Apple is about to upgrade its loaner iPhone for customers

Apple is about to upgrade the loaner phone that it hands out when your iPhone needs to be sent away for repair. And as you might expect, it’s an improvement on the current device that it lends to customers.

At the current time, the tech giant gives out an iPhone 8, which launched in 2017 and sports the same physical design first seen with the iPhone 6. But according to an internal memo seen by MacRumors, from Thursday customers in the U.S. “and other regions” will be lent an iPhone XR, a 2018 device that sports a larger, all-screen display, and, unlike the iPhone 8, includes Face ID. The iPhone XR also has an A12 Bionic chip for improved performance over the iPhone 8’s A11 Bionic chip.

The loaner scheme kicks in when a customer takes a faulty iPhone to an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider and staff decide the handset needs to go to an Apple repair center. The SIM card is transferred from the customer’s phone to the loaner device, and swapped back again when the repaired phone is collected.

Apple has a Loan Agreement page on its website detailing the terms of the scheme. It states, for example, that you have to agree to return the device within 14 days of Apple notifying you that your phone is ready for collection. It adds that if the loaner phone is lost, stolen, or damaged while in your possession, “you must notify Apple immediately,” and you “may be held responsible for repair or replacement costs.”

Apple discontinued the iPhone XR in September 2020 with the launch of the iPhone 12. During its lifetime, the competitive price and broad feature set propelled the iPhone XR to sales of more than 77 million units globally, making it the eighth best-selling smartphone to date.

Digital Trends recently took the iPhone XR for a spin to see how it fares three years after it first hit the market. Also, if you’re interested, check out this specs page comparing the iPhone 8 to the iPhone XR.

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