AppleCare Guide: Is it Worth Paying For?

by

Most Apple products come with a one-year limited warranty that covers hardware failures and manufacturing defects, and up to 90 days of complimentary technical support. To extend your coverage further, Apple offers AppleCare+ or the AppleCare Protection Plan. With added initial cost, deductibles, and varying prices across the Apple product lineup, is AppleCare+ worth it?

applecare products

Customers have historically had 30 to 60 days to activate an AppleCare+ plan from the date of purchase, although Apple has recently extended that window to one year in the U.S. and Canada. For many Apple devices, the extended coverage can be activated via the Settings app.

AppleCare+ coverage varies slightly depending on your territory. For example, AppleCare+ with theft and loss coverage is unavailable outside of the United States and Japan. Before purchasing AppleCare+, you should look into the exact terms of coverage in your country.

Standard Warranty

The standard warranty that comes free with your device is simply a limited warranty, the likes of which is very common to consumer electronic devices. This warranty guarantees that the product will work as expected for up to a year, or two years for the Apple Watch Edition. If something materially breaks within that timeframe, and it is through no fault of the user, Apple will fix it free of charge.

This warranty is also automatically applied no matter where you buy the product, and it is transferable to a new owner if the item is passed on within a year. To transfer the warranty, you simply need to provide the buyer with your proof of purchase. Some limitations apply and the length of the standard warranty may vary based on your country.

AppleCare and AppleCare+

Beyond the standard one-year warranty, Apple offers AppleCare service and support plans to provide additional coverage.

For most products, Apple's extended warranty plan is known as AppleCare+, which provides up to two or three years (depending on the product) of hardware coverage, as well as coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage every 12 months (subject to service fees).

AppleCare originally did not cover accidental damage, but over time Apple has shifted most products over to AppleCare+ eligibility to provide that extra coverage. A small number of products such as Apple TV remain eligible for standard AppleCare only, without accidental damage coverage.


Standard Warranty

  • Limited warranty for up to one year (two years for the Apple Watch Edition)
  • Covers hardware failures only
  • Apple support by chat or phone for 90 days


AppleCare+

  • Extended warranty for up to two years (three years for Macs or Apple Displays)
  • Covers hardware failures and up to two incidents of accidental damage every 12 months, subject to service fees
  • Priority access to Apple support by chat or phone
  • Express replacement service
  • Covers two incidents of theft or loss for an additional fee (available for the iPhone only)

AppleCare Features

iu

AppleCare significantly extends standard limited warranty and expands its remit. For most Apple products, such as the ‌iPhone‌ and iPad, AppleCare adds an additional two years of coverage, and for Mac or Apple Displays, it adds an additional three years of coverage. This extended duration is one of the main benefits of AppleCare. AppleCare also extends phone and chat support for the duration of the coverage, and adds priority access.

Repairs

AppleCare covers the costs of any repairs your device may need for the duration of the cover, but only where it is the result of a hardware failure and not accidental damage.

iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches are also eligible for the Express Replacement Service, which allows you to request and receive a replacement device before you send your original damaged device in for repair.

Accidental Damage

As of September 2020, AppleCare+ covers up to two incidents of accidental damage every 12 months, such as liquid damage or broken screens, up from two incidents every 24 months previously.

With accidental damage incidents, there is a fixed deductible depending on the type of damage and the device. This is designed to discourage customers from claiming on non-essential incidents.

Although you still have to pay the deductible, the repair prices with AppleCare+ are generally much cheaper than for standard repairs through Apple. For example, if you have broken your ‌iPhone‌'s screen, a replacement is only $29. If the ‌iPhone‌ has other damage in addition to the screen, the fee is $99. Out of warranty, a screen replacement can cost up to $329. In this instance, AppleCare+ significantly reduces the costs of repair, and with the Express Replacement Service, the process should be reasonably effortless.

Loss or Theft

AppleCare+ offers coverage against loss or theft, which allows you to get a replacement device if needed. However, there is an additional fee for this type of coverage on top of the regular AppleCare+ price, in a package called "AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss." AppleCare+ with theft and loss cover adds up to $100 to the price of AppleCare+, and the plan is only available for the ‌iPhone‌.

This plan allows for two incidents of accidental damage, theft, or loss coverage every 12 months, providing you keep Find My enabled on your lost device. There are also still deductibles for replacing a lost or stolen ‌iPhone‌. For up to $269 per incident, you will be able to replace a lost or stolen ‌iPhone‌ up to two times per year.

AppleCare Availability and Pricing

Apple offers AppleCare plans on a range of devices, and the cost of the plan varies depending on which device it covers. Generally, the more expensive the device, the more AppleCare costs.

In addition to the standard one-time purchase option, Apple also offers AppleCare+ via a monthly recurring payment plan for iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches in certain countries. Pricing varies depending on the cost of AppleCare+ for your device, but a $199 plan will equate to $9.99 per month, and a $299 plan will equate to $14.99 per month. AppleCare+ is therefore more expensive when paid monthly, but it does offer flexibility to cancel it early or extend it beyond the standard coverage term.

iphonelineupguide b

Other Coverage Options

If you are considering AppleCare, it may be worth exploring insurance plans offered by other companies for your device. Many banks, cell phone service providers, and renter's and homeowner's insurance policies cover devices. Some third-party Apple retailers may also offer an extended service plan with your purchase.

Other third-party warranty providers and insurance companies may offer device insurance policies that offer equivalent or better coverage than AppleCare, so it is worth exploring what policies are available for your Apple device in your jurisdiction. Many of these are also available via a monthly subscription and may beat the cost of AppleCare.

Is AppleCare Worth It?

Whether or not you should purchase AppleCare depends on how you use your Apple device, and how much risk and expense you are willing to take.

If you are prone to dropping or damaging your device, the argument moves towards adding AppleCare+. Similarly, additional loss and theft coverage will be dependent on how likely you believe you are to lose your device or have it stolen. Ultimately, some users are simply more careless with their devices, and for those people, AppleCare+ is worth it.

In general, the editors at MacRumors feel that AppleCare is worth getting for Apple laptops that you plan on keeping for longer than one year, and ‌iPhone‌, iPads, and Apple Watches due to the accidental damage coverage. For Apple TVs and HomePods, we generally don't see the need, and for desktop Macs and displays it becomes more of a personal judgement call.

Overall, AppleCare significantly reduces the stress and cost of accidental damage repairs or replacement devices, and eliminates the cost of repairing hardware failures, but it is a notable extra expense for coverage that still has some deductibles and limitations on claims. AppleCare is certainly not essential, and can be worth the additional peace of mind.

Related Articles

Apple homepod mini white 10132020

HomePod Mini AppleCare+ Coverage Costs $15

Tuesday October 13, 2020 1:00 pm PDT by
Customers who order Apple's newly announced $99 HomePod mini can get AppleCare+ for $15 when pre-orders start on November 6. Every HomePod mini comes with one year of hardware repair coverage through its limited warranty and up to 90 days of complimentary tech support, but additional AppleCare+ coverage gets up to two years of tech support and accidental damage coverage for the spherical...
applecare norway

AppleCare+ Now Available in Norway [Update: Also Finland and Denmark]

Tuesday September 22, 2020 6:19 am PDT by
AppleCare+ is now available in Norway, according to Apple's Norwegian website. Previously, AppleCare was the only option in Norway for Apple devices. AppleCare essentially only extends the standard warranty on Apple products, but AppleCare+ includes two instances of accidental damage with a deductible. AppleCare+ is supported on Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPad, Apple Displays, iPod, and Headphones ...
applecareplusiphone

AppleCare+ Monthly Payments Expand to the UK and Germany

Monday September 21, 2020 9:38 am PDT by
After expanding AppleCare+ monthly payments to a number of new territories in July, Apple has now made the scheme available to customers in the United Kingdom and Germany. Monthly payments for AppleCare+ are now available for iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, the UK, and Germany, according to an AppleCare+ support document. The option to pay upfront...
applecaredamageprotection12months

AppleCare+ Updated to Cover 2 Accidental Damage Incidents Every 12 Months, Theft and Loss Deductible Lowered

Tuesday September 15, 2020 5:56 pm PDT by
Apple today updated its AppleCare+ protection plan for Apple devices to cover two incidents of accidental damage protection every 12 months. Prior to now, AppleCare+ covered two incidents of accidental damage every 24 months. The AppleCare+ changes apply to the new Apple Watch models as well as the iPhone, a change made ahead of the launch of the new iPhone 12 models. Macs and iPads also...
Applecare

Apple's Extended One-Year AppleCare+ Option Available for All Devices, Works With Subscriptions

Thursday August 20, 2020 1:52 pm PDT by
Earlier this week, Apple changed its AppleCare+ policies in the United States and Canada to give customers up to a year to purchase AppleCare after buying a device, and MacRumors has now learned additional information about the program that may be useful to those who want to know their AppleCare+ options. AppleCare+ can now be added to a device up to one year from purchase, and this applies to ...
applecareplusiphone

Apple Giving Users in U.S. and Canada Up to One Year to Buy AppleCare+

Monday August 17, 2020 1:38 pm PDT by
Apple is extending the amount of time that customers have to purchase or subscribe to its AppleCare+ after an initial device purchase, reports Bloomberg. Right now, customers have 60 days after buying a device to sign up for AppleCare+, but that's extending to up to one year for some device purchases in the United States and Canada. Bloomberg does not specify whether this applies to all...
applecareplusiphone

Apple Expanding AppleCare+ Monthly Payments to Canada, Australia and Japan

Wednesday July 15, 2020 3:00 pm PDT by
Apple is expanding AppleCare+ monthly payment options to Canada, Australia, and Japan, allowing customers in these countries to pay for AppleCare+ for iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches on a monthly basis. The online Apple Stores in Canada, Australia, and Japan aren't yet providing monthly payment options when checking out after new device purchases, but an AppleCare+ support document...
applecareiphonese

AppleCare+ for New iPhone SE Costs $79

Wednesday April 15, 2020 10:51 am PDT by
AppleCare+ for the newly released $399 iPhone SE is available for $79, a $50 price drop compared to the $129 AppleCare+ price that Apple charged for the now-discontinued iPhone 8. The standard AppleCare+ plan extends the one-year warranty and provides coverage for two incidents of accidental damage every 24 months, with the service fee priced at $29 for screen damage and $99 for other...
airpodsprodesign

Apple Providing Free Replacement AirPods Pro Tips Under AppleCare+

Friday January 31, 2020 2:05 pm PST by
Customers who have AirPods Pro that also purchased an AppleCare+ protection plan for $29 appear to be able to receive free replacement tips for their AirPods Pro. Multiple MacRumors readers have reported being provided replacement tips at no cost after going through Apple's support repair steps for the AirPods Pro. From MacRumors reader Boshii:I'm not sure if it's an AppleCare+ thing or...
applecaremacproprodisplay

AppleCare+ for New Mac Pro Costs $299, AppleCare+ for Pro Display XDR Costs $499

Tuesday December 10, 2019 10:21 am PST by
AppleCare+ for the new Mac Pro is available for $299, while AppleCare+ for the new Apple Pro Display XDR is priced at $499. Given the prices of both the Mac Pro and the Pro Display XDR, adding AppleCare coverage seems well worth it. The $299 price point for AppleCare+ for the Mac Pro is the same regardless of whether the Mac Pro costs $6,000 or upwards of $52,000 with upgrade options....
applecare plus logo

Select Apple Stores Piloting Extended AppleCare+ Eligibility Beyond Usual 60 Days

Thursday November 21, 2019 8:17 am PST by
A small number of Apple Stores in the United States and Canada are piloting a new program that allows customers to purchase AppleCare+ for devices beyond the usual limit of 60 days after the purchase date, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. The pilot program began this week. The pilot program allows customers to add AppleCare+ to a device between 61 days and one year...
AppleCare Apple Watch iPhone

Class Action Lawsuit Against Apple for Offering Refurbished Replacement Devices Under AppleCare Moves Forward

Tuesday September 17, 2019 6:18 pm PDT by
A U.S. District Judge in San Jose today certified a class action lawsuit that accuses Apple of using "inferior" refurbished products as replacements for its AppleCare and AppleCare+ protection plans despite promising consumers new or equivalent to new replacements. [PDF] The class action lawsuit was first filed against Apple in July 2016 by customers in California who were unhappy that their...
applecare monthly renewal option

AppleCare+ Renewable Monthly Payment Plans Now Available for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch

Wednesday September 11, 2019 3:29 am PDT by
Last year, Apple added monthly payment options to some of its AppleCare+ protection plans on select devices, and now the company has decided to make them even more flexible: On Tuesday, it began offering rolling monthly subscription plans that automatically renew until canceled by the customer. AppleCare+ renewable monthly plan offered at checkout As reported by 9to5Mac, customers purchasing...
applecareheadphones

Apple Debuts New $29 AppleCare+ Plan for AirPods and Beats

Tuesday September 10, 2019 11:25 pm PDT by
Alongside new iPhones, Apple Watch models, and an updated iPad, Apple today released a new $29 AppleCare+ plan that's designed specifically for headphones like AirPods and Beats devices. AppleCare+ extends the warranty of AirPods, Beats earphones, and Beats headphones to two years from the date of purchase (up from one year) and includes two incidents of accidental damage coverage for a $29...
applecare products

Carrier Protection Plans for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch Now Offer Same Perks as AppleCare+ in Canada

Tuesday May 7, 2019 11:17 am PDT by
Canadian residents who purchase third-party protection plans for an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch can now access service and support directly from Apple, with equivalent coverage as AppleCare+ customers, according to an internal document published by Apple today and obtained by MacRumors. If a customer purchases a protection plan for her iPhone from a carrier like Bell or Rogers, for example, ...
applecare plus mac

AppleCare+ for Mac Expands to Spain, Singapore, Thailand, and Greater China

Wednesday March 20, 2019 1:15 pm PDT by
AppleCare+ for Mac availability has expanded to Spain, Singapore, Thailand, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau as of this week. AppleCare+ extends the warranty period of a Mac by an additional three years from the AppleCare+ purchase date, and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a service fee that varies by model. AppleCare+ is available for every Mac...
ipad pro apple pencil 2

Apple Pencil Now Eligible for AppleCare+ Even Without Being Purchased Alongside an iPad

Monday March 18, 2019 2:08 pm PDT by
Effective today, the Apple Pencil no longer needs to be purchased at the same time as an iPad to be eligible for AppleCare+ coverage, according to an announcement shared with Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers today. This means that if a customer has AppleCare+ for iPad, coverage now extends to any first-generation or second-generation Apple Pencil the person may own even if ...
applecare plus logo

AppleCare+ for New iPad Air Costs $69, Same Price as 9.7-Inch iPad and iPad Mini

Monday March 18, 2019 8:38 am PDT by
Despite starting at a higher price of $499, the new 10.5-inch iPad Air released today qualifies for the same $69 tier of AppleCare+ as 9.7-inch iPad and iPad mini models. AppleCare+ for the latest iPad Pro models remains $129. AppleCare+ is an optional warranty plan that extends the iPad Air's warranty period to two years from the original purchase date of the device, and adds up to two...
applecare plus mac

AppleCare+ for Mac With Accidental Damage Coverage Expands to Canada, Mexico, and Europe

Wednesday October 31, 2018 1:50 pm PDT by
AppleCare+ for Mac with accidental damage coverage is now available in Canada, Mexico, and many countries across Europe and the Middle East, including Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. AppleCare+ for Mac was previously limited to the United States, Australia and New Zealand, and...
iphone xr product red

iPhone XR Repair Fees Without AppleCare+: $199 for Screen Damage, $399 for Other Damage

Monday October 22, 2018 7:04 am PDT by
Apple has detailed out-of-warranty repair fees for the iPhone XR ahead of the smartphone's launch on Friday. In the United States, Apple will charge $199 to repair a damaged iPhone XR screen and $399 to repair other damage to the device, unless it is a manufacturing defect covered by Apple's standard one-year limited warranty. Prices vary in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and other...