What Does It Mean When An Apple Device Is Listed As Vintage?

Apple only services its products for a set time period, and designates devices as obsolete and vintage based on their status. Here’s what that means.

Apple’s retail stores and service programs are a staple of their customer experience, but products can only be repaired for a set period of time, and the company uses obsolete and vintage classifications to sort eligible and ineligible devices. Though Apple devices are notoriously difficult to repair — and are sometimes unrepairable altogether — a common defense of the company is the ease of which users can get devices serviced. In many cases, users can schedule an appointment at an Apple Store and get a repair or replacement in the same day. If the user has an AppleCare+ plan, the repair or replacement can come at little or no additional cost. However, this only applies while a device is eligible for service — and mileage may vary with products classified as vintage.

The company appears to be at least attempting to change its image with regards to repairability, as it introduced a Self Service Repair Program last year. With the Self Service Repair Program, anyone can order replacement parts and rent official service equipment online. Apple discourages this, and recommends only individuals with the knowledge necessary to service their products go through with the endeavor. Even with the seemingly inclusive repair program, the company’s guidelines for obtaining replacement parts still apply. This includes matching serial numbers to devices, and a lack of parts for products classified as obsolete and vintage.

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