At some point or another, it’s likely your iPhone will need the attention of special attention from Apple’s Genius Bar crew. And now it seems the company has apparently devised a way to fix broken iPhones faster than ever before thanks to a new repair program.
According to 9to5Mac’s well-connected Mark Gurman, Apple will introduce this week a new repair program for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s in select stores in the U.S., Europe, and Japan.
Instead of repairing the broken iPhone in store, Apple will simply issue a temporary replacement as the original device is sent out to an off-site repair center.
In case the device is unable to connect to iTunes or a computer, if it won’t power on, and if it doesn’t boot up past the Apple logo, then Apple Store Genius Bar employees will simply ship the handset off to a specialized center and offer the customer a 16GB iPhone 6 model as a replacement. An automated system would tell the Genius whether the phone can be repaired in store or if it has to be sent away.
This might be a win-win situation. The user gets an entirely functional phone on a loan basis, and he or she can simply restore from an iPhone backup and use the device while the broken model is fixed. Apple, meanwhile, will be able to deal with these problems even faster and devote human resources to other customers.
The solution isn’t necessarily perfect, as it requires a second visit to the store to pick up the repaired device.
The other more obvious problem, of course, is that iPhone buyers who purchased 64GB or 128GB phone versions will have to make do with the limited storage available on the 16GB iPhone 6 and miss out on several iPhone 6s features they may have gotten used to.
On the other hand, if a device needs off-site repairs and Apple didn’t offer a replacement iPhone, the user would have no iPhone to use during repairs. Under the new program, Apple puts a fully working iPhone in your hand, letting you go about your day without the hassles of not having your most important computing device.
The program will debut as a pilot, so it won’t be available in all stores initially.
What’s interesting to note here is that Apple might have an interesting resource to use up for this particular kind of service in the form of its iPhone Upgrade Program. Apple now sells iPhones under its own trade-in and upgrade program, so the company might as well use some of the iPhone 6 units that are traded in for this iPhone loaner repair program. This, however, is just speculation at this point, as there are no official details on the matter.