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Should You Get AppleCare?

Should You Get AppleCare?

I've owned heaps of Apple products since 2010 and I haven't purchased AppleCare for a single one of them, and in my opinion - you probably don't need AppleCare either. In the next few minutes I'm going to tell you why, and also help you decide if you're one of the few individuals who should buy it.

I'm not going to go into too much detail on what exactly AppleCare is, and how much it is, because it varies a lot from country to country, so make sure you check out the Apple online store in your country first.

This article is about AppleCare+ specifically, because it includes coverage for accidental damage, which realistically is the only reason people buy it.



⦿ The cost

For reference, I've owned many, many Apple products over the last decade, and on zero occasions I would have benefited from having an AppleCare plan. I take good care of my devices - my iPhones are in cases, my MacBooks are charged correctly, and I am generally quite protective of any expensive electronics I own. In 2014, I spilled beer on my 2011 MacBook Pro and the keyboard stopped working.

It was outside of warranty with no AppleCare, so I simply sold it on eBay for a decent amount of cash for parts, and bought a new one. AppleCare coverage lasts between 2-3 years depending on your device, with the option to extend it after that period for additional yearly payments in some countries. As much as we hate to admit it, a large number of people upgrade their electronics every 2-3 years anyway.


Is forking out an extra several hundred dollars for every single purchase worth it in the long run?

Well, perhaps, but only if you're someone who constantly drops or breaks their electronics, and only if AppleCare+ (which covers accidental damage) is available in your country. Don't forget that even if you're covered for accidental damage or the device just dies for no reason due to hardware failure, even on AppleCare you still have to pay a large upfront repair cost, and Apple may even refuse to repair your device altogether.

That's right, I've seen it happen to devices completely destroyed - for example, a phone run over by a car, or a MacBook accidentally dropped from a window. Apple can and will refuse to repair something if the damage is too extensive, and you'll be forced to buy a brand new device or a refurbished model at a slightly reduced price.

So when you see the "repairs covered" section for AppleCare, know that there is a huge invisible asterisk attached to that with a list of things that are NOT covered. Fun fact, damage caused by terrorism events is not covered.


⦿ Peace of mind argument

AppleCare is essentially insurance, and in my opinion, insurance should only be purchased to protect against catastrophic events that would have a significantly negative impact on your life. Some examples include health insurance, home and contents insurance, car insurance, and income protection should you lose your job or be unable to work.

Is dropping your iPhone on the ground or cracking your MacBook screen a catastrophic event that would have significant negative health or financial impact on your life?

I'd hope not, and if it did, you shouldn't be buying expensive Apple electronics in the first place. This is where having an emergency fund of cash or good savings habits come in really helpful.


⦿ Other Insurance Options

Speaking of cost - AppleCare is not the only option. There are 3rd party insurance providers that will cover almost anything, even lost or stolen devices, which AppleCare does NOT cover, unless of course you pay extra for that coverage, but only for iPhones.

In many cases, this third-party insurance will be cheaper than AppleCare or even provided for free depending on your credit card or existing insurance provider.

Do your own research into this before considering AppleCare, because it does vary from country to country.


⦿ What Else Do You Actually Get with AppleCare+?

Aside from accidental repair coverage with AppleCare+, what else do you get? Honestly not much. Apple claims that support via phone or chat is also included with AppleCare, but let's be honest, you can probably get this anyway regardless, that is, if you can even be bothered calling up and waiting in a queue to speak to someone.

If you are actually having issues, just spend 5 minutes googling the answer, or book an appointment at an Apple store if you need hardware issues diagnosed and a repair quoted.


⦿ Laws & Regulations

Did you know there are possibly laws and regulations in your country that will essentially extend your warranty anyway? In Australia, we have something called Consumer Law, which forces electronics manufacturers to provide warranty and support for a product for the expected life span of that product. For phones, it is 2 years, and for laptops 3.

This means even if you're outside of the so-called "1 year Apple limited warranty", you're still eligible for warranty support and repair. Just make sure you research the laws and regulations in your own country though.


⦿ My Recommendations for you

My recommendation is to only get AppleCare if you're either a) A clumsy person who has a habit of dropping or damaging your device, and you want to stick with Apple and not shop around for other insurance policies. Or, b) you're a professional or business owner purchasing a very high-end and expensive machine, for example, a Mac Pro.

Even then, if you're a business or serious professional, you probably have your own comprehensive insurance already that will cover theft, loss, fire damage, and almost anything else which Apple does not.

One area that I think AppleCare could also be worth it is the Apple Watch. It's fairly cheap for a Watch, and a watch is very likely to be accidentally dropped or hit against a metal pole while you're walking for example. Also, if you have a parent or elderly family member that's horrible with technology, AppleCare could be a good choice for them.

I've found that the older generations are obsessed with warranty and extended support, so it could act as a kind of faux peace of mind for them, and also saves you from the 11pm calls from your mother asking why iMessage isn't working.

The fact of the matter is, for the majority of people, it's simply cheaper to save that money you would have spent on AppleCare, and payout of pocket for a repair or replacement in the rare situation you need to, where it's not covered by the limited warranty. If I'd paid for AppleCare for all of my devices over the last decade, I'd be several thousand dollars out of pocket with absolutely nothing to show for it, and I often only upgrade every 3-4 years.

If you buy AppleCare+ for an iPhone 12, it will cost you $149 USD. If you need a screen replacement, that's an additional $29 for a total of $178. The out-of-warranty cost for screen replacement is $279. Which yes, at first look is $100 more expensive than repairing it under AppleCare, but you'd have to be breaking the screen of your phone almost every year for AppleCare to be worth it at those prices.

All of that being said, Apple seems to be insidiously raising the prices of repairs, to the point wherein a few years it may make total financial sense to get AppleCare because any kind of out-of-warranty repair will be far too expensive. This is why the right to repair is such an important thing. Hopefully, you enjoyed my opinion. Any comments or questions please leave them down below.

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