An iPhone powered with a third-party battery can get repaired at all Apple Store Genius Bars, according to a directive issued by Apple.
This is a surprising reverse course for Apple, which strictly forbade Genius Bars and authorized service providers from fixing iPhones with off-brand batteries.
Technicians can now work with a clean conscious when they notice an after-market battery while fixing displays, logic boards and other parts of the phone. If the repair is related to the battery, the Genius Bar will replace it with an Apple battery, according to a company memo obtained by MacRumors, a news site that covers Apple.
Even a worst-case scenario, like broken battery tabs, Apple will replace the iPhone for the cost of a new battery, MacRumors reported
The policy change was first reported by the French Apple news site, iGeneration, and went into effect on Thursday.
Why Apple relaxed its guidelines is unclear but Apple could use some positive PR. Many users, put off by rising iPhone prices, are slower to upgrade. Apple also has fought proposed legislation in many states that would allow for third-party repairs without a threat of being sued for copyright infringement.
The change in repair guidelines only applies to the battery. Apple and authorized technicians will still refuse service on iPhones with other off-brand components, such as logic boards, Lightning connectors and the like.