iPad owners are in for a sweet deal. Anyone who'll bring their fourth-generation iPad to Apple for service may have it upgraded to an iPad Air 2.

Apple Offering 4th-Gen iPad Owners Free Upgrades To iPad Air 2

However, a caveat: The free upgrade only concerns customers in need of a full replacement, meaning minor touch-ups might not entail a full transition to the newer and more capable iPad Air 2. The upgrade will be available on Apple stores and authorized service providers.

Apple has greenlit the policy as a way to properly allocate its inventory. It's readily allowing shipments of iPad Air 2 in place of fourth-generation iPads because stocks of the latter are becoming increasingly thin, if not totally unavailable, having been discontinued in 2014.

Obtained by 9to5Mac, the internal memo reads: "Starting March 30th, iPad 4th generation whole unit repairs may be substituted to iPad Air 2."

The memo also mentions that staff should inform customers of what color and how much storage capacity they'll receive. The iPad Air 2, for the uninitiated, introduced a new gold colorway, and most recently had available configurations of 32 GB and 128 GB. The iPad Air 2 16 GB and 64 GB models were discontinued earlier.

To that end, users might be in for a sweet storage capacity upgrade, in addition to the iPad Air 2's more powerful internals, of course.

The iPad Air 2 has also been discontinued recently, although Apple will keep shipping them until supplies of the fourth-generation iPad run out.

Typically, Apple supports devices up to five years following their discontinuation. This means fourth-generation iPad users may continue to get repairs and services from authorized providers, in addition to Apple's own stores. It's worth noting that many Apple Stores can't facilitate repairs, so they might provide replacement devices instead.

There's still no guarantee, however, that your fourth-generation iPad will be replaced by an iPad Air 2. Upgrades will vary depending on stock in specific regions, so if if you need to bring your iPad in for servicing, you should check with Apple stores or authorized service providers if you're eligible for an upgrade while there.

Latest iPad Model

Apple unveiled the newest iPad model late March as it officially bid goodbye to the iPad Air 2. It is now simply named "iPad." It sports a 9.7-inch screen and retails for a starting price of $329, targeted for budget users.

The base model comes equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity and 32 GB of onboard storage. Bump it up to $459 and you'll get cellular connectivity on top of Wi-Fi. The refresh is seemingly aimed at users with old iPad models looking for an upgrade that won't break the bank.

The new iPad comes equipped with an A9 chip with 64-bit architecture, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1.2-megapixel FaceTime camera, Touch ID, and iOS 10 out of the box.

Thoughts about the free upgrade? Do you have an erring fourth-generation iPad that's in dire in need of repair? Maybe it's time to upgrade — for free! Feel free to sound off in the comments section below, as always.

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