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Apple has, without too much fanfare, decided to cut down its iPhone returns policy from 30 days to just 14, meaning that new purchasers now have only a two-week grace period after which they can no longer change their mind. The move is part of a wider play aimed at offering a more coherent, uniform returns policy across the company’s range of products, while also tying in with similar systems offered by mobile carriers.

Of course, while this move certainly benefits Apple and gives the consumer significantly less leeway, it does make sense. Keeping its policies in line with those of carriers means all iPhone buyers get an equal deal, and although 30 is, or rather was a nice, lengthy period to mull over a new purchase, it was perhaps a little on the generous side.

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The policy has come into effect as of today (March 13th), so if you picked up an iPhone from an Apple Retail Store or via the Online Store before this point, then you have the luxury of an additional 16 days through which to decide on a return.

The document showing off the changes in the policy, amendments of which have already been made over at Apple.com, was first leaked by the guys over at 9to5Mac, and with most network operators already tethering users to similar two-week limits, those in favor of longer grace periods may feel as though they’re losing out.

However, 14 days is still a significant amount of time, and to be fair, most people know after two weeks whether they’ve made the correct decision. Still, if you are a prospective iPhone buyer, you may want to think very carefully before parting with your hard-earned cash, because as of now, the window for returns has been significantly narrowed.

iPhone return policy

Apple is, in my experience, pretty good when it comes to returns and replacements, and even though you won’t be able to return your iPhone after the 14 days has passed anymore, you should still expect the same high standard of service found when arranging an appointment at an Apple Retail Store.

What do you think – has Apple simply used the carrier / uniformity excuse as a way to gently lower the number of returns? Do share your thoughts below!

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