Apple Warranty Period on Grey Imports


Continuing the discussion from 20% off Apple at DickSmith eBay Store:

In a related question from the DSE thread. Assuming these are all grey imports

When I shared this on Facebook, does the iPhone have an International warranty?

From what I understand, iPhones have a 12 month international warranty (so Apple will cover everything as normal for the first year), however past that you’re into ‘Australian Consumer Law’ territory. Similar to iPhones purchased from Harvey Norman (or anywhere else) in Australia you have to go back to the seller to claim this warranty. The benefit of buying directly from Apple is that any issues you have are always covered directly with them (which often means walk in/walk out with a replacement unit if anything ever breaks).

Purchasing AppleCare+ locally might very well solve that problem since it extends the warranty period with Apple.

I believe this is correct, has anyone ever had any official confirmation?

In a similar vein, it sounds like purchasing AppleCare on a carrier supplied phone makes life easier down the track since you can then deal with Apple rather than Optus/Telstra/Voda etc.


The iPhone (and any Apple product) carries a 12-month Apple Limited Warranty, which is applied internationally, regardless of where the unit is purchased.

For devices purchased within Australia, Apple offers an extended 12-months on top of the Apple Limited Warranty. This Consumer Law Coverage applies only to devices purchased within Australia, and sourced from an Australian supplier, when being serviced within Australia.

Some retailers such as Kogan (who now own Dick Smith) import their goods from international suppliers, and so even though the device was technically sold within Australia between the online retailer and you, Apple’s internal warranty and parts ordering systems reflect the country of original supply - where the retailer purchased the unit from before passing it onto you. As such these devices don’t carry an automatic second year of Australian Consumer Law coverage within Apple’s service systems, and you would need to deal direct with the retailer for any kind of second year service under consumer law.

Where can you take a device for service under Australian Consumer Law? It becomes somewhat of a grey area and a little misleading on Apple’s part here, because you don’t necessarily need to take a device back to the retailer to make a warranty claim under the ACL, despite what Apple’s website states.

It’s simple - Apple’s service systems automatically apply Consumer Law Coverage to a repair, regardless of where it was purchased or where it’s being serviced, as long as the device was purchased within Australia and is greater than 1 year old but less than 2 years.

As a matter of fact, retailers such as Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, JB Hi-Fi and so forth are Apple Authorised Resellers, but not service providers, and so these retailers send your devices out to an Apple Authorised Service Provider for service anyway. The exception of course being Harvey Norman, as they themselves own a service provider (MAC1).

The only service channel I’ve found that doesn’t necessarily honour this is the Apple Store. When my MacBook Air developed a trackpad issue, AppleCare and the Apple Store wouldn’t cover it and advised me to take the computer back to the retailer I purchased it from. Instead I took it to an Apple Authorised Service Provider and presto - within 24 hours the machine was fixed, covered under Australian Consumer Law.

So you don’t necessarily need to have AppleCare to have your carrier-supplied iPhone serviced by a service provider either. Of course because a service provider has to send the iPhone away to Apple for repairs and as per Apple’s policies only the Apple Store can service them in house same-day, if the Apple Store doesn’t honour the ACL in the second year… then yes, you would need AppleCare to have an Apple Store cover it, or at least have them cover it without a fight. Otherwise you’re off to an AASP, to a retailer or a carrier to have the device sent in for service.

Talk about a mess. But I’ve tried to explain it the best I can.


iMic, I think your explanation with excellent. Since I’ve purchased and had serviced devices from America, Japan, and Australia, with all sorts of combinations, I’ve found what you’ve said to be true. Generally, I’ve found Apple Stores worldwide to do what I need them to do, warranty or not, and if I purchased a device in Australia, regardless of how it got to my retailer, I’d expect it to be covered by ACL.


Interestingly, Apple’s warranty page for iOS devices now says that it can restrict service to the country in which the device was purchased.


Operative word being “can.” I really hope they never do. One of the reasons I was super happy with my decision to switch completely when I replaced my ShuttlePC Hackintosh with my Intel 2008 MacBook White (I bought a 2005 Mac Mini G4 new in university) is that it got serviced in Sydney and in Dallas, and when I twice had keyboard cracks (a known issue on the 2008 MacBook White), both Sydney and Dallas apple stores even properly replaced it with the Japanese keyboard. I didn’t even have to ask!

I know I sound like one of those people, but it really feels like the Apple I fell in love with in 2005-2008 due to being marketed to my particular demographic (prosumer, multiple countries, desire to be able to upgrade without getting a new machine, willing to pay for AppleCare) is increasingly harder and harder to see. I can’t buy new MacBooks, I’m not sure I trust new Mac Pros (I’ve never been an iMac user)…

Are they going to take away my multinational support framework, too? I still have devices with AppleCare for another six months yet!