This weekend’s positive Apple Store experience

We hear a lot in the tech press and on personal blogs about bad experiences with Apple’s support of it’s products, so I thought I would offer a positive experience my family had this past weekend.

A couple of days ago, our teenager’s iPhone 7—my old iPhone, and more on that another time—started losing its cellular connection. We could restart the phone, and after a couple of restarts, it would come back up for a few hours before disappearing again. It worked fine on Wi-Fi. When it became apparent that no amount of restarting and resetting networks was going to fix the issue, I made a Genius Bar appointment at one of the DFW metroplex Apple Stores, Willow Bend in Plano. I arrived on time for the appointment, and was seen within about three minutes of my arrival by the technician.

I explained to her all the troubleshooting steps we had taken. She ran diagnostics on the phone, then checked the model and serial numbers. This is when she informed me that Apple had become aware of an issue with this particular model of the iPhone 7 a couple of months ago. She shared there was a specific batch from a specific factory that suffered from the cellular modem failing.

Our iPhone 7 is still covered under AppleCare through May. The way she talked about it, however, led me to believe this would be a free repair even if it was not. A $319 repair Apple was eating the cost of for a new logic board, plus labor. When I had the opportunity to ask, I verified this was indeed the case. No matter when one bought the iPhone 7, if it was within this particular batch from that particular factory, you could get a new logic board installed, gratis. The only hitch is that it gets send to one of the repair depots, it’s not done in store.

So we were given a loaner iPhone 7. The SIM card was swapped from ours to the loaner, we started an iCloud backup there in the store on Apple’s wifi, and that was it. I will get emails about the repair status, plus a call when our iPhone 7 arrives back in the store and is available for pickup. All in all, we were in the Apple Store 45 minutes, and over half of that was spent waiting on the iCloud backup restoration. Kudos to Apple for a job well done in this particular situation.

ifo Apple Store shutting down

The site isn’t going away, but Gary Allen is ceasing new updates on the best tracking site of Apple retail sites outside (and possibly inside) Apple itself:

After following Apple retail for 14 years, I’ve reached a happy ending, and am gracefully backing away from the crazy world of following the company and its stores. No more stories or analysis, or flying out to far-flung locations to join overnight crowds,waiting for the excitement of new store opening (NSO). I began this Web site as simply a way of celebrating the fun of grand openings and the close friendship of the people I met when I arrived in a new country or city.

Gary was kind enough to include this shot of mine, of the original Knox Street (Dallas) storefront, on the store’s original page on the site.

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Gary still links to my full photo album of the Knox Street opening in the store’s listing (#52), and for that, I remain humbled and grateful for the inclusion of my photos in his grand work.

On the iPad

Robert Leitao:

The iPad is to the handheld device market what the home theatre concept was to the marketers of TVs and related products. The Apple iPad provides an immersive experience that can’t be rivaled by today’s smartphones or netbooks. The revenue streams the iPad will create for app developers and publishers of content for consumer consumption may eventually dwarf the revenue to Apple from iPad hardware device sales. Further, due to the nature of the iTunes sales environment, Apple will be increasing the flow of dollars to its own coffers from distribution fees.