A judge in the Subdistrict Court of Amsterdam has ruled that Apple cannot replace broken iPhone, iPad or iPod touch devices with refurbished or remanufactured units, Dutch outlet Tweakers reported Tuesday. That ruling arrived after a similar decision in December 2016 forced the Cupertino giant to replace a Danish man’s broken iPhone with a new unit rather than a refurbished model that he was entitled to in accordance with local law.

The case in question involves a woman who bought an iPad Air 2 with the extended AppleCare warranty protection add-on back in 2015. The tablet started exhibiting Wi-Fi issues so she took it to Apple and received a remanufactured iPad as a replacement.

As it turns out, the woman disliked the remanufactured unit but Apple refused to issue her a brand new iPad so she went ahead and filed a legal complaint. The judge ordered that the company supply the plaintiff with an entirely new iPad unit.

“If the consumer purchased a new iPad, she is entitled to a new iPad as a replacement,” reads the ruling. The court also fined Apple €100 (about $110) for each day that the woman was left without her iPad replacement.

The ruling mandates that all broken iOS devices sold in the Netherlands be replaced with brand new units rather than their refurbished or remanufactured counterparts. Apple on its part attempted to argue that remanufactured units should be excluded from the ruling because they’re distinct from refurbished ones, but the judge was unimpressed.

Refurbished devices are used items that have been returned to Apple. Both refurbished and remanufactured units may include used parts from broken models.

But unlike refurbished models that are sold at up to a 15 percent discount, remanufactured units are unavailable for sale and are only being used as warranty replacements. The ruling does not prevent the iPhone maker to replace a refurbished iOS device with another refurbished unit.

Apple says that refurbished units conform to the same manufacturing and inspection standards as its brand new devices. “We test and certify all Apple refurbished products and include a one-year warranty,“ reads the refurbished section of Apple’s online store.

Source: Tweakers (Google Translate)

  • Alex Wilson

    Well the people in the Netherlands are now going to pay more for their iOS devices plain and simple. An Apple actuary will run the numbers and every iOS device will go up a bit more so they can get “new” devices. I’d rather see Apple clearly state you will get a refurb unit or you can pay to exchange to a new unit.

    • Ds

      You already do pay for a refurb unit if you have Apple Care anyways. Case in point. I had to replace my iPad Pro because I dropped my iPhone of it cause I was using it as a flash light so that I could see better when I was putting on the screen protector on the iPad.. I know ironic right? but it still cost me $55 for the refurb iPad Pro.

      • Alex Wilson

        Agreed, but now they will pay even more for a new unit or the warranty itself will change.

  • burge

    You purchased a new device you should get a new device in any replacement/insurance program. It should be new for new and not new for here we fixed this it’s good as new but it’s not new but it’s close enough so it will do,

  • Charlie

    It’s just not transparent about what was actually new and what wasn’t in those devices, otherwise I am sure many people wouldn’t mind it.

  • Mr_Coldharbour

    And that’s how it should be. If I’m still within my warranty and my phone breaks, I expect a brand new unit not a refurbished one. When I purchased the original unit, it was brand new. This is what I appreciate about EU countries, they fight for the rights of their citizens and make sure conglomerates don’t take them for a ride, and win.

    • Jake1047s

      so when you drive a car off of a lot and it has an issue they should buy you a new one if yours needs to be replaced? Even if you did use it for a period of time? People today…..

      • Lui

        If the engine needs to be replaced, yes, a brand new engine should come.
        Have you ever seen any dealers to get your car repaired from another car, which had an accident??

      • Jake1047s

        Yeah if I was in an accident then I would have to pay my deductible just like everyone else….

      • Mr_Coldharbour

        What Lui said, yes they should. It’s their responsibility to sell customers proper working units and if under warranty a brand new unit must be issued should any problem arise, that’s why we as customers pay so much money and that’s what the warranty is for, adding to the fact that car insurance is mandatory, that even puts things more in the favour for customer. Especially in the example you gave as crucial as the engine, which is not trivial at all. Yes indeed a brand new car if at all possible or at the very least a brand new engine. Yes, brand new as in never used before. Wouldn’t YOU as a customer want that from your place of purchase?

      • Antzboogie

        Well said and exactly.

      • Jake1047s

        Well yes I understand wanting a new device or engine but as I stated if you use the car or the phone for a period of time and then it starts to have an issue I understand them not giving you a new one. They are a business after all. What do you expect them to do with all of the phone that do come in broken? Try and sell them? Clearly they can’t use the parts and put them in new phones anymore. They would be considered remanufactured. I do understand that if it is a factory issue and you notice it within the 30 days then they will give you a new one or let you return the device. Anything after that they push onto you. I do understand some exceptions where a new device should be mandatory. Such as a CPU failing in a phone or something that the user had no part in.

      • Jake1047s

        And I did not give the example of an engine? Where are you seeing that?

  • Cazz

    If she brought it in for WiFi issues and it was still under the AppleCare, That replacement would’ve been free. I think the fact that whatever discussion happened during the Unveiling of the “remanufactured” iPad she was unhappy with and fought for a “new” iPad right then and there. Eventhough they’re technically the same thing minus the wrapper and box with goodies. When I worked for apple, this happened many times… Customer hates hearing the word “Used”. If you word everything correctly, Scenarios can be avoided, but not all.

    • Jose Rivera

      See, if I was to work for Apple and they ask, “Are these new phones?” I would be like, “Yeah. These are soeacial replacement units that we have in stock for occasions like this. This is why they come in a box without anything and it’s just the phone. Those are the warranty replacement phones. They’re all brand new and haven’t been used apart from being tested at the factory to make sure everything’s good to go like all the other phones we sell with an accessory box and such.”

      • burge

        And I’m sure Apple wouldn’t back you up if the customer found out you lied to them.

      • Blip dude

        So then my follow up question would be, “so they are not brand new then??”

        Wording **** differently doesn’t solve the problem, and if you do this to someone who is normally a pissed off ******* and finds out about it it’s only going to result in more problems.

  • Gary LE

    I had the air 1 replaced with the refurbished/remanufactured on inside a brown box and the genius said “here is a new replacement!” I knew that ot wasnt new because I can see a very small hairline scratch at an angle! But to me Apple has been very generous in replacements alot more than other companies!