Apple’s Informal Free Replacement Policy To End With AppleCare+


Apple’s generous replacement policy has been appreciated by a number of people who got their damaged products replaced for free, without any hassle. With Apple’s introduction of AppleCare+, this informal free replacement policy is going to end soon, reports MacRumors.

The newly introduced AppleCare+ would be available for $99 to all iPhone users. It replaces the previous $69 AppleCare, and extends the warranty period to two years even covering accidental damage to iPhones. The AppleCare+ page on Apple’s website says:

AppleCare+provides repair or replacement coverage, both parts and labor, from Apple-authorized technicians. Service coverage includes the following:

  • Your iPhone
  • Battery
  • Included earphones and accessories
  • Coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage from handling, each subject to a $49 service fee.

One Apple retail store source has told Mac Rumors that Apple Store Geniuses no longer have the freedom to replace damaged iPhones as a one time exception, unless the iPhone is covered under AppleCare+.

In addition to scrapping the informal free replacement policy, Apple now requires all customers wanting to buy AppleCare+, to do so right at the time the device is purchased. The problem is that not all resellers/carriers provide the user an option of purchasing AppleCare+. In case you’re one of the people who plan to buy an iPhone or pre-ordered your iPhone 4S through a source other than Apple, be sure to have a word with your nearest Apple Store regarding AppleCare+ before unboxing.

In case a damaged device isn’t insured under AppleCare+, Apple would charge the standard $199 replacement fee and would also offer a $50 discount on AppleCare+ for the replacement.

MacRumors’ source didn’t say anything about the policy being extended to Macs.

Do you have any of your own replacement stories to share with us, either positive or negative?

[via MacRumors]

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  • Key

    can pretty much do anything (except water damaage) through – i replaced my front glass panel with a $40 replacement.

  • Nick

    Are current iPhone owners who are not upgrading going to be able to purchase Applecare+? Or will we have to wait until we break our phones and pay the 199$ fee plus the reduced 50$ for the Applecare+ plan?

  • Apple replaced my iPad 2 when a relative of mine dropped it and broke the glass. We drove 2 hours to visit the Apple Store. I bought a MacBook Air a week later. True story. Sad to see this being phased out. iPhone 4S is in Alaska.

  • Apple

    We are going to SCREW the customers now!! HAHAHAA since Steve Bjob is gone!

    • moe

      true that. so sad that just cuz the man with a heart of gold leaves his golden company and it turns to shit.

    • Apple’s exchange policy has been too relaxed and people have been taking advantage of it. Blame those people for this. If you compare their exchange policy to other companies, you’ll find that it’s still the best.

  • Pangicide

    Let’s scapegoat Tim Cook for allowing to happen!! Booooooooooo…

    It’s not like you selling millions and millions of iPhones, and make that much money, anyway. I guess it doesn’t bother us to charge us an extra 30 dollars plus replacement fees. Please, take my first child, too.

  • InlineR

    You guys are over reacting, tell me any other cell phone company that would replace your phone on the spot if indeed it was a manufactures defect.. Apple stores are great one on one personal service and most problems are fixed with a short genius bar visit.

  • Answer

    Out of 6 iPhone 4 I’ve used, 4 of them were replaced and one was replaced twice. They had service phones in stock but none to sell when it first came out? They knew there was a high defective rate so they kept people quiet by replacing them. Nobody complains when they get a new one at no cost right? They’ve probably worked out the kinks in the 4s so they don’t need to offer a free replacement anymore. Seriously, did you have yours replaced before or know of someone who did?

  • Ros

    applecare+ replacement would cost 149$, while no applecare would cost 199?

    a 50$ difference? one better to take his chances..

    • RH

      An intelligent comment.

    • Code blue

      I think with apple+ u get a new iPhone … But with out apple+ u get a Refurbished one. At least that’s how I thought it worked, If anyone can confirm this that would help.

      My refurbished iPhone 3GS had no problems and was like new anyway.

  • Paul

    Steve is gone for a few days and apple is already going south :/

  • Dewayne

    I cracked the screen on my iPad 2. I took it to the Apple store and they replaced it absolutely free……no questions asked! How can I complain about that!

  • Kray-Z

    Im both happy and sad about this. When I first bought the iPhone guy told me that the apple care plan would cover this new “gorilla glass” for the iPhone 4. When my back glass broke they told me this was incorrect and replaced it for 30 bucks which wasn’t bad. Broke a second time so i went back to replace it again and ask to get a prorated refund on my apple care plan since it didn’t do what I bought it for, he offered me a new phone (awesome) good cuz i didn’t have to pay anything other than the care plan bad cuz its a crap shot on whether they do it or not. So its nice to have the security with this new plan, but you said there is a 50 buck deductible along with the extra price for the new care plan??? that’s not cool…

  • Tom

    WARNING This is USA policy. AppleCare for 4S in UK doesn’t include accidental damage at all so it is pretty worthless.

  • fas

    Oh common Apple, you have 76 billion, dont behave like this.

  • G rod

    This is not true. The phones still have a one year limited warranty as always. They cannot charge you for warranty replacement or else it wouldn’t be a warranty. Look on your preorder receipt. 1 year warranty that covers charger,cable,phone, earbuds etc. Macrumors doesn’t know wtf they are talking about

  • G rod

    And seeing as a general rule apple comes out with a new phone annually I’m always under warranty. Every year I’ve always sold my old iPhone on eBay and made enough to buy the new one. New phone every year for free and always under warranty. Not a bad gig

  • Eugene Tamura

    My daughter dropped her ipad2 and shattered the glass and we took it to the Apple Store and they replaced the unit for free no questions asked. I was in another Apple Store a few weeks later and a Genius Bar tech noticed that I had a small crack in the glass of my iphone 4 and he asked if I wanted a new one. I said really? YES PLEASE and he gave me a new one no questions asked. Sorry to see this policy go.

  • GoodMoney

    “It replaces the previous $69 AppleCare, and extends the warranty period to two years even covering accidental damage to iPhones.”

    They state here that it extends the warranty to two years… how don’t they know what they’re talking about? But on two your second comment… for guys like you and myself who grab the news phones annually we’re alwats covered… at no additional cost lol.

  • GoodMoney

    I’m not fixing my typos—- just creating another reply acknowledging them.