Should I buy an AppleCare Plus warranty for an iPhone? Yes

The always chipper and hipper Appleistas.

Rarely do I use subject lines on blog posts so obviously written for search engines. And rarer still, do I write a subject line in the form of a question. (See: Betteridge’s Law of Headlines.)

This, however, is a question I’m asked regularly by a network of friends who use me as their Apple “slightly above average” when they can’t get an appointment with an Apple Genius.

In a few weeks, Apple will announce what we already know, the release of a new model of iPhone. Many people will line up outside Apple stores so they can be the first to hand over their money.

I participate in this ritual (except for the lining up part, I order mine online) every two years as I typically replace my constantly abused phones to coincide with carrier contracts.

If you purchase a new iPhone, you will face the decision whether or not to purchase an extended two-year warranty called AppleCare+ for iPhone for around $100.

Because such extended warranties always are tilted heavily toward house odds, I rarely (translation: never) purchase them on anything.

I always do with iPhones. And I’ve always come out ahead.

Trust me on this one.

PS: I’ve never purchased extended warranties on iPads or computers, but I may consider one on my next MacBook Air.

  • OK, you say to buy it, and that you have come out ahead. But you don’t say WHY.


  • I knew someone would ask that … I just didn’t expect to be honored by one of my favorite tech journalists asking. Here is my experience. IPhones are abused more than any other device. I use mine nearly 24/7 (I think Ive explained how I find BBC streaming news the perfect cure fore insomnia) and so, the battery replacement is incentive enough. I always need one about 14 mos. into the life of the phone. Also, if you look online, you’d think it takes 5 days to get a new battery, but in an Apple Store with AppleCare+ they’ll replace the battery as soon as they’ve tested it about 15 mins to make sure that’s the problem. Also, I’m friends and relatives with people who are constantly in need of a little confidence boost that they can, for example, update apps. The on-going customer support that you’re given is discernibly better in an apple store, in my experience, if AppleCare+ pops up on the Apple Storista’s screen.

  • Okay. I remembered another in my long line of having Apple+ Care be worth it. While they will charge you $49 for an obvious “abuse” issue, with different models of phones, there seems to be something that breaks that can fall into a gray area between abuse and “just happened.” I’ve had two iPhones in my family replaced due to a malfunctioning camera w/ no question about what the cause of the problem was…and knowing the user of the phone, I didn’t ask either.

  • Last comment. I keep using the word “abuse” but what I actually mean is “heavily used” — I don’t use my iPhone in an abusive way (except that time one went an entire wash and spin cycle). I just use them aggressively for a wide range of work related activities.

  • Ah, thanks, Rex! I get asked this question a lot. I’ve never bought AppleCare for phones, but I have for Macs, and have had to use it a couple of times. I keep my iPhones & iPads well-encased and am very careful with them. They generally (knock on wood!) stay pristine.

  • Jean-Marc

    I NEVER buy extended warranties EXCEPT for my apple “mobile” units (i.e. iPad and iPhone, not my macBooks). Probably same reason that you mention. They’re with me all the time, and so far I’ve come out ahead. iPad fell on my fireplace mantlepiece – SHATTERED the screen. OK I paid 49$ but well worth the money. iPhone 5 top button just stopped working in the 13th month !!!!. No charge, new refurbished iPhone. IMO anything you carry with you all the taime deserves to be protected