Apple scraps all restocking fees

Posted by Raven Lovecraft

Remember what an amazing, earth-shattering thing it was when Steve Jobs said buyers on a faulty iPhone 4 could return their defective device without paying a restocking fee? Well, apparently, the Earth just completely exploded.

Multiple reports, including one from 9to5Mac.com, reports that as of tomorrow, all purchases made on Apple.com and Apple Store will have a new return policy. The company will get rid of the following fine print:

"Apple will assess a 10% restocking fee on any opened hardware or accessory."

Customers will be able to return their Mac computers, iPhones, iPads, or even software without paying the arbitrary fee, which makes it one of the biggest retailers in the country do do so.

Of course, if you buy a Mac, you're already paying more than if you go to Best Buy and buy an affordable PC. So it should be pretty easy for Apple to eat any costs associated with restocking the item, considering the high markup it already taxes on all its merchandise, and the fact that almost nothing is ever on sale.

Is it a mark of weakness? Perhaps. For the first time since the introduction of the iPhone, Apple is entering a new year with a declining market share curve in the smartphone market. Android is overtaking it in a big way. And iPad competitors are going to come out hot and heavy. Apple needs to reassure customers that it offers the complete package, from in-store experience to service after the purchase.

As of today, Apple's online store remains unchanged. So if the reports are true, you better hold off on buying anything from the Apple Store or Apple.com until tomorrow.