updated 11:44 am EST, Mon November 12, 2012
Modified online option may be only remaining plan
Apple is removing AppleCare as an option from Apple Stores and third-party retailers in Italy, a leaked email indicates. The message is said to come from Apple Distribution International in Ireland, and adds that Apple is planning to discontinue phone-based AppleCare services in the country. With those options excluded, it appears that the only way of getting AppleCare in the country will be buying it online.
Apple has however modified the terms for the service as well; instead of simply referring to a "1 year warranty" for products, Apple's Italian website now states that "AppleCare plans benefits are added to the 2 year warranty of the seller, required by Italian regulators to protect the consumers."
The changes appear to be a reaction to the Italian government threatening to close Apple's local operations if it didn't conform to European law. The European Union guarantees a minimum two-year warranty for the sorts of electronics Apple sells; for a long time though Apple continued to market the same options it does in the US, implying just one one year of coverage without AppleCare. Apple was fined and made some changes, but these failed to satisfy Italian regulators.