The directive, obtained by MacRumors, states that Apple Authorized Service Providers will be strictly required to use Apple-provided memory modules. Apple says RAM removal and installation requires the use of a special fixture and stiffeners, or else there is a risk of damaging the iMac Pro's logic board.
At a recent iMac Pro media briefing, Apple reportedly said that Apple Stores will also be able to upgrade an iMac Pro's RAM, and while that may be true, Apple's internal memo does not explicitly mention that detail.
The memo instead states that only Apple Authorized Service Providers will be able to upgrade an iMac Pro's RAM, while repairs that don't involve increasing the amount of memory will be available at all Mac service locations, including Apple Stores. The exact policy may vary by country.
The wording suggests that Apple might only repair an iMac Pro's RAM in its stores, and direct customers to an Apple Authorized Service Provider like Simply Mac if they want to upgrade the RAM, but it's not entirely clear. We've reached out to Apple for clarification, and we'll update if we hear back.
Apple's internal memo adds that Apple Authorized Service Providers will be able to begin iMac Pro main logic board and SSD repairs in February, when service-related inventory of those parts will be more widely available.
You can find an Apple Authorized Service Provider in your area by clicking Service & Support on Apple's Find Locations page.
While standard 27-inch iMac models have a small hatch on their back side that allows the RAM in the machine to be upgraded after purchase, the iMac Pro does not have that feature and is not user upgradeable by Apple's definition.
However, the teardown gurus at iFixit recently confirmed that the iMac Pro's RAM, CPU, and SSD can be upgraded, but the computer must be fully disassembled, and doing so can be rather tricky and technically voids your warranty with Apple. iFixit sells a RAM upgrade kit for the iMac Pro for $1,999.99.
When ordering the iMac Pro from Apple's website, the iMac Pro can be configured with 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of 2,666MHz DDR4 ECC memory, and this should be carefully considered. 32GB is included in the base model for $4,999, while upgrading to 64GB and 128GB RAM costs $800 and $2,400 extra respectively.