A judge in Amsterdam has ruled in favor of a Dutch woman [Google Translate] who sued Apple for refusing to replace her broken iPhone 6 Plus with a new model, and instead offering her a refurbished model as per its standard policy.
The court nullified the purchase agreement and ordered Apple to refund the woman the full €799 that she paid for the iPhone, which was purchased in December 2014 and stopped functioning nine months later in August 2015.
Apple being ordered to refund the purchase price plus interest and pay all of the woman's legal fees was specific to this case, but it is the precedent that could be set in the Netherlands and possibly elsewhere that is more important.
Apple's standard one-year limited warranty and extended AppleCare+ policies for iPhone in both the Netherlands and the U.S., and most other countries, explicitly state that repairs or exchanges may involve devices or parts that are either new or "equivalent to new in performance and reliability," otherwise known as refurbished.
It is common practice for Apple to replace defective iPhones with a refurbished model consisting of both new and recycled parts, and only rarely does the company provide a brand new replacement on a case-by-case situation. The court's decision in Amsterdam, however, could force Apple to change its policies.
The court filing in the Netherlands does not indicate if Apple plans to appeal the decision, but it would not be unprecedented for the company to exhaust all avenues in an effort to overturn the ruling. Apple has not publicly commented on the matter.
In 2011, facing pressure from regulators, Apple revised its warranty replacement policy for iPhones sold in South Korea, offering customers returning their defective phones within the first month of ownership the option of receiving a brand new replacement rather than refurbished units as had been standard policy.
(Thanks, Coen and Jasper!)