Is AppleCare+ Worth It? Extended Warranty Explained

June 15, 2024
Justin Lumiere

When purchasing a new Apple device, users are often presented with the option of getting additional coverage through AppleCare or AppleCare+. To understand whether these plans are worth the investment, it's essential to consider the benefits and costs associated with each.

Understanding AppleCare and AppleCare+

AppleCare is the basic warranty included with the purchase of new Apple devices, covering manufacturing defects for one year. On the other hand, AppleCare+ is an extended warranty that not only covers manufacturing defects but also includes accidental damage, offering additional benefits such as 24/7 technical support and in-store repairs.

While AppleCare is automatically included with new purchases, AppleCare+ needs to be purchased within 60 days of buying a device. AppleCare+ offers extensive coverage, including damage to screens, enclosures, internal components, and certain accessories.

iPhone AppleCare Support
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Cost Considerations

The cost of AppleCare+ varies depending on the device, plan, and coverage length. For example, the cost can range from around $29 for AirPods to $399 for a three-year plan for a 16-inch MacBook Pro. In addition to the initial cost, service fees may apply for repairs, which can affect the overall affordability of the plan.

Coverage Benefits

One of the standout features of AppleCare+ is the coverage for accidental damage. As of September 2022, AppleCare+ includes unlimited incidents of accidental damage with fixed deductibles. For iPhone users, there is also an additional option to cover theft and loss, albeit at a higher cost.

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AppleCare+ provides hardware failure protection, accidental damage coverage, and priority access to Apple support. The Express Replacement Service is another benefit, allowing for quick replacement of damaged devices before sending them for repair.

Is AppleCare+ Worth It?

The value of AppleCare+ depends on a few factors, such as how careful users are with their devices and their likelihood of needing repairs or replacements. For critical devices like phones, tablets, and laptops, especially for professional use, AppleCare+ can provide significant peace of mind. However, it may be less necessary for items like Apple TVs or HomePods.

Alternative Options

There are alternative coverage options to consider, such as third-party insurance plans and extended warranties from retailers. Some of these alternatives may offer different coverage details, claim limits, and deductible costs. For instance, Mulberry Unlimited offers comprehensive coverage for all Apple devices under one plan at a monthly subscription fee of $9.99.

AppleCare vs AppleCare+
Coverage TypeManufacturing defectsManufacturing defects, accidental damage, optional theft and loss
Included with PurchaseYesNo, must be purchased within 60 days of device purchase
Coverage Duration1 yearVaries, up to 3 years
Technical SupportStandard24/7 Priority Support
CostIncluded with deviceVaries, e.g., $29 for AirPods to $399 for 16-inch MacBook Pro (3 years)
Repair Service FeesStandard ratesFixed deductibles for repairs
Express Replacement ServiceNoYes

Comparing different coverage options and conducting a cost-benefit analysis can help in making an informed decision. For those who are tech-savvy, Apple's self-service repair program can also be a cost-effective alternative for certain repairs.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, whether AppleCare+ is worth the investment depends on individual usage patterns, risk tolerance, and the likelihood of accidental damage or theft. While AppleCare+ offers extensive coverage and benefits, other protection plans, or even opting for no additional coverage at all, may be more suitable based on personal preferences and needs.

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