We already told you that Apple has cancelled support personnel vacations from September 15-28 and is now training AppleCare support employees on iOS 7 and iTunes Radio ahead of the iPhone 5S/5C introduction next month.
Yesterday, word on the street was that Tim Cook & Co. were gearing up to roll out the extended AppleCare+ coverage for iOS devices in key European markets.
First details are now beginning to trickle in.
Allegedly, the AppleCare+ launch is now “imminent” in the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Germany, France and Switzerland, at least initially. If true, this will be the first time Apple offered the $99 extended coverage and premium support service to customers outside the United States, Canada and Japan…
Mark Gurman, writing for 9to5Mac:
Apple is said to be working with firm AIG to develop AppleCare+ for Europe. Like in the United States, the service could be applied to an iPhone or iPad within 30 days of purchasing the device.
AppleCare+ also must be purchased in the home country in which the device will be used.
It is likely that AppleCare+ will cost around €100 in Europe.
According to Gurman’s sources, the initial roll-out will be followed by later launches in other European markets.
The author has no idea of the exact timeframe because “no formal launch date has been announced internally”. Apple Store employees across Europe will be reportedly required to offer AppleCare+ complete with a full explanation “to every customer that comes into the store to buy an iPad or iPhone,” Gurman asserts.
According to an internal document posted to Twitter, “Apple may repair or exchange products and parts with comparable products and parts that comply with local standards”.
The French blog iGen yesterday speculated Apple could price AppleCare+ plans in Europe at €99.
The AppleCare+ plan for the iPhone and iPad covers two incidents of accidental damage from handling, each subject to an additional $49 service fee plus applicable tax. The company started repairing faulty iOS devices back in June and as of recently offers the in-store $149 replacement screens for the iPhone 5.
I’m curious as to how Apple markets AppleCare+ warranty in Europe. Apple has gotten itself in hot water with a number of EU countries who accused the iPhone maker of misleading consumers by failing to tell customers about their rights to free assistance, as mandated by EU laws.
Italy, for example, fined Apple a cool $264,000 over warranty disputes, forcing the California firm to temporarily pull AppleCare products from all sales channels in the country.
As a result of the clash with EU regulators, the iPhone maker changed its warranty policy in Germany, France, Belgium and other countries to acknowledge the fact that all EU buyers under the consumer protection laws are entitled to two-year warranty as standard.