applecare

Apple reportedly held a town hall session with its employees this week to discuss some significant changes coming to its AppleCare warranty service. The new policies are expected to start rolling out in the US ‘very soon,’ and international shortly after.

So what’s going to be different? According to the report, one of the biggest changes has to do with how Apple Store employees handle iPhone repairs. Apparently, staff have been told that they will be doing a lot more in-store repairs, and less exchanges…

AppleInsider has the scoop:

“The town hall session was led by Apple Vice President Tara Bunch, who revealed a set of after sales policy shifts would soon be rolling out across the U.S., and eventually the world, with many of the changes referred to under the “One Apple” brand, said a person familiar with the matter.”

The site says that while Bunch was referred to as VP of AppleCare, her LinkedIn profile only says ‘Apple VP,’ so the atual title can’t be confirmed. There’s also the question on whether the “Apple One” brand is internal-only or will eventually face consumers.

But back to the report:

“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.”

Currently, Apple Stores have the tools to replace iPhone speakers, receivers, home buttons, vibrator motors and batteries. But come July, the report says, that list of repairs will be expanded to include displays, cameras, sleep/wake buttons and logic boards.

In addition to its repair policies, Apple is also going to change up its AppleCare service. It’ll soon be subscription-based, instead of something you make a one-time payment on. And instead of being attached to a particular device, it’ll be attached to the customer.

Apple is hoping all of these changes will amount to $1 billion per year in savings. And while that looks good on paper, it’ll be interesting to see how customers react. I can see some folks getting really upset about the repair policy, when it goes from “here’s your new phone” to “we’ll have this ready for you tomorrow.”

What do you think about all of this?