Since there seems to be much confusion, I'd like to add a few points to this article. There are two notions of warranty in Europe.
1.) A mandatory warranty that all _sellers_ of goods have to give by law, which is valid for two years. This covers only problems that existed prior to the purchase. So for example, if some part breaks simple to being worn out, the _seller_ has no obligation to cover it. If a problem occurs within the first six month after purchase, it is assumed by law that the problem existed prior to the purchase. The burden of proof that the problem did not exist prior to the purchase is up to the _seller_. In practice, such proof is difficult, and thus _seller_ will usually handle the problem. After six month up to two years, the burden of proof is up to the buyer. Since again, this is almost impossible to do without an expensive expertise, this effectively limits this warranty up to six month. Note that this is an issue between the _seller_ and the _buyer_, even though if a defect occurs and the seller is not the manufacturer, say the seller is amazon, the seller when faced with a defective product will claim the same warranty to the manufacturer. Some might have other agreements with the manufacturer.
2.) Almost all manufacturers give on top a voluntary warranty to the customer of two years. This warranty is completely voluntary, and the customer has no real legal means to enforce it.
What happened here is that Apple is one of the very few manufacturers who only give voluntary warranty of one year. They (essentially the apple store) tried to sell additional warranties for up to three years (Apple Care), but without making it clear, that the buyer can anyway claim warranty against the seller of goods for up to two years (even though, this is hardly enforceable after six month, unless it is a problem so widespread that it would, say, lead to a class-action lawsuit in the US). The judges asked Apple to make this more explicit. Instead, Apple finally went ahead and introduced voluntary warranty conditions that are similar to any other manufacturer in Europe.