Why does Apple only offer one year of warranty?

baryon

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Oct 3, 2009
3,387
1,050
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?
 
  • Like
Reactions: decio

Abyssgh0st

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2009
1,885
3
Colorado
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LizKat

Amasashi

macrumors member
May 17, 2010
85
0
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.
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,498
3,095
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?
 

A.W.E.S.O.M.-0

macrumors member
Jan 14, 2010
54
0
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.
 

Alvi

macrumors 65816
Oct 31, 2008
1,202
307
Mars
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
 

fabian9

macrumors 65816
Nov 28, 2007
1,100
68
Bristol, UK
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?
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.
 

baryon

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Oct 3, 2009
3,387
1,050
Thanks everyone for the info!

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.
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?

Thanks!
 

ReallyBigFeet

macrumors 68030
Apr 15, 2010
2,934
100
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.
 

Eric5273

macrumors 6502a
Apr 12, 2009
768
494
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.
 

vant

macrumors 65816
Jul 1, 2009
1,231
1
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.
 

inhalexhale

macrumors member
Apr 4, 2010
38
0
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.
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)
 

carlgo

macrumors 68000
Dec 29, 2006
1,804
17
Monterey CA
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. ...
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.
 

millertime021

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2010
640
0
AZ
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
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.
 

RaceTripper

macrumors 68030
May 29, 2007
2,694
20
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.
 

fabian9

macrumors 65816
Nov 28, 2007
1,100
68
Bristol, UK
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.
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...
 

logimech

macrumors member
Jan 28, 2010
30
0
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.
 

mingoglia

macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2009
446
8
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.
 

benzslrpee

macrumors 6502
Jan 1, 2007
404
26
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?

...
Of course it is unfair, infact it is downright unethical behaviour.
...
 

silexh

macrumors member
Mar 8, 2010
69
0
The Netherlands
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.
Here are some abstracts from this document.
In the case of a lack of conformity, the consumer shall be entitled to have the goods brought into conformity free of charge by repair or replacement [...], or to have an appropriate reduction made in the price or the contract rescinded with regard to those goods, [...]

In the first place, the consumer may require the seller to repair the goods or he may require the seller to replace them, in either case free of charge, unless this is impossible or disproportionate.
A remedy shall be deemed to be disproportionate if it imposes costs on the seller which, in comparison with the alternative remedy, are unreasonable, taking into account:
- the value the goods would have if there were no lack of conformity,
- the significance of the lack of conformity, and
- whether the alternative remedy could be completed without significant inconvenience to the consumer.
Any repair or replacement shall be completed within a reasonable time and without any significant inconvenience to the consumer, taking account of the nature of the goods and the purpose for which the consumer required the goods.

The consumer may require an appropriate reduction of the price or have the contract rescinded:
- if the consumer is entitled to neither repair nor replacement, or
- if the seller has not completed the remedy within a reasonable time, or
- if the seller has not completed the remedy without significant inconvenience to the consumer.

The terms "free of charge" in paragraphs 2 and 3 refer to the necessary costs incurred to bring the goods into conformity, particularly the cost of postage, labour and materials.

The seller shall be held liable [...] where the lack of conformity becomes apparent within two years as from delivery of the goods. If, under national legislation, the rights laid down [...] are subject to a limitation period, that period shall not expire within a period of two years from the time of delivery.

Unless proved otherwise, any lack of conformity which becomes apparent within six months of delivery of the goods shall be presumed to have existed at the time of delivery unless this presumption is incompatible with the nature of the goods or the nature of the lack of conformity.
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.
 

brentsg

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,405
762
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.
 

RaceTripper

macrumors 68030
May 29, 2007
2,694
20
...

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 gr...
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.