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Apple iPhone 15: 5 years of software support and hairline cracks to pay for yourself

Apple is known for its long support windows. Now there is an official number: 5 years of support for the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

Apple is known for its long software support windows for its iPhones, but the company has never officially promised a specific number of years. This is very different in the Android world, where virtually all device manufacturers promise some kind of software support. Google and Samsung are currently at the forefront, guaranteeing a full seven years of support for their respective flagships. However, Apple has now been forced by new British regulations to specify a minimum support window for its iPhone 15 series, specifically the iPhone 15 Pro Max in the screenshot below.

The Americans have opted for five years. That’s obviously two years less than its main competitors, but there’s still the fine print. Apple promises at least five years for the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Nothing stops the company from going beyond that, even well beyond five years, as has often been the case with critical security vulnerabilities in the past. So for the first time, we finally have a message from Apple itself on this topic, even if there was no official press release about it.

Apple Watch and iPhone users will now have to pay for hairline cracks themselves

Whether this is good news or bad news is up to you to decide. A second piece of support news today definitely went in the bad direction: Hairline cracks on iPhones and Apple Watches are now classified as accidental damage. This means that they are no longer covered by the standard warranty. This is due to a change in Apple’s warranty policy earlier this week.

This was not the case in the past. Hairline cracks that occur without a visible point of impact could be repaired free of charge. This is still the case for iPads and Macs, but Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers have been informed that iPhones and Watches are no longer covered.

Of course, you can take out an AppleCare+ plan so that the €488.99 / $380 screen replacement (for an iPhone 15 Pro Max) costs just €29 / $29. The downside is that you’ll need a subscription of €11.99 / $10 per month (also available as €229 / $200 for 2 years) or more if you also get theft and loss protection.

It’s not clear what the reason for the policy change was or how long the free repair option will remain for iPads and MacBooks. If you don’t already use a screen protector, you might want to consider getting a film for your iPhone.

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Toni Hobrecht
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