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'AASP' Articles

Apple on iPhone Battery Locking Issue: We Want to Make Sure Battery Replacement is Done Properly

Last week, iPhone repair site iFixit highlighted a new iPhone feature described as a "dormant software lock" designed to prevent customers who get unauthorized battery repairs from seeing the battery health of their devices. On an iPhone XS, XS Max, or iPhone XR, getting a repair from a non-Apple authorized source results in a message that says "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine battery," with the iPhone refusing to display battery health information. Apple today provided a statement on the issue to iMore, confirming that it did indeed introduce "a new feature" last year that brings up the aforementioned message when a non-authorized battery repair is made, with the aim of protecting customers from "damaged, poor quality, or used batteries."We take the safety of our customers very seriously and want to make sure any battery replacement is done properly. There are now over 1,800 Apple authorized service providers across the United States so our customers have even more convenient access to quality repairs. Last year we introduced a new feature to notify customers if we were unable to verify that a new, genuine battery was installed by a certified technician following Apple repair processes. This information is there to help protect our customers from damaged, poor quality, or used batteries which can lead to safety or performance issues. This notification does not impact the customer's ability to use the phone after an unauthorized repair.On an iPhone XR, XS, or XS Max that has a battery replaced outside of an Apple Store or an Apple

All of Best Buy's Nearly 1,000 Stores Now Offer Apple-Certified Repairs in the United States

Apple today announced that every Best Buy store across the United States now offers certified repairs and service for Apple products. The electronics retailer already serviced Apple products at about 225 stores and now does so at all of its 992 stores nationwide, according to Reuters, which is good news for customers who reside in states without any Apple Stores, including Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Apple's press release:By expanding to every Best Buy store across the US, customers in cities including Yuma, Arizona; Sioux City, Iowa; Twin Falls, Idaho; Casper, Wyoming and Bismarck, North Dakota will have more convenient access to Apple repairs. Plus, Best Buy’s Geek Squad has nearly 7,600 newly Apple-certified technicians ready to make same-day iPhone repairs or to service other Apple products.Apple-certified repairs at Best Buy and other Apple Authorized Service Providers are performed by trained technicians who use genuine Apple parts, and every repair is backed by Apple, according to the company. Including all of Best Buy's nearly 1,000 locations that now offer Apple-certified repairs, Apple now has over 1,800 authorized third-party service providers in the United States, which it says is "three times as many locations as three years ago." Apple also has over 270 retail stores that facilitate repairs across the country. Tara Bunch, Apple's vice president of AppleCare:At Apple, we're dedicated to providing the best customer service in the world. If a customer ever needs to repair their products, we want them to

Apple Says iPhones With Third-Party Batteries Now Eligible for Repairs

iPhones with aftermarket batteries installed by third-party repair shops are now eligible for service at Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers, according to an internal Apple document obtained by MacRumors from three reliable sources. The change was first reported by French blog iGeneration. iPhone X battery with pull tabs via iFixit This is significant news for iPhone repairs, as the Genius Bar and AASPs were previously instructed to deny service of any kind for an iPhone with a third-party battery, regardless of the circumstances. If the repair is unrelated to the battery, the Genius Bar and AASPs are now instructed to ignore the third-party battery and proceed with service as normal, according to Apple's internal document. This could include repairs to the display, logic board, microphones, and so forth, with normal fees applying. If the repair is related to the battery itself, the Genius Bar and AASPs are now permitted to replace the third-party battery with an official Apple battery for the standard fee. Before starting the repair, the Genius Bar must drain the third-party battery to less than 60 percent of a charge. In the event Apple cannot safely remove a third-party battery due to broken or missing battery tabs or excessive adhesive, the customer is entitled to an iPhone replacement at the standard whole-unit out-of-warranty price. The updated guidelines went into effect Thursday and should apply worldwide. Apple will still decline service for iPhones with third-party logic boards, enclosures, microphones, Lightning connectors,

Repairs of Some Older Apple Watches May Qualify for Series 2 Replacement Due to Parts Shortage

Repair parts are temporarily constrained for 42mm models of the Apple Watch Series 1 and first-generation Apple Watch, nicknamed Series 0, according to an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers today. If a customer initiates a repair order for one of those Apple Watch models, Apple has permitted Apple Authorized Service Providers to offer a 42mm Apple Watch Series 2 as a substitute starting February through April according to the document, obtained by MacRumors from multiple proven sources. The document does not mention Series 2, Series 3, Series 4, or 38mm models of any kind as qualifying, nor does it specify if the parts constraint is limited to aluminum, stainless steel, or other finishes. No further information is provided. The document was distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers in the United States and other countries, and it was likely sent to Apple Stores as well, in which case the Genius Bar would follow the same guidelines. We have elected not to share a screenshot of the document to protect our sources. Visit the Get Support page on Apple.com to initiate an Apple Watch

Apple Adding iPhone 5 and Additional Macs to Pilot Program Allowing Repairs of Select 'Vintage' Products

Normally, an Apple product becomes vintage once five years have passed since it was last manufactured, meaning that Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASPs) will no longer repair or service the product. In late January, however, Apple launched a pilot program that permits Apple Stores and AASPs to continue servicing select vintage products, subject to parts availability. The program started in the United States and Turkey with the Mid 2011 iMac and expanded worldwide with the 2012 MacBook Air in August. Now, Apple is further expanding the program to include the iPhone 5, which became vintage on Wednesday. In an internal document, Apple says Apple Stores and AASPs worldwide are authorized to continue servicing the CDMA variant of the device through October 31, 2020, and the GSM variant through December 30, 2020. Apple's internal document, obtained by MacRumors from multiple sources, also outlines other soon-to-be vintage iPhones and Macs that will also be added to the pilot program at various dates throughout the remainder of this year: Effective November 30, 2018:iPhone 4S MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012) Effective December 30, 2018:MacBook Pro (13-inch, Retina, Late 2012) MacBook Pro (13-inch, Retina, Early 2013) MacBook Pro (15-inch, Retina, Mid 2012) MacBook Pro (15-inch, Retina, Early 2013) Mac Pro (Mid 2012)If parts are unavailable for a specific repair for these vintage products, Apple Stores and AASPs are instructed to decline service. This is a pilot program to begin with, so it is subject to change or end at any time.

Apple Facing Shortage of 2014 and Mid 2015 5K iMac Displays, Offering Free Delayed Repairs or $600 Off a New Model

Apple has notified Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers that its inventory of displays for Late 2014 and Mid 2015 models of the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display is constrained until mid to late December, according to an internal service document obtained by MacRumors today. As a result, if a customer with one of those iMac models requires a display repair due to accidental damage, Apple has instructed its service providers to offer a free repair if the customer is willing to wait until mid to late December. If a customer is unable to wait, Apple will offer a functionally equivalent 2017 model 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display to be paid for by the customer, minus a $600 or local equivalent discount. The Late 2014 or Mid 2015 iMac must be returned to Apple — the customer will never get it back. For example, if a customer takes a base model Late 2014 5K iMac with a damaged display to an Apple Store in the United States, and declines to wait until December for a repair, the Genius Bar is instructed to offer the customer a base model 2017 5K iMac for $1,199, down from its original price of $1,799. Note that the 2017 models will be Customer Replacement Units, or CRUs, but it's unclear if they will be refurbished or brand new. In order to qualify, the iMac must be out-of-warranty. If the iMac is still covered by AppleCare+ or Apple's standard one-year warranty, Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers are instructed to proceed with a standard repair. Note that only Late 2014 and Mid 2015 models are eligible — no others.

iPhone Screen Repairs to Get Faster as Apple Moves to Software-Only Calibration Process

Apple has announced that its iPhone display calibration process no longer requires specialized hardware, according to an internal service-related document obtained by MacRumors today. Starting today, Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers can calibrate the display on a repaired iPhone 6s or newer by simply connecting the device to a Mac mini or MacBook Air running Apple's calibration and diagnostics software, without the need to use a so-called 3D Touch Calibration Fixture. 3D Touch Calibration Fixture via Reuters Apple says this change will result in three benefits for service providers and customers: More flexible workspaces for service providers, as the calibration fixture takes up quite a bit of space. Reduced wait times for customers, suggesting that the software-based calibration process is faster. Later this year, more Apple Authorized Service Providers around the world will have an opportunity to expand their in-store repair offerings to include iPhone display repairs.Apple will outline the required steps for service providers to transition from the hardware to the software process later today, according to the internal communication, which was earlier reported by iMore's Rene Ritchie. Apple Authorized Service Providers with a 3D Touch Calibration Fixture will be required to return the hardware at a later date to be announced. iPhone display calibration ensures that a replacement display is fully integrated with the device's logic board at the system level. The process has been required since the arrival of Touch ID on the iPhone 5s in

Inside the iPhone Repair Ecosystem: Where Do Replacement Parts Come From and Can You Trust Them?

There's a thriving market for unofficial, aftermarket iPhone parts, and in China, there are entire massive factories that are dedicated to producing these components for repair shops unable to get ahold of parts that have been produced by Apple. The entire Apple device repair ecosystem is fascinating, complex, and oftentimes confusing to consumers given the disconnect between Apple, Apple Authorized Service Providers, third-party factories, and independent repair shops, so we thought we'd delve into the complicated world of Apple repairs. The Aftermarket Factories Our exploration of the repair ecosystem was inspired by a video sent to us by a trusted source that MacRumors has worked with in the past, who captured footage inside one of the many facilities in China that are dedicated to creating aftermarket iPhone parts. This is a small scale operation where workers appear to be creating an aftermarket touch screen digitizer for the iPhone, a thin plastic component that attaches to the LCD through a flex cable and allows physical touch on the screen to be transformed into digital input, allowing the iPhone's processor to translate your touch into system commands. In addition to producing touch screen digitizers for the iPhone, given the clean room setup, the facility pictured in the video likely also attaches them to LCDs sourced from other factories to produce a full iPhone display assembly that can then be sold to iPhone repair shops around the world. While this is a small facility, our source tells us that the factory, which employs approximately 10

Apple Acknowledges Microphone Issue With Some iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Models on iOS 11.3 and Later [Updated]

Apple has acknowledged a microphone issue affecting a limited number of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models running iOS 11.3 or later. In an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers this week, obtained by MacRumors, Apple said affected customers may experience a grayed-out speaker button during phone calls. The issue may also prevent affected customers from being heard during phone calls or FaceTime video chats. Apple Authorized Service Providers have been instructed to first ask customers to disconnect or power off any Bluetooth headsets or other audio accessories connected to their iPhone to see if that alleviates the problem. If the speaker button remains grayed out during a call, the service providers have been instructed to run audio diagnostics. Affected devices will display a "device could not detect dock" or "accessory not supported" alert in the diagnostic pane, in which case the service provider can initiate a repair for the iPhone. If an affected iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus is no longer covered by warranty, Apple says its service providers can request an exception for this particular issue. Apple's document does not specify if the repairs will be completed free of charge, but it seems likely given the circumstances. While this does not appear to be a widespread problem, there are have been some complaints about microphone issues on iOS 11.3 scattered across MacRumors, Reddit, Twitter, and the Apple Support Communities in recent months. It's unclear why iOS 11.3 and subsequent software versions are unintentionally

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

Apple Extends Free Repairs of First-Generation Apple Watches With Detached Back Covers

If you have a first-generation Apple Watch with a separated back cover, Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will repair it free of charge, according to an internal service policy obtained by MacRumors. Apple Watch with separated back cover via Reddit user PoorSpanaway Apple recently extended the service policy's coverage period to up to three years after the original purchase date. If you bought an Apple Watch in April 2015, for example, it is eligible for a free repair until April 2018.Apple has determined that under certain conditions on some Apple Watch (1st generation) devices the back cover may separate from the watch case. Apple will service eligible devices free of charge. Apple will authorize coverage for three (3) years from the date of purchase.The service policy has been in effect since last year and applies to any first-generation Apple Watch, including Sport, Edition, and Hermès models, even if the device's limited one-year warranty or extended AppleCare coverage has elapsed. Affected customers can call an Apple Store and schedule a Genius Bar appointment, or visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider, to initiate the repair process. Or, customers can call Apple Support to arrange shipment of the damaged Apple Watch to an Apple Repair Center in a postage paid box. Apple advises customers inquiring about a refund for a previous Apple Watch back cover repair to contact Apple Support. Several users have shared pictures of their first-generation Apple Watch with the back cover falling off on the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors

Apple Providing Select Repair Shops With iPhone Calibration Machine For Quicker Turnaround

Getting an iPhone repaired at select Apple-authorized repair shops is about to get a lot faster for customers. Apple's proprietary iPhone calibration machine via Motherboard ComputerCare, a computer repair shop in Santa Clara, California, today announced that it has been selected as one of only three Apple Authorized Service Providers in the United States to participate in a new pilot program that will allow it to manage iPhone repair and calibration completely onsite. As part of this pilot program, ComputerCare and two other yet to be named repair shops have received a specialized and proprietary calibration machine from Apple to ensure that iPhone repairs are fully compliant with Apple's specifications and security requirements for features such as Touch ID and Multi-Touch. ComputerCare said the calibration machine is compatible with the iPhone 6s and newer, although Apple has been using the machines since as early as 2013. The calibration process is said to take approximately 15 minutes to complete. With an in-house calibration machine, ComputerCare said it will be able to drastically speed up repair times for its customers, as it will no longer need to ship repaired iPhones to Apple for final testing and calibration."We already manage iPhone repairs at our facilities, but because of the devices' specialized security features, the current process requires them to be shipped to Apple for final testing and calibration before being returned to customers," said Georgia Rittenberg, President of ComputerCare. "Having a calibration machine onsite helps us to

Apple Offering Free Smart Keyboard Repairs Under New 3-Year Policy

Apple has initiated a new three-year service policy for the Smart Keyboard for both the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, MacRumors has learned. Apple has determined that some Smart Keyboards may experience "functional issues" during use, such as the Smart Connector not working or certain keys sticking, repeating, or not responding, according to an internal memo distributed to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers last week. Apple says it will service any qualifying Smart Keyboard free of charge within three years of the date it was originally purchased. We recommend affected customers call an Apple Store to schedule a Genius Bar appointment or visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider to initiate the repair process. Affected customers can also contact Apple support by phone, online chat, or email by selecting iPad > iPad Accessories on this page. Due to the newness of this service policy, some Apple support employees may be unfamiliar with its existence, in which case we recommend escalating your request to a senior AppleCare advisor. Update: In May 2019, we received an email from a customer who claims that Apple denied existence of this policy. Your mileage may

Apple May Replace Your Broken Fourth-Gen iPad With an iPad Air 2 Where Necessary

Apple Stores 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

Apple Says Third-Party iPhone Screen Repairs No Longer Fully Void Your Warranty

iPhones that have undergone any third-party screen repair now qualify for warranty coverage, as long as the issue being fixed does not relate to the display itself, according to an internal memo distributed by Apple today. MacRumors confirmed the memo's authenticity with multiple sources. Previously, an iPhone with a third-party display was not eligible for any authorized repairs under warranty. When a customer with an iPhone that has a third-party display seeks a repair for a non-display issue, Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers have been advised to inspect the device for any fraud or tampering, and then swap out the device or replace the broken part based on Apple's in-warranty pricing. iPhones with third-party displays must still be within their warranty coverage period, whether it be Apple's standard 1-year manufacturer's warranty or extended AppleCare coverage, in order for warranty service to be honored. If the iPhone is out of warranty, or the repair involves a display-related issue, customers will be offered the option to pay Apple's flat rate out-of-warranty pricing. If a customer declines this out-of-warranty pricing, then Apple Authorized Service Providers are instructed to decline service altogether. If the presence of any third-party part causes the repair to be unsuccessful or breaks the iPhone, Apple said customers will be required to pay the out-of-warranty cost to replace the third-party part, or the entire device if necessary, in order to resolve the issue that the iPhone was initially brought in for. If a customer

Apple Resellers and Service Providers Speak Out Following Simply Mac Closures

GameStop last week announced it is closing a number of non-productive Simply Mac locations throughout the United States, less than four years after acquiring and expanding the Apple Authorized Reseller and Service Provider, which effectively serves as a third-party Apple Store in smaller markets. Following the reports, we received a tip from a disgruntled Apple Authorized Service Provider owner who said the underlying issues prompting Simply Mac's downsizing are "far deeper" than it would seem. He noted his own AASP is closing because Apple has "slowly strangled" him on margins and with "free labor" demands. Another longtime Apple Authorized Dealer and Service Provider told us that AASPs have been "under siege" for years. The person, who wishes to remain anonymous, said profit margins are "appallingly low" and that Apple views its authorized service partners as "nothing more than glorified TV repairmen." "I am sad to say that I do not see this changing," the person said. "Apple is highly aware of our concerns and do not seem to care. As an Apple reseller for over 20 years, I thought that when Apple became successful we would participate in that success, but we did not," the person added. Given the polarizing comments from a few, we decided to reach out to a number of Apple's authorized sales and service partners in the United States and Canada to see if there is any validity to the claims. A number of the Apple Authorized Resellers and Service Providers we spoke to refuted the allegations, noting they are stable if not growing, but we did learn that Apple