updated 03:31 pm EDT, Fri August 30, 2013
Apple partnering with AIG
Apple's rumored European expansion of AppleCare+ will initially reach just six countries, sources say. A launch is reportedly "imminent" in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Switzerland, and the UK, although no exact dates are available. Apple is said to be partnering with AIG on the service; local AppleCare and Genius Bar workers started training for AppleCare+ earlier this week.
In the US AppleCare+ costs $99, and provides new iPhone and iPad buyers with two years of improved warranty coverage, including reduced replacement fees in case of accidental damage. By default Apple only provides one year of limited warranty service, and will only offer cheap (albeit free) replacements in case of defects. The sources say that to deal with government complaints about Apple misleading European customers in the past, Apple Store clerks will be required to offer and explain AppleCare+ to every person wanting to buy an iPhone or iPad. European law mandates a two-year warranty for electronics, but Apple was marketing paid AppleCare plans as the only option for two years of coverage.