AppleCare changes may extend in-store repair options to iOS devices

AppleCare changes may extend in-store repair options for iOS devices

For a long time, the only devices Apple has ever extensively serviced in-store have been Macs, with some requiring mail-out repairs. If recent rumors are to be believed as true, Apple plans on extending in-store repair options to iOS devices. According to a report by AppleInsider, Apple will begin actually repairing iPhones and iPads in-store instead of swapping them out for replacement refurbished devices in the very near future.

Anyone who has ever taken a broken or defective iPhone or iPad into Apple is already aware that as it stands now, you will be given a replacement device in place of your current one. The fee is based on whether or not you're in or out of warranty and whether the issue is caused by accidental damage. Tara Bunch, a vice president for Apple, spoke in a Town Hall meeting on Thursday discussing changes to these current policies. An employee in attendance summed up some of the biggest policy changes:

"The biggest announcement, was the way repairs for iPhones will be handled soon," the person, who asked not to be identified due to their active status as an Apple employee, told AppleInsider. "The way it is now, if almost anything is wrong with an iPhone, iPod, or iPad, the entire device is exchanged for a like-new re manufactured (sic) device, whether brought into an apple store or sent in for mail in repair. Now we are starting to actually repair the products and return the same device to the customer."

The rumored changes, according to the source, could result in $1 billion a year in savings for Apple. As it sits right now, Apple only does simpler repairs on iOS devices in-house which include back glass replacements for the iPhone 4/4S for $29, iPhone 3G/3GS screen replacements for $99, and a few others that include the vibrator assembly in the GSM variant of the iPhone 4 and battery replacements. The cost of these repairs could be an indicator as of what is to come.

Back in September of 2012, iMore heard Apple would replace iPhone 5 screens for $99. While that never seemed to come to light, a lot of it was probably due to part constraint and the difficulty of obtaining replacement assemblies as most of the manufactured stock was going to new and replacement devices. We were told they weren't sure when it would go into affect but eventually, it would.

According to AppleInsider, the new policies are set to go begin this fall with international rollouts following suit afterwards.

Would you be content if Apple offered more repair options in-store instead of swapping out your device for a new one, considering it would most likely have a lower price tag attached? Or do you prefer paying a little bit of a premium for a new, if not just like new, replacement?

Source: AppleInsider

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

AppleCare changes may extend in-store repair options to iOS devices


Having had apple products for a number of years now, I will never, ever NOT buy Apple Care. In the 3 years I had a 3GS phone I think I replaced it 3 or 4 times with a "re-manufactured" unit which is all new outside parts but fixed and re-used inside parts at what seemed to be a hefty cost. Now when something goes wrong (and it always does) I get replacement for free. It's worth the $99.

If your device is lost or stolen, obviously "repairs" are not an option, so they'd still have to replace them. Is the price of Applecare going down, up, or remaining $99 with these changes? If the repair service doesn't cure the problem and the device comes back needing repairs, there shouldn't be any additional fees. Are we saying here that there will be NO device replacement at all, ever, or is it that Apple must make attempts at repair how many times before device replacement becomes an option?

Don't know. It's a rumor until apple confirms. I'm sure replacements would still happen. In certain scenarios like liquid damage, they'd have to.

I had gone to the Apple store this weekend with a dead home button on my iPhone 5. They tried replacing the button first and it did not fix it so they swapped out the phone for me, this was all done with in 1/2 hour.