Apple could be planning considerable changes to the way it handles warranties on its devices, according to a new report.
The iPhone, iPad and Mac maker is said to be planning a revamp of its basic AppleCare warranty service to become a subscription that will cover all the Apple devices a user owns. AppleCare currently has to be purchased on a per-gadget basis. According to AppleInsider the company held a meeting about the changes on Thursday and plans to roll them out this fall.
The report also claims that Apple is working on some behind-the-scenes changes to the way it services iPhones in its stores, with plans in place to repair the same device that's brought in for repair if possible. That's as opposed to the current system, which frequently involves replacing the device entirely and requires a user to put their data back on it manually.
CNET has contacted Apple and will update this post when we know more.
The changes would come on the heels of criticism and regulatory issues with Apple's warranty services abroad. Apple recently made considerable changes to its warranty and replacement services in China, following staunch criticism from state-run media groups -- a move that included.
Before that,from the European Commission for what the group considered "unacceptable" businesses practices by not clearly indicating with its warranty products that customers were covered for the extra protection by local laws.
The AppleCare service, which runs anywhere from $29 to $349 depending on what Apple product you're buying, has long been one of Apple's main differentiators from its competitors. The company's add-on warranty service gives users a way to have their gadgets repaired by phone and in the company's retail stores. Apple extended that service in 2011 to include coverage for accidental damage with its AppleCare+ service.