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Apple Launching Pilot Program Allowing Repairs of Soon-to-Be Vintage Mid 2011 iMac in United States

Apple today internally announced it is launching a new pilot program that will permit Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers to continue offering repair service for 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac models released in mid 2011, despite the fact they will be classified as vintage starting next month.


The pilot program will be available in the United States only between March 1, 2018 and August 31, 2018, subject to parts availability from Apple, according to the company's internal memo obtained by MacRumors. After the pilot ends, repairs will only be available in California and Turkey, as required by law.

Apple and Authorized Service Providers can usually repair an iMac's display and hinge, logic board, graphics card, hard drive or SSD, power supply, and other components, although the exact availability of replacement parts remains to be seen. It's unclear if RAM and storage upgrades will continue to be offered.

Apple typically offers repairs and replacement parts for a Mac until five years after it is no longer manufactured. Mid 2011 iMac models are now approaching this cutoff, as the last education-only configuration was discontinued in March 2013, but these machines will now remain eligible for service for an additional six months.

Apple didn't specify if the pilot program will eventually expand to other vintage products, or whether it will be available outside of the United States.

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Top Rated Comments

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8 months ago
These are still great and very capable machines, especially when they are upgraded with an SSD.
Rating: 29 Votes
8 months ago
I worked as a Mac Genius from 07-2014, 2007 to 2012 iMacs are a pain to fix as a baseline... and then to add insult to injury, once the repair is done, you've got to clean a display in a dusty Genius Room with a silicon roller and basically pray that a speck of dust doesn't settle in the air bubble between the glass panel and the display... almost impossible.

Apple finally wised up and laminated the glass to the LCD in subsequent revisions like on their phones and some tablets, but damn, what a nightmare.
Rating: 15 Votes
8 months ago

These are still great and very capable machines, especially when they are upgraded with an SSD.

Mine is. And upgraded with High Sierra.
Runs like Max Verstappen.

Rating: 8 Votes
8 months ago
My "vintage" mid 2011 iMac is my daily driver.
I have upgraded the RAM to 16GB and put an SSD as primary disk while keeping the HDD as second, removing the dvd. I think I'll use it for at least another couple of years, then I my get a 5K or a Mac mini with an external monitor if they'll ever make a new model.
Rating: 7 Votes
8 months ago
I wish Apple did this for the Late 2011 15" MacBook Pro.

When they had the GPU replacement/repair program running these past couple years, my GPU was fine (of course life works this way), but recently I've been seeing crashes and it's probably from thermal issues. I see random artifacts, but I don't want to shell out for a logic board replacement on such an old machine.

Still my baby though. Got her back when she came out (7th year now) and still running as fast (if not faster) today aside from this occasionally artifact issue. Have had an SSD and RAM maxed out since 5 years ago.

Will keep this Mac going until it literally breaks down or until I have disposable income.
Rating: 6 Votes
8 months ago
2011 is already vintage? Man, I feel old...
Rating: 4 Votes
8 months ago

I worked as a Mac Genius from 07-2014, 2007 to 2012 iMacs are a pain to fix as a baseline... and then to add insult to injury, once the repair is done, you've got to clean a display in a dusty Genius Room with a silicon roller and basically pray that a speck of dust doesn't settle in the air bubble between the glass panel and the display... almost impossible.

Apple finally wised up and laminated the glass to the LCD in subsequent revisions like on their phones and some tablets, but damn, what a nightmare.

I took my 27" Mid-2011 in for the video card replacement program. I don't have an Apple Store nearby, so it was to an authorized dealer / repair place. I got my iMac back and the screen was scratched to ****. I couldn't have been more confused how they managed to damage a perfect screen and damage it that bad. After a while longer, they did replace the screen they destroyed. I wonder if it had something to do with it sucking like you describe or if was just that these people sucked at their jobs.
Rating: 3 Votes
8 months ago
Like many pieces of aging Apple equipment, these do indeed still run extremely well if you simply upgrade to an SSD (and max the ram if you can afford it.) Even one of the less-expensive (slower) SSDs will make all the difference in the world. Moving to an SSD is really not all that hard a process once you've done it a few times - if it is your first time just use the iFixit guide and go very, very slowly). Note that you actually don't need a drive adapter - you can just use a good double-back tape and carefully tape the extremely light SSD in place if you wish. And you'll need MacsFanControl (or similar) to manage the drive-fan speed after your update.

I have just started seeing an pretty-heavy increase in power-supply failures in these models though, so do keep in mind that other components will eventually fail in these older systems. Is it worth a $200 or $300 investment? Probably, but don't spend a ton on a system this old.

Soapbox: Sure, it's great that Apple will still repair these for now (although you'll get it done more cheaply elsewhere), and maybe that's a good sign for the future OS support as well, but I'll believe that when I see it. More likely is that, like many other aging Macintosh models, this one will probably be killed not out of technical necessity, but because Apple will stop supporting the machine with future OS updates at some point, causing it to needlessly become "obsolete" as other software also stops supporting whichever OS becomes the latest actually installable on the equipment (often, but not always, you'll find ways around Apple's artificially self-induced limitations). What a sad statement about Apple that you can often install a different modern OS on equipment Apple has abandoned, even the now-ancient 32bit CoreDuo systems. That OS? Windows 10!

[MEDIA=youtube]qbvFHVjEiWA[/MEDIA]

And seriously, wouldn't you think that some kind of corporate-pride alone would induce Apple to support their own hardware better than their primary competitor does?
Rating: 3 Votes
8 months ago
Aaaand this is why I won't buy a all in one.. ever.
Rating: 3 Votes
8 months ago

When they had the GPU replacement/repair program running these past couple years, my GPU was fine (of course life works this way), but recently I've been seeing crashes and it's probably from thermal issues

My GPU decided it did not like the world for more than 20 min after i was outside the repair program window. Maybe there will be gpu's available at a reasonable price and/or reliable source with these changes. The current cost/chance of failure of the various options keep me from fixing it. (ie if the part was cheap - it is a 7 year old graphics card - i would do it myself. However the sources seem to mainly be scavenged from old imac and over $200. If the part was not from a scavenged iMac i might be willing to pay $200) I have seen one person claim to have some success redoing thermal paste etc I may well try that but I suspect it would just increase the time I can use it before the screen goes black.
Rating: 2 Votes

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