and Apple Authorized Service Providers now have the option of replacing a customer's broken fourth-generation iPad
with an iPad
Air 2, according to an internal memo distributed by Apple last week.
An excerpt of the memo obtained by MacRumors
Starting March 30, iPad 4th generation whole unit repairs may be substituted to iPad Air 2 models. Apple's repair and order management tool will indicate for each repair if a substitution will take place. Please note the substitute part’s color and capacity to ensure the customer understands what their replacement iPad whole unit will be.
The fourth-generation iPad was released in November 2012, so when a customer needs a replacement model, it's likely easier now for Apple to just give them a newer and more widely available iPad Air 2 in most cases.
Not every broken fourth-generation iPad will be replaced with an iPad Air 2. The decision will ultimately be decided on a case-by-case basis, likely depending upon availability of each tablet in the affected customer's region.