AppleCare & AppleCare+, Is It Worth It?

As we all know by now, Apple products are pretty expensive. And the thought of breaking one of our beloved devices is not something we really want to think about. Thankfully there are a number of options available that make protecting your device from damage straightforward. In recent years, Apple has re-shuffled its AppleCare programme slightly, now offering an extended warranty service known as AppleCare+. But is it worth it? Hopefully, this blog will be able to answer your questions about the programme and help you decide whether it is right for you.

AppleCare

When purchasing any new product from Apple whether it’s a MacBook, iPhone, or an iPad, it is automatically enrolled into Apple’s one-year, free, limited warranty programme known as AppleCare. But that’s just it, it is pretty limited.

The programme will still cover you if your Mac, iPhone or any Apple product for that matter, won’t turn on, will no longer hold charge or any buttons become unresponsive and is pretty much identical to any manufacturer warranty offered by OEMs. The basic Apple Care programme does not cover you against any kind of accidental damage, loss or theft. The programme does, however, provide you with 90 days of free technical support by phone.

 

AppleCare+

AppleCare+, on the other hand, is Apple’s paid plan and covers you a bit more than their regular warranty programme. The AppleCare+ plan extends the limited-warranty up to two years for the iPhone and three years for any Mac product. This plan also extends to over the phone technical support for their respective length of coverage. For Macs, the cover is extended to everything supplied within the box, so this includes the computer itself, the battery, charger and any accessories supplied too.

Apple Care+ also includes coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage protection every 12 months. So if you drop your device, it’s damaged by water or any other form of accidental damage, the plan will save you from having to shell out on expensive repairs. Each incident, however, is still subject to a service fee. For Mac, this starts at £79 for screen damage or external enclosure damage and £229 for any other damages. The third incident of accidental damage (within 12 months) means that you’re on your own which is certainly not ideal, especially with some repairs costing you as much as a brand new Mac.

AppleCare+ does not cover loss or theft. Apple has recently introduced a third tier of coverage that will replace your device if it is lost or stolen but this is currently only available in the US and for now, only covers iPhones.

But you don’t have to decide straight away if AppleCare+ is for you. If you’ve made your mind up already, you can sign your device up for the plan at checkout but in case you haven’t, you have up to 60 days from the date of purchase to decide.

 

Is AppleCare+ Worth It?

The short answer is, it depends. It actually depends on a number of things. Some people may go through their life without ever needing the support offered by AppleCare and of course, for those people, it is a waste of money. The basic AppleCare warranty will cover you for any manufacturer defect for up to a year but once that year is up you may even be entitled to a free replacement anyway under UK consumer law. If a device no longer conforms with the contract of sale, consumers have up to six years from the date of delivery to exercise their statutory rights, in which case, there may be no fee at all to replace your device. But this is subject to various factors and will only cover manufacturer defects.

With regards to Macs, AppleCare+ could be more worthwhile to you if you’re in the market for a MacBook as it is likely that a laptop is something you’re going to want to travel with. This likely means you’re much more prone to accidental damage and therefore, AppleCare+ is something that might be worth investigating further. A desktop Mac, on the other hand, may not be as important to cover as you’re a lot less likely to drop it if it’s sat on a desk in a fairly permanent place.

Some people may go through their life without ever needing the support offered by AppleCare and for those people, the one-off payment is completely wasted.

If you are considering an AppleCare+ plan, you may also want to take into consideration where your nearest Apple Store is. If there aren’t any close by, you will have to send your device off to be serviced which not only extends the process but also opens you up to additional liability if your device is damaged or lost in transit. But again, if you do happen to live near an Apple Store, it could be as simple as walking into the store with an appointment and then waltzing out again with a perfectly working device, saving you a lot of time and hassle dealing with third parties.

If you are still conscious that you need to protect your device from damage, there are plenty of third-party insurers out there that will cover various forms of damage and even loss and theft too. Third-party warranties and insurance will also be a lot cheaper than AppleCare plans too. While third-party insurers are unlikely to have any retail outlets for in-store repairs, they will usually offer pretty speedy two-way shipping. And on top of most accidental damage, some insurers will even reimburse you for Genius Bar appointments and even cover same-day repairs through local service shops in your area. With all this considered, third-party insurance does appear to be quite appealing, especially if you happen to live nowhere near an Apple Store.