Ev­ery­thing you need to know about Ap­pleCare+

Susie Ochs re­veals what Ap­pleCare+ costs, what it cov­ers, and an­swers all your other ques­tions

Macworld - - CONTENTS -

Your Ap­ple gear wasn’t cheap. And if you drop your iPhone, your iPad stops turn­ing on one day, or your Mac’s hard drive just ups and dies on you, get­ting it re­paired prob­a­bly won’t be cheap ei­ther.

Ap­ple in­cludes a one-year lim­ited war­ranty with all hard­ware so if there’s a man­u­fac­tur­ing de­fect, you’ll be cov­ered. To also pro­tect against

ac­ci­den­tal dam­age, plus ex­tend the orig­i­nal war­ranty for longer and en­joy free tech sup­port, you can opt to pur­chase Ap­pleCare+. Here’s what it is, what it cov­ers, and what you can ex­pect to pay. Is Ap­pleCare+ worth it? Only you can de­cide for your own sit­u­a­tion, but this should be ev­ery­thing you need to know to make a smart choice.

What is Ap­pleCare+?

Ap­pleCare+ is Ap­ple’s term for its war­ranty pro­grammes. Ev­ery Ap­ple de­vice comes with a cer­tain stretch of Ap­pleCare+ war­ranty ser­vice and phone/chat sup­port for free, typ­i­cally one year for the war­ranty and 90 days of phone sup­port. You can pay to ex­tend that pro­tec­tion for longer, which is called Ap­pleCare+.

Do I have to buy Ap­pleCare+ at the same time as the prod­uct?

No. If you know you want it, buy­ing Ap­pleCare+ with the prod­uct is a good idea,. When you’re shop­ping at the Ap­ple store or ap­ple.com/uk, you’ll be of­fered Ap­pleCare+ at check­out, and au­tho­rized Ap­ple re­sellers can of­fer Ap­pleCare+ too.

But you have some time. Gen­er­ally you get 60 days from the pur­chase date to buy Ap­pleCare+ (only 30 days if you’re in Japan), and Ap­ple has a page where you can check your ex­act de­vice’s el­i­gi­bil­ity.

Still, to buy Ap­pleCare+ af­ter the fact you gen­er­ally have to run a di­ag­nos­tic test on the de­vice in ques­tion, so Ap­ple knows it’s in good

work­ing or­der. And no mat­ter when you buy your Ap­pleCare+ plan, the cov­er­age starts from the day you bought your de­vice. So you don’t get an ‘ex­tra’ two months of cov­er­age if you wait two months to buy the plan.

How do I buy Ap­pleCare+ for prod­ucts I didn’t buy di­rectly from Ap­ple?

The eas­i­est way is on­line. Ap­ple’s site has a page to Check Your Ser­vice and Sup­port Cov­er­age. En­ter your de­vice’s se­rial num­ber here, and it’ll tell you if you can still buy Ap­pleCare+ and walk you through the process of pur­chas­ing and reg­is­ter­ing your plan.

Keep in mind that buy­ing an Ap­pleCare+ plan af­ter the fact often means you have to com­plete a di­ag­nos­tic test on the de­vice. Af­ter all, Ap­ple has to make sure you’re not try­ing to buy cov­er­age on

a de­vice that’s al­ready bro­ken. So do it right away, just in case.

Can you buy Ap­pleCare+ for re­fur­bished prod­ucts?

Yes. Ap­ple of­fers a range of re­fur­bished items on its web­site, and they’re all backed by the same oneyear war­ranty as new prod­ucts. Plus, you can buy Ap­pleCare+ for a re­fur­bished item just as you can with a new one.

How do I check how much time is left on my Ap­pleCare plan?

Head to Ap­ple’s Check Your Ser­vice and Sup­port Cov­er­age page (fave.co/2qFWkrb), and en­ter your de­vice’s se­rial num­ber. You’ll find out how much time you have left on your Ap­pleCare plan, and if you can still buy Ap­pleCare+ for this de­vice.

If there’s no Ap­ple store near me, is Ap­pleCare+ a bad idea?

No, you can still use Ap­pleCare+ if you can’t make it to the Ap­ple store. You have sev­eral op­tions.

Ap­ple re­tail stores. If you can get to an Ap­ple store, you can even make a reser­va­tion for Ap­pleCare+ ser­vice.

Drop off at the Post Of­fice. Ap­ple can pro­vide you with a Re­pair ID num­ber for an iPhone, iPad, or iPod need­ing ser­vice, and you can take it to any Post Of­fice, which will ship the de­vice to Ap­ple at no cost

to you. When Ap­ple fin­ishes the re­pair, you get the de­vice back in the mail, again with no ship­ping fee.

DIY. If the prob­lem is rel­a­tively small, Ap­ple can some­times just send you a part, such as a new iPhone charger or Ap­ple TV re­mote.

How am I sup­posed to sur­vive with­out my de­vice while Ap­ple is re­pair­ing it?

Ap­ple of­fers an Ex­press Re­place­ment Ser­vice for the iPhone, iPad, and Ap­ple Watch. When you use Ex­press Re­place­ment, Ap­ple goes ahead and sends you a new de­vice right away, and you don’t have to post your bro­ken de­vice un­til you re­ceive it.

Con­di­tions ap­ply, but ask Ap­ple about it when you con­tact it and it can let you know if you qual­ify.

What if I sell the prod­uct be­fore Ap­pleCare+ runs out?

Ap­pleCare+ is trans­fer­able. If you’re sell­ing an Ap­ple prod­uct be­fore the in­cluded Ap­pleCare+ plan ex­pires, the buyer gets the re­main­ing pro­tec­tion.

If you buy an ex­tended Ap­pleCare+ plan and then sell the prod­uct, the re­main­ing time left in the Ap­pleCare+ goes along with it. So Ap­pleCare+ can be a sell­ing point when you’re un­load­ing your used de­vices on the sec­ondary mar­ket.

To trans­fer an Ap­pleCare plan, you have to pro­vide the buyer with your proof of pur­chase (re­ceipt), the plan con­fir­ma­tion and con­tract, and also no­tify Ap­ple by email, fax, or post. Ap­ple needs to know the plan’s agree­ment num­ber, the de­vice’s se­rial num­ber, and the new owner’s con­tact info. Full de­tails are in the terms and con­di­tions.

Can­cel­la­tion pol­icy

If it’s within 30 days of pur­chas­ing the plan, you’ll get a full re­fund mi­nus any ser­vice you re­ceived. Out­side of 30 days, you’ll get a pro­rated re­fund, mi­nus any ser­vice, mi­nus a fee of £25 or 10 per­cent of the pro­rated re­fund, which­ever is less.

Ap­pleCare+ for Macs


Mac mini: £99 iMac: £189

iMac Pro: £189

Mac Pro: £229

MacBook: £229

MacBook Air: £229

13in MacBook Pro: £249

15in MacBook Pro: £399

What’s cov­ered

The plan ex­tends the orig­i­nal war­ranty from one year to three years, which cov­ers you for de­fects that aren’t your fault. Phone and chat sup­port is ex­tended from 90 days to three years as well.

Ap­pleCare+ for Macs also in­cludes two in­ci­dents of ac­ci­den­tal dam­age for a lower ser­vice fee than you would pay for an out-of-war­ranty re­pair. If you

dam­age just the screen or the Mac’s en­clo­sure, it’s £79, and all other dam­age is £229. For Macs, your com­puter is cov­ered, plus the bat­tery, power adapter and other in­cluded ac­ces­sories, RAM, Air­Port, and even Ap­ple’s USB Su­perDrive.

What not cov­ered

It doesn’t cover loss or theft.


For Macs, Ap­pleCare+ makes more sense if you’re buy­ing a lap­top and you’re wor­ried about the screen, or you just tend to be rough on your com­put­ers. Desk­top Macs prob­a­bly aren’t as im­por­tant to cover, since the like­li­hood of, say, drop­ping one is a lot less. Still, Macs have a long life, so you may de­cide three years of (trans­fer­able) pro­tec­tion is worth the ex­tra cost.

Ap­pleCare+ for iPhone

Price iPhone 7 and 8: £129 iPhone 7 Plus and 8 Plus: £149 for Ap­pleCare+ iPhone XS and XS Max: £199 for Ap­pleCare+ iPhone XR: £149 for Ap­pleCare+

All Ap­pleCare+ plans for iPhone in­clude two years of cov­er­age and tech sup­port.

What’s cov­ered?

For the iPhone, Ap­pleCare+ ex­tends your war­ranty cov­er­age from one year to two, and ex­tends phone

and chat sup­port from 90 days to the full two years as well.

You also get up to two in­ci­dents of ac­ci­den­tal dam­age cov­er­age for a rel­a­tively low ser­vice fee. If you’ve only dam­aged the screen, a screen re­place­ment is only £25. But if the iPhone has other dam­age, the fee is £79. iPhones are el­i­gi­ble for the Ex­press Re­place­ment Ser­vice, let­ting you re­quest a re­place­ment de­vice in the post be­fore you send your orig­i­nal dam­aged de­vice in for re­pair.

So let’s say you drop your iPhone on the cor­ner, which breaks the screen but also dents the en­clo­sure enough that Ap­ple can’t fix just the screen – that’s a £79 re­pair. If the screen shat­ters but the rest of the phone is rel­a­tively un­scathed, £25.

The war­ranty against de­fects cov­ers the phone as well as the bat­tery and the in­cluded headphones and ac­ces­sories. Ac­ci­den­tal dam­age can in­clude al­most any­thing, such as wa­ter dam­age, drops, run­ning the thing over, your child pours paint into the Light­ning port – as long as you only have two in­ci­dents (or less) in the two-year cov­er­age pe­riod.


If you’re go­ing to buy Ap­pleCare+ on any­thing, it’s prob­a­bly go­ing to be your iPhone. But it’s not al­ways a slam dunk. For ex­am­ple, I broke my iPhone 7 screen, and Ap­ple was able to do a same-day screen re­place­ment at the Ap­ple store. I don’t have Ap­pleCare+, so Ap­ple charged me the ‘full’ price for the screen re­pair, which was £129. But if I’d

paid £129 for Ap­pleCare+ ahead of time, the re­pair would cost me £25. That means I ac­tu­ally paid less for the screen re­pair out of war­ranty. But if I broke the same iPhone again within the two years, the sec­ond £25 screen re­pair would put me way ahead.

Re­ally it de­pends on how care­ful you are with your iPhone. Do you use a case? Avoid ac­tion sports? Rarely drop your phone? Or are you a to­tal klutz who’s bro­ken ev­ery phone you’ve ever owned? Be hon­est with your­self and pro­ceed ac­cord­ingly.

Ap­pleCare+ for iPad

Price iPad Pro: £129 iPad and iPad mini 4: £69

What’s cov­ered?

Ap­pleCare+ ex­tends an iPad’s hard­ware war­ranty from one year to two. Tech sup­port is ex­tended from 90 days to two years, so you can call or chat with an Ap­ple rep to get help with iOS, iCloud, and Ap­ple apps. You also get two in­ci­dents of ac­ci­den­tal dam­age cov­er­age, with a ser­vice fee of £39 for a bro­ken screen. Ap­pleCare+ cov­ers the iPad as well as its bat­tery and in­cluded ac­ces­sories such as the power brick.


This an­swer might hinge on how you use your iPad. My iPad, for ex­am­ple, al­most never leaves my house – but I also share it with a six-year-old who doesn’t al­ways treat it like an ex­pen­sive and frag­ile de­vice.

Still, our iPad is mostly for en­ter­tain­ment, so I’m liv­ing (dan­ger­ously?) with­out Ap­pleCare+. On the other hand, if I was a road war­rior with an iPad Pro that I re­lied on ev­ery day to make my liv­ing, I’d be more likely to shell out the £99 for Ap­pleCare+, which, again, is cheaper than Ap­pleCare+ for most iPhones or any Macs.

Ap­pleCare+ for Ap­ple Watch Price

Ap­ple Watch Se­ries 3: £59

Ap­ple Watch Her­mès: £109

Ap­ple Watch Nike+: £89

Ap­ple Watch Se­ries 4: £89

What’s cov­ered?

All Ap­ple Watches are el­i­gi­ble for Ex­press Re­place­ment Ser­vice, so you aren’t with­out an Ap­ple Watch while you wait for your re­pair. The plan cov­ers the watch, its bat­tery, the mag­netic charg­ing ca­ble, and the power adap­tor. Ap­ple Watch Edi­tions came with a fancy mag­netic charg­ing dock that’s also cov­ered.

Ap­pleCare+ for all Ap­ple Watches cov­ers up to two in­ci­dents of ac­ci­den­tal dam­age. The ser­vice fees are £49 for reg­u­lar and Nike+ mod­els, and £55 for Edi­tion and Her­mès mod­els.


It’s pretty dif­fi­cult to get an Ap­ple Watch re­paired any­where but the Ap­ple store, as we found out. The Ap­ple Watch is de­signed to be tough, so most users

hope­fully shouldn’t have prob­lems. But if you’re para­noid or ac­ci­dent prone, or you just love the idea of Ex­press Re­place­ment Ser­vice so you never miss a step, Ap­pleCare+ is there.

Ap­pleCare + for Ap­ple TV Price £26 What’s cov­ered?

The Ap­ple TV it­self, the Siri Re­mote, and even the Ap­ple Air­Port router you use with it, if you bought it within two years of the Ap­ple TV. Tech sup­port by phone or chat in­cludes help with setup,

con­nect­ing to Wi-Fi, iCloud, rent­ing or buy­ing from iTunes, AirPlay, and even con­nect­ing to third-party stream­ing ser­vices.

What doesn’t it cover?

Loss and theft, in­clud­ing los­ing the re­mote. (But if the re­mote stops work­ing, that’s cov­ered.) There’s also no cov­er­age for ac­ci­den­tal dam­age (spills, drops, earthquakes, fires) or cos­metic dam­age. But it’s an Ap­ple TV. It just sits there.


It’s not worth get­ting un­less you re­ally want the tech sup­port.

Re­fur­bished prod­ucts are also cov­ered by Ap­pleCare+

You don’t need to live near an Ap­ple store to ben­e­fit from Ap­pleCare+

It’s well worth hav­ing Ap­pleCare+ if you take your Mac on the road with you

Ap­pleCare+ will cover you if you ac­ci­den­tally dam­age your iPhone

Ap­pleCare+ ex­tends an iPad’s hard­ware war­ranty from one year to two

It’s pretty dif­fi­cult to get an Ap­ple Watch re­paired any­where but the Ap­ple store

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