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Apple no longer guarantees to repair your iPhone SE

The original iPhone SE was released in 2016 (Apple)
The original iPhone SE was released in 2016 (Apple)

You better take extra care of your iPhone SE because getting it repaired just got a lot harder.

Originally released in 2016 and discontinued in 2018, the 4-inch smartphone is now officially deemed a “vintage” device by Apple, as spotted by MacRumors.

The designation of "vintage", which applies to products that were pulled from shelves more than five years ago, essentially means that Apple will no longer guarantee to repair the devices.

The same goes for Apple’s trusted repair providers, though Apple says it will offer to fix a vintage product if parts are available.

Other vintage iPhones include the iPhone 4, the iPhone 5 range, and the iPhone 6 range.

Apple has a separate “obsolete” classification for products that have not been available for sale for more than seven years. Once a device gets the label, Apple essentially discontinues all of its components, meaning third-party repair providers can no longer order its parts.

With its smaller screen, the iPhone SE quickly became a favourite for those who prefer the size of the old-school iPhone models.

Apple re-released it in 2017, and followed it up with the iPhone SE 2 in 2020 and iPhone SE 3 in 2022, which you can still buy, with prices starting from £429.

Notably, it’s the only iPhone range that still features a Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

As MacRumors notes, Apple has also relegated the second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro into the vintage category, as well as the special edition Mickey Solo3 Wireless headphones. Whereas the Powerbeats 2 and Solo2 Wireless headphones are now considered obsolete.

How long is the iPhone warranty?

While a new iPhone comes with a warranty of up to a year, and UK consumer law offers six years worth of protection, both only apply to manufacturing faults and defects.

So, any accidental damage or neglect on your part will have to be covered by you.

Got a cracked screen after dropping your iPhone? That will cost you. On the other hand, if your display suddenly goes on the blink, you could make a successful claim under consumer law.

For all other mishaps, Apple offers insurance in the form of AppleCare+, which also comes with extras like theft and loss coverage and battery replacement.

You’ll still have to pay a small deductible for things like screen or back glass damage (£25), other accidental damage (£79), theft or loss (£109).

But, it works out cheaper than buying a new iPhone and also means you get reliable repairs from the source, instead of a sketchy tinkerer in a booth.