updated 09:20 am EDT, Tue September 14, 2010
Some options limited to gear under warranty
Apple has quietly deployed Express Lane, a new web-based troubleshooting system. The service attempts to streamline problem resolution by funneling people through categories. After selecting "iPod," for example, people can then pick a model such as the iPod touch, and one of several issue categories, such as "Mail & Connectivity" or "iTunes Store, App Store or iBookstore."
Some categories require entering a serial number however, used to determine warranty coverage and get people in contact with different support teams. Charges may potentially apply for help outside of warranty. The website also lets users see which products they've already registered, or look up case information if a problem has already been logged with Apple tech support.