Is AppleCare Worth It?


whenever you purchase a new apple device, the first thing that comes to your mind is that should i get that extra 2 years of warranty called applecare? it seems kinda pricey but i’m worried that if something happens to my device, won’t it cover it?

well, here’s the first take from an ex-Genius Thomas Brand (source):

Repairing computers requires parts. Mac Genius don’t actually repair broken components, they fix your Mac by replacing its failing parts.

If you plan on buying a new computer every year don’t buy AppleCare. Apple’s standard one year warranty covers parts and labor on manufacturing defects and is included with all new or factory refurbished Macs. If you need phone support remember you get 90 days worth of free AppleCare support calls from the day you purchased your computer, and free support is only as far as your local Apple Store.

You can purchase the AppleCare Protection Plan anytime within the one-year limited warranty period. Your eligibility for coverage under the AppleCare Protection Plan starts from your hardware purchase date.

American Express and many premium charge card companies double your manufacture’s warranty when you make eligible purchases on your card. These claims are not as easy to redeem as AppleCare, but an additional year of parts and labor on your Mac is an added benefit for paying with credit.

Homeowners insurance and specific riders that cover costly electronics are another reason to skip AppleCare. These policies often cover the accidental damage Apple won’t.

Although I have never purchased an in-store warranty on any product, I have heard good things about Best Buy replacing failing MacBooks with the latest and greatest Apple portables. Buyers beware you are dealing with retail sales strategies when you invest in one of these policies.

Portable computers can still be sent out for flat rate mail-in repair. The cost of a flat rate repair outside of the standard warranty it almost equal to the cost of AppleCare. If you own a portable computer that is outside of its original one year warranty you only need to have it repaired once before the cost of AppleCare pays for itself.

Desktop Macs are never eligible for flat rate repairs. Each part must be purchased individually, and the cost of a single Xeon Mac Pro processor or 27 inch iMac display is several times the cost of AppleCare.

I always buy AppleCare for desktop Macs. iMac AppleCare is cheap considering it covers a difficult repair and cost of the integrated display. Mac Pro AppleCare is an investment on an expensive machine that will last at least three years.

An Apple display purchased at the same time as an eligible Mac can be covered under AppleCare. This is the only time I would purchase AppleCare on a MacBook or Mac mini. Otherwise I take my chances with the cost of a flat rate repair or finding replacement parts on my own.

I would never buy AppleCare on a iPod, iPhone, iPad, or AppleTV. These devices are more likely to be dropped or stolen than require repair for a manufacturing defect.

AppleCare covers a AirPort Express Base Station, AirPort Extreme Base Station, or Time Capsule purchased no more than two years before your Mac purchase or during the term of your AppleCare Protection Plan coverage.

AppleCare never goes on sale through Apple, but can be purchased at a discount either through the educational store, or from a third-party reseller. Check to make sure the AppleCare box is sealed when purchasing from a third-party.

Older boxed copies of AppleCare can expire. If you have a valid receipt for both your computer and protection plan Apple will honor your AppleCare.

Finally, if you purchase AppleCare and feel you have made a mistake you can return AppleCare for a refund, but you won’t get your full purchase price back. Instead, you’ll get a pro-rated refund based on how long you’ve had the plan before returning it.

there are also instances where this guy, Jordan Golson, got a fresh macbook pro as replacement for his 2.5 year old macbook pro~ (source)~


but so, the too-long-to-read-please-summarise-for-me version is to consider these aspects:

  • how often am i gonna refresh my device?
  • how much does it cost to fix something that broke?

as much as i agree with Thomas about a mobile device being something that has a higher chance of going through wear and tear, but mobile devices tend to be the ones that you change more frequently~ the probability of you changing an iphone is so much higher compared to the you switching a mac~ and i’m also putting that probability for the mobile devices on par with that of a desktop~ i mean let’s be real, with so many more parts in the mac, who’s not to say that the probability of you getting a defective part is higher on a mac than on an ipad? so as you can see, there are just too many aspects to add to the equation of whether to applecare your device or not if you’re gonna consider the whole idea of chance of something getting spoilt~ you might as well start digging into information like which company manufactures which part and see if they have a reputation for long lasting parts~ it’s gonna take you a couple of endless nights to decide on something so simple~

your self-declared lifespan on your device is important~ it pretty much determines the majority of your final decision~ if you’re the kind to refresh your phone every year whenever the next iphone comes out, then the standard 1 year applecare that comes along with your device should suffice~ only if you plan to refresh it after 1 year (meaning out of the 1 year applecare period), then you should consider the next question…

to fix an iphone or maybe an ipad isn’t gonna burn your pocket as much as a display on your macbooks~ i had the display of my first macbook air (first gen) replaced once under applecare because i kept pushing the screen into the mac whenever i tried to clean fingerprint smugs off it~ it costs somewhere around $100+ just for that part~ which is approximately the cost of the applecare~ so you pretty much get an even trade off just from a 1 time servicing of a large product~ now how about even larger products like the mac or mac pro? you are starting to get the picture~ this final question will help you decide whether or not it is WORTH IT to get applecare~

hope this post has shed some light on the topic of AppleCare~


image source: applecare, accessed 5th Aug ’11

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