Heads up, Apple device owners: An upcoming pilot program may help you get more life out of your old gadgets.
Citing unnamed sources “familiar with the initiative,” 9to5Mac reports that Apple is gearing up to launch a “Repair Vintage Apple Products Pilot” program for older devices it previously stopped supporting. At launch, the list will include the iPhone 5, mid-2012 MacBook Air laptops, and mid-2011 iMacs.
Apple reportedly plans to expand the pilot later this month to include even more devices such, as the iPhone 4s and mid-2012 MacBook Pro. In December, it will add support for more 2012 and 2013 MacBook Pro models, and the mid-2012 Mac Pro.
“For the new Pilot program, Apple will only be offering repairs for vintage devices based on part availability,” 9to5Mac notes. “Otherwise customers will be told that inventory isn’t available because the product is considered vintage.”
Apple did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment.
Apple normally stops offering repairs and parts for iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Mac devices five years after it stops manufacturing them. The Cupertino tech giant classifies products discontinued between 5 and 7 years ago as “vintage” and those discontinued more than 7 years ago as “obsolete.”
Recent research from The NPD Group indicates that US consumers are generally in no rush to upgrade their smartphones these days. As of the second half of 2017, the average US smartphone upgrade cycle, was 32 months, up from 25 months a year prior. It’s also not uncommon for people to now hold onto their smartphones for more than three years, the research firm reported.