New iPhones (and refurbished ones purchased from Apple) come with at least one year of warranty, but it does not cover all kinds of damages. In this article, we will tell you about those unfortunate situations in which you won’t get free repairs or device replacement even when your iPhone is under warranty.
Apple’s one-year warranty is primarily limited to manufacturing defects. Additionally, Apple offers two paid plans: AppleCare+ and AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss. But this guide is only focused on the one-year standard warranty you get for free with all iPhone purchases.
Here are thirteen things or kinds of damages that are not covered under the Apple one-year warranty.
1. Liquid damage
Your iPhone 7 and later, including the latest iPhone 15, is water resistant but not waterproof. Apple clearly states that “water resistance is not a permanent condition and can diminish over time.” Because of this, your iPhone, even though advertised as water resistant, is not covered under warranty.
Therefore, if water, cold drink, beer, or other liquid gets inside your iPhone and damages it, your only solution is to pay for expensive repairs.
2. Broken display
iPhone screen damage is not covered under the free one-year warranty. You will have to pay a fortune to get it replaced. However, if you have purchased AppleCare+ for your iPhone, the broken screen or back glass is replaced for a small service fee of $29.
Note: If your iPhone display has dead pixels on arrival or develops a green line because of updating its software, then it should be fixed for free, given your phone is under warranty.
3. Shattered back glass or other physical damage
Like the front screen, you’re looking at an expensive repair if you break the glass back of your iPhone 12 or later.
Secondly, other kinds of physical damages to buttons, cameras, Touch ID, mute switch, etc., may not be covered under the free warranty, provided they are not manufacturing defects.
4. Regular wear & tear, dents, and cosmetic damages
User-created dents, gaps, holes, nicks, scratches on the screen/back glass/Face ID sensor, and all other visual damages or misuse (that are not manufacturing defects) are not covered under warranty.
5. Port or SIM slot damage
Apple may not fix your iPhone’s damaged charging port for free, even under warranty. It’s also true for getting your physical SIM card stuck in the SIM slot or having it blocked with something else.
Note: There are reports that a faulty charging port with no physical damage or non-working speakers and earpiece may be replaced for free if your iPhone is under warranty.
6. Bricked device because of jailbreaking
If you brick your iPhone during jailbreaking, and Apple figures it out, then you can say goodbye to free replacement or repair, even if your device is under warranty.
7. Damage from self-repair
Apple won’t offer free warranty repairs if they find out that you or a non-Apple authorized service provider has opened the iPhone beforehand.
8. Using software not authorized by Apple
If Apple concludes that you bricked your iPhone by using unauthorized software, like this person installing Ubuntu on an iPhone, then they won’t fix or replace it under the free warranty.
9. Using accessories that don’t follow Apple’s specifications
Apple’s legal document suggests that damage caused by using non-Apple accessories/components that don’t conform to their guidelines can also lead to a void warranty. But again, if you don’t disclose, it may be very tough for Apple Store employees to find out that you used such an accessory to mess up your iPhone.
10. Loss or theft
The free Apple one-year warranty does not cover the loss or theft of your iPhone. However, the story is different if you had purchased AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss plan.
11. Battery issues
The free one-year Apple Warranty does not cover battery replacement or repair unless manufacturing defects are established.
However, if your iPhone’s battery health has fallen below 80% within one year, you must take it to an Apple Store, and they may replace it for free.
12. No ownership proof
In the majority of cases, Apple Store does not ask you for a receipt, bill, or other ownership proof to perform most warranty repairs as they (and also you) can easily figure out if the device is under warranty or not.
Secondly, the warranty is attached to the device, not the first buyer. So, even if you bought a second-hand iPhone from someone and the device is under warranty, then you’re eligible for its benefits.
With that said, in rare circumstances, Apple may require you to present some kind of proof to show that you have bought the device by legal means and are its owner. This situation can happen if the iPhone you purchased is marked as stolen, has its serial number erased, you can’t unlock its passcode, you can’t deactivate other security measures, etc. In these cases, if you fail to comply, Apple may refuse warranty benefits to your device.
13. International warranty repairs
It’s well known that you can get your iPhone fixed under warranty even in a country different from where you purchased the device. For instance, you can get your iPhone purchased in the USA repaired at a service center in France.
However, while going through Apple’s legal warranty document, I noticed this line:
“Apple may restrict warranty service for hardware products to the country where Apple or its Authorized Distributors originally sold the device.”
For the most part, you can ignore it as legal words for rare circumstances, but it’s surely something to keep in mind. For more, I’d suggest seeing Apple’s official legal page.
Always get Apple Store’s quote
No matter what, it’s always a good idea to take your iPhone to an Apple Store or authorized service center, inform them that it’s under warranty, and then let them decide if the repair will be free or chargeable. Even if the damage doesn’t fall under warranty coverage, the Apple employee may decide at their own discretion to repair the device for free.
Related: Get repair estimate on Apple’s website
Check the Apple Service Programs page for free repairs
Sometimes, Apple owns up to its mistake and offers free repairs for selected issues, even if your device is out of warranty. For instance, iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro manufactured between October 2020 and April 2021 had sound issues, and Apple announced that they would fix this for free.
You can check all such issues and free repairs on Apple’s Service Programmes page.