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Apple Exchange and Repair Program Roundup

Apple Exchange and Repair Program Roundup

By Simon Hung

Last week, Apple quietly ended their iPod Nano Replacement Program after five years, which let first-generation iPad Nano owners exchange them for a current-generation iPod Nano due to a battery defect.

Apple isn’t immune from manufacturing issues with their products and while antennagate, bendgate and other scandals with the -gate suffix usually make the headlines, Apple does address some of the more widespread issues through their Exchange and Repair Extension Program, usually free of charge.

There are currently 15 exchange and repair programs in effect, dating back to 2008 -- note that devices out of warranty but eligible for repair will be covered by the repair program. We’ve listed the active programs as of January 2017 along with a brief synopsis of each issue. If your device is listed, click on the program for more information and details on how to verify eligibility.

iPhone

Apple will fix iPhone 6 Plus devices affected by the "touch disease" -- for $189.
  • iPhone 5 Battery Replacement Program -- some iPhone 5 devices sold between September 2012 and January 2013 may experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently. Affected devices are eligible for a new battery replacement, free of charge.
  • iPhone 5 Sleep/Wake Button Replacement Program -- some iPhone 5 devices manufactured through March 2013 may have a defective sleep/wake button that stops working intermittently. Apple will repair affected devices, free of charge.
  • iPhone 6 Plus iSight Camera Replacement Program -- some iPhone 6 Plus devices sold between September 2014 and January 2015 may produce blurry photos due to a faulty iSight camera component. Affected devices are eligible for a new iSight camera replacement, free of charge.
  • iPhone 6 Plus Multi-Touch Repair Program -- some iPhone 6 Plus devices may exhibit flickering or unresponsive displays after being dropped multiple times. Also known as the “iPhone 6 Plus Touch Disease,” Apple will repair affected devices for a reduced service fee of $189.00.
  • iPhone 6s Program for Unexpected Shutdown Issues -- some iPhone 6s devices manufactured between September and October 2015 may shut down unexpectedly. Affected devices are eligible for a new battery replacement, free of charge. There are also unconfirmed reports of the program being extended to iPhone 6 devices in the near future.

Mac

  • iMac (27-inch) 3TB Hard Drive Replacement Program -- some 27-inch iMac computers sold between December 2012 and September 2013 with a 3TB hard drive may fail under certain conditions. Affected computers are eligible for a new hard drive replacement, free of charge.
  • MacBook Air Flash Storage Drive Replacement Program -- some MacBook Air computers sold between June 2012 and June 2013 with 64GB or 128GB of flash storage may fail due to faulty SSDs. A firmware update was issued to solve the issue, but if this didn’t solve the problem, Apple will repair affected computers, free of charge.
  • MacBook Bottom Case Replacement Program -- the casing on some MacBook computers sold between October 2009 and April 2011 may separate from the bottom of the computer. Apple will repair affected computers, free of charge.
  • MacBook Pro Repair Extension Program for Video Issues -- some MacBook Pro computers sold between February 2011 and December 2013 may exhibit video issues and unexpected system restarts. Apple will repair affected computers, free of charge.

Peripherals and Accessories

Some USB-C cables included with the 2015 12" MacBook may fail and are eligible for a free replacement.
  • Apple 5W European USB Power Adapter Exchange Program -- some Apple 5W European USB power adapters shipped from October 2009 to September 2012 may overheat and pose a safety risk. Customers with an affected power adapter are eligible for a redesigned adapter, free of charge.
  • Apple AC Wall Plug Adapter Exchange Program -- the two prong Apple AC wall plug adapters designed for use in Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Argentina and Brazil may break and create a risk of electric shock. Customers with an affected wall plug are eligible for a redesigned adapter, free of charge.
  • Apple Ultracompact USB Power Adapter Exchange Program -- the metal prongs on some Apple USB power adapters included with the iPhone 3G or sold as a standalone accessory may break off and remain in a power outlet, creating a risk of electric shock. Customers with an affected power adapter are eligible for a redesigned adapter, free of charge.
  • Apple USB-C Charge Cable Replacement Program -- some Apple USB-C charge cables included with MacBook computers or sold as a standalone accessory through June 2015 may fail due to a design issue. Customers with an affected cable are eligible for a redesigned USB-C cable, free of charge.
  • Beats Pill XL Speaker Recall Program -- the battery in the Beats Pill XL Speaker may overheat and pose a fire risk. All owners of a Beats Pill XL Speaker in any colour are eligible for an Apple Store credit or electronic payment of $395.00.
  • USB Power Adapter Takeback Program -- some counterfeit and third-party power adapters may not be designed properly and could result in safety issues. If you have safety concerns, Apple will dispose them in an environmentally-friendly way, free of charge.

Some of the more notable products include the iPhone 6 Plus and 6s -- even if your phone doesn't exhibit symptoms but is eligible for repair, it may be worthwhile to take advantage of any free repair programs to extend the life of your device. On the other hand, most of the other repair programs are for older hardware and may not be worth a repair, but it is nice that Apple has maintained support for obsolete hardware like the 2009 plastic MacBook.

Repairs or exchanges can be handled online, at an Apple Store or an Authorized Service Provider. Let us know if you've ever taken advantage of an Apple repair program or if you're planning to have your device repaired in the future!

5 Comments

    • I believe you can bring back your old iPad if the battery has died and cannot be recharged - you pay $119 + tax and you get whatever oldest iPad they have in stock of the same capacity and type (wifi/4g etc)
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    • Did they do this for the 4th gen iPod nano? It had the worst battery. It wouldn't even last 4 hours.
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    • Thanks RFD. Saved me $110.88. My iPhone 5 battery got swollen and it popped the screen up. I took it to Apple store and got a new replacement phone in April 2016. The phone was out of warranty so they charged me $99 + tax. After seeing this post, I called Apple yesterday and requested a refund. I figured I got nothing to lose other than 10 minutes. Surprisingly I got an email today from Apple and saying I will get a full refund in cheque in 30 days.
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  • Doc
    • Thank you very much for this RFD! My iPhone 6S was plagued with the unexpected shut down issue and they replaced it under the program today at no charge. I would not be aware of this program without your post, thank you!
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    • Shame on them! Do they really think there is a so-called "touch disease" ? People need to pay $189 for their products' deficit which should have been fixed by themselves,,?
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