The Late 2012 iMac – both 21.5-inch and 27-inch – becomes officially obsolete on January 30. As usual, the machines are instead labelled ‘vintage’ in California and Turkey, where the law requires Apple to continue to offer support …

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A memo seen by us states that the machines will still be eligible for service under the Repair Vintage Apple Products Pilot program. This means that it will still be possible to have your machine repaired through an Apple Store provided that parts are still available. However, if the parts inventory is exhausted, you’ll be out of luck.

The pilot repair program was introduced in November of last year, and was initially applied to the iPhone 5 and mid-2012 MacBook Air. It was also extended to the mid-2011 iMac in the US and Turkey.

This means there is now a three-phase support program for eligible products:

  • Free repairs during the warranty/AppleCare/AppleCare+ term
  • Paid repairs afterward, up until 5 years after the product is discontinued (7 years in California and Turkey)
  • Paid repairs thereafter only if parts remain available

It’s worth being aware of consumer protection laws in your country. For example, in EU countries, warranty repairs must be offered for a minimum of two years after purchase, and for up to seven years, depending on the product. There are no fixed rules determining whether it’s two years, seven or somewhere in between, but the warranty period must be ‘reasonable’ taking into account the typical longevity of the type of product, and the cost. An expensive appliance would be expected to last seven years, while a cheap phone would only be expected to last two.

You can check out the current list of vintage/obsolete products here.


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