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Apple apologises to China for repair and warranty policy

Apple has issued an apology to its Chinese customers for misunderstandings regarding its repair and warranty policy.

In a note posted to the Chinese version of its website, Apple CEO Tim Cook promised to provide easily understood notices on its website that outline its repair and warranty policy, and to provide more comprehensive training to Apple personnel in China.

The company's lack of communication on its policies, Cook said, has led to speculation that Cupertino is arrogant and does not care about customer feedback, but that is not the case, he said.

Meanwhile, the company promised to replace defective gadgets covered by its one-year warranty rather than just the parts that malfunction. Apple said that until now, if someone came in with an iPhone 4S that had a broken camera, for example, the company might replace the camera rather than giving the customer a brand-new iPhone.

"Nearly 90 per cent of customers expressed satisfaction with our repair services, and consumer satisfaction is the most important criterion for Apple to measure its own success," Apple said in a translated statement. "But others suggested that the direct replacement of a device will be more beneficial to consumers."

The new policies will be posted on Apple's website in a "clear and comprehensive" manner. The documents will inform customers, for example, that Apple offers two-year warranty on MacBook Air and Mac computer motherboards, as well as the iPad main components.

Consumers can provide feedback to Apple via

On March 18, meanwhile, Apple issued new training materials for all Apple Authorized Service Providers, and has taken steps to make sure that these providers received the documents and have actually read them.

The notice comes after China's state-run People's Daily reported that the State Administration for Industry and Commerce called for tighter control of Apple's warranty policy amidst customer complaints. On Friday, the China Consumer's Association also said Apple's warranty policy was "contrary to the Chinese law."

Apple is also facing scrutiny over its warranty policy in Europe. Last month, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding argued that Apple is still not adequately informing customers that they are entitled to two-year product warranties, and accused member states of lax enforcement.