Changes to Apple's warranty policy have been made in France, Germany and Belgium to reflect an EU law that states a company must guarantee its products to be defect-free for two years.
Apple's typical approach to guaranteeing its devices is to offer a one-year limited guarantee free of charge which can be extended for up to three years via its Apple Care product (for a computer and two years for smartphone or tablet), a paid-for extended warranty that also offers free telephone support on top of repairs.
However, under EU law, Apple has to offer the equivalent of its smartphone and tablet Apple Care product free of charge, as companies have to offer their goods defect-free for a two year period.
In December 2012 Apple was forced by the Italian authorities (it was also charged a hefty fine) to change the wording of its policies to reflect this aspect of EU law on products sold in the country. Following Italy's win, consumer groups in Belgium and Portugal also started legal proceedings.
This week, Apple has finally also changed the wording of its warranties in France, Germany and Belgium to reflect EU law and is expected to amend the wording on its other EU nation sites in the coming weeks.