According to a report by news website 9to5Mac, Apple will be launching a new repair program this week. The initiave will be covering the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus in a bid to reduce the waiting times at Genius Bars in Apple Stores.
The new repair program will be introduced in certain stores in the United States, Japan and Europe, according to Apple employees.
In the new program, the devices could be shipped for repairs to be done on an off-site repair center. Before, repairs brought in by customers in the Apple Genius Bar had to be completed at the same branch where the smartphone was taken.
If the iPhone experiences problems in connecting to iTunes on computers, switching on, or booting up beyond the Apple logo, then it is likely to be sent to an off-site repair center.
Apple has said to its employees that the repairs needed to fix these issues in Genius Bars are taking up too much time that could instead be used to serve other customers with less complicated problems on their iPhones.
Customers that agree to have their smartphones shipped to an off-site repair center are entitled to receive a loaner 16GB iPhone 6 unit that can be used while waiting for their device to be returned. This would be the first instance that Apple is offering customers with loaner smartphones. Repairs can take three to five business days.
The new repair program is a massive change for the operations of the Genius Bars of Apple Stores. Employees of Apple Stores have indicated that Genius Bars will be utilizing new automated systems that will be tasked with determining if an iPhone should be fixed at the Genius Bar or shipped to an off-site repair center, with the decision lying on the system and not on the Apple Store employee.
While the new repair program will only be a pilot and not necessarily be implemented in all locations worldwide, this could mean the lowering of the standards of Apple Store Genius Bars. Previously, customers experiencing problems with iPhones that are still under warranty are sure to walk out of Apple Stores with a solution, but with the new repair program, customers might have to wait much longer.