Tuesday, September 13, 2011, 11:18 pm PT (02:18 am ET)
Apple revises South Korea iPhone warranty, Foxconn Brazil 'ready' to produce iPadsFacing pressure from South Korean regulators over its iPhone warranty, Apple has agreed to revise its policy in the country to begin allowing customers to trade faulty devices for brand new ones. Also, a Brazilian government official has said that Apple manufacturer Foxconn is ready to produce iPads in country and should start shipping the tablets this December.
The South Korean Fair Trade Commission said in a statement Wednesday that consumers with defective iPhones within one month of purchase can now receive new handsets instead of refurbished ones, Bloomberg reports. Apple's service warranty states that customers can get refunds, new phones or free repairs. Under the revision, consumers can now choose between the options, according to the regulator.
Last October, lawmakers summoned Farrel Farhoudi, Apple's senior director for iPhone service, to talk about the company's policy after receiving consumer complaints about it. At the time, Farhoudi had asserted that the company's terms were in compliance with the country's rules.
The iPhone warranty isn't the only issue upsetting South Korean consumers. Apple is facing a class-action lawsuit from 27,000 Korean customers who are seeking $26 million in compensation for alleged privacy violations. In July, the company paid out $946 to the lawyer now organizing the class-action suit in an individual complaint regarding a location data controversy on the iPhone. The Korean Communications Commission also fined Apple $2,830 after the incident.
In June, Apple was forced to comply with a Taiwanese law that required a one week return policy for its App Store.
Brazilian website UOL (via MacStories) reported on Tuesday that the country's Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Aloizio Mercadante, said that the first iPads produced by Foxconn in Brazil will reach the market in December.
"At first many doubted, but it will be the first time that the company will produce iPads outside Chinese territory. We are taking a big step for digital inclusion in the country," he said. Mercadante also revealed that the government will soon announce an investment in a large factory for games in the Manaus Free Zone.
"The games industry has increased revenue and employs five times more than the hardware, for example. It is a factory edge that opens a promising market for Brazil,'' he continued, without naming the specific company.
Locally manufactured iPads could bring the price down by as much as 40 percent. Steep import tariffs in Brazil sometimes result in more than double the original price of electronics goods.
In June, Mercadante said iPad production at the Foxconn plant would begin in September, a few months later than originally planned. The first iPads manufactured there had been slated to arrive at the end of November.
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