Is Applecare Worth It?

Is Applecare worth it, when buying an Apple device?  Applecare is worth it for some products and not a good idea for others.  Let’s look at the FACTS.

What is Applecare?

Applecare is Apples warranty program for the expensive electronic equipment Apple sells.  You must purchase Applecare within 30 days of buying the product new.  Once you have Applecare on your device you get:

  • One stop technical support.
  • Software support for Apple software.
  • Free repair and replacement program.

The main reason to buy Applecare is the expensive cost of repairing Apple device hardware.  The big screens are the most expensive component and the battery can also fail.

If you are in Europe you get a free 2 year warranty for hardware defects as standard with all big Apple products due to an EU Legislation ruling.  So if you are buying Apple from Europe think carefully if it’s worth the cost of Applecare for just 1 extra year of warranty.  The EU warranty does not cover accidental damage.

Note also that Applecare is a Warranty and not an insurance.  If your device is stolen you will not get a free replacement.  You have to give your old/broken Apple device for fixing or replacement.  This replacement is usually a refurbished product.

Types of Applecare

There are two types of Applecare.  Applecare normal and Applecare+.  Applecare plus is for iPhone and iPad type devices and includes accidental damage.  This is huge because you might drop these regularly on hard concrete floors.

Now let’s look at the prices of Applecare and see if Applecare is worth it.

Applecare for iMacs and Big Hardware

Applecare for Macbook air and Applecare for 13 inch Macbook pro – $249.  Think carefully.  It is hard to replace any parts on Macbook air but at the same time accident cover is not included.

Applecare for iMac ($1199) -$169.  Applecare is worth it.

Applecare for Mac Mini ($599) – $149.  Not worth it.  No screen needing replacement and cheap to replace the entire unit.

Applecare for Macbook pro ($1199) – $249.  Remember accidental damage is not covered!  possibly worth it.

Applecare for the 15 inch Macbook pro with Retina display – $349.  Expensive but possibly worth it because the retina screen is very expensive to replace and nearly all parts except the RAM and non user servicable.  Remember this is covered only by Applecare and not Applecare+ and so accidental damage is not covered.  Maybe worth it.

Applecare for iOS devices

Applecare for ipad (~$400) is priced at $99.  Worth it, remember this covers accidental damage too.

Applecare for iPod touch ($100) is $59.  Not worth it.

Applecare for iPod nano ($129) or Shuffle ($49) – Applecare costs $39.  Not worth it.

Applecare for Apple TV ($99)  – $29 .  Not worth it.

Applecare for iPhone ($200) – $99.  Worth it because you it’s used outside and covered for accidental damage too.  One fall on concrete and the screen is finished.  Consider buying Cell insurance too because the iPhone is a premium device and likely to be stolen and quickly sold.

Refurbished Apple product and Applecare

Can I purchase Applecare on a refurbished product?  The answer is yes arefurb can get Applecare!  ”

(3) Can I purchase the AppleCare Protection Plan for my Apple Certified Refurbished Product?All Apple Certified Refurbished Products are covered by Apple’s one year warranty.  For extended coverage, you have the option of purchasing the AppleCare Protection Plan with your Apple Certified Refurbished Product. The AppleCare Protection Plan extends the complimentary coverage on your Apple Certified Refurbished Product to up to three years of world-class support for Mac, and up to two years of world-class support for iPod, iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV.” – Link


That is the end of our “is Applecare worth it” article.  Remember that Applecare will fix or replace and only covers accidental damage for some Apple devices.  Compare the price to the cost of a replacement from Ebay rather than replacing with a brand new Apple item because that is not what you get with Applecare.


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3 Responses to Is Applecare Worth It?

  1. I don’t think applecare on an iphone is worth it at all. Another $100? No way.
    I replaced my wife’s iphone screen in about 30 minutes with a youtube video and a $25 replacement part from Amazon.

    You’re replacing the thing every year or two anyway, i would just deal with the broken screen. I know the $200 price is “subsidized” by the plan, but that’s essentially a 50% warranty. Pass.

    • I think it depends on if you sell your phone or throw it away. A broken phone will be worth less on Ebay for example.

  2. Here is my email from earlier today to Apple Care–>

    Date: 1 May 2013 15:53
    Subject: Re: MacBook Pro 17″ case ID : 420128552
    To: someone at apple dot com

    I have been left for months now with a machine with a battery which often only lasts half the time, sometimes suddenly shuts off, and will a few times per month display “service battery”. I can’t rely on the machine except if it plugged into the mains. Some days I pick it up to take it to a cafe, and within 20 minutes (like yesterday) the problem is there, so I have a non-usable laptop. Other days, like today it is fine. So I’ve been stuck for months with a laptop I can only trusted to be mains powered. This is not what I envisaged which I spent 300USD on Apple Care for the 3000USD laptop.

    I was further further disappointed that you would not simply take my word at the very start of the case, months ago, as well as screenshots that the machine was saying “service battery”. I’ve even ran the diagnostic, tracing and capture tools you sent me and sent you the results whilst “service battery” was on screen.

    It is clear to every man and his dog that it is a battery problem and this has been abundantly clear from the start, months ago. I am very sure “service battery” warnings mean exactly that, service the battery. All I wanted, was the battery serviced.

    I informed Apple that after years of normal operation the non-user replaceable battery in my Macbook Pro suddenly started lasting only half the normal time whilst displaying a system warning of “service battery”, even though it has a very low cycle count. I informed Apple at the time that the problem was worse in cold weather. Rather than agree to replace the battery, I was told:

    1) I may live in an apartment not within the temperature range suitable for Apple products [however my apartment runs warm at 23-25C]

    Today when you called, was the final straw for me. I’ve now given up with Apple Tier 2 support (why Tier 1 could not have replaced the battery, I don’t know) after being greatly aggravated by you. You told me you were not prepared to immediately repair the laptop (replace the battery) because:

    2) I may be running too many applications [even though it's stupid even to consider this, it was only a few weeks ago I formatted the disk and clean installed 10.8.3].

    Massive amounts of my time, more than the cost of the machine including Apple Care (I’m a freelancer so each hour costs), and massive amounts of Apple time have been wasted with pointless endless email threads and International calls; lasting hours.

    As I said months back when I first called Apple Care, “service battery” means service the battery.

    I’ve been super patient so far.

    But from today onwards, I plead yet again that you escalate this upwards within Apple (you told me last week this was not possible) and I ask that you never contact me again.

    I’ve been patient, but after today, I have to say, I find you completely ignorant and/ incompetent and/or quite possibly, a warped personality. Whatever it is, you are sitting representing Apple and Apple Care at Tier 2 and even though I am patient, I want nothing more to do with you.

    I simply want the battery “serviced”, as I did months ago, so that I can unplug it without worrying the juice will go very quick and “service battery” warnings will pop up. This has always seemed so simply, I can’t for the life of me understand why room temperatures and now the amount of applications run get mentioned all the whilst, the machine never gets the battery serviced.

    I will not be buying Apple Care as a result of this experience ever again, and I have four machines, three of which have Apple Care.

    Rather than further waste my time further, as well as Apple’s time, I suggest that you familiarise yourself with David Icke; he’s a British author who exposes the reptilian bloodline that rules the world.

    Because then you can keep up your entirely incompetent Apple Care support, annoy customers for apparent enjoyment purposes, you’ll have some extra excuses other than “too many applications” or “wrong apartment temperature” for not repairing Mac Books with “service battery” issues, plus the customer may even get a laugh, rather than wanting to cry after every call with Apple Care.

    Maybe I may suggest a couple? C) 12-foot, blood-sucking lizards are drinking the battery juice as part of their shapeshifting reptilian plan for ongoing world-control [1] REMOVED [2] d) the moon is sucking up the battery juice as part of “The Illuminati takeover” [3].

    Hopefully one day, Apple Care will replace the battery and I can have a Macbook Pro I can use without mains supply. Until then enjoy Icke, he’d be great in Apple Care support, if you are anything to go by.