Apple has changed the terms of its extended warranty program to enable users to switch out their batteries earlier in the all-too-familiar march towards inefficiency.

The AppleCare+ program for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and iPod now entitles plan holders to a replacement battery or repair if their current cell is running at less than 80 per cent capacity. The new policy applies those who bought AppleCare+ on or after April 10th 2015, so those with older policies are out of luck.

Previously the scheme sanctioned free replacements or repairs when those batteries dropped below 50 per cent capacity.

AppleCare-Apple-Watch-iPhoneAppleCare+

AppleCare+ for iPhone extends the smartphone’s warranty coverage to two years from the original date of purchase and provides up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage for a $79 service charge each time. Without AppleCare+, iPhone customers are covered by a limited one-year warranty and 90 days of complimentary phone support.

AppleCare+ for iPad and iPod have the same terms and conditions, although the accidental damage service charges are $49 and $29 per incident respectively.

AppleCare+ for Apple Watch charges $79 for out-of-warranty battery service for all Apple Watch batteries that retain less than 80% of their original capacity per Apple’s diagnostic testing, plus a $6.95 shipping charge if required

Apple also sells AppleCare+ combo plans for Apple Watch and iPhone for $149 (Sport and iPhone), $169 (Watch and iPhone) and $1,600 (Edition and iPhone).

The new policy states (via MacRumors): “If during the Plan Term, you submit a valid claim by notifying Apple that (i) a defect in materials and workmanship has arisen in the Covered Equipment, or (ii) the capacity of the Covered Equipment’s battery to hold an electrical charge is less than eighty percent (80%) of its original specifications, Apple will either (a) repair the defect at no charge, using new parts or parts that are equivalent to new in performance and reliability, or (b) exchange the Covered Equipment, with a replacement product that is new or equivalent to new in performance and reliability. All replacement products provided under this Plan will at a minimum be functionally equivalent to the original product.”

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