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Apple may be relaxing on liquid-damage policies

Apple's policy on determining whether iPods have been subject to liquid damage appears to be relaxing a little, allowing for more discretion by the Apple Store employees in determining the cause of damage.

Some Apple employees are apparently having fun sending pictures of internal policy documents to the Boy Genius Reports tech Web site. Recently, a screenshot of Apple's LCD replacement policies surfaced on the site, and currently another is available, which shows changes to Apple's liquid-damage policies for iPods, which may indicate some good news for iPod owners.

Apple's mobile devices come with small Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI) patches that react and change color when in contact with water. Apple uses the color change to determine whether a device has been submerged in water before honoring warranty claims for the devices. This policy has resulted in some controversy, with some people claiming the LCIs are changing color in conditions of high humidity or are otherwise changing color without having been in contact with liquids.

Though previously Apple employees would just inspect the patches, the new policies apparently will also require the employees to look for additional signs of liquid damage before determining that liquid contact was the cause for the device malfunction. This change does relax some of the return and replacement rules for iPods, and may make it easier for Apple employees to swap out devices for users; however, the document does note that the final determination of damage is still up to the Apple Store employees.

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