Apple surprised quite a few people today by announcing the fourth generation full-sized iPad alongside the iPad mini. It was widely speculated that the Cupertino-based company would release a slightly tweaked version of the third generation with a Lightning connector, but most people didn’t expect Apple to release the next major tablet refresh, considering the third gen iPad is only a few months old.
For this reason, many people probably dropped a considerable amount of cash on shine new “new iPads” over the past 30 days, unaware that they were purchasing outdated technology. This would probably be a major source of contention between Apple and its customers, but Apple seems to be attempting to cool off the response to the accelerated product refresh by offering customers who bought the third gen iPad within the past 30 days the option to exchange it for a comparable fourth generation model free of charge.
This is certainly good news, but it’s worth nothing that this is not a universal company policy. A customer’s exchange eligibility will be determined on a store-to-store basis. According to an Apple store manager,
“The manager at the Stockton Street store in San Francisco explained that “this specific store” would allow purchasers of the third-generation iPad to exchange their device for the fourth-generation iPad if purchased within the last 30 days. She emphasized that, unless the recently-purchased iPad showed serious signs of wear-and-tear, the usual 14-day return policy would be waived.
“And what about other stores?” You’ll have to call and find out. She explained, “We can’t speak to other stores’ policies — this is something our store has decided to do.”
For Apple’s sake as much as the customers’, I hope that the other Apple stores are just as accommodating. It would be a very quick way to turn someone off to a company by refreshing products every few months with no grace period. However, if you can prove your third generation iPad was purchased within the last month and it isn’t cracked or missing the home button or something, I can’t imagine you’d run into too much trouble finding a store to exchange it.
What do you guys think? Does this exchange policy make up for the fact that Apple released an iPad 4 mere months after the third gen model hit store shelves? Sound off in the comments section below or let me know on twitter @TiP_Jake.