The T2 is “a guillotine that [Apple is] holding over” product owners, iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens told The Verge over email. That’s because it’s the key to locking down Mac products by only allowing select replacement parts into the machine when they’ve come from an authorized source — a process that the T2 chip now checks for during post-repair reboot. “It’s very possible the goal is to exert more control over who can perform repairs by limiting access to parts,” Wiens said. “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.”

Apple confirmed to The Verge that this is the case for repairs involving certain components on newer Macs, like the logic board and Touch ID sensor, which is the first time the company has publicly acknowledged the tool’s use. But Apple could not provide a list of repairs that required this or what devices were affected. It also couldn’t say whether it began this protocol with the iMac Pro’s introduction last year or if it’s a new policy instituted recently.

The T2 is a custom-designed component that performs, among other tasks, processing for Touch ID fingerprint data. It also stores the cryptographic keys necessary to securely boot the machines it runs on. Apple says the chip is critical to new features, too, such as enabling the MacBook Pro to respond to “Hey Siri” requests without requiring you to press a button. It also prevents its laptop microphones from being remotely operated by hackers when the lid of the device is closed. Effectively, the T2 chip is capable of communicating with other components in order to perform some of the most important and sophisticated tasks modern Macs are capable of.

But recent revelations about the T2 have Apple critics concerned that it could be used to further shut out DIY enthusiasts and third-party repair services. First revealed last month by MacRumors and Motherboard, both of which got their hands on an internal Apple document, the T2 chip could render a computer inoperable if, say, the logic board is replaced, unless the chip recognizes a special piece of diagnostic software has been run. That means if you wanted to repair certain key parts of your MacBook, iMac, or Mac mini, you would need to go to an official Apple Store or a repair shop that’s part of the company’s Authorized Service Provider (ASP) network. If you want to repair or rebuild portions of those devices on your own, you simply can’t — at least, according to this document.

Photo: iFixit

The parts affected, according to the document, are the display assembly, logic board, top case, and Touch ID board for the MacBook Pro, and the logic board and flash storage on the iMac Pro. It is also likely that logic board repairs on the new MacBook Air and Mac mini are affected, as well as the Mac mini’s flash storage. Yet, the document, which is believed to have been distributed earlier this year, does not mention those products because they were unannounced at the time.

Regardless, to replace those parts, a technician would need to run what’s known as the AST 2 System Configuration suite, which Apple only distributes to Apple Stores and certified ASPs. So DIY shops and those out of the Apple network would be out of luck. As the document puts it:

For Macs with the Apple T2 chip, the repair process is not complete for certain parts replacements until the AST 2 System Configuration suite has been run. Failure to perform this step will result in an inoperative system and an incomplete repair.

But complicating matters, it was unclear if this “kill switch” was active as of last month. The teardown experts at iFixit, who are also staunch right-to-repair advocates, bought a new 2018 MacBook Pro and discovered that they could still replace its display with one from a unit they bought over the summer. “To our surprise, the displays and MacBooks functioned normally in every combination we tried. We also updated to Mojave and swapped logic boards with the same results,” iFixit’s Adam O’Comb wrote in a blog post.

Apple confirmed to The Verge that the display assembly should not require the diagnostic tool, but it is unclear why iFixit was able to swap logic boards and still boot the machines. One possible explanation is that iFixit used components already validated by Apple, and the diagnostic tool may only be required for brand-new, unused components.

iFixit speculates that the software could be a mechanism for checking that third-party repair shops are using the correct components and not overcharging customers and using cheaper parts to make money on the side. It could also be for calibration purposes. But O’Comb says that Apple may want to have more end-to-end control over how Mac computers are repaired, what parts are used, and how much those repairs cost the customer.

Making all of this function is the T2 chip, a now-integral part of the Mac hardware and software ecosystem that Apple says enables all sorts of critical security functions. In that sense, running the software diagnostic suite on T2-equipped devices could simply be a way to ensure that all of the security-focused features enabled by the chip remain intact after repairs of, say, the logic board on the iMac Pro or the Touch ID board on the MacBook Pro. It’s certainly reasonable, but Apple’s lack of clarity on when, why, and to what extent it instituted the diagnostic tool requirement has led to confusion and concern.

Apple says that a vast majority of repairs can be conducted without needing the tool, and it’s certainly true that most Mac owners will never be in the position of needing to replace a logic board or Touch ID sensor on their own. Both components are parts Apple says only it distributes, while solid state drives on most modern Macs, like the new Mac mini, are not user replaceable because they are soldered either to other components or the housing unit.

So while Apple may not have initiated this protocol for all T2-equipped devices or simply doesn’t require it on used parts, as iFixit’s demonstrations made clear, the company’s confirmation that it nonetheless requires some form of proprietary software may add more fuel to the long-simmering repairability debate. Critics, with iFixit among the most vocal, have knocked Apple in the past for how its environmental and reusability pledges square with the reality of its repair practices and the longevity of its devices.

Onstage at its event, Apple touted the new MacBook Air and Mac mini as the first products to be made of recycled aluminum. It was also reported that Apple is planning an expansion of its repair services to include a “vintage” option for older devices, like the iPhone 4S and 2012 MacBook Pro, that have since been removed from repair eligibility. Additionally, Apple appears to have made the new MacBook Air’s battery more easily replaceable and allowed 2018 Mac mini owners to replace the RAM on the new machine, a change from the 2014 model.

Broken cracked iphone stock

Yet Apple devices remain among the hardest in the industry to repair due to custom screws, unibody enclosures, and manufacturing decisions that make removing certain components needlessly difficult. The end result is that a vast majority of iPhone and Mac owners are reliant on Apple or members of its trusted repair network to get devices fixed or to reuse old ones. That’s an issue if you don’t live near an Apple Store or one of its authorized providers, but it’s also an issue because Apple-provided repairs tend to be more expensive than third-party ones, and a lack of any meaningful competition may lead to higher prices down the road.

The company is also opposed to right-to-repair legislation that would mandate it make instructions and tools available to DIY hobbyists and out-of-network third-party repair shops. Inevitably, because of this attitude, Apple owners may be more likely to simply buy a new device instead of repairing a current one or refurbishing an old one, something environmental advocates fear could complicating efforts to reduce e-waste.

Apple can only reuse so much of a device, with the rest being recycled, but it still must source a finite amount of minerals and other key elements that end up going into the production of phones and computers. And the technology industry, of which Apple is just the most visible player and certainly not the biggest or only offender, has been accelerating its production of new devices over the last decade.

Of course, the debate around iPhone repairability is much more complex than that of Macs. Customers tend to replace phones more often than computers, and there are a number of incentivizes — like Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program and the fact that smartphone batteries degrade — that encourage the more frequent buying of new phones. A MacBook Pro owner is much more likely to get their laptop repaired, even if it requires shipping it off to Apple for two weeks, then they are to toss out the computer and buy a new one.

Still, with the existence of the T2 diagnostic requirement, Macs could soon become even harder to repair than they already are, and iFixit’s Wiens says that, whatever the motivator, requiring you only go through Apple’s network could have negative consequences for all parties involved. “It would be a very dangerous precedent, and might bring things into legal jeopardy,” he said.

Wiens made note of how Error 53, which bricked iPhones using third-party components, forced Apple to develop a fix for the issue. The Australian government fined the company $6.6 million when Apple Store employees informed users that their bricked phones were pretty much unrecoverable. Similarly, last year’s battery slowdown fiasco, in which it was revealed Apple throttled older iPhones to prevent accidental shutdowns, led to discount battery replacements for the last 12 months and a congressional inquiry.

“If they do this, it will dramatically increase the likelihood that right to repair legislation passes and forces them to reverse course,” Wiens said, referring to Apple requiring the diagnostic tool on all future logic board and Touch ID replacements. “Locking down repairs is bad for consumers, bad for the environment, and bad for Apple.”

Please follow and like us:
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Privacy Policy is committed to safeguarding your privacy. Contact us at if you have any questions or problems regarding the use of your Personal Data and we will gladly assist you.

By using this site or/and our services, you consent to the Processing of your Personal Data as described in this Privacy Policy.

Table of Contents

  1. Definitions used in this Policy
  2. Data protection principles we follow
  3. What rights do you have regarding your Personal Data
  4. What Personal Data we gather about you
  5. How we use your Personal Data
  6. Who else has access to your Personal Data
  7. How we secure your data
  8. Information about cookies
  9. Contact information


Personal Data – any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.
Processing – any operation or set of operations which is performed on Personal Data or on sets of Personal Data.
Data subject – a natural person whose Personal Data is being Processed.
Child – a natural person under 16 years of age.
We/us (either capitalized or not)

2.Data Protection Principles

We promise to follow the following data protection principles:

  • Processing is lawful, fair, transparent. Our Processing activities have lawful grounds. We always consider your rights before Processing Personal Data. We will provide you information regarding Processing upon request.
  • Processing is limited to the purpose. Our Processing activities fit the purpose for which Personal Data was gathered.
  • Processing is done with minimal data. We only gather and Process the minimal amount of Personal Data required for any purpose.
  • Processing is limited with a time period. We will not store your personal data for longer than needed.
  • We will do our best to ensure the accuracy of data.
  • We will do our best to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of data.

3.Data Subject’s rights

The Data Subject has the following rights:

  1. Right to information – meaning you have to right to know whether your Personal Data is being processed; what data is gathered, from where it is obtained and why and by whom it is processed.
  2. Right to access – meaning you have the right to access the data collected from/about you. This includes your right to request and obtain a copy of your Personal Data gathered.
  3. Right to rectification – meaning you have the right to request rectification or erasure of your Personal Data that is inaccurate or incomplete.
  4. Right to erasure – meaning in certain circumstances you can request for your Personal Data to be erased from our records.
  5. Right to restrict processing – meaning where certain conditions apply, you have the right to restrict the Processing of your Personal Data.
  6. Right to object to processing – meaning in certain cases you have the right to object to Processing of your Personal Data, for example in the case of direct marketing.
  7. Right to object to automated Processing – meaning you have the right to object to automated Processing, including profiling; and not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated Processing. This right you can exercise whenever there is an outcome of the profiling that produces legal effects concerning or significantly affecting you.
  8. Right to data portability – you have the right to obtain your Personal Data in a machine-readable format or if it is feasible, as a direct transfer from one Processor to another.
  9. Right to lodge a complaint – in the event that we refuse your request under the Rights of Access, we will provide you with a reason as to why. If you are not satisfied with the way your request has been handled please contact us.
  10. Right for the help of supervisory authority – meaning you have the right for the help of a supervisory authority and the right for other legal remedies such as claiming damages.
  11. Right to withdraw consent – you have the right withdraw any given consent for Processing of your Personal Data.

4.Data we gather

Information you have provided us with
This might be your e-mail address, name, billing address, home address etc – mainly information that is necessary for delivering you a product/service or to enhance your customer experience with us. We save the information you provide us with in order for you to comment or perform other activities on the website. This information includes, for example, your name and e-mail address.

Information automatically collected about you
This includes information that is automatically stored by cookies and other session tools. For example, your shopping cart information, your IP address, your shopping history (if there is any) etc. This information is used to improve your customer experience. When you use our services or look at the contents of our website, your activities may be logged.

Information from our partners
We gather information from our trusted partners with confirmation that they have legal grounds to share that information with us. This is either information you have provided them directly with or that they have gathered about you on other legal grounds. See the list of our partners here.

Publicly available information
We might gather information about you that is publicly available.

5.How we use your Personal Data

We use your Personal Data in order to:

  • provide our service to you. This includes for example registering your account; providing you with other products and services that you have requested; providing you with promotional items at your request and communicating with you in relation to those products and services; communicating and interacting with you; and notifying you of changes to any services.
  • enhance your customer experience;
  • fulfil an obligation under law or contract;

We use your Personal Data on legitimate grounds and/or with your Consent.

On the grounds of entering into a contract or fulfilling contractual obligations, we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to identify you;
  • to provide you a service or to send/offer you a product;
  • to communicate either for sales or invoicing;

On the ground of legitimate interest, we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to send you personalized offers* (from us and/or our carefully selected partners);
  • to administer and analyse our client base (purchasing behaviour and history) in order to improve the quality, variety, and availability of products/ services offered/provided;
  • to conduct questionnaires concerning client satisfaction;

As long as you have not informed us otherwise, we consider offering you products/services that are similar or same to your purchasing history/browsing behaviour to be our legitimate interest.

With your consent we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to send you newsletters and campaign offers (from us and/or our carefully selected partners);
  • for other purposes we have asked your consent for;

We Process your Personal Data in order to fulfil obligation rising from law and/or use your Personal Data for options provided by law. We reserve the right to anonymise Personal Data gathered and to use any such data. We will use data outside the scope of this Policy only when it is anonymised. We save your billing information and other information gathered about you for as long as needed for accounting purposes or other obligations deriving from law, but not longer than 1 year.

We might process your Personal Data for additional purposes that are not mentioned here, but are compatible with the original purpose for which the data was gathered. To do this, we will ensure that:

  • the link between purposes, context and nature of Personal Data is suitable for further Processing;
  • the further Processing would not harm your interests and
  • there would be appropriate safeguard for Processing.

We will inform you of any further Processing and purposes.

6.Who else can access your Personal Data

We do not share your Personal Data with strangers. Personal Data about you is in some cases provided to our trusted partners in order to either make providing the service to you possible or to enhance your customer experience. We share your data with:

Our processing partners:


Our business partners:


Connected third parties:


We only work with Processing partners who are able to ensure adequate level of protection to your Personal Data. We disclose your Personal Data to third parties or public officials when we are legally obliged to do so. We might disclose your Personal Data to third parties if you have consented to it or if there are other legal grounds for it.

7.How we secure your data

We do our best to keep your Personal Data safe. We use safe protocols for communication and transferring data (such as HTTPS). We use anonymising and pseudonymising where suitable. We monitor our systems for possible vulnerabilities and attacks.

Even though we try our best we can not guarantee the security of information. However, we promise to notify suitable authorities of data breaches. We will also notify you if there is a threat to your rights or interests. We will do everything we reasonably can to prevent security breaches and to assist authorities should any breaches occur.

If you have an account with us, note that you have to keep your username and password secret.


We do not intend to collect or knowingly collect information from children. We do not target children with our services.

8.Cookies and other technologies we use

We use cookies and/or similar technologies to analyse customer behaviour, administer the website, track users’ movements, and to collect information about users. This is done in order to personalise and enhance your experience with us.

A cookie is a tiny text file stored on your computer. Cookies store information that is used to help make sites work. Only we can access the cookies created by our website. You can control your cookies at the browser level. Choosing to disable cookies may hinder your use of certain functions.

We use cookies for the following purposes:

  • Necessary cookies – these cookies are required for you to be able to use some important features on our website, such as logging in. These cookies don’t collect any personal information.
  • Functionality cookies – these cookies provide functionality that makes using our service more convenient and makes providing more personalised features possible. For example, they might remember your name and e-mail in comment forms so you don’t have to re-enter this information next time when commenting.
  • Analytics cookies – these cookies are used to track the use and performance of our website and services
  • Advertising cookies – these cookies are used to deliver advertisements that are relevant to you and to your interests. In addition, they are used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement. They are usually placed to the website by advertising networks with the website operator’s permission. These cookies remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation.

You can remove cookies stored in your computer via your browser settings. Alternatively, you can control some 3rd party cookies by using a privacy enhancement platform such as or For more information about cookies, visit

We use Google Analytics to measure traffic on our website. Google has their own Privacy Policy which you can review here. If you’d like to opt out of tracking by Google Analytics, visit the Google Analytics opt-out page.

Read more about cookies on our Cookie Policy

Contact Information

Micro Entreprise
20 B Rue Jéan Jaurès
59227 SAULZOIR, France

Reg.Nr; R.C.S Douai FR Siret : 539 961 276


Read More About Us

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to make change to this Privacy Policy.

You can configure your Internet browser, by changing its options, to stop accepting cookies completely or to prompt you before accepting a cookie from the website you visit. If you do not accept cookies, however, you may not be able to use all portions of the OnappShop Websites or all functionality of the Services.

Please note that disabling these technologies may interfere with the performance and features of the Services.

You may also disable cookies on the OnAppShop Sites by modifying your settings here:

Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.

Last Update: May 25, 2018

Please follow and like us: