AppleCare Warranty: What Are Your Options and Is It Worth It?
Whatsapp Pinterest
Advertisement

When you buy an Apple product, you’ll likely see an offer to purchase AppleCare+ along with it. Apple’s official warranty can provide peace of mind, but is it worth the additional cost on an already expensive device?

Let’s take a closer look. We’ll examine what AppleCare+ covers, how much it costs for your device, and whether AppleCare+ is worth it.

What Is AppleCare?

AppleCare Home

AppleCare is Apple’s first-party warranty plan for its devices. Most Apple products come with a one-year warranty and three months of phone support if you need help—this is called AppleCare.

Adding AppleCare+, Apple’s extended warranty, increases these periods so your devices are covered for longer. You can purchase it to protect your Mac, iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, Apple TV, HomePod, or iPod Touch.

Normally, we advise against buying extended warranties for electronics. They’re usually just a way for the seller to make more money, as most devices won’t need repairs during their lifetime.

However, AppleCare is a special case due to Apple’s tight control on its products. Since the company designs the hardware, OS, and lots of apps for its devices, having a warranty from that company is an attractive idea. Notably, AppleCare+ also covers accidental damage, as we’ll discuss shortly.

Apple lets you transfer AppleCare+ coverage. If you sell or give away your device, the rest of the warranty goes with it. This can make selling your Mac How to Safely Sell Your MacBook or iMac for the Best Price How to Safely Sell Your MacBook or iMac for the Best Price Don't risk your privacy and personal data by selling your Mac without erasing it first! Read More easier as extra coverage sweetens the deal—check out Apple’s AppleCare transfer page for information.

How Do I Get AppleCare+?

When you buy an Apple product from the website or in an Apple Store, you’ll have the opportunity to add an AppleCare+ plan. If you decide you want to buy AppleCare+ later, you can do so within 60 days of your purchase.

To do so, head to Apple’s warranty status page and enter your device’s serial number to start the process. This requires you to run a remote diagnostic so Apple can confirm your device is in good shape.

Apple Check Warranty Coverage

And you can put the balance of an iTunes or Apple gift card What Can You Buy With an Apple or iTunes Gift Card? What Can You Buy With an Apple or iTunes Gift Card? Got an Apple gift card and not sure what to spend it on? Here's a guide on how to redeem and spend Apple and iTunes gift cards. Read More towards purchasing Apple Care.

If you don’t want to purchase AppleCare+ online, you can do so in an Apple Store instead. A technician will inspect your device, plus you’ll need to provide proof of purchase.

Not sure if you have AppleCare+ already? Sign into Apple’s My Support page and you can check the status on all your devices.

What Does AppleCare+ Cover?

As mentioned, AppleCare+ essentially acts as an extension of your complimentary warranty. However, what AppleCare+ covers depends on your device. And when you need service, you have a few options.

If you have a MacBook, iPhone, or other portable device, you can mail your Mac to Apple using a prepaid shipping box. For desktop Macs, Apple will send a technician to you. Or if you prefer, you can bring your device into an Apple Store.

Your purchase also includes 24/7 support via online chat or phone call.

AppleCare+ for Mac

macbook-vs-imac

AppleCare+ for Mac extends your warranty coverage for two additional years (a total of three years). It also covers up to two accidental damage coverages. If you take your Mac in for accidental damage, Apple charges you $99 to fix the screen or $299 for anything else.

Items covered under warranty include the battery, power adapter, RAM, and similar. If you’ve got a Mac problem, we’ve covered the best free tools to fix common macOS issues The 8 Best Free Mac Tools to Detect and Fix Common macOS Problems The 8 Best Free Mac Tools to Detect and Fix Common macOS Problems Every Mac user should keep these 8 tools around to fix any problems that may arise, like malware, hardware issues, and more. Read More .

AppleCare+ for iPhone

iPhone X

Apple offers two AppleCare+ plans for your iPhone.

The first is AppleCare+, which gives an additional year of warranty coverage (two years total) and covers up to two accidental damage fixes. These will cost you $29 to fix the screen or $99 for anything else.

For complete coverage, Apple also offers the AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss plan. This includes everything in the standard plan, plus coverage if your iPhone is lost or stolen. As long as you have Find My iPhone enabled at the time of incident, you can get a replacement device.

Apple charges a deductible for this replacement, which depends on your device:

  • iPhone 8, 7, and 6S: $199
  • iPhone XR, 8 Plus, 7 Plus, and 6S Plus: $229
  • iPhone XS, XS Max, and X: $269

AppleCare+ for iPad

Purchasing AppleCare+ for your iPad grants you an additional year of warranty coverage (two years total). This also includes Apple Pencil coverage, if you bought one with your iPad.

In addition, this warranty covers the iPad’s battery and all included cables.

Like the coverage for Mac, you get two accidental damage incidents as well. Apple charges $49 to fix an iPad issue, or $29 for an Apple Pencil problem.

AppleCare+ for Apple Watch

MilaneseLoop_670

AppleCare+ for the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Nike+ adds another year of warranty coverage (for two total). The Apple Watch Hermès comes with a two-year warranty, so AppleCare+ extends this to three years total. Coverage includes the device, battery, and charging cable.

Like the other plans, your Apple Watch coverage includes two incidents of accidental damage. Apple charges a fee of $69 ($79 for the Apple Watch Hermès) for these.

AppleCare Protection Plan for Apple TV

Apple calls the Apple TV coverage plan “AppleCare Protection Plan” instead of AppleCare+. But it still includes the same additional year of warranty coverage (two years total). This includes the Apple TV unit and remote.

Unlike the other plans, this does not include coverage for accidental damage (likely the reason for the name difference).

AppleCare+ for HomePod

Apple HomePod

You know what to expect by now: the AppleCare+ plan for your HomePod adds another year of warranty coverage for two total. You get two accidents covered for a fee of $39 each time.

Don’t have a HomePod? Check out cool HomePod features that will make you want one.

AppleCare+ for iPod Touch

AppleCare+ will extend your iPod Touch’s warranty to two years total. Coverage includes the device, battery, and included earbuds and charging cable. If you accidentally damage it, you can pay Apple $29 for a repair, up to two times.

How Much Is AppleCare+?

The cost of an AppleCare+ plan depends on what device you’re protecting. Below is a list of current rates:

  • MacBook or MacBook Air: $249
  • 13″ MacBook Pro: $269
  • 15″ MacBook Pro: $379
  • Mac mini: $99
  • iMac/iMac Pro: $169
  • Mac Pro: $249
  • iPhone XS or XS Max: $199 | $299 with theft and loss
  • iPhone XR, 8 Plus, or 7 Plus: $149 | $249 with theft and loss
  • iPhone 8 or 7: $129 | $199 with theft and loss
  • iPhone SE: $99
  • iPad Pro: $129
  • iPad or iPad Mini: $70
  • Apple Watch Series 4: $79
  • Apple Watch Hermès: $99
  • Apple Watch Series 3: $49
  • Apple TV: $29
  • HomePod: $39
  • iPod Touch: $59

Is AppleCare+ Worth It?

If AppleCare+ was only a warranty, it would be pretty easy to recommend against it.

The chance of a defect affecting your device after the complimentary warranty isn’t that high, especially with Apple products that are known for their high quality. And the support service for questions isn’t that important due to the wealth of information available online.

However, AppleCare+ also includes fixes for accidental damage. Depending on how careful you are with your devices (and whether you can fix your iPhone on your own How to Fix an iPhone Yourself How to Fix an iPhone Yourself Over a few weeks, the angle I needed to plug the lightning cable into my iPhone 5S got more and more specific, until one day it just wouldn't charge. It was dead. Read More ), this may work out in your favor.

Comparing Repair Prices

Taking a look at Apple’s iPhone repair page provides a good idea of what you’ll pay for out-of-warranty fixes compared to AppleCare+ coverage.

An iPhone screen repair, for instance, costs $29 with AppleCare+ no matter what device you have. But without coverage, you’ll pay anywhere from $149 for an iPhone 7 to $279 for an iPhone XS.

iPhone Screen Repair Cost

“Other repairs,” which include anything aside from the battery and screen, are more costly. They’re $99 regardless of device with AppleCare+, but can cost anywhere from $319 for an iPhone 7 up to a whopping $549 for an iPhone XS. Cracking the glass backs on the newest iPhone models falls under this.

AppleCare’s Value

Whether you should get AppleCare depends on how accident-prone you are, and what device you’re protecting.

Say you buy a new iPhone every two years and expect to crack the screen once per phone. AppleCare+ coverage for an iPhone XS costs $199 upfront, plus $29 for the repair. Without this, you’d pay $279 out of pocket for the repair.

Thus, if you crack your newer iPhone screen even once during its life, AppleCare+ provides a good value. However, since the newest iPhones are all-screen, their screen repair prices are accordingly higher.

The price to fix an iPhone 8’s screen out of warranty is $149. Compared to the $129 price of AppleCare+ for an iPhone 8, plus the $29 repair charge, it’s cheaper to pay for the repair out of pocket. Don’t forget that the newest iPhone models are also water-resistant, which helps protect from a common form of damage.

Consider what device you’re buying and whether you expect to accidentally damage it. It may be more cost-effective to simply set aside a bit of money each month for repairs. Then, if you don’t damage your device, you’ll have that money for something else.

If you can afford to replace something, it isn’t really worth insuring. You might want to check the prices of other places that repair iPhone screens 5 Places That Fix iPhone Screens for Cheap 5 Places That Fix iPhone Screens for Cheap Dropped your iPhone, cracked the screen, and wondering what to do? Here are several places that fix iPhone screens for cheap. Read More and see how the cost compares.

There Are Other AppleCare Alternatives, Too

AppleCare+ isn’t the only way to protect your device. If you tend to drop it often, get a protective case that will keep it safe from damage. This costs a fraction of a warranty’s price and you can choose from hundreds of cases.

Whatever you choose, know your typical usage and calculate the costs first. If you’ve never dropped an iPhone or had a Mac hardware defect in the past, it’s not worth the high cost to cover something that, in all likelihood, won’t happen.

If you can’t live without the peace of mind a warranty brings, consider another smartphone warranty plan 5 Smartphone Insurance Plans That Provide the Best Value 5 Smartphone Insurance Plans That Provide the Best Value When a device is as important and as expensive as your smartphone, it probably makes sense to insure it against catastrophes. Read More like SquareTrade. Its phone warranty costs $9/month and covers accidental damage and defects, plus it offers several options when you need repairs.

Explore more about: Buying Tips, Hardware Tips, Insurance, .

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!

Enter your Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Todd
    May 10, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    Our experience is the opposite of the claims made by this article. We have had great support through Best Buy and the Geek Squad, both in-person and over the phone. And this is over the course of ten years with an upscale desktop and two mid-scale laptops. We are currently in the hunt for our next laptop and due to the main use being music production, I was seriously considering switching to the MacBook from Windows. I have been researching online for about three months. To my frustration and surprise, I have read hundreds of negative reviews on Apple's customer service, extreme difficulty in getting an Apple Store to work on your broken product, AND being treated like less than a human in the fancy new Apple Stores. Yesterday, my wife and I visited our nearest new Apple Store to test the waters. While not the absolute worst experience of my life, the visit did nothing to impress us with Apple nor did it quell any of the concerns I had heard others express. I was very frustrated as I had made the change mentally to switch to Apple. I've read too many reviews of Apple lovers now switching away from Apple, for multiple reasons. The most predominant reason is the way customers are treated poorly, including countless times when people need repairs and who get passed over despite having made appointments. If you enter their store, with the intention of giving them $3000 of your hard-earned money, but their interactions with you leave you feeling unwanted and as if you are somehow bothering them, how you could you not end up with a bad taste in your mouth towards Apple in general? And, this wasn't just one store. Sincerely wanting a MacBook Pro, I checked reviews on the nearest stores, in three different states. Almost the exact same reviews. Two Apple Store members were very friendly. But, there was almost a tension in the air with all the others. Like they are being watched and will for some reason be given demerits if they treat you too nicely. There was a feeling of condescension from one of the three people we got help from and one was obviously watching the time on his watch. Upscale laptop for an upscale price.. due to its need/purpose, ok I'll bend some. Upscale laptop, upscale price, snobby service, questionable chances on getting help when needed.. why would I want to even go there? This is from someone who was willing to switch platforms and hopeful in getting a good quality product for a very specific career need. Is Apple's new attitude of indifference and near-disgust towards customers a top-down policy? What happened to the bustling, yet positive feeling the older and smaller stores had? You don't have to be a business major to know the eventual affect on Apple's bottom line if nothing changes. The question is... why?

  2. jry
    February 6, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Apple support has gone WAY downhill - they might be following in the footsteps of the other dinosaurs like Microsoft. We've taken a dysfunctional mac mini in twice. First we were told there was nothing wrong with it. Then we were told that it needed a new logic board - the computer came back and continued the exact same behavior. We asked that rather than continue working with what was obviously a lemon - we get a credit to put towards a new machine. Suddenly, the store visits were undocumented and we needed to bring the machine in to be troubleshot. Epic fail by Apple. The Rep, Robert Cooper, all but called us liars.

  3. Options Exist For a Reason
    October 21, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    a) If you start off the exchange with anger, you will not receive the best service. This is true of Apple, Microsoft, Best Buy, any company that employs humans. If you treat the technician as a human being, s/he will likely treat you as one too (especially if they've just been treated like sh*t by the previous customer). b) Whether or not the extended warranty is worth it depends on several factors, only two of which are price and who is offering the warranty. Other factors include: what kind of device and how complex is it? How do you tend to treat similar devices? Will this device stay in one spot the majority of its lifespan, or do you plan on taking it with you on a daily basis? If this device broke just before something important, do you have other devices you could still get by with? If this device does break, is it something you can or would be willing to fix on your own? How much of a pain would it be to get the device to where it needs to be fixed? Etc. Yes, buying an extended warranty is a gamble (so is buying car insurance, or fresh vegetables) but you can be smart about how you do it.

    All that being said, APP probably isn't worth it for most devices nor more technically inclined people. However, I do highly recommend some sort of coverage on any MacBook Pro (specifically, any laptop). Not only are these relatively complex devices that people tend to use as their main computer (as in, they have no back up machine) but laptops tend to move. Even if the furthest distance a laptop moves in its lifespan is from the bedroom to the living room, it's still moving. And even without accident protection, all of the moving parts inside your computer (like hinges, motherboards that can be twisted between books in backpacks, RAM sticks that have to be placed correctly into specific slots) can be wiggled around just by carefully walking your computer around and gently setting it down.

    Ultimately, whoever is buying and using the computer should make the decision, but it's not something that should just be tossed aside as another way to up sell customers. If you want to complain about up selling, why are you even buying new consumer electronics in the first place? Reuse it, or build it yourself; don't get sucker punched into wasteful capitalism.

  4. bb
    October 10, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    I purchased an iMac in 2009 with AppleCare. In November of 2011 something started to go wrong. They replaced two hard drives, the motherboard, and power source. It was horrible! They treated me as if I was causing the problem. When I started requesting they send a tech out to do repairs (per AppleCare you don't have to take it into an Apple Store) they accused me of having outside vendors do the work...the outside vendors they sent out. When the third hard drive started to fail, and at this time I started using the word LEMON, I was informed that I had to wait until the 3rd hard drive failed. I contacted a national radio guy and he recommended a few things. After that I was given a replacement iMac. If I didn't have AppleCare, I would have just tossed it and gone back to pc's. So, I'm glad I had AppleCare??

  5. NRK
    October 5, 2013 at 5:51 am

    For appliances, everything from your toaster to your server, insurance is a poor buy. With five computers, two servers, Cisco routers & switches, and and 15 general appliances in the house it would cost me about $1200 for insurance for them all at $50 each per year. Over the last 30 years since I bought my first computer that would have been $36,000. If every appliance, computer, etc. died tomorrow It would be cheaper to replace them all than to have purchased the insurance for the last 30 years. Don't forget, homeowner's or renter's insurance will cover some losses and damage. Just put that $100+ a month in the bank (your insurance account) and you will always have money to replace your "appliances".

  6. Rick
    October 3, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    I have owned numerous Apple products since the beginning when Apple was a hated by all PC people. (is it still?)

    I have never owned Apple Care on any product and never will. It's a big money maker for the guy who sells you the computer. That's why you get those pathetic looks when you refuse it.

    I always tell the salesperson that is why I buy Apple. I don't expect to need extended care. If I did, I would buy a cheap PC and toss it when it broke.

  7. Mike
    October 2, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    When I had to have a new screen on a 27" iMac, the local Apple reseller was brilliant. I walked in on a Thursday at 1645 with my ailing iMac, and picked it up the following Wednesday morning at 1100. Cost of new screen - £580 + tax. Cost to me under Applecare - £10 (two round trips to the shop).
    They also cleaned up a slightly dodgy USB connection without being asked, cleaned the casing and spent about 25 minutes showing me how to achieve something that had been defeating me for weeks.
    No complaints at all - £135 well spent!

  8. Joshua C
    October 2, 2013 at 10:15 am

    "[T]he .. iPod Touch ... [has] a two-year warranty. A few products, like the ... iPod Touch, can’t be covered by AppleCare at all."

    I think I'm a tad confused here.

  9. Jackson
    October 2, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Personally, Apple devices have always been very reliable -- in my experience, that is. Their return policy is also very accommodating. So even though I own a million Apple products, I've never purchased AppleCare.

  10. ExAppleTech
    October 2, 2013 at 6:20 am

    I spent a little over 5 years as an Apple tech for an authorized repairer. If you brought your computer in for repair without AppleCare, watch out - we would rip you off blind and then some.

    When we repaired your non-AppleCare machine, we would go through the sales database and find the same machine (or one with compatible parts) that had AppleCare and claim the parts under someone else's warranty.

    Not only did we get paid by Apple for the 'warranty' repair, we got paid by the customer, too...

  11. Don T
    October 2, 2013 at 3:40 am

    Used to be $100 for the extra 2 years was a particularly good deal for battery powered devices because it covered the battery replacement. With todays newer Apples, batteries last much longer. ?Much longer than the competition?

  12. Android
    October 1, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    I rather buy new device every time my device breaks than to own a Apple device.

    • gyffes
      October 31, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      Thank you for letting us know up front you're a fool and that we can disregard everything else you say.

  13. likefunbutnot
    October 1, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Apple's support might in theory be worthwhile, but only if you life someplace close to an Apple Store. In general I can say that I've never had a positive Apple support experience, even for comparatively simple matters like getting itunes purchases voided. I've actually had to argue with online support over my decision to ship a Macbook to a service depot rather than drive 90 minutes in to one of the busiest metropolitan areas of the US and paying $30 to park for the privilege of waiting two hours for an Apple store employee to do work I could've done myself in 20 minutes on any other laptop.

    I know Apple's support is highly regarded by other people, but I really do believe that the best choice is to simply not buy anything from Apple in the first place.

    • BigJimSneaker
      April 12, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      AGREED! Unfortunately, I live in an Apple environment where everyone I work with uses Apple products. The best solution I've found is as you said to live near an Apple store and then to follow their service procedures exactly. Everything they do has to conform exactly to a script written in Cupertino by very rigid people and if you get them off the script their default is to tell you "no." It's frightening, but if you're polite, positive, and persistent you can usually get the thing fixed.
      It's always a test of how in touch I am with the Force. They use a lot of Jedi mind tricks for sure.