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Apple is no longer engraving replacement iPods

iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle
iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple offers a free engraving service for some of its products.
  • iPods have been engraved for years.
  • But if you get one replaced, it won't be engraved a second time.

Apple has told its stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers that it will no longer engrave replacement iPod devices, regardless of whether they were engraved the first time around.

According to an internal memo picked up by MacRumors, anyone receiving a replacement iPod will have to live without whatever pithy engraving they had on there

In other words, if you have a damaged iPod touch, iPod nano, iPod shuffle, or iPod classic with an engraved message on it, and an Apple technician determines that the entire device needs to be replaced, Apple will simply provide customers with a non-engraved replacement from its repair inventory.

This means that instead of Apple shipping out a new, re-engraved product from China, users will simply get a white box device from Apple's inventory.

Oddly, this only seems to apply to the iPod, including the iPod touch. Anyone with an engraved iPad will still get another engraved one should it need to be replaced rather than repaired.

It isn't clear why Apple has made this decision, but it does seem a strange one.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.