Apple’s Vice President Tara Bunch led a town hall session on Thursday, at which the Cupertino corporation told tech staff that big changes are coming to AppleCare and AppleCare+ services this fall. This “broadening” of the company’s current policies is intended to cut costs and make them more appealing to consumers. Of the biggest changes announced was the ability for customers to have their iOS devices repaired on the spot at Apple retail stores in the near future.
According to sources for 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.
If there’s anything wrong with your handheld Apple product, the company offers you a refurbished model in exchange for the broken device covered under warranty. Sometimes, the Apple retail store you’re visiting is short on hardware and must ask you to wait for additional devices to come in. Even though such a situation is relatively rare, Apple stores having the ability to repair devices on the spot would certainly remedy that situation.
AppleInsider says that “Apple Stores [currently] have the tools to replace speakers, receivers, home buttons, the vibrator motor and battery.” An expansion of in-store repair services would not only eliminate availability issues, but would cut overall warranty fulfillment costs as well. Estimated savings will reportedly be near $1 billion annually. Furthermore, the person noted that this will prove beneficial for those with devices out of warranty. Repairs are currently priced as a full device replacement, but the extension of in-store repairs would allow costs to be determined on a per-device basis.
The site’s sources said the changes are being referred to under the “One Apple” moniker and that Apple intends to roll out the changes over the entire globe starting with the U.S.
Other changes reportedly announced by Bunch include a potential reconfiguration of AppleCare itself in favor of a subscription model or new tiers. Also, Apple supposedly intends to extend complimentary phone service to 1 year–up from the current 90 days.
Lastly, the person for AppleInsider said that Apple’s online resources are going to revamped in the coming months to include support over iMessage and refreshed support pages. With this, Apple personnel will reportedly become more active on the Apple support forums.