What has changed with AppleCare+ for iPhone XS or Apple Watch and why you should consider ...

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 18
AppleCare+, Apple's warranty add-on service to help manage the cost of accidental damage, received some changes as part of the introduction of the iPhone XS and the Apple Watch Series 4. AppleInsider explains what has been altered, and why you should consider paying for the extra cover.




What is AppleCare+?

Most iPhone owners know what AppleCare+ is and how it works. For those who don't, AppleCare+ can help users pay considerably less for repairs of the Apple devices in the event of an accident, far less than a similar repair if AppleCare wasn't purchased beforehand.

For example, if an Apple Watch screen somehow gets cracked or accidentally damaged, it will cost $299 to repair, roughly 75percent of the value of the Watch itself. With AppleCare+, you're covered for up to two incidents of accidental damage, and you'll only have to pay $69 instead of $299 for each.

Now you might think "there's no way I'll damage my Apple Watch," but people still end up needing to have their wearable devices repaired by Apple.

Let's say you have a stainless steel Apple Watch Series 4 with LTE. The price of repair is still only $69 with AppleCare+, meanwhile the out-of-warranty price rises to a massive $399 to repair.




If you own the Hermes edition, AppleCare+ is $20 more expensive, but that makes sense because it starts at $1,399.

Apple does provide a one-year limited warranty, but that only covers manufacturer defects and not accidental damage. If the screen cracks, you are out of luck and have to pay the full cost of repair.

It's a similar story for iPhones, with a cracked screen repair for the iPhone XS Max costing $329 without AppleCare+, while it is $29 for each of two accidents under Apple's plan.

You may be thinking you could simply get an aftermarket display for $30 and it'll be good as new. Take it from anyone who has gone down that route, that the quality sucks and it's incredibly easy to crack the display again after this sort of repair.

Back Glass and Personal Lessons

The real value of AppleCare+ for new iPhones lies with the back glass, as it is counted as "other damage" by Apple. Break the back glass of the iPhone XS Max and it will cost $599 for repair through Apple if you don't have AppleCare+, over half the price of the device, compared to $99 if you do.

The worst part is that it's almost impossible to repair this on your own without damaging your phone.




As someone who has accidentally cracked the back glass on their iPhone 8 Plus without having AppleCare+ coverage, I can confirm this can be expensive.

T-Mobile's Jump On Demand plan requires your iPhone to be in good condition in order to trade it in for a new device, and I obviously wasn't going to pay $400 to get the back fixed and then trade in the phone for next to nothing. I ended up paying the remaining $475 balance to buy out the phone, and I was barely able to sell it used on craigslist for $400.

So I lost $75 in the end, and that's excluding all of the monthly payments I made in to the plan.

This time around, I went with Apple's iPhone upgrade program, which includes AppleCare+ coverage, for both my wife and I.

Monthly Payments

Here's the kicker for many users who may think paying a lot for AppleCare+ is too much on top of the cost of the device. For the first time ever, Apple has introduced a monthly payment plan AppleCare+ option, with customers now able to pay $3.99 per month for 24 months instead of $79 upfront.

That adds up to be almost $17 more expensive in the long run, but it definitely makes it easier to justify buying AppleCare+, as it brings the price down to a fancy cup of coffee. .

To make it even better, monthly payment options aren't only available on the Apple Watch Series 4, they are also available for the Series 3 and every single iPhone currently listed on the Apple website. This even includes the new iPhone XS, XS Max and even the upcoming XR.

For the new iPhone XS, for example, instead of paying $199 for AppleCare+ outright, you can pay $10 a month for 24 months, making it easier to get coverage.

Theft and Loss

Another change is the addition of a Theft and Loss option for the AppleCare+ plans.




In the past, if you were on the iPhone upgrade program and your phone got stolen or lost, you would have to continue paying for a phone that you don't even have anymore, even though you paid for AppleCare+ coverage. The plan simply didn't cover instances when the device itself is stolen or goes missing.

Now, under AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss, you can pay an extra $4.16 a month on top, to have the piece of mind that you won't be stuck in that situation if the worst happens.

If your brand new iPhone XS Max is stolen, a brand new replacement will only cost $269, instead of $1,099, making the extra cost worth it.

If you're not in the iPhone upgrade program, you still have the option to add Theft and Loss, but it costs $5 per month on top of the regular AppleCare+ coverage.

In Summary

All in all, Apple's new monthly payments option makes it a lot easier to get AppleCare+ coverage for any new iPhone or Apple Watch. Considering the insanely high cost for back glass repairs on new iPhones, AppleCare+ coverage is more worth it than it ever has before.

On top of that, $4 or $5 a month more for theft and loss protection is a no-brainer for anyone with a history of losing their phones. If you're getting AppleCare+, adding Theft and Loss is highly advisable, unless you are completely certain you won't misplace your phone or have it stolen from your possession.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    I definitely think the new loss or theft coverage is worth it. In the past I've known people to have AppleCare+ on their iPhone and it was stolen. Due to the cost of replacement, they opted to get a new iPhone without AppleCare+ then accidentally damaged the phone. It was an expensive mess. You can get a good phone case, but I don't think there's anything better than having a solid insurance plan. I've always been happy after using AppleCare+ and I think it's great that theft and loss has been added to the protection plan.
    mac_dogSoundJudgmentGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 2 of 35
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,180member
    Don’t forget though that if you buy a product through a credit card (including Apple Pay) you can get an extra year of coverage on a warrantee.
    albegarc
  • Reply 3 of 35
    Waste of money. Put it in a savings account just in case you do drop and break your phone.
    kingofsomewherehotSnickersMagoo
  • Reply 4 of 35
    dws-2dws-2 Posts: 203member
    Apple is making their phones more difficult and expensive to repair, so they're making both the repair cost and the AppleCare cost more expensive to compensate.

    I wish there was some incentive for Apple to make their phones easier and therefore less expensive to repair. In particular, replacing the glass back (previously unnecessary because it was metal) is now $600 for the largest phone. For whatever reason, this really annoys me. I mean, fine, add glass to to the back for wireless charging, but making it almost twice as expensive to repair as the very expensive screen on the front? There's no way Apple would do this if they weren't able to make the customers eat the cost.
  • Reply 5 of 35
    Johan42 said:
    Waste of money. Put it in a savings account just in case you do drop and break your phone.
    Agreed. Life, health, home and car insurance are the only insurances you should be buying. We've become so risk averse as a society that's we'd rather spend spend $1000's on insurance than pay for something out of pocket. Look what people spend for an extra year or two of warranty coverage for their new car; it's nearly pure profit for the dealer.
    SnickersMagoo
  • Reply 6 of 35
    Make it more fraglie, but show of (it is only a tool for Pete's sake!) and you can get mor like AppleCare+++. That is also a reason to look at alternatives to iPhone's.
  • Reply 7 of 35
    nunzy said:
    Only a fool won't pay for AppleCare. If you can afford Apple you can afford Care.

    Besides, Apple makes huge profit from it, so that alone makes it a good thing!
    And that is very mature and encouraging statement. So you basically say that savings are for fools because it will break anyway. How about Apple includes AppleCare+ in priice, skips this subject and stop making people fools?
    nunzy
  • Reply 8 of 35
    Johan42 said:
    Waste of money. Put it in a savings account just in case you do drop and break your phone.
    With all that fancy glass and stuff I doubt it will not break. I have my own personal experience with iPhone 6 and I know what happened as absolute accident while in rush commuting to work. I think Apple needs to stop be amazing showoff by bringing fraglie devices and start balancing that act. We end up in ugly cases anyway hiding that fancy design, because of possibility to damage in simple life situations.

    BTW I am not getting that fancy Apple iWatch and still stick to old Victorinox just because I smac my wrist on different objects during life activities (I do not spend time at desk or in bar) and it would simply break in 5 minutes. Apple would keep sending me replacemenct and I would lose fortune on $99 repairs anyway.
    edited September 18
  • Reply 9 of 35
    bb-15bb-15 Posts: 232member
    I always get AppleCare+. I’ve used it for repairs on several Apple products over many years.

    When I get my new iPhone (iPhone Xs), I will also get the theft/loss protection.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 10 of 35
    My credit card company promises replacement of lost or destroyed mobile devices including iPhone if I pay the service fee on that card. It is the one recurring automatic payment I assign to that card. I have never made a claim, so no, I don't know how ironclad it is. 
  • Reply 11 of 35
    To me, AppleCare+ is a no brainer.   It's a must have.

    I drop my 6+ several times a year.   It has a good case so its never broken.   But, you just never know.
    But, it's for more than just accidental damage:
    When my Apple Watch Series 0 stopped vibrating (Apple calls it haptic feedback) they sent me a Series 1.   No hastle, No questions asked.


  • Reply 12 of 35
    As the video points out, you can always buy a $30 replacement screen if you crack yours.
    But, while it pointed out that performance will suffer, it neglected to mention that you just voided your warranty.

    Even third party coverage isn't the same:
    My friend bought loss & damage protection from Sprint when they told him it was "the same as Apple Care".   The part they didn't tell him was that a non-Apple refurb or repair voids his warranty.   Often Apple will still cover it - but they don't have to and you are taking your chances.

    I equate not getting Apple Care to playing roulette.
  • Reply 13 of 35
    Know the coverage you have with your renters or homeowners insurance, as well as that on your credit card. When my X was stolen, my renters insurance covered all but my $500 deductible.  The remainder I got my credit card purchase protection to cover, so I was out $0.

    You can also get a line of coverage without deductible from your insurance provider.  I’m looking at doing one when I get a new MBP to cover it, iPad, iPhone etc all together without bothering with AppleCare.
  • Reply 14 of 35
    I'm having a hard time finding a positive to take away from this. It reads like "It's a really, really, expensive device, and it's made of easily broken materials that cost a big stack of cash to repair." Being offered a spendy insurance policy doesn't make me feel better. It makes me feel like maybe Apple needs to do something about controlling the cost of maintaining these pricey devices.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 15 of 35
    If you own the Hermes edition, AppleCare+ is $20 more expensive, but that makes sense because it starts at $1,399. .
    Not really, because it's the same exact stainless steel as the non-Hermes, only the digital watch space and the strap are different. There's no added cost to Apple for repairing it as far as I'm aware.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 16 of 35

    6502 said:
    Johan42 said:
    Waste of money. Put it in a savings account just in case you do drop and break your phone.
    Agreed. Life, health, home and car insurance are the only insurances you should be buying. We've become so risk averse as a society that's we'd rather spend spend $1000's on insurance than pay for something out of pocket. Look what people spend for an extra year or two of warranty coverage for their new car; it's nearly pure profit for the dealer.
    I think people are way more likely to drop and break their phone than make use of car or home insurance. 

    Heck even my 8-month-old AW3 Sport could use a new screen because the Ion-X glass scratches readily when bumped into dense walls. (I also have a steel + sapphire AW0 worn from launch day and its free of any screen blemishes whatsoever. Same guy, same environments, same activities. Sapphire is simply that much better).
    edited September 18
  • Reply 17 of 35
    I have always obtained the Apple Care+ and it has paid off 50% of the time, financially that is.  However, there is another benefit I have not heard mentioned in the comments.  That is, the Support/Consulting Service that Apple provides while your plan is active.     I call Apple all the time & speak with their Advisers or, if my need/questions are beyond their expertise I ask that they upgrade my call to a Senior Engineer.  They do that without hesitation at my request.  I screen share with them on my iMac, iPhone and iPad frequently to optimize my use of the devise or Apple Software.
    If you have not taken advantage of this support service you are missing out of a very beneficial feature.
    fh-aceMike149GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 18 of 35
    6502 said:
    Johan42 said:
    Waste of money. Put it in a savings account just in case you do drop and break your phone.
    Agreed. Life, health, home and car insurance are the only insurances you should be buying. We've become so risk averse as a society that's we'd rather spend spend $1000's on insurance than pay for something out of pocket. Look what people spend for an extra year or two of warranty coverage for their new car; it's nearly pure profit for the dealer.
    AppleCare is $199.99 not thousands. You obviously have not see the repair costs without it. I am not a scramble to buy the service plan or extended warranty kind of person, but what you are saying doesn’t make sense in this case. 

    https://support.apple.com/iphone/repair/service/pricing

    Xs Max screen repair without AppleCare $329.00. Other damage $599.00. With Apple care $29.00. Other damage $99.00.  
  • Reply 19 of 35
    jcs2305 said:
    Xs Max screen repair without AppleCare $329.00. Other damage $599.00.
    Does that seem reasonable to you? To me a flat-rate of $600 to repair a hand-held device seems really, really, high. That's the same price as a set of brakes on my car.

    The other side of this is the broad disparity in price between insured and uninsured repairs. With Applecare+, a non-screen repair works out to $230. Without AppleCare it's more than two-and-a-half times as much. Does that mean AppleCare is the greatest value ever for the klutzy iPhone owner, or does it suggest that Apple is inflating the cost of uninsured repairs in a bid to push a steady revenue stream through sales of AppleCare?

    I don't know whether Apple's repair costs are actually reasonable, nor whether Applecare+ is a good value. I just know what my gut says, and it's telling me that the cost of playing in Apple's garden is starting to stretch beyond what I'm willing to pay. I'll pay more to get a better product, but within reason. When a good laptop runs $5000 and a flagship phone is $2K, I'm not sure there's enough added value in the Apple brand to justify the price of admission anymore.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 20 of 35
    jcs2305 said:
    Xs Max screen repair without AppleCare $329.00. Other damage $599.00.
    Does that seem reasonable to you? To me a flat-rate of $600 to repair a hand-held device seems really, really, high. That's the same price as a set of brakes on my car.

    The other side of this is the broad disparity in price between insured and uninsured repairs. With Applecare+, a non-screen repair works out to $230. Without AppleCare it's more than two-and-a-half times as much. Does that mean AppleCare is the greatest value ever for the klutzy iPhone owner, or does it suggest that Apple is inflating the cost of uninsured repairs in a bid to push a steady revenue stream through sales of AppleCare?

    I don't know whether Apple's repair costs are actually reasonable, nor whether Applecare+ is a good value. I just know what my gut says, and it's telling me that the cost of playing in Apple's garden is starting to stretch beyond what I'm willing to pay. I'll pay more to get a better product, but within reason. When a good laptop runs $5000 and a flagship phone is $2K, I'm not sure there's enough added value in the Apple brand to justify the price of admission anymore.
    That you would equate a super sophisticated product like an iPhone Xs to a set or brakes pretty much says it all.   I agree that working brakes are a higher priority.   But that doesn't impact their cost.
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