The production lines are bare of the fourth-generation iPad and some Apple Store employees are finding stock rooms lacking as well. As customers continue to bring in the tablet from 2012 for repairs, it has put some managers in somewhat of a bind.
Reddit and other sources have been relaying claims since the weekend that some iPad 4 devices taken in for service were replaced with repaired iPad Air 2 units for the price of work — $99 for a battery replacement and $299 for other parts and labor packages. The claims made it sound like the move was universally applied, but in actuality, the situation depends from store to store.
Sources from multiple stores to AppleInsider report that while iPad 4 repair stock was available over the weekend at their locations, incoming stock has since come in “fits and spurts”. Managers have been told to switch in an iPad 4 for an iPad Air, an iPad Air 2 or, in exceptional cases, a 2017 model if conditions require and at will.
A refurbished iPad Air from Apple currently starts at $269 while a rehabbed base model iPad Air 2 is $319. The new 9.7-inch iPad begins at $329.
The outlet also posts that the upgrade practice for low-stock repair items has been in place for “at least two decades”.