Your iPhone 5 is now obsolete: But Apple might fix it under new vintage repairs pilot

Apple might now repair your 'vintage' iPhone or Mac, but only if parts are available.

Apple has now added the iPhone 5 to its list of 'vintage products' in the US and has reportedly launched a new 'Repair Vintage Apple Products Pilot' program.

Vintage products are those that Apple hasn't manufactured for more than five years but less than seven years ago. Depending on the country and local laws, Apple stops offering hardware service for products that fall into its vintage category.

The iPhone 5 reached vintage status this week in the US, while it's been classified obsolete in the rest of the world.

Products considered 'obsolete' by Apple were discontinued more than seven years ago. "Apple has discontinued all hardware service for obsolete products with no exceptions," it notes on its support page for vintage and obsolete products.

In the US, owners of vintage iPhones -- which include the iPhone 5, iPhone 4, and iPhone 3GS -- can get service by going through Apple in California.

For Macs, Apple service providers will provide service for vintage products in Turkey.

The iPhone 5 was released in September 2012 with iOS 6 for $200 under the then popular method of selling subsidized phones on contract.

SEE: IT pro's guide to the evolution and impact of 5G technology (free PDF)

Apple that year began selling an unlocked iPhone 5 for $649. It featured 4G, a larger four-inch screen, and introduced the A6 processor. In 2014 it launched a battery-recall program due to some devices having a faulty battery.

Apple has also launched a new 'Repair Vintage Apple Products Pilot' program, according to 9to5Mac.

Devices that are eligible for it include the iPhone 5, as well as the MacBook Air 11-inch and 13-inch models from mid-2012. In the US and Turkey, eligible devices include 21.5-inch and 27-inch 2011 iMac.

However there's no guarantee Apple will service vintage products under the program. The plan is to only offer repairs if parts are available. If not, customers will be turned down and told inventory isn't available.

Apple also isn't publicizing details of the plan. According to MacRumors, details of the program are in an internal document aimed at Apple Stores and authorized Apple repair shops.

Apple will reportedly soon add more devices to its vintage repair program. These include the iPhone 4s and MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012) on November 30, 2018.

The next phase, beginning December, 30, 2018, will cover the MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2012), MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2013), MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012), Mac Pro (Mid 2012), and iPhone 5 (GSM).

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