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Apple forced to offer two-year warranty in Europe

Apple has extended its warranty on products sold in Europe from one year to two years, following a legal ruling in Italy.

All Apple products used to include a year’s warranty and 90 days of technical support free of charge, which was one year shorter than the requirements set out under European law.

The decision comes following a ruling in the Italian court that Apple had violated European law by not offering a free two-year warranty for faulty products. The company was fined €900,000 (£747,000).

The new legal obligations include product repairs up to two years following the purchase.

“When you purchase Apple products, European Union consumer law provides statutory warranty rights in addition to the coverage you receive from the Apple One-Year Limited Warranty and the optional AppleCare Protection Plan,” said the rewritten terms and conditions on the Apple website. “Non-Apple-branded products purchased from Apple are also eligible for coverage under EU consumer law.”

Apple had charged users £69 a year for AppleCare to extend its original policy up to a maximum of three years. That extra policy is still available on top of the EU legal requirements.

AppleCare protects Apple devices against any mechanical faults or defects that occur due to materials or workmanship, but doesn’t cover areas such as software or accessories that don’t come boxed with your products (cases, headphones, etc).

However, there are some differences in the way Apple views its obligations under its one-year warranty, the EU two-year warranty and AppleCare.

Apple’s website explains that under its one-year warranty and AppleCare it will repair or replace a product based on “defects arising after customer takes delivery”, while under EU law it will repair or replace a product within two years only if “defects present when customer takes delivery”.  

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