Apple has updated its repair policies for Apple retail stores regarding repairing iPhones that have had their batteries replaced by third-party repair outlets. Those iPhones can now be repaired at an Apple Genius Bar or at an Apple Authorized Service Provider.
First reported by iGeneration and confirmed by AppleInsider, Apple Stores changed the policies relating to batteries on February 28, allowing customers to use the retail repair process once again for such devices. In the event the battery needs to be replaced, both the Genius Bar and Apple Authorized Service providers will replace it with an official Apple version, while repairs involving other components will continue while ignoring the battery’s unofficial nature.
Previously, stores were required to deny service requests by customers whose iPhone had a replacement battery installed by an unauthorized repair source. The refusal of service included any repair, even if the battery was not involved.
iPhones that have had displays or other components replaced by unauthorized third-party repair shops will either be charged the cost of a replacement or will be refused for repair. The new policy does not cover any damage to the device caused by third-party battery swelling, such as screen breakage.
AppleInsider reports not all technicians are pleased with the policy change:
French Apple technicians are apparently concerned about the policy change, due to the increased risk of using unofficial batteries. One French technician —backed up by a tech contacted by AppleInsider in the United States —cited incidents where changes to the battery were not detected before opening the iPhone and an accidental short circuit caused damage to the logic board.
In an effort to mitigate those fears, Apple has supplied special instructions to technicians to be followed when repairing devices that have been identified as containing third-party power sources.