I mentioned that I picked up AppleCare+ for my new iPhone this morning. This is a first for me, as in recent years I haven't purchased AppleCare for my iPhones. I had mixed emotions about the purchase and ultimately decided to bite the bullet and spend the $99 this year and see how it goes. I had several people ask me why, so here are my thoughts.
- AppleCare+ gives you something regular AppleCare never did, accidental damage protection with a $50 deductible. Thankfully, I've never suffered an incident with any of my prior iPhones, but I've had a few close calls. Normally, I'm not a fan of over-buying insurance, but the accidental damage coverage adds to value.
- Cross-shipping of replacement phone. My iPhone has become such an important part of my life that if it were damaged or needed service, I would need an immediate replacement. Even while under its one year warranty, if you have to send your phone in for service, you have to wait for Apple to get your phone, diagnose it and then either fix it or ship you a replacement. With AppleCare, my experience has been they will cross-ship you a replacement (usually overnight) either eliminating or greatly minimizing downtime. For many people, this may not be a big deal because there's nearby Apple Store with a genius bar to take care of this. But for me, the nearest Genius Bar is 90 miles away and usually a special weekend trip.
- The Extra Mile- There's nothing "official" here I can point to, but I can tell you from my experience, cases where I've had Apple representatives go above and beyond for me for support on a device that was covered under AppleCare when compared to the standard warranty coverage. More than once I've heard "since you're covered by AppleCare..."
- Phone Support - I've never really taken advantage of this, but it is a benefit. Usually if I'm calling Apple, they're sending me a box.
- Higher Resale Value - If you're handing down or reselling your phone, having a warranty remaining does have value.
Would I go so far as recommending AppleCare+ on an iPhone? I don't know. This is the first time I've bought it and we'll see. There are other options like SquareTrade and SafeWare or even insurance available from the carriers. You'll have to see what makes the most sense for you. I wrote a (now somewhat outdated) post about mobile device insurance a few years ago with other options.
Remember, the standard hardware warranty on the iPhone is one year so if you're the type to upgrade ever year, hardware coverage may be less of a concern.