Apple’s newer Mac computers come with the company’s T2 security enclave. This is a special chip that securely stores sensitive information about the user, like in the case of the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pros, it is where your fingerprint information is stored and protected using encryption.
The chip also helps to prevent hackers from hijacking your Mac’s microphone, but unfortunately there is a downside to this. Apple has confirmed to The Verge that the T2 chip will also block third-party repairs to Mac computers. The company does not go into detail as to what kind of repairs could be affected by the chip, which is basically to say that you’ll have to take that risk if you don’t want to send it to Apple for repair.
This corroborates a report from early last month which suggested that Apple will use proprietary software to disable newer Mac computers that have undergone third-party repairs. Basically this software is used to connect to Apple’s servers to verify that a repair has been made, and if there is no record of an official repair taking place, it could lock up the computer from further use.
We get where Apple is coming from, where the idea of the T2 chip is to prevent tampering and hacking. However at the same time, given how much the company charges for even the simplest of repairs that would take third-party shops a few minutes to fix, it’s not surprising that customers are seeking more affordable alternatives. There is a movement in recent times called the “right to repair” which seeks to make it a requirement for companies to provide official repair information and access to components to third-party repair shops.