Time to extend that support contract? No more free firmware for HP servers

Hewlett-Packard server customers might have a new expense to worry about for older ProLiant models: the company no longer gives away firmware updates to just anyone.

Instead, the update is available only if the machine is covered by a warranty or service contract. That's got some folks angry.

"I am really enraged by this action from HP," said Glen Drager, a school district network administrator, in a forum post at IT discussion site Spiceworks where others also complained. Among his reasons: hardware updates could become more expensive, buying used servers could become unwise, and it raises the … Read more

Australia watchdogs to Apple: Give us two-year warranties

Apple and Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission have agreed to terms on how the iPhone maker will handle warranties in the countries.

The ACCC announced Wednesday that Apple has agreed to provide warranties on products purchased within two years. In addition, the company says that it may provide "remedies" to issues after the two-year period, if they fall under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

The ACL stands at the center of the debate between Apple and Australia. The law provides consumers with certain guarantees whenever they buy products. Namely, ACL ensures that warranties are kept in effect &… Read more

Apple settles iPhone water damage lawsuit for $53M

Apple has agreed to pay $53 million to settle a class-action lawsuit related to warranties covering early versions of the iPhone and iPod Touch.

The lawsuit, originally filed in 2010, claimed Apple had unfairly denied warranty coverage to some customers under an Apple policy associated with devices affected by water damage. The settlement, which still requires the court's approval, will be held in a fund to be distributed among the 153,000 members of the class-action suit, according to documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. … Read more

Lawsuit claims Apple sold iPhone 4 with bad on-off button

A lawsuit has been brought against Apple for allegedly selling iPhone 4 smartphones with faulty power buttons. The suit, which seeks class-action status, claims that Apple knew about the issue and failed to fix the problem.

Debra Hilton filed the lawsuit in San Jose, Calif., alleging that she and "thousands of iPhone 4 users" were sold the device with on-off buttons that stopped working shortly after the 1-year warranty was up. The problem purportedly had to do with a defective flex cable that controlled the power button.

"The Apple iPhone 4 is plagued by a latent defect … Read more

Apple said to be mulling single warranty for multiple devices

Apple could be planning considerable changes to the way it handles warranties on its devices, according to a new report.

The iPhone, iPad and Mac maker is said to be planning a revamp of its basic AppleCare warranty service to become a subscription that will cover all the Apple devices a user owns. AppleCare currently has to be purchased on a per-gadget basis. According to AppleInsider the company held a meeting about the changes on Thursday and plans to roll them out this fall.

The report also claims that Apple is working on some behind-the-scenes changes to the way it … Read more

Apple reportedly settles iPhone warranty suit for $53M

Anyone who got into it with Apple over botched early versions of the iPhone and iPod Touch may be in the running to get some extra cash.

The hardware giant has agreed to shell out $53 million to settle a class action lawsuit originally filed against the company in 2010, according to Wired. The suit involved Apple vs. user warranty disputes.

Apparently, thousands of owners of the original iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, or the first three generations of the iPod Touch who unsuccessfully haggled with Apple to get their defective device replaced or repaired under warranty can submit claims … Read more

Microsoft Surface dissed in China over warranty policy

First Apple, now Microsoft. China is again raising a ruckus over warranty policies on U.S. tech products, this time targeting the Surface tablet.

China National Radio, the government's mouthpiece, argued yesterday that the Surface tablet should follow national law by offering a one-year repair policy for the entire tablet and a two-year warranty for its major parts, Bloomberg reported. China National Radio claims that Microsoft offers a one-year warranty in China both on the device and its components.

Microsoft, however, contends that Surface is covered by a two-year warranty. A spokeswoman for the company sent CNET the following … Read more

Apple's mea culpa works wonders in China

Apple CEO Tim Cook's apology to China over his company's warranty apology seems to have succeeded in reducing tension with the Chinese government.

Global Times, a state-run media outlet in China, today wrote that Apple's "apology letter has eased the situation, softening the tense relationship between Apple and the Chinese market," according to Reuters, which was first to report on the statement. The Global Times also said that Apple's apology was "worth respect."

Tim Cook yesterday issued an apology, saying his company was sorry for the lack of communication on its warranty … Read more

Apple CEO apologizes to China over warranties, offers fixes

Following weeks of scrutiny over its warranty policies in China, Apple now says it has improved services in the region.

That message came from the top, in an apology note from Apple CEO Tim Cook, posted in Chinese on Apple's Chinese site today.

In it, Cook apologized for a lack of communication on the matter, and said that the company is implementing improvements in three areas of its warranty policy and related services.

Those changes:

A new repair policy for the iPhone 4 and 4S that provides a new phone exchange or new parts replacement for a year after … Read more

Chinese regulator calls for tighter oversight of Apple

A Chinese marketplace watchdog is calling for tighter supervision of Apple's consumer-rights practices as the state-controlled media continued its assault on the iPhone maker's after-sale policies.

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce issued a notice today that urged authorities to increase supervision of Apple's warranty policies, according to a report on China National Radio's Web site.

"Local authorities should investigate and punish illegal acts according to law," the notice said, according to state media reports.

The wave of criticism against the iPhone maker began earlier this month during a TV segment on state-run network China Central Television StationRead more