I'm going to spend my holidays in New York and I would like to buy an iPad Mini 32GB Wi-Fi. (I'm from Italy)

However I talked with two guys at the Apple Store and they told me

  1. The iPad is not going to work in Italy because of different processors. I don't believe it.
  2. The iPad is going to work but the wireless device is different, hence you will have trouble in case of damage because the iPad bought in US is technically different from the one we sell in Italy.

Are 1 and/or 2 true? Will I found problem with the warranty in case of need?

4 Answers 4


I've never heard of someone being refused AppleCare service at an Apple Retail store in Europe when the product was purchased in the US. Also, all 2012 mini Wi-Fi models are A1432 so you don't need to play a guessing game with LTE bands.

If you read the terms of the warranty, Apple is certainly in their rights to ask you to return the product to the country of sale for service since that is their standard practice. You are basically selecting the laws and customs that cover your warranty and perhaps giving up some rights since European law is different than US law in terms of consumer protection.

In reality, most countries that have Apple Retail presence have good coverage for US products whether you take it to a local authorized center or to Apple. You might have second thoughts if you lived somewhere where the local distributor expects to provide service to products it sold and not those you imported yourself.

As to the quotes - perhaps they were unfamiliar with WiFi bands and that Apple devices usually will reprogram the baseband for WiFi based on location and not point of purchase.

  • thanks for your exhaustive answer. What do you mean more precisely for "Apple devices usually will reprogram the baseband for WiFi based on location and not point of purchase". Does it basically means that all the iPad Mini has the same Wi-Fi board, which is dynamically reconfigured according to the current location?
    – Maverik
    Dec 26, 2012 at 1:18
  • Exactly - US uses 2.4 GHz channels 1-11 and some parts of europe use channel 13 - so the devices try to guess the correct regulatory environment when selecting the channels in 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz worldwide.
    – bmike
    Dec 26, 2012 at 1:55

Apple has based its empire on manufacturing efficiencies. Unless there is a specific reason for Apple to produce hardware for a specific countries, Apple builds world devices. Recent exceptions have been for cell carriers, and even here Apple has dictated terms more than almost any other manufacturer.

One possible question to ask is how Apple would handle warranty repair for a US iPad mini for someone who moved to Italy or was living there for an extended time.

You might need to replace the US-spec plug on the 12V charger. Otherwise, I cannot see there being a difference between equipment nationalities.


You'll save money and keep a comprehensive warranty if you buy an iPad back in Italy, since Italian law mandates manufacturers provide 2-years of replacement/support of goods, you don't have to spring for Applecare in order to have sufficient warranty coverage.

Standard terms in America are 30 days to return a product, 90 days phone support, and 1 year repair/replacement.


For WiFi model, You can buy it from Apple Store everywhere. Hardware should be the same. But for cellular model, you may send it back to US for repair.

  • I wont buy a cellular model. Anyway I'm looking for "is" not "should" ;-) Thanks!!
    – Maverik
    Dec 25, 2012 at 19:15

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