Applecare is a service offered by Apple that costs a bit extra upon buying a new Apple product, but covers you for two years in case something bad should happen to your computer or device.
Let’s take a look at some of the things worth knowing about AppleCare, especially for new iPhone owners.
1) What if I Don’t Get AppleCare?
First, it’s worth knowing that every iPhone has a one-year hardware repair warranty. However, that’s all to protect you against manufacturer’s defects. Apple has been pretty good to us in the past with this. If there is an issue, and Apple determines that the problem is in their hardware, and not due to customer abuse, they will take care of it quickly and without hassle. you also get 90 days of support. This means that Apple’s people are on the line and will offer you support for any issues you may have. (Kudos to the guy who stuck by me for several hours when my MacBook’s wifi wasn’t working and going through EVERYTHING he possibly could and keeping a great attitude through the call.)
2) AppleCare+ is AppleCare for iPhone
AppleCare+ is iPhone coverage. This can be used for up to two years after you purchase your iPhone. Here’s the word from Apple’s website:
AppleCare+ for iPhone extends your coverage to two years from the original purchase date of your iPhone and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a $49 service fee. Whether you use your iPhone with a Mac or a PC, just one phone call can help resolve most issues.
That means that if you drop your iPhone they will repair it up to two times. However, each time will also cost you $50 for service. Still, that’s better than having to buy a new iPhone or send it somewhere for parts and repair.
AppleCare+ won’t be available until October 14th, just in time for the iPhone 4S. It costs more than the standard $69 that people pay for iPhone AppleCare. However, at $99 it may be nice for those who have a history of dropping their iPhone. As many have learned, it’s not fun, or cheap, to replace those parts.
4) The Fine Print
- Service coverage is available only for the iPhone and its original included accessories for protection against (i) defects in materials or workmanship (ii) battery depletion of 50 percent or more from original specification, and (iii) up to two incidents of accidental damage from handling, each incident being subject to a $49 service fee. Replacement equipment that Apple provides as part of the repair or replacement service may be new or equivalent to new in both performance and reliability. See terms at http://www.apple.com/legal/applecare/applecareplusforiphone.html for full details.
- Local telephone fees may apply. Telephone numbers and hours of operation may vary and are subject to change.
and a PDF here
Yeah. It takes some reading, but here is some more:
ADH coverage does not include (a) protection against normal wear and tear, theft, misplacement, reckless, abusive, willful or intentional conduct associated with handling and use of the Covered Equipment, (b) protection against any other act or result not covered by the Plan, as described in Section 4.2 below, or (c) any resultant damage to the Covered Equipment that arises from one or more conditions described in Section 3.2(a) or (b).
and may be asked to provide an explanation of where and when the accident occurred with a
ADH coverage will expire and all
Apple’s obligations to you under this section 3.2 will be fulfilled in its entirety before the end of the
Coverage Period when Apple, as a result of ADH claims, has provided to you two (2) Service Events.
You will pay a $49 (U.S.) dollar service fee for each ADH
claim,detailed description of the actual event. Failure to pay the service fee or provide information relating to the accident when asked will result in claim denial.
About that section 4.2 that was mentioned in that other part:
4.2 Hardware Coverage and ADH Coverage. The Plan does not apply to:
(i) Installation, removal or disposal of the Covered Equipment, or provision of equipment while the Covered Equipment is being serviced;
(ii) Damage caused by (a) a product that is not the Covered Equipment, (b) abuse, misuse, fire, earthquake or other external causes, (c) operating the Covered Equipment outside the permitted or intended uses described by the manufacturer, or (d) service (including upgrades and expansions) performed by anyone who is not a representative of Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (“AASP”);
(iii) Covered Equipment with a serial number that has been altered, defaced or removed, or has been modified to alter its functionality or capability without the written permission of the manufacturer;
iv) Covered Equipment that has been lost or stolen. This Plan only covers Covered Equipment that is returned to Apple in its entirety;
(v) Cosmetic damage to the Covered Equipment, including but not limited to scratches and dents, that do not otherwise affect the functionality of the Covered Equipment;
(vi) Preventative maintenance on the Covered Equipment; (vii) Defects caused by normal wear and tear or otherwise due to normal aging of the product; or
(viii) A pre-existing condition on any Covered Equipment if you purchased the Plan after you purchased the Covered Equipment.
So, yeah, there are quite a few limitations. You also may have to prove that the damage was accidental. In other words, don’t beat it to pieces with a hammer and expect Apple to want to fix it.
Personally, I’ve never purchased AppleCare. That’s probably the more common thing; just using the standard two free months. Still, those who tend to drop their handsets may want to consider that option. Then again, it may also be worth checking out repair costs for various iPhone components.