[Update 4/21/17: Several 4th Generation iPad owners have reported Apple has not replaced their faulty iPads with iPad Air 2 devices. Note the internal memo states only “whole unit repairs may be substituted to iPad Air 2.” In addition, an iPad Air 2 upgrade is reportedly unavailable until stock of all iPad 4th Generation devices has depleted in your region.]
Great news for those of you who’ve clung so tightly to your 4th generation iPad. Apple recently instated a policy change in regards to service requests for the now discontinued 4th generation tablet. Specifically, in instances where customers need to have their device serviced or repaired for any serious reason, Apple is now offering them an outright replacement with a considerably newer, more powerful iPad Air 2, according to an internal memo from the company that was obtained by 9to5mac.
“Starting March 30th, iPad 4th generation whole unit repairs may be substituted to iPad Air 2,” the memo reads, in part.
Apple has essentially authorized its retail staff, as well as select Apple-authorized retailers, to start shipping a variety of iPad Air 2 models as replacement units for customers who’re seeking service on their 4th gen models, in cases when stock of the aging, long discontinued iPad 4th gen isn’t available.
Apple’s 4th generation iPad, which was the first to feature the company’s Lightning port for charging and data syncing via USB, was discontinued back in October, 2014, when the company announced the iPad Air 2. However, Cupertino’s policy has typically been to continue offering support and repairs for discontinued products up to five years after their discontinuation at Apple Stores or authorized retailers.
Apple’s internal memo also informs staff to notify customers about the color and storage capacity of their replacement model, since the iPad Air 2 is offered in several colors and storage capacities, including a new Gold color option, and recently introduced 32 GB and 128 GB storage capacities — which replace previously discontinued offerings in 16 GB and 64 GB. That’s pretty good news for iPad 4th gen owners whose devices start acting up, as it entails that the replacement being offered won’t just be more powerful and feature-packed, but also could boast a bit more onboard storage than their iPad 4th gen, depending on availability.
While the iPad Air 2 is now discontinued as well, having been replaced last month with the company’s new budget-friendly $329 iPad, this move is nonetheless great news for those whose bulky-bezeled 4th gen iPads begin showing signs of doom — especially since Apple Stores, and most 3rd party service providers, don’t typically perform repairs to iPad but rather offer the customer a replacement for their faulty model, depending on stock and availability in their region.