Apple launches vintage repair pilot program to fix aging iPhones, MacBooks and more

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Apple is introducing a new “Repair Vintage Apple Products Pilot” program that will extend the period of time customers can receive repairs for older devices, according to sources familiar with the initiative. The new program at first will include the iPhone 5 and other Apple products that are about to become obsolete, and in the coming weeks will add more products to the list for devices that previously lost repair support.

Of note, the list also includes the 5+ year old Mid-2012 MacBook Air models following the introduction of an updated MacBook Air at the company’s event earlier this week.

The full list of devices that currently fall under Apple’s new program include:

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  • iPhone 5 (GSM/CDMA)
  • MacBook Air (11 inch, Mid 2012)
  • MacBook Air (13 inch, Mid 2012)
  • iMac (21.5 inch, Mid 2011) – US and Turkey only
  • iMac (27 inch, Mid 2011) – US and Turkey only

Apple will also soon add more devices including the iPhone 4s and MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012) on Nov, 30, 2018. That will be followed by the MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2012), MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2013), MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012), Mac Pro (Mid 2012), and iPhone 5 (GSM) on December, 30, 2018. The program covers the devices above at Apple stores and authorized service providers worldwide unless otherwise noted.

Apple has long had a 5-7 year lifespan for repairing its products, meaning that owners of an iPhone, iPad or Mac can have repairs performed through Apple or an authorized service provider even when not under warranty. Usually after 5-7 years, products are then classified as “vintage” or “obsolete” (depending on the country and local laws) and Apple staff no longer offers parts or repairs. The company maintains a list of products that are classified as vintage and obsolete on its website.

For the new Pilot program, Apple will only be offering repairs for vintage devices based on part availability. Otherwise customers will be told that inventory isn’t available because the product is considered vintage. So the new program doesn’t guarantee you a repair, but it’s a nice change from Apple’s previous policy where it stopped offering repairs entirely after classifying devices as vintage.


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