Those who buy an iPhone 5 direct from Apple can purchase AppleCare+ coverage at the same time. But for those who didn't opt for AppleCare+ with their purchase, or who bought through a carrier partner like AT&T, Verizon or Sprint, they must visit an Apple Store to purchase.
Customers are required to visit an Apple retail location in person to allow an employee to inspect their device before AppleCare+ coverage can be provided. The $99 AppleCare+ plan for iPhone was first launched by Apple a year ago.
With AppleCare+, an iPhone's repair coverage and technical support is extended two years from the original purchase date. Customers also get coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage, at an additional cost of $49 per incident.
Apple promises that replacement equipment if an iPhone is broken "may be new or equivalent to new in both perfromance and reliability."
AppleCare+ also includes standard AppleCare features like software troubleshooting and telephone-based technical support. Customers with repair needs have the option for mail-in or carry-in repairs, along with an express replacement service.
Those upgrading to the iPhone 5 can also check out AppleInsider's breakdown of trade-in offers for previous-generation iPhones. A number of online providers offer cash in return for a used iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, or iPhone 4S, making the cost of the new iPhone 5 with AppleCare+ easier to afford.