Leaked Apple Documents Show How They Decide What To Do With Your Busted iPhone

Leaked Apple Documents Show How They Decide What To Do With Your Busted iPhone
Updated 10 months ago

An internal Apple document made the rounds online this week after someone leaked it.

The guide details how Apple decides what's covered under an iPhone's warranty. 

Dated March 3, the "Visual/Mechanical Inspection Guide" (VMI) showed up recently on Dropbox, and applies to the iPhone 6, 6s, and 7 generations. Business Insider did not publish a direct link, but shared screenshots from the document.

The VMI shows common issues that are covered under the warranty: 

One Apple technician told Business Insider:

We have one just like that for all of the products. It's used more for the physical inspection and how to determine cost for damage. That's basically half the training for iPhone techs.

Another Apple technician said that VMIs are "something we use, but we don't refer to it all that often unless we get some oddball issue. We can normally pick out abnormal issues without using it.

Without Apple Care Insurance, out-of-warranty service fees are based on the severity of the problem:

Water damage cannot be covered by the warranty!

Here's a list of questions customer service reps ask to determine if a phone has suffered water damage:

The leaked VMI reflected a change in the warranty coverage. 

Apparently, in 2014 Apple decided to cover a single hairline crack. Also, if there are dead pixels on the screen, the owner has to specifically ask to have them repaired.

Apple will not change their policy on cosmetic damage. So... if you drop it, you pay for it. 

If a customer has problems not discussed in the VMI, their phone might still be repaired under warranty. 

One Apple employee said the rules listed on the VMI don't necessarily inform all final decisions:

There are always those one-off issues that the phone is technically not covered under warranty but we swap the phone anyways under warranty.

Even though their employees are talking, Apple isn't responding with a comment.