Apple has informed store employees and authorized service providers that it will in some instances perform repairs for detached or damaged HomePod cables, according to an internal memo obtained by 9to5Mac.
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Apple describes damaged or detached cables for HomePod as something it expects to be a “rare instance” for users, but it does have a policy in place to perform repairs at a cost. While some have noticed the cable can technically be removed with enough force, Apple did not design it to be user-removable and therefore refers to it as a built-in cable for warranty and repair purposes.
Apple Store employees and authorized service providers have been provided with documentation to diagnose the issue for repair, requiring the device passes Apple’s usual Visual Mechanical Inspection screening to make sure the HomePod is otherwise in working order and hasn’t been tampered with by the user. To be eligible, Apple employees will look to make sure there is no obvious user-inflicted physical damage to the HomePod enclosure, or damage inside of the HomePod’s power cord connector or to the cord itself including liquid damage.
Repairs for damaged and detached cables won’t be done by Apple store employees or authorized repair shops. Instead, units that meet Apple’s criteria for a repair will be mailed-in to Apple’s local repair facilities. Cable repairs are not covered under AppleCare+ and will cost eligible customers $29 USD in the US, $39 AUD incl GST in Australia, and 25 GBP incl VAT in the UK.
This is the only hardware repair that Apple appears to be performing for the HomePod currently with most other issues requiring a full unit replacement either under warranty or for a $279 out-of-warranty cost to the customer.
Not covered by AppleCare+ is anything that is classified as cosmetic damage with Apple’s guide for store employees noting dents, deformation, markings, yellowing and stains being expected wear and tear that is ineligible for repair. For any other hardware issues covered under warranty or AppleCare+ other than the cable, Apple will in most instances perform a whole unit replacement.