Genius Bars at Apple stores have been authorized to replace non-working 16GB white iPhone 4 devices with iPhone 4S units. Tight inventory supplies are cited as the reason for the unexpected upgrades.
Multiple sources, according to 9to5mac, have reported that until further notice, Apple store Genius Bars have been told that if the store is short on white iPhone 4 16GB units they should replace defective/damaged units with a white 16GB iPhone 4S model.
For lucky customers, this serves as a no-cost upgrade to a better camera, a faster A5 chip, and the Siri personal assistant. It appears to be limited to only the white model and only the 16GB size.
Reportedly, this affects stores in the US and Canada. Other countries were not mentioned, so it’s unclear if this policy would apply to them.