Extended warranties provoke strong reactions in people, not unlike politics, religion and the correct way to squeeze a tube of toothpaste. For every person with a story about how an extended warranty saved them money, there’s another who insists that extended warranties are a complete scam.
Apple offers two extended warranty offerings, AppleCare and AppleCare+, for Macs and portable iDevices. Here’s how the two warranties stand up to scrutiny.
AppleCare An iMac comes with a standard one-year warranty and 90 days of tech support. For $169, AppleCare for Mac and Apple Displays extends your warranty for three years. Coverage includes on-site repairs for desktop Macs, mail-in repair services for portable computers, and a carry-in repair policy for monitors. Coverage is especially important for businesses. An auto shop that can’t access its Mustang accessories database is going to lose money, as is a data entry business with a dead computer. Individuals should also consider the extended warranty, as the coverage is comprehensive.
You don’t need to make an immediate decision about AppleCare. Computer owners can purchase the extended coverage at any point during the standard one-year warranty.
AppleCare+ Portable devices are much more vulnerable to damage than desktop computers. iPhones seem magnetically attracted to washing machines, dogs, small children, buzz saws and anything else that can destroy hundreds of dollars worth of electronics in seconds.
AppleCare+ extends the one-year warranty and 90-day tech support for iPads and iPhones into two years of coverage. Unlike the now-defunct AppleCare for iPhones, AppleCare+ also covers two cases of accidental damage. Financially, however, AppleCare+ will set you back. While AppleCare for iPads and iPhones cost $69, the new program costs $99. In addition, a fee of $49 incurs with each accidental damage claim. You only pay those fees, however, if you need to make a claim.
Unlike AppleCare for computers, consumers must purchase AppleCare+ coverage within 30 days of buying their mobile device. This means you can’t get the full value out of the original, one-year warranty and then slide coverage over into the new plan.
Is AppleCare+ Worth the Cost? Whether you opt for AppleCare+ or stick with the original warranty depends on how you handle your mobile devices and how much you paid for them. Many people get their iPhones through two-year carrier plans, which come with some heavy subsidies and discounts for phones.
On the one hand, you might be paying extra money to protect a phone you essentially got for free. On the other, the cost of replacing an iPhone without carrier discounts is pretty steep. As for iPads, well, a new tablet runs $499 to $829. If you take exceptional care of your mobile devices, you may be fine with the standard one-year warranty. If, however, you have a history of dropping, washing or blending your iDevices, AppleCare+ may be for you. The maximum you’d pay would be $167, and that assumes your unlucky enough to damage your device twice. Byline: Michael is a full-time blogger who has passions in all corners of the online world. In his down time he enjoys being outdoors, traveling, and blogging on everything from technology, to business, to marketing, and beyond.