AWT News Update: March 25, 2016

As you'd expect for the Friday before a holiday weekend, it's quite the slow news day in the world of Apple. We have a few stories for you, though:

  • The cost of out-of-warranty repairs for the Apple Watch Sport Edition has dropped
  • Want one of the new Apple Watch bands as soon as possible? Try buying the band online, then pick it up locally at your nearby Apple Store
  • Apple has asked the feds for a delay in another request for iPhone data, based on the government's recent disclosure that it has retained the services of an Israeli smartphone forensic technology company in order to get information from a San Bernardino terrorist's iPhone

The text version of the podcast can be found below.

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for a very slow March 25, 2016 news day.

On Monday, Apple’s price for the Apple Watch Sport Edition dropped to $299, and the company has also reduced the cost of repairs if the Watch is broken without an AppleCare+ warranty. Before, the cost of the out-of-warranty repair was $229, and that has dropped by $30 to $199. If the device just requires battery service, the price tag on an out of warranty Watch Sport Edition is just $79. If you have a stainless steel Apple Watch or the gold Watch Edition, the price of out of warranty work remains the same at $329 and $2,800 respectively. AppleCare+ is actually a bargain for the Sport and mid-range Watch at $49 and $59 respectively, but if you can afford the Edition watch, you’ll have to shell out $1,500 for your warranty.

Speaking of the Apple Watch, many of those new watchbands that were announced on Monday are now available for personal pickup at Apple Stores. This means that buyers can now check the stock level of their favorite bands at local stores and then arrange for in-store pickup after the band is purchased online. Many of the bands are showing 4 to 6 week shipping times from the online store, so this is a great way for buyers to get the band they want a lot faster. Already, several of the bands — the 38mm Scuba Blue and Gold/Red Woven Nylon — are in short supply and not available at most stores.

As you probably read on Apple World Today earlier in the week, the FBI has hired an Israeli cell phone forensic company named Cellebrite to retrieve the data it wants from an iPhone that was used by San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook. That disclosure has prompted Apple to ask for a delay in another ongoing iPhone unlocking case in New York, where the Justice Department has requested that Apple give law enforcement access to an iPhone used in a drug trafficking case. Apple yesterday asked a federal judge in Brooklyn for a pause in the case to determine if the Cellebrite technique could be used to give the feds the information they need without requiring Apple to create a back door that would compromise security on all iPhones. The government has until Tuesday, March 29, to respond to Apple’s request.

We’ll be back on Monday with another edition of the AWT News Update. Have a great Easter weekend.