So you just got the gift of Apple for the Holidays, or maybe you got the universal gift of cold, hard cash and you’re about to use it on some new Apple gear. Either way, one thing you should consider early on is whether you should to invest in AppleCare+.
What is AppleCare+?
All new Apple devices come with a one year manufacturer’s warranty. This allows you to get phone support and replacements for devices that have defects. However, this does not cover any accidental damage or loss. That’s where AppleCare+ comes in.
AppleCare+ is additional warranty coverage that extends to accidental damage. For a fee that varies per device, you can get two or three years of accidental damage coverage, also depending on the device. You will pay a varying deductible fee for each repair, in some cases depending on the severity of the damage.
As for theft and loss, this is a new aspect of of AppleCare+ that became available in 2019. It is currently only available for the iPhone and adds additional cost to the plan. Still, this does turn AppleCare+ into a more complete device coverage solution that rivals many third-party insurance plans.
When is AppleCare+ available?
AppleCare+ is obviously available when you purchase a new Apple product. A new device doesn’t have to be purchased from Apple, either. Many retailers will give you the option to add it. If not, you can buy from Apple after the fact (see below for more details). You can also get coverage on refurbished products bought directly from Apple. You will need to check on anything else. For example, as long as the original purchaser didn’t get AppleCare+ on an BestBuy Open Box purchase, it would still qualify as new and would be eligible for coverage.
Someone giving you a gift will likely bypass the option to add AppleCare+ unless they know you want it. What you may not be aware of is that AppleCare+ is available for 60 days after the purchase of a new Apple device. So even if coverage wasn’t added when your gift was bought, you are likely still good as long as the purchase was recent.
The easiest thing to do to check coverage or eligibility is to go to this Apple website, enter your device’s serial number. You may have to go through a device diagnostic to insure that everything is in working order before you can purchase AppleCare+.
What is AppleCare+ available for?
As you can see here, most of Apple’s major products are covered by AppleCare+ at this point. The only variable is price.
How much does AppleCare+ cost?
Here are a few examples:
- iPhone 7 and 8: $129 for AppleCare+. $199 for AppleCare+ with added Theft and Loss Coverage.
- iPhone 7 Plus and 8 Plus: $149 for AppleCare+. $249 for AppleCare+ with added Theft and Loss Coverage.
- iPhone 11 and iPhone XR: $149 for AppleCare+. $249 for AppleCare+ with added Theft and Loss Coverage.
- iPhone XS and XS Max, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max: $199 for AppleCare+. $299 for AppleCare+ with added Theft and Loss Coverage.
- iPad Pro: $129
- iPad, iPad Air, and iPad mini: $69
- Apple Watch Series 3 is $49.
- Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5 is $79.
- Mac mini: $99
- iMac: $169
- iMac Pro: $169
- Mac Pro: $299
- MacBook: $249
- MacBook Air: $249
- 13-inch MacBook Pro: $269
- 15-inch MacBook Pro: $379
AirPods and Beats:
- AirPods, AirPods Pro and Beats Headphones: $29
How do I pay for AppleCare+?
Obviously you can pay for AppleCare+ up front when you purchase one of the eligible Apple products. As I mentioned above, you can also pay within 60 days to add this coverage to new products.
Last year, Apple also added the ability to pay for AppleCare+ in monthly installments spread over 24 months. This is a great option if you feel you might want cancel coverage at some point. Then you don’t have to worry about refunds or transferring coverage if you sell an Apple device.
Should you buy AppleCare+?
Obviously this is a personal decision for any Apple buyer, but this coverage makes more sense for some devices than others. Personally, I always recommend it for iPhones and Apple Watches, especially if you live close to an Apple Store. This coverage will insure that you get the best service and quality of repairs possible. That, or you will walk out of a store with new hardware. Considering that, by the nature of how they are used, these devices are in harms way the most, it makes sense to me to get AppleCare+.
Note that, if you are taking advantage of the iPhone Upgrade Program to pay for an iPhone, AppleCare+ is included in the monthly installment price.
As for the iPad, it’s a toss up. I’ve gotten it before on previous iPad Pros, but I don’t have it on my current one. I’ve never really had a need for it on an iPad (thankfully and knock on wood), but some people will sleep a bit better knowing it’s covered. If your iPad is always used at home, it may not make sense to spend extra for this. If you are taking it out a lot and don’t prefer a heavy-duty case, then it may be worth it. A screen repair on a 12.9″ iPad Pro is enough to make you cry, so be aware of that. Also note that AppleCare+ for the iPad does also cover an Apple Pencil.
In regards to Macs, I would probably recommend AppleCare+, especially on laptops. It’s a little less vital on an iMac or Mac Mini. Any Mac repair is going to be expensive and AppleCare+ will insure that you get quality results if you need one. Considering the cost of a Mac, I would typically recommend getting it but it’s not as necessary as on an iPhone or Apple Watch.
As for the AirPods, AirPods Pro and Beat, what’s $29 dollars more? Considering the cost of the hardware, I definitely recommend this. The only problem here is that Theft and Loss coverage isn’t available for them yet. That would be a no-brainer considering how small the earbuds are.
If you have a HomePod or Apple TV, meh. I’m not going to tell you to not get AppleCare+, but it is least necessary on these devices. Neither is overly expensive and they typically live at home and are usually stationary, so accidental damage is less of an issue.
So that covers all the basics of AppleCare+. If you just got an Apple device or you are about to cash in your Christmas money or gift cards, this is what you need to know to make the most informed decision. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the Comments below, on Twitter @iPadInsightBlog, on Facebook, or on Flipboard if you are reading this post over there.