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?

  • Shit

    • wonderboydave

      could’nt say it better myself.

    • Yeh this is gona be shit.
      You know how ppl have been saying ”Apple are going down hill since Steve Jobs’ pass away”. It’s so true

      Even the after sales is slacking now

  • What difference does it make since the quality of the parts should be the same as what is on a new device. The interesting part is instead of a one time payment making it a subscription service since this could be either a positive thing or a negative thing depending on the cost of the subscription. The only bad thing about this is that people can’t return devices on newer firm wares hoping to get a device on an older firmware in order to jailbreak it

    • Falk M.

      “The only bad thing about this is that people can’t return devices on newer firm wares hoping to get a device on an older firmware in order to jailbreak it”
      Wow lol… I’m speechless about that part… If you want to jailbreak don’t flipping update your firmware or wait.

      Other than that, I can think of a bunch of reasons why this is bad. The one off payment is annoying when you get a device that you just barely saved up for, so it’s nice to be able to pay over time, however I think it should be an option, because if I do have the money for Apple Care and no other expenses I’ll gladly remove that worry asap. (I hate recurring payments like the plague, but that’s just me)

      In store repairs… boy… where do I start.
      Dust free environment? I doubt that.
      Repair centers have quite a bit of quality assurance I don’t see happening in retail stores en masse.
      Maybe yes, but I’m not certain.
      Waiting time… Instead of coming in and getting out with another device in a short time you’re just adding waiting games to already pi**ed customers. Nothing unusual with other places and companies, but Apple always wanted to strive for maximum customer care… Where’s that now?
      Make it a damn option. I like keeping MY device, because, as silly as it sounds, I kinda “fall in love” with it and want that particular device. With MY scuff on the side. I hate that scuff, but just like the serial number it makes it MY device. With my moments I captures with it and that device has been there all the time with me when whatever awesome, sad or anything else significant happened.

      BUT: I know that many people loved the new device policy, because they were happy about getting their problem fixed so quickly and I always gave Apple kudos for doing more than the bare minimum…
      They are now entering the way of saving costs it seems and that seems shady coming from a company shoveling this amount of money because they are quite different.
      The more they lean towards the way other companies do things, the more they lose their differences to them and the more they will get under pressure and lose customers.
      I hate to say it, but that’s just how Average Joe will judge them and boy, I have a hard time not agreeing.

      • I can understand how waiting might be a problem but might I suggest playing with one of the many iOS and Mac devices in store to pass the time 😛

      • genXhippie

        Well said in my opinion.thank you.

  • Marcos Rivas

    Well all companies are doomed for stuff like this to happen ; in the end it is always the clients and the Subordinates who pay the real price while the ones with the Big chairs and bellies , pocket more when the bonus time comes right around Christmas .

  • I get Apple Care for free because I’m a student. I hope that continues.

    • mdee4

      In the U.S? How? I’m a student and have never heard of that.

      • In the UK.

      • I’m a full time uni student in the UK and I’ve never heard of this either.

      • Well apparently a lot of people on this website are idiots.

      • Falk M.

        You are an idiot for insulting other people purely based on their lack of a nice little gem of awesomeness Apple is willing to provide to UK students.

        I bet they don’t advertise this on UK TV or anything in-your-face like that, so where’s the idiocy.

        Even if, someone could just simply not know because their clerks never told them.
        Hell, for all we know Ryan doesn’t buy in an Apple Store and where ever he gets his devices they tell him jackshit about freebies and instead try to sell him stuff he could get for free if he called Apple and provided proof for being an edu customer.

      • I never got a chance to see the reply, but thanks for defending me! LOL

        I got money off my Mac and Apple Care ’cause I’m a student, but I didn’t get free Apple Care; I paid in the region of £970 altogether.

        Jordan’s dreaming.

    • Guessing u got 3 year a-care included when u bought your product? Rather normal in eu

  • Well if they fix it right in front of you and give it back then I’m cool with that.

  • hell0san

    A bit more environmental at least! Althouth it’s always nicer to get a shiny new unscratched phone in replacement..

  • As usual, wait until you see what actually comes along, rather than rushing to judgement based on second and third hand reports.
    Who says Apple hopes this will save a billion dollars? Only the writer of the article.
    What do you actually get for a subscription? As yet, we have no idea at all.
    I could well be wrong, but I doubt that Apple will change their service arrangements in ways that will feel worse to the customer. As it stands, one of the huge advantages Apple has in the market is the fact that its service reputation and customer satisfaction is higher than any competitor’s.
    I suspect the changes will be aimed more at building customer loyalty and lock-in, rather than at saving money.

    • The most commonsensical comment I’ve read here in a long time. I couldn’t agree with you more.

    • Subscription is probably better. That would mean that apple care will never run out. Basic apple care today is 3 years. But most customers either dont know that or forgets it

  • D.P2337

    I work as a Genius in the Apple Store, and I can honestly say that this will not affect customers too much. Granted, the swap may add time, but customers will more than likely get their phone the same day. I say this from experience. For example, an iPhone 4S screen takes around 25 mins to repair. With full diagnostics and check in, call in 60. An iPhone 5 screen repair takes around 15.

    I must stress that I do not speak for Apple, and my views and opinions are strictly my own. But I do know that Apple want customers to have the single best experience in any retail store, and they will never put their customers out.

    • Thanks for the informed input!

    • genXhippie

      “But I do know that Apple want customers to have the single best
      experience in any retail store, and they will never put their customers
      out.” –>I’m drinking the Apple Cool-aid,sorry.

      Lol. If this were certainly true, Apple would give us options to choose in regards to services, not mandatory changes (if they do) imo. But, it a business so I have no illusions (not believing it) about the sincerity of the quote made above at a corporate level. 😉

      • Kurt

        “I work as a Genius” arrogant sounding statement. Apple needs to change that idiotic name asap.

      • genXhippie

        Yes, that’s typical Apple too. Remember, “Retina” screen. Now a days, it’s an industry joke compared to competing high end phones with higher ppi. 😉

  • AltF5

    This is excellent. Less possibility of loosing a jailbreak. Was a major reason why I did it myself from iFixIt to repair my screen… So that I didn’t lose my JB from a device with a newer FW. But I don’t like the “insurance-like” subscription, I think that is a bit overkill with money, unless we can activate it for any device at any time.

  • What is the purpose to buy insurance for portable devices if it doesn’t cover water/physical damage? iPass.

  • ccoltmanm

    I JUST went to an Apple store for the first time today (5 years of iPhones) because I had a HUGE amount of debris in my camera lens. I told the guy, showed him, and he went and got a refurb. It looks and feels like new. My old one was banged up like crazy. Really happy. I guess that will change.

  • Done with you, send in the blonde…

  • genXhippie

    Typical Apple. Saving a billion, but yet there’s no compensation passed on to us consumers. So, basically these saving will be at the consumers’ expense, as if Apple doesn’t make tons ( it’s never enough, huh) money already. So, now Apple may decide to cut corners is the service department, to fatten their pockets even more. o_0. Btw, I own an iP5 and iPad too.

  • aww no more getting a new iphone ? 🙁

  • This will be a welcome addition. I’ve used AppleCare for years now and always been happy with it. Real device insurance!

  • Dylfo

    Don’t care I jailbreak