Leaked Apple Document Shows How Service Eligibility is Determined

Posted in Apple News, iPhone on 04/09/2017 by Chris Hauk


Have you ever wondered how Apple’s Geniuses decide whether an iPhone is eligible for service or replacement? A 22-page document leaked last week clues us all in to the details.

A document seen by Business Insider was leaked to Dropbox and offers information to Apple Store techs and authorized service providers as to when an iPhone is eligible for in-warranty and out-of-warranty service, or when it is ineligible for service or replacement.

The document is entitled “Visual/Mechanical Inspection Guide” or VMI for short and is dated 3/3/2017.

“We have one just like that for all of the products,” one Apple retail technician told Business Insider. “Used more for the physical inspection and how to determine cost for damage. That’s basically half the training for iPhone techs.”

VMIs are “something we use, but we don’t refer to it all that often unless we get some oddball issue,” another Apple technician told Business Insider. “We can normally pick out abnormal issues without using it.”

Here is a selected page from the Service Eligibility Guidelines:

Leaked Apple Document Shows How Service Eligibility is Determined

There’s no real surprises on that page, as most iPhone users know if you drop your iPhone in the toilet, you’ll pay for repairs.

The document also includes detailed questions for technicians to ask when presented with what appears to be a liquid-damaged iPhone.

Leaked Apple Document Shows How Service Eligibility is Determined

As can be expected, these policies are not set in stone, and details can change at any time. Plus, Apple personnel can also use their own judgement when presented with a questionable issue.


Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described "magnificent bastard," Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone's favorite "bad movie" website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 9 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, a number of iPads, iPhones, and multiple Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine and the Internet.