Originally Posted by macxpress
We also have remember these aren't iPhones so they're not being replaced every 2yrs. These are more like computers in terms of how long people keep them. You'll see schools keep these iPads for 3-4, maybe even 5yrs if they can. They're not cheap to replace brand new, especially if you have a significant number of them even if you turn them back into Apple for a credit toward the purchase of any Apple purchase (which schools can do).
Most schools aren't self-servicing schools. There's no money for that kind of thing in most districts. Its easier to add $99 to the cost and have Apple take care of everything when there's an issue. I've had to deal with this and its a very easy and quick experience. Most users aren't down more than a couple of days for any replacements. Everything was always shipped out overnight both ways. Thats actually quicker than most IT departments can do.
Very true on how schools keep their equipment. Most will indeed be kept on a 3-5 year rotation, depending upon the school. The problem though is the law of averages here. Let's say I purchase 500 iPads, and decide to add AppleCare to them. That is an additional cost of $49,500 to my budget! That's not counting the $149,500 I'm already spending with Apple on the iPads (assuming 16GB, iPad Mini). And that's only for the consideration of 3 years.
Once past 3 years when the batteries start to fail, they're out of warranty anyways, and I have to pay exchange prices through Apple on new equipment. So that is money that was absolutely, positively thrown away.
For damaged iPads there is still an exchange fee as well. Which will then go beyond what I've already paid out. Figuring this off the top of my head, I would need a massive failure rate of at least a third of our inventory that would need to be swapped out before AppleCare could show any savings on this. Not even user-related damage rates are this high.
As for holding a Self-Servicing Account with Apple, it's not that hard to do at all. No fees the first year, you can only work on your own equipment owned by your group, you can only install parts you buy from Apple, and finally you have to have at least 1 ACMT, or Apple Certified Macintosh Technician. It's not that expensive at all, and in comparison is FAR CHEAPER than AppleCare. Apple still delivers parts overnight, the repairs are completed in-house, the organization saves money and ensures it's security with the repairs being in-house. The bonus also being the various pricing structures too for parts. But, yes, it's cheaper for a self-servicing account. With the money saved you can easily set up shop, and certify your employee(s) as ACMT (or at least replace them with a new one who is) for your own repairs at a fraction of the cost.