Why does Apple only offer one year of warranty?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by baryon, May 21, 2010.

  1. baryon macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2009
    Okay so I've been asking myself this question for years, and I simply can't understand it. I just got a leaflet, and as usual, Apple advertises its computers as robust and more durable than other computers, designed to last longer. If that's true, and it probably is, then how come they only offer ONE year of warranty for free? It's something that doesn't make sense to me: to show that users can trust your product, you should offer more warranty!

    If you compare that to cars for example, the more durable cars are advertised with 5 to 7 years of free warranty, showing that buyer that they probably won't need to repair the car for 7 years after they buy it, otherwise the company would go bankrupt by repairing all those cars for free.

    Now most things I buy related to electronics, like external hard drives, mice, graphics tablets, phones, headphones, watches, cameras, memory cards, calculators, SLR lenses, etc, easily offer 2 or 3 years of warranty. Nikon for example, offers 2 years, and if you register on their website, for free, you get an extra year. I thought that was normal, and not "extra nice" of them.

    Now Apple offers an extended warranty, Apple Care, but for extra money! Not only did you spend all your money on a brand new computer, but you should also spend more just to get a useable amount of warranty? Even the lamest computer can function without any flaws for a year! I think that if Apple really trusted the quality of their computers, they would have no problem offering 3 years of free warranty with every purchased product. If you bough a super expensive computer, you should expect it to work for more than 3 years, and not break down after 1 year, and to guaranty this, I think Apple should offer a warranty for those 3 years.

    Now you can say "but then the computers would be even more expensive to compensate for the price of extra repairs", but if Apple computers are really durable, that shouldn't make much of a difference. Warranty duration is the one thing that shows how much a company trusts its products.

    Am I the only one who feels this is unfair?
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Because they want more of your money, duh?
  3. Matthew Yohe macrumors 68020

    Oct 12, 2006

    This is common across the entire PC marketplace.
  4. Abyssgh0st macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2009
    Because they have the best included manufacturer's one year warranty in the computer industry. And it's worth your money to extend it. They're a business trying to top themselves quarter after quarter, not a charity.
  5. Amasashi macrumors member

    May 17, 2010
    I used to build PCs for a living (though I only use Mac, LoL) and a one-year manufacturer's warranty is the industry standard for a pre-made computer. The reason why some manufacturers provide up to 3-years of warranty is because you're only buying a single piece of hardware from them, not an entire computer. Warranties for an entire computer have a lot of hidden costs that many of us don't realize, which is why they're limited to one year.

    For example, suppose you have an Acer computer and another one you built yourself. The Acer will have a one year warranty, while all the parts in your custom-built computer will have a three year warranty. When something goes wrong with the Acer, all you have to do is take it back to the store, drop it off, and pick it up when it's ready.

    On your custom built computer, you're the one who has to diagnose the problem. Let's say you discover that your Western Digital hard drive is shot. You're the one who has to disassemble the computer, take out the hard drive, contact Western Digital, send them the hard drive, wait for them to send it back to you, reinstall the hard drive, and pray that when you turn on the computer the problem will be fixed. Maybe the hard drive they sent you was defective. Maybe there's something else wrong with the computer. Now you're back to square one. Rinse and repeat as many times as necessary.

    And should you mess up your computer while trying to fix it (because hey, accidents do happen), you're out of luck because no one's going to cover that for you.

    And what if it's 2-3 years since you bought your computer and the manufacturer no longer provides support for your specific hardware but they're also unwilling to replace it with what they're selling now? Again, you're out of luck.

    So basically the warranty for an entire computer covers the labor costs of all those services, which is why it's limited to one year. Some companies, like Apple, offer extensions of their warranties for an extra cost, but most don't. AppleCare is pretty expensive, no question about that, but so is health insurance for the elderly. At least Apple is willing to sell you such a warranty. A lot of companies don't. Whether it's worth it is for each person to decide.

    I agree that premium products should be built to last, but since everything is mass produced (and in places like China, to be exact), problems are going to happen every now and then, and it obviously costs much more to fix a premium product than it does an ordinary one.

    Just FYI, I'm not saying I support Apple's one-year warranty because I think it should be three years out of the box. I'm just explaining the rationale behind it.
  6. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Obviously Apple _could_ sell computers with three years warranty. Today, the basic 13" MBP costs £999 with one year warranty and three years AppleCare costs £199. So Apple could stop selling it for £999 and sell it for £1198 with three years warranty included. Would that make you happier?
  7. A.W.E.S.O.M.-0 macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2010
    Of course it is unfair, infact it is downright unethical behaviour.

    I know nowadays a one year warranty is is commonplace in the computer industry and some computer components do seem to last at most three years. This is a far cry from the quality standards we were used to ten years ago, same goes for tv's, dvd players and so many more examples.

    I will not go as far as saying that it is all deliberate or a conspiracy to make us buy more hardware more frequently, but it's definatly noticable that the durability of modern electronics is absolutely not improving for most consumer products. If you want to make more durable products it's purely a matter of design and choice of components.

    In the EU there is a mandatory 3 year warranty on computers by law. Manufacturers are not allowed to sell that mandatory 3 year warranty as an extra service so companies invent creative policies such as Apple Care that justify extra costs. However, company's are not mandated (thank you special interest groups and lobby's) to communicate to the consumer that you already have 3 year warranty standard so they continue to advertise with a stunning 1 year warranty. They hope that consumers don't know their rights and either pay for a service they should already get by law or to forfeit on their rights and buy extra electronics.

    However, baryon on this forum you won't find many people that will criticize Apple for it.
  8. Alvi macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2008
    Because they're being designed by super-rich chicken-heads and built by Suicidal-thought depressed Chinese guys (no offense)
    I owned an iMac which lasted me only 3 years because a widespread graphics card issue they had and still didn't admit, I love apple but it's not fair to ask so much money for a product that can't last till the day you want to replace, they even have Time Machine to make the Three year cycle easy, now i got a MacBook Pro a few months ago that i hope it will last me more than the iMac
  9. fabian9 macrumors 65816


    Nov 28, 2007
    Bristol, UK
    How much Apple is actually in an Apple? Ultimately, they buy a lot of components from third party manufacturers, repackage them, stick an Apple label on them and they're done.

    I would say 90% of all warranty cases are probably due do a third party component failing (hard drives, memory, GPUs, screens, inverters, etc.). So they probably pass a lot of the cost of these repairs on to their suppliers - who only provide one year warranty.

    Cosmetic damage is not covered by AppleCare, so they exclude one of their main value adding processes from any warranty - which is their design.
  10. baryon thread starter macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2009
    Thanks everyone for the info!

    I do happen to live in the EU, in the UK to be specific, and my 1 and a half year old MacBook Pro seems to have a graphics card issue (long story, random reboots and stuff like that), but how can I tell them that they should support my hardware for 3 years for free according to EU law, even though they only mention a 1 year warranty? In the Apple store, the genius told me that if the issue becomes recognised by Apple sometime in the future, they can replace the motherboard for free, otherwise there's nothing I can do (except buy a new motherboard, which as we know is the most expensive part of the computer). But what if they don't recognise the issue? The EU law should still apply, right?

  11. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030


    Apr 15, 2010
    I don't know what your base of comparison is for this, but its actually pretty much par for the course relative to their other laptop competitors:

    Dell Adamo series - 1 Year Parts and 1 Year Labor (labor is limited)
    Sony Vaio series - 1 Year P&L (limited)
    HP Envy series - 1 Year P&L (limited)
    Toshiba Satellite series - 1 Year P&L

    Apple offers no better/worse than anyone else in the industry for included laptop repair and service warranties. You could possibly give them points for offering it via their Genius bars but that all depends on where you live in proximity to same.
  12. Eric5273 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2009
    New Jersey
    Most of the computer companies are only including a one year warranty with their computers now. So now you have the choice of purchasing extended coverage if you want it. 10 years ago you had no choice and paid for a 3 year warranty whether or not you wanted it. My Toshiba laptop that I purchased in 1993 had a 3 year warranty, and so did my AST laptop that I purchased in 1996. Both of them cost more than $3k, and neither was a premium model. The premium laptops back then cost more than $5k. So now you can buy a Macbook Pro for $1200. But Apple would be very happy to sell you one for $1400 including a 3 year warranty. And even then, you still save a couple of grand over what that would have cost you 10 years ago.
  13. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
    Uh, Apple has the best warranty available. You can actually talk to a person, IN PERSON!

    How many times have you called and complained about a product? It's very frustrating over the phone.
  14. inhalexhale macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2010
    Idk about that. Dell would send someone out to my house within 2 days and replace any part I said was faulty. Before I sold it, I just called and said the hard drive was broken so I could hold on to mine and sell it with a clean HD (the tech let me keep the old one!).

    I don't have any experience with applecare since I'm waiting for the back to school thing before I buy my 1st mac, but don't you have to mail it out or at least bring it into the mac store? If it was mid semester and I had to be without my PC for a week or two that would be pretty incovenient....

    (If thats not how applecare works enlighten me; thats how the rep from apple made it sound)
  15. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Monterey CA
    We like to think that they choose the best quality parts. There are several manufacturers of hard drives. Surely, some have better bearings and other premium construction features, and some are simply done the very cheapest way possible that hopefully will last a year.

    We know Apple chooses the premium hard drive. Right? They do, don't they...?

    If they have the same warrantee, then it suggests that they have the same expectations and that they use the same parts.
  16. millertime021 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2010
    This is why companies only have 1 year warranties. People like you claim to have a faulty hard drive just so you didn't have to go buy a new hard drive.

    Screw you.
  17. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    Hell, I remember when Apple computers were $5000+ and came with a 90-day warranty. Apple was dragged kicking and screaming into providing 1 year warranties.
  18. fabian9 macrumors 65816


    Nov 28, 2007
    Bristol, UK
    they may or they might not - doesn't really matter. things break, nothing lasts forever in this world. so there'll always be warranty cases...
  19. logimech macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2010
    Interesting thing is that Apple probably does offer a longer warranty out of the box, but does not explicitly state it.

    Google "implied warrant of merchantability" and you'll see that the U.S. law will require a warranty for a reasonable amount of time after purchase.

    However, that process would require going the legal route (which most people probably will not pursue), and does not necessarily give you the same level of service that you get from AppleCare.
  20. mingoglia macrumors 6502

    Dec 10, 2009
    Anyone remember the early days of Dell where they all came with 3 year warranties? I remember back in the early nineties I had a keyboard go out on a Saturday and they delivered one TO MY DOOR the next day (on a Sunday). True story.

    I agree Apple should have a longer warranty. Even if it's just a bit longer. You're paying a premium and just like a Lincoln Navigator has a longer warranty than a Ford Expedition even though they're made of the same Ford components I believe Apple being made of the same components as a PC (other than the chassis and a few other things) they should offer a longer warranty than the typical PC.
  21. benzslrpee macrumors 6502


    Jan 1, 2007
    unethical? i think it's unethical that my Nissan only came with a 3 yr/36k warranty when Hyundai is doing 10yr/100k :rolleyes:

    - the 1 year warranty is plainly stated on the page (not hiding) when you click the "buy now" button
    - they aren't baiting and switching by implying you get a 3 yr warranty when it's only 1
    - the extended warranty isn't added as a hidden charge when you buy a machine to fool people
    - the notification of the 1 yr warranty isn't written in a light grey, size 4 font that you'll never see
    - took a quick look at Dell Inspirons (except for the most expensive option) and HP Envys, seems that 1 yr parts and labor are the norm as well

    so aside from your personal quibbles, what exactly is unethical?

  22. djasterix macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2010
    Paradise City
    It's an industry standart, and I belive the best one-year warranty out there. Like it? get applecare...
  23. silexh macrumors member


    Mar 8, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Here are some abstracts from this document.
    So basically you have 2 year warranty as long as you can reasonably state the defect wasn't caused by a third party (and warranty needs to be free of charge and without inconvenience).

    Also if you offer warranty you need to mention other rights apply...

    UPDATE: Some member states have more than 2 years. Apple also seems to be terrible in honouring these consumer laws.
    In Holland there are also some other laws which state the seller has to provide a 'decent' product which last for a 'reasonable' time (5+ year for a MBP), I think it is safe to assume it is the same way in the rest of the EU.

    ANOTHER UPDATE: For Dutch speaking people this is a very good explanation of your rights.
  24. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    There are some bizarre comments here, a lot of them naive.

    If the industry standard was a 3 year warranty, as some have commented that it used to be.. we would all pay for that. Warranty costs would be higher and those would be passed on to the consumer. The way it is now, Applecare and other manufacturer's plans allow this to be optional. The ones that want it pay for it.

    It's not like it was magically free before.

    A lot of manufacturers provide additional warranty periods for the exact opposite reason. Consumers have a reason to distrust their products so the additional warranty is designed to make them feel more comfortable. I recall a friend who bought a Hyundai way back when they first came to the States. He didn't worry because he had an awesome warranty, but he later found that only helps so much. If your car is in the shop 4 times per year it still sucks.
  25. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    I'm pretty sure EU customers pay a more for their Apple (and other) products than we do. No matter how a company warranties their product, it's going to be built-in to the price. If the US were to mandate a 3 year warranty, prices would increase. I'd rather take the 1 year warranty at a lower price and decide for myself whether what I have necessitates extra expense for extended warranty.

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