Big changes are in store for AppleCare as Cupertino is reportedly planning to overhaul the servicing program starting this fall. Apple Vice President Tara revealed the new policies during a recent town hall meeting according to an unnamed Apple employee as first reported by AppleInsider.
Chief among the changes is the way iPhone repairs will be handled. At present, Apple is instructed to replace an iPhone, iPod or iPad with a like-new refurbished unit if “almost anything” is wrong with it. This applies for devices that are brought in to an Apple Store or mailed in for repair. Now, the source said, Apple is actually repairing the broken parts and returning the same device to the customer.
At present, Apple Stores have the tools and know-how to repair speakers, receivers, vibrator motors, batteries and home buttons. Starting next month, stores will be able to replace displays and in July, they will have the capabilities to fix / replace broken cameras, sleep / wake buttons and logic boards.
The changes, expected to save Apple nearly $1 billion per year, are expected to roll out first in the US with International support to follow shortly thereafter.
In related news, Apple is also said to be moving AppleCare to a subscription model or add a tier that would be tied to the customer rather than to a specific product. The service could also include “exclusive” 24.7 tech support but that isn’t confirmed. We also don’t know the anticipated pricing of this new model.