Apple Confirms That the T2 Chip Blocks User Repairs

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by AlphaAtlas, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. AlphaAtlas

    AlphaAtlas [H]ard|Gawd Staff Member

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    Last month, we reported that Apple's "T2" chip would block repairs of Apple products, citing documents obtained by Motherboard. But iFixit got their hands on a Macbook Pro around that same time, and found that they could switch displays and logic boards without the T2 chip locking them out. However, users recently discovered that Linux won't boot on T2 enabled devices, and yesterday, Apple told the Verge that the T2 chip does block 3rd party repairs. So what gives? While Apple told The Verge that a logic board swap should require Apple authorization, they also said "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." In the words of iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens, the T2 chip is "'a guillotine that [Apple is] holding over product owners," and is something that they could activate at any time via a software update.

    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.
     
  2. prime2515102

    prime2515102 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yet another good reason not to buy a mac.
     
  3. capt_cope

    capt_cope Gawd

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    I'm betting it's a kill-switch that gets flipped when you take it to the "genius" bar and they tell you that the logic board is dead and needs to be replaced since the moisture indicators have gone off. I wonder if it'll also kill the attached display, battery, and keyboard, or if it'll only kill off the logic board. That would be a quick way to strangle off the gently used replacement parts third party shops rely on.
     
  4. jcollett69

    jcollett69 Limp Gawd

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    Why people continue to support this company is beyond me at this point.
     
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  5. CRaschNet

    CRaschNet Limp Gawd

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    I'm waiting for someone to come up with a virus/trojan that starts bricking all these Macs due to this dumb security feature.
     
  6. 1Nocturnal101

    1Nocturnal101 Gawd

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    Isn't this Illegal, laws and regulations prevent a company from sabotaging a product to keep customers from repairing their own device or having someone else do it, I mean they get around that by controlling the parts through a loophole. This however is actively blocking the Law and Regulation obligations. Even without Right to Repair laws there are multiple laws and regulations across states and the Federal Government. The FTC I believe has several guidelines against this behavior.
     
  7. JStamsek

    JStamsek [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It’s their product and they can do what they want as far as design. It’s the consumers choice to purchase.

    I have a MacBook Pro that I bought knowing I wouldn’t be able to repair or upgrade it.

    My desktop is a PC I built that I know I can fully tinker with.
     
  8. capt_cope

    capt_cope Gawd

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    And I'm sure Apple had dozens of lawyers figuring out exactly how to get around all of that "legally". They're not stupid, they just assume their customers are.
     
  9. Dekoth-E-

    Dekoth-E- [H]ardness Supreme

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    Actually, no they can't. There are laws in place to prevent what is anti-competitive and anti-consumer behavior and new ones being passed to patch up loopholes being used by companies like apple. Liking their products is fine, but this is extremely anti-consumer behavior and Apple fans should be standing up against this kind of shit.
     
  10. Nukester

    Nukester [H]ard|Gawd

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    I agree with the above about the legality of this. All products are supposed to be user serviceable. I own a shitload of Apple Products. Don't know if I'm going to continue down this road anymore. They keep raising the prices for products that aren't really much better anymore.
     
  11. m0nt3

    m0nt3 n00b

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  12. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    wait till you need a repair and then apple calls your hardware vintage.

    that's the rub, then not even they would fix it.

    fuck apple.
     
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  13. Trepidati0n

    Trepidati0n [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That is adorable.
     
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  14. Mut1ny

    Mut1ny [H]ard|Gawd

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    Because 99.9% of people don't know about any of this. Remember, just because we're geeks and pay attention somewhat doesn't mean the rest of the world does.

    Hopefully my explanation has brought your beyond-ness a bit closer in perspective.
     
  15. madpawn119

    madpawn119 n00b

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    Just give it time. I'm sure some script kiddie will do it.
     
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  16. zkostik

    zkostik Gawd

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    IMHO, not sure what IS a good reason to buy a Mac with so many choices around. I always talk to many people and despite all the woes and issues they still go and buy a Mac. I recently did a board level repair on a dead MBP13" with Touchbar, I think a 2017 model but slightly out of original warranty. The thing died all of a sudden and had no power or signs of life. Turned out one of the cpu voltage line caps on the top side of the mobo (side facing the keyboard) literally blew up and had a hole in it; it even burned through the plastic backing on the keyboard. IDK, maybe bad solder or something caused pressure from the keyboard to short the cap. From what I saw online for these, there are a lot of issues related to CPU voltage where nearly all no power problems are in some way related to this so I consider this extremely lucky that it was just one blown cap. It sure could have been worse but it took a considerable effort to figure out what value these caps are and find a part where not all stores had the one I needed (Mouser had it though). One of the most difficult parts was getting schematics for a newer product which is not easy and most sources want money for it before you can even see if it's the right one. It did work in the end but with SSD soldered to the motherboard there's no way to get the data out. Apple wanted $500 to just send it out to tell the person it's dead and they'd likely need to REPLACE the mobo so forget the data (so it costs almost like a replacement to repair the machine plus all data is lost). They didn't even offer any recovery method. Basically just like what Louis Rossmann says, you have to be able to repair the existing board to recover data. In my case no super tool were needed for this but in case of BGA chips and other electronics, you likely cannot replace them even if you had a donor board. With T2 chip likely a lot goes via AUTH so your board is stuck with that T2 chip much like TPM on Windows but it seems to a much greater extent. So the laptop is working now and I hope it will be their last Apple product, but time will tell. ;)
     
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  17. vegeta535

    vegeta535 2[H]4U

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    This. It is surprising how people in this site fail to understand this.
     
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  18. Armenius

    Armenius I Drive Myself to the [H]ospital

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    That isn't an excuse to throw one's rights out the window.
     
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  19. sadsteve

    sadsteve Gawd

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    "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."

    Isn't it Apples job to overcharge the customer?? :)
     
  20. liffie420

    liffie420 n00b

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    No of this should come as a surprise to ANYONE, Apple has been doing this for years, remember the chip embedded in the Lightning connector that preventing 3rd parties from building one? But the truth of the matter is that Apple will do ANYTHING it can to prevent 3rd parties from supporting or fixing or upgrading it's products. It wants you %100 dependent on the Apple Ecosystem.
     
  21. Dk975

    Dk975 Gawd

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    Never owned an Apple product and I never will. Talk about forced obsolescence. No wonder Apple found a way to recycle the aluminum because any little issue (like moisture) renders their devices useless, and difficult to get repaired. I watch Louis Rossman's YT channel, and see him repair so many of those Macbooks at a board level. I never hear of PC laptops needing to be repaired at the board level. I think all those Apple products are just too delicate and if you look at them wrong, they break.
     
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  22. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    Apple is probably betting that most customers will never challenge this and the few that do will settle for a new computer. The old cost of settlement < profits from policy equation. Given the recent ruling from the Librarian of Congress on bypassing protections against repair, could be interesting if someone has the pockets to push the legal point.
     
  23. collegeboy69us

    collegeboy69us [H]ardness Supreme

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    Apple: "Because: fuck em'"

    I had an original iphone, and iphone 3g. Went to android sometime in 2008 I believe. Never looked back :)
     
  24. JSumrall

    JSumrall Limp Gawd

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    It seems corporate management almost always seems to have the same train of thought, regardless of the era.

    This reminded me of AT&T back in the day. For the longest time they didn't want you to have the ability to connect anything to the phone network that wasn't directly sold by and supported by them for fear of the customer experience.

    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.

    Sounds almost the same to me.
     
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  25. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    I've felt the same way for years. They treat their customer's like retarded sheep and for some strange reason, those same customers let Apple get away with that time and time again.
     
  26. ryan_975

    ryan_975 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    No, it's not their product. They may have designed and built it. but once I've paid for it, it becomes my product. I should be able to damn well what I please with it.
     
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  27. Bobert

    Bobert Limp Gawd

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    Stockholm syndrome. :p
     
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  28. KrS

    KrS n00b

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    And these are the types of people that crapple prays on.

    I guess if you're buying their products, you get what you deserve.
     
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  29. DejaWiz

    DejaWiz Oracle of Unfortunate Truths

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    Wasn't there one created a long time ago?

    What's it called again?

    MacOS/iOS, I think...
     
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  30. Meeho

    Meeho [H]ardness Supreme

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    Every single Apple user deserves this.
     
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  31. katanaD

    katanaD [H]ard|Gawd

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    no.. its not. The "owners" are apple itself. end users simply purchase a license to use said product for a period of time.


    there is simply no other way to look at how apple treats consumers of their products. this is NOTHING new, yet it keeps coming up time and again like it is new.

    which really leave me scratching my head.. really?
     
  32. ZLoth

    ZLoth Gawd

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    The only proper response, in my opinion, is to not purchase Apple hardware products.

    From my vantagepoint, it amuses me that Apple now engages in the same practices that it has accused Microsoft doing in the past.... and gets away with it.
     
  33. Simmonz

    Simmonz 2[H]4U

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    If you were open to buying a Mac it's not like you were opposed to getting fucked over before this.
     
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  34. Zareek

    Zareek Limp Gawd

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    That's simply not true. Most people just don't know. They believe Apple's advertising BS. They think companies are not allowed to lie in their advertising. They won't find out until they bring their Mac to a 3rd party repair shop, probably Staples or Best Buy and the tech making minimum wage tells them they can't fix it. They have to go have an Apple store and have a fake genius look at it.
     
  35. XvMMvX

    XvMMvX [H]ard|Gawd

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    You are correct but like most on here fail to see the problem with servicing complex products.

    People take the product and try to do something to it which breaks the functionality and then want Apple to fix what they broke for free. Same with third party repairs, they will take it somewhere to fix the screen then they screw something else up. Now they want Apple to fix something that someone else broke... for free.

    Everyone does this if they have the brand and market strength to do it. Ever own a BMW? Mercedes?

    If you try and fix your ford truck, put an after market part, etc that causes something else to fail they will attempt to void your warranty too.

    It is also comical that you all think that Apple is the only company that tries this stuff.
     
  36. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    Actually, I think Apple's practices are and have been worse than Microsoft's for decades. Microsoft doesn't typically lock users out of buying their new OSes on older computers. In fact, Microsoft probably goes too far to accommodate users in this regard. Apple tries to tell people how to use the products purchased by their customers and they make everything to where it isn't user serviceable. You can't replace batteries in phones, etc.
     
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  37. ryan_975

    ryan_975 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I don't fail to see anything. I never said that I shouldn't suffer the consequences of poor decisions regarding what I buy. If I do something stupid and break my stuff, I have no expectation that any manufacturer will repair anything.

    I'm also well aware that Apple isn't the only company doing this crap. Some companies are far worse, like John Deere.
     
  38. Spidey329

    Spidey329 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I'm ok with a chip checking a component for authenticity (since some counterfeit components can be dangerous). This is similar to the authentication stickers w/ barcodes you plug into manufacturer sites to verify they're legit - just automated. It's a decent counterfeit measure. The problem I have is when it renders the product obsolete/inoperable.

    The most this chip should do is A) list the flagged components on boot-up and/or B) list the flagged components in an easily accessible OS menu. Possibly a periodic nag message.

    This way responsible repair shops can show customers the validated part after repair and consumers can be educated in looking for such a thing.

    Anything else is just an attempt to control the second-hand market by skirting the right-to-repair laws.
     
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  39. Meeho

    Meeho [H]ardness Supreme

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    Paying or not has nothing to do with this.

    They do nothing similar.
    This is not about voiding warranty. My car won't refuse to start because it detects an aftermarket filter.

    And, btw, car manufacturers can't void your warranty just because you didn't use an OEM part, at least in Europe.
     
  40. ryan_975

    ryan_975 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    They can't here either, but that doesn't mean they don't try. Anymore if you replace any electronic module yourself, you have to take it to a dealer and pay them to have it programmed or your car won't work right (including not starting).