updated 06:35 pm EST, Sun January 9, 2011
Apple retail restocking fees gone with VZ iPhone
Apple may be planning a broad end to its restocking fees at retail that would help fuel its Verizon iPhone launch if claims Sunday are accurate. The company would permanently waive the 10 percent penalty for anyone returning a device in the usual two-week grace period, starting January 11, the same day as the special event. The unsourced 9 to 5 Mac claim didn't say for certain if it was a permanent policy or a promo timed with the Verizon deal, but it wouldn't be exclusive to the one device.
Company officials hadn't commented on the story.
If accurate, the move would likely be timed to catch recent iPhone 4 buyers who had bought into AT&T but wanted to choose Verizon instead. Apple is rumored to have anticipated high demand and to have produced up to six million CDMA iPhones for the first quarter of 2011 alone, many of which would go to Verizon. Some of these are likely headed to converts either frustrated with AT&T performance in their areas or else those willing to pay slightly more for Verizon's continued unlimited data plans.
Outside of the iPhone, the policy might help lure customers wanting to try Apple hardware but unwilling to pay for the experiment.