The move is a smart one by Apple because stocks of the now discontinued iPad 4 are increasingly thin. Only those will benefit from this replacement who would normally qualify for an iPad 4 whole unit replacement. As it would depend on factors such as availability of stocks in specific regions, or if your iPad 4 qualifies for a free upgrade.
The fact that Apple doesn't manufacture the iPad Air 2 anymore means that this device will also run out of stock at some point.
If you had an iPad 4 with either 16GB or 64GB capacity that needs to be replaced, you could also be in-store for a storage bump since the iPad Air 2 that Apple is offering as replacement units only ship in either 32GB and 128GB capacities. Apple has also asked its staff to inform customers of the replacement unit's colour and capacity.
REUTERS/Mike SegarAn employee carries a stack of new Apple iPad Air tablets inside the Apple Store on New York's fifth avenue after the new iPad went on sale Friday, November 1, 2013. Apple has already discontinued production of the device and as such it is now allowing users to receive a more capable iPad Air 2 as a substitute.
Yes, Apple is giving out free iPad Air 2s but there's a catch.
If you take your fourth-generation iPad into Apple for a fix, the company may replace your tablet with a newer iPad Air 2 instead. It looks like the much-awaited iPad Pro 2 will be the best Apple has designed so far, with top-of-the-line specs and features. Talk about turning a frown upside down-this is nothing short of a win for 4th generation iPad owners in need of a fix. With the latest launch, the company aims to rebrand the iPad Air line, which will now be simply called the iPad.
As per Apple's tradition, they usually support repairs for their products in a span of five years from the time it was officially declared obsolete.
Replacement is the only viable solution, when Apple Stores and the authorized service providers are unable to perform repairs on a particular iPad.