Apple is reportedly introducing the "Repair Vintage Apple Products Pilot" program for a number of its products that were previously considered too old to be repaired at Apple stores and authorized service providers.
Apple repairs its products that are within the five- to seven-year lifespan. This means that owners of Apple products can have the devices repaired through Apple or authorized service providers even when these are no longer under warranty.
After five to seven years, however, Apple products can be classified as vintage or obsolete, depending on local laws and the country where the devices are distributed. Apple staff no longer provide parts or repairs for these old devices.
According to 9to5Mac, the pilot program will extend the period of time that Apple customers can receive repair for older devices. It is not clear what prompted Apple to launch the program beyond that the company may have a surplus of service parts.
The program will initially cover the iPhone 5 and other Apple devices that are about to become obsolete.
The devices that are currently included in the new program include the following:
iPhone 5 (GSM/CDMA)MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2012)MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012)iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2011)iMac (27-inch, Mid 2011)
The iMac models eligible for the program are only those that were sold in the United States and Turkey.
The company will eventually add more products to the list of devices that have previously lost repair support. Repair support for the iPhone 4s and MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012) will start on Nov. 30.
Repair support for the MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2012), MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2013), MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012), Mac Pro (Mid 2012), and iPhone 5 (GSM) will begin on Dec. 30.
The program covers these devices at Apple stores and authorized service providers worldwide unless otherwise noted.
The new Pilot program is a welcome news for owners of old iPhones, MacBooks, and iMacs who still wish to use their old devices needing repair.
The program, however, has conditions. Apple will only repair devices based on part availability. It reserves the right to refuse repair of devices if it does not have the parts needed in stock. Customers will be informed if the inventory is not available.
MacRumors also said that the pilot program is subject to change and may end at any time.
Still, the program provides a better option than Apple's previous policy where it stops offering repairs for devices that it classifies as vintage.