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.
The Apple iPhone 5 is the latest flagship smartphone from Apple. The iPhone 5 features a 4-inch display retains the same 326 PPI density as its predecessor with an effective resolution of 1,126 x 640, and a new Lightning connector. The new handset now features 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with 802.11n supporting dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Bluetooth 4.0 is back in addition to GPS and GLONASS for location services.
The iPad mini is a smaller version of the iPad and it’s much more than just a shrunken-down iPad. The iPad Mini packs a dual-core A5 processor, dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, a FaceTime HD camera, 5-megapixel rear iSight camera with 1080p recording and an optional LTE radio. The Mini sports a 7.9-inch display and 1,024 x 768 resolution. Battery life is estimated at 10 hours.
The 4th generation iPad sports a beefier A6X processor for double the CPU and graphics performance (versus iPad 3), an improved FaceTime camera that supports 720p resolution, the new Lightning connector, 802.11a/b/g/n dual-band Wi-Fi and the same image signal processor found in the iPhone 5.
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