Why you should buy AppleCare+ before you leave the store

Why you should buy AppleCare+ before you leave the store

Summary: There are important changes to AppleCare+, Apple's warranty program for iPhones and iPads, that you should know about before purchasing it.

TOPICS: Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad, Mobility
AppleCare+ has been changed with the launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c - Jason O'Grady

While waiting in line for the vaunted iPhone 5s yesterday, I had a lot of time to reflect and observe.

I learned about some important changes to AppleCare Plus, Apple's $99 extended warranty program for iPhones and iPads, from one of the staffers a the Apple Store in Atlantic City.

AppleCare Plus extends the iPhone's one-year warranty and 90 days of tech support to two full years and includes accidental damage from drops and submersions, for example. 

The original AppleCare Protection Plan (APP) for iPhones was first offered in July 2007 for $69, and it could be purchased any time during its original one-year warranty. The original AppleCare only covered hardware and software failures and it didn't include physical damage. 

AppleCare was upgraded in October 2011 when Apple added the "Plus" moniker and began covering physical damage. Under the new "AppleCare Plus" program Apple would replace your damaged iPhone -- for any reason -- for $50 per incident, with a maximum of two incidents. 

Apple has increased the per incident charge of AppleCare Plus with the release of the iPhone 5s and 5c by 60 percent. It now costs $79 per incident, for a maximum of two incidents over the plan's two years. Previously you could purchase a replacement iPhone for $50 under the program.

AppleCare+ must be purchased within 30 days of iPhone purchase and requires inspection of your iPhone and proof of purchase. You can no longer purchase AppleCare after an incident has occurred. 

For more information see the AppleCare+ Terms and Conditions and the frequently asked questions.

To call AppleCare Plus essential might be the understatement of the year. Being mobile devices, iPhones (and iPads, for that matter) are extremely susceptible to damage by their very nature. The fact that they're manufactured out of a thin layer of glass (two layers of glass in the case of the iPhone) makes an extended warranty even more critical. 

Just make sure that you purchase AppleCare when you buy your new iPhone 5s or 5c because you won't be able to purchase it after the fact. 

What's your AppleCare story? Do you usually buy it on iPhones?

[Update: This post previously stated that AppleCare had to be purchased at the time of iPhone purchase, which is incorrect, you have 30 days. This was corrected and I regret the error.] 

Topics: Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad, Mobility

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  • Where to Buy AppleCare+

    According to the Online Apple Store ( http://store.apple.com/us/product/APP_IPHONE_PLUS_AUTO-110480/applecare-for-iphone ) it says:

    How to get AppleCare+
    Add it to your shopping cart during the checkout process when you purchase your new iPhone.
    Buy it within 30 days of your iPhone purchase. Your iPhone purchase date is the date we ship and charge you for your order:
    At an Apple Retail Store (requires inspection of your iPhone and proof of purchase)
    By calling (800) 275-2273 (requires you to run a remote diagnostic and provide proof of purchase)
    • Source

      An employee at the Apple Store in Atlantic City told me yesterday that AppleCare had to be purchased on the same day as the iPhone, but I called back today and confirmed that you have up to 30 days to purchase AppleCare. I have updated the post to correct this mistake and apologize for any confusion.

      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
      • AppleCare+ time limit

        Apple seems to flip-flop in regards to the time limit for buying AppleCare. When I pre-ordered my 4S it said that I had 30 days to purchase the new AppleCare+ then when I went to the store I was told it must be purchased when you purchase your phone thankfully I had proof that it said I had 30 days. And then I learned later that they changed it back to 30 days. However, with my 5S I didn't want to risk it and I got it the same day. They need to get on the ball and get a consistent statement 2 years later they shouldn't still be having inconsistencies.
  • Why you should buy AppleCare+

    Because apple supposedly premium with high build quality are actually fragile as hell, and continually break.

    Except the 5C, with it's "magical" plastic.......................
    Well, ok the screen might break like all the other iphones, but not the "magical" plastic.
    • But by the power of greyskull and magic of Linus Torvalds

      There's mystical kernel embedded protection for Samsung and Nexus phones, so they don't ever break!
  • hold on a second

    How is it that an Apple blogger didn't know about this last year when the rest of the world learned about it?
    • Huh?

      What are you talking about when you say "last year?" Do you have anything to back that up? It's pretty well-known that Apple made the changes to AppleCare *this* month. (http://www.macworld.com/article/2048507/apple-sneaks-in-changes-to-applecare-.html)

      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
      • Sorry

        Mix read the article. Thought you implied the damage protection was new.
  • Don't need it

    I can prove it too. I have an iPod Touch (I believe its third gen model), purchased in September of 2009. Still in tip top shape doing fine. I have travelled with this iPod, listen to music on it almost everyday, watch videos, browse the web etc. I am also very careful with it because I know the entire front of the device is glass and its not something that feels like dropping and it will survive. So I am at least cognizant of how fragile it is (its not in a case either). So, 4 years going, I am sure if I got an iPhone and iPad I could do the same.
  • Yep, just spend £2 on a non Apple 'full cover' case for your iPad

    Have the iPad 3, bought a blue £2 TechNet full cover case they day I got it, on the internet, the case is bashed to hell, having been half way the world, including above the arctic circle - twice.
    Actually the iPads are pretty robust, don't see the need for Apple Care, thanks but no thanks.
  • Worth it if you live near an Apple store, are clumsy, or just unlucky.

    Paying $99 to know that you can replace a $800 device for $79 is a no-brainer.

    God hates me, so I buy AppleCare for all my Apple devices. I've never regretted it. I've only had to use it a couple of times, but just one time more than paid for all the others (MBP logic board died 2 years and 8 months after purchase $900 repair bill cost me $0.00!). Talk about peace of mind.
    • Yep.

      Same here. I got Apple care with all my computers. However, I have not done so for my iPhones.
      The Danger is Microsoft
  • kandy

    like Victor explained I'm dazzled that anyone can get paid $9763 in 1 month on the computer. Discover More......http://x.co/2OeWh
  • SquareTrade

    IMO, SquareTrade is better. Basically the same initial cost, but deductible is still only $50 and they cover upto 4 repairs.

    Just had my daughter's broken iphone replaced at the applestore and got the sqauretrade refund check in the mail. Super easy.
  • Don't need it.

    My wife and I have had a total of four iPhones between us the last four years, and the only time my own iPhone broke was when it was sitting on the passenger's seat of my car charging, when a sleeping driver slammed head on into my car as I was waiting to turn into my street. His insurance company paid for the replacement with a refurbished iPhone from my local Apple store.

    Come to think of it, i wish I had AppleCare for my car, I would have been able to drive away with a replacement without fuss, rather than waiting for 50 days for the body shop to fix all the problems.
  • Applecare worth more than just replacement cost...

    Applecare is worth much more than for just the replacement value. You also get to contact Applecare and get help anytime in that 2 years instead of the 90 day comp support period. You avoid having to pay per incident that way which makes it an even better value.
  • A better idea:

    Buy an EVO before you leave the store instead. I replaced my EVO 4G LTE (added bonus: it was a better phone than the iPhone to begin with) for $50 with no extra warranty at all. If I did buy the warranty ($10/mo) I would have gotten a free replacement. Yet another way Apple rips its customers off