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Monday, January 31, 2011, 11:00 am PT (02:00 pm ET)

Apple relaxing repair policy for iPods with triggered liquid sensors

Apple appears to be relaxing its repair policy on iPods whose internal sensors indicate possible water damage by authorizing its service providers to make repairs to the device under warranty in some cases.

All of the Cupertino-based company's mobile products — including iPhones, iPads, iPods, and MacBooks — contain one or more LSIs (Liquid Submersion Indicators) or LCIs (Liquid Contact Indicator) that turn from white (or silver) to a pinkish red when they come in contact with a liquid.

These sensors are primarily employed by Apple to make it easier for its Apple Store Geniuses and third-party repair technicians to determine whether a device has failed as a result of liquid damage, which isn't covered under the company's standard warranty.

Over the years, however, Apple has been on the receiving end of much criticism, and at least one lawsuit, over the sensors, which have a tendency to indicate false positives, especially in regions with humid climates and at other times when the devices haven't actually been met with direct contact from a liquid source.

Sometime last year it was rumored that Apple was altering its internal policy on the iPhone's LSIs, and was said to have informed some providers that more than one of the handset's sensors had to have been triggered before the device was denied repair under warranty.

LSIs


Now, a new repair document uncovered by MacGeneration suggests that iPods with a triggered LSI that don't show any external signs of damage or corrosion may still have its repairs honored under Apple's standard warranty if the owner disputes that they caused the damage.

It should be noted that while the document in question does not rule out similar guidelines for iPads and iPhones, it was authored specifically to address LSIs within iPods and its therefore unclear whether the policy translates to Apple's other iOS devices.