If you happen to own an iPad 4 and it’s damaged, taking it to an Apple Store for servicing might land you an iPad Air 2 as a replacement. That’s the news going around this weekend, thanks to the discovery of a company memo which states that an iPad Air 2 may be given as a substitute replacement due to low stock levels of the aging iPad 4. You certainly shouldn’t break your fourth-gen tablet and run to Apple with high hopes, but if you’ve been putting of repairs, now might be the time to take it in.
The iPad 4 was first released in fall of 2012, but hasn’t been manufactured for some time. So while Apple has been supporting the tablet for the last five years, it’s likely that the company is simply running out of units to offer as replacements. According to 9to5Mac, Apple employees have been told that the iPad Air 2, which was released in late 2014 and manufactured for over two years, can be used as a replacement when stock of the older model is unavailable.
Now, it’s important to note that taking in a damaged, five-year old iPad is not guaranteed to net you a shiny newer model. Apple Insider has clarified that this is not a hard-line policy from Apple, rather store managers can decide if an in-stock iPad 4, iPad Air, or iPad Air 2 is used as a replacement for servicing.
It’s certainly true that supply levels of the iPad 4 are running low, but individual stores note that they can still receive serviced units in “fits and spurts.” In other words, if you’re hoping to take advantage of this situation, you might need to check at different Apple Store locations to see what they’re willing to do.