Apple has plans to repair more iPhones in store rather than exchange a broken iPhone for a refurbished one. This could see customers paying for a part rather than a flat-fee for a complete replacement.

The revelation was made at a Town Hall session on the Apple campus last Thursday, reports Apple Insider. Apple also told staff that changes would be made to the AppleCare service programmes beginning in the US the autumn, and then rolling out around the world.

Along with the suggestion that they won't need to pay a fixed fee for a complete replacement, customers are more likely to get their phone back with their data intact. Since iPhones are currently replaced with a refurbished model customers lose their data (unless they had a back up).  

Currently Apple Store staff are only able to carry out replacements of batteries, vibrator motors, speakers, receivers and home buttons in store. Under the new plans the staff will be able to replace the display, cameras, sleep/wake button, and logic board. Apple Store employees will also get a new tool to diagnose specific hardware problems. If the fault can't be rectified in store the phone will still be sent off site.

Apple Vice President Tara Bunch, who lead the Town Hall session, revealed that the change could save Apple around $1 billion a year.

Apple Care overhaul

The AppleCare service is also set change, so that it is insurance taken out by an individual rather than being attached to particular products.

According to Apple Insider, the new AppleCare may include 24/7 support. Apple may also extend its free iPhone support from 90 days to one year, or potentially two years under the program, according to Apple Insider.

The web-based customer service will also change, offering more tutorial videos and more interaction with Apple employees. Apple may also include support via iMessage.

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