No Express-Replacement for iPhone11 from Hong Kong with Apple Care in Germany

The Apple Store in Germany, denied my Apple Care Express reperation for my iPhone 11 (with Apple Care), for the reason that it was purchased in the Apple Store in Hong Kong. An alternative solution from them was for me to fly to Hong Kong, do a 21 days of quarantine and get a support for the device there.

However I got support for the same device in Germany and Italy for the screen and camera repair, since they had the parts available.

Did anyone ecounter a similiar issue and was anyone able to get an iPhone Express Replacement for their Hong Kong/MainlandChina/Macao iPhone outside of the East-Easia-Pacific region, eg. somewhere in Europe or the UK? That would be very helpful for as I could jzst fly to those countries to get a support. Thanks!

It is my understanding that a repair is much simpler for an iPhone purchased in one country than a full swap (or in your case AppleCare Express replacement). In my old store, more than once, we would have to replace a phone that we were unable to repair. If the phone was purchased outside of North America, the best we could offer was that a replacement could possibly be available in 2-3 weeks. This did not go over well with most customers who were traveling…

Not all iPhones are the same across the world. Some countries require slightly different hardware to prevent access to some features. Most of the time it is software related.

Express Service seems to be limited to country of purchase, however one should be able to visit an Apple Retail Store or AASP for a full swap under Apple Care. I’m sorry you are dealing with this. If you choose the Alternative Solution, feel free to swing by the US and pick me up :wink:

Thanks for oyur message. The funny thing is that they even did not provide me an alternative solution (like a swap for a European iPhone).
I reside in Europe and flied only to HK in order to by that special Real-Dual-Nano-Sim iPhone.
The Store Manager said that there are importing restrictions from MainlandChina/Macao/HongKong to Europe and he even got that testified by the Apple Lead of Europe. I had similiar issues back in Turkey, where I did not have any rights to get a service for my iPhone in the Apple Store due to turkish laws, saying that I need to pay 300$ “phone tax” to the turkish state in order to eligable for any phone reapir process in that country.

For digital nomads and long time travellers the “international” iphone Apple Care turns out to have many restrictions…

It is indeed the reason that the HK model is a different model having the physical dual-sim. I had the same experience in the UK. Simple repairs yes, but no swap, not even for a EU model. So your AppleCare is limited.

I used to live in HK and love the physical dual-sim in iPhones. Lately, it is getting much better to get good travel eSIMs, which I now use on my iPad.

The dual-sim iPhone is still the best travel solution though.

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This is the same reason why some of my colleagues in the Philippines choose to buy an iPhone in HK. Now, if they do have a problem with their iPhone, they cannot bring it to any Apple-accredited store in the Philippines. It has to be serviced in HK.

Dear @simonsmark and @wiredfractal , thank you so much for your message and showing me im not the only one kind of “stuck” in this situation.

The Apple Managar Apple Germany said, that the HK-iPhones are not eligable for any(!) service actually. However the stores do the simple repairs, either because they dont know this or to hide the fact, that they actually are not allowed to repair and guaranty customer satisfaction. The Apple Store Manager in Germany told me that if I they would break my iPhone down during a simple repair, they wouldnt have any option to even give me a local iPhone.

What was interesting thoug, the Managr said that if I would be e.g. in India, the Apple Store has to give me a local (!) iPhone as a swap to due to local laws there. Furthermore
he said that I cannot get any service for this iPhone in Guam.

However(!) – and this is the interesting part for us real physical Dual Nano HK iPhone users, the Manager said that a service is possible in MainlandChina, Macao, Japan, Australia, Signapore and of course HK. I would be happy if anyone could testify whether it was possible for them to get a HK-iPhone swap in those countries with their Apple Care. Or any other countries where a HK-iPhone swap worked would be great.

Appareantly there is a quarantine in HK, so its not really possible to fly there from Europe just for an iPhone swap… I checked the curier services here too. It would cost me around 300 € sending the iPhone to HK and sending it back…

Furthermore I also know from the store worker in HK, that many people from Indonesia buy a HK iPhone – I would be interested about their expriences in Indonesia too with the the iPhone express service.

Its sad that Phillipines does not offer any HK-iPhone swap – but do they offer simple repairs like in Europe?

And regarding eSIMs – i also love the idea, howeever it seems like it will take a while until all service providers offer an eSim.
Generally we wouldnt have this problem at all if ALL countries would provide an eSIM for a reasanoble price. Than I would just go for a local device, avoiding all the stress I have been latley.

Since we don’t have an official Apple Store, only Apple-certified ones, they are not allowed to do repairs even on a HK-bought iPhones. You have to fly in to get it serviced. That also means we don’t get the same service as countries that has Apple Store.

Thanks for the additional information as well regarding HK/China iPhone.