You'll now get an iPhone XR loaner if your own iPhone needs repairs

What you need to know

  • Apple is now handing out loaner iPhone XR handsets when repairs of a customer's iPhone will take a long time.
  • Apple previously handed out iPhone 8 devices but that changed this week.

No more iPhone 8 loaners.

Apple is now handing out iPhone XR handsets to people whose own iPhones require lengthy repairs, according to a new report. Until this week, iPhone 8 handsets were used as loaner devices.

The move, reported after MacRumors got its hands on an internal memo, means that iPhone XR handsets will become the norm starting November 4. The loaners are to b handed out if an Apple Store believes that a customer's own iPhone needs to be sent off for repairs. Previously, they'd be handed an iPhone 8 instead.

Apple often repairs iPhones in-store wherever possible and will also simply swap devices out depending on the fault and AppleCare coverage. However, times do crop up where a device needs to be sent to a central hub for work to be carried out and it's those times that will see an iPhone XR be offered as a temporary loan device. Customers must then return the loaner within 14 days of being told that their own iPhone is ready to be collected. Apple's iPhone Loan Agreement has additional details.

While it's of course true that iPhone XR isn't the best iPhone around in 2021, it's still a solid device — especially as a loaner. It features Face ID and a modern design, unlike the iPhone 8 that it replaces. It could even give owners of older iPhones their first look at some recent iPhone technologies — Face ID included — and Apple will no doubt hope that's enough to persuade some people to upgrade.