One question I am often asked is whether or not to purchase AppleCare along with a new Mac.
When you purchase a new Mac, you will get a 1 year warranty to cover manufacturer defects, and can at any time within that year purchase an additional AppleCare warranty that extends your coverage to three years from the date of purchase.
However, this coverage will be several hundred dollars, and you may find yourself wondering if it is worth it.
Of course, as with any warranty, it is your gamble that the device will function as advertised within the period of coverage, so whether or not you will need the coverage is your decision; however, there is a matter of whether or not the price for service in the event of a problem, will be more or less than the cost of AppleCare itself.
AppleCare, Apple’s extended warranty and support service, offers several advantages and some potential downsides. Here’s a list of pros and cons of the service.
Pros of AppleCare
Extended Warranty Coverage
Of course, the main benefit of Applecare is that it extends the standard one-year warranty, offering longer protection against hardware failures.
This means that if you do have issues with your Macbook after the first year, you don’t need to worry about paying an obscene amount to get it fixed.
Another great thing about Applecare is that it provides access to Apple’s customer support for troubleshooting and technical assistance.
This means that you can contact Apple via live chat for help with your devices for support with Apple software, including macOS, and some third-party applications.
Or, you can even head into your local Apple Store if there’s something serious you need fixed.
Accidental Damage Coverage
Applecare typically covers some types of accidental damage with a service fee, which can be significantly cheaper than out-of-warranty repairs.
This includes repairs or replacements for covered hardware issues, usually with genuine Apple parts being used as a replacement.
Products with AppleCare can have a higher resale value, as the coverage is transferable to new owners.
This means that if you decide to sell your device in a year or two, you’ll often be able to reclaim the value in the sale price.
This are the main benefits of AppleCare, which is often valid worldwide – this means that it is beneficial for travelers.
Cons of AppleCare
AppleCare is an extra expense on top of the product price. In some cases, this can be hundreds of dollars, which can feel like a waste if you never actually end up using it.
Limited Coverage Period
Even with AppleCare, coverage is limited to a few years and does not extend indefinitely. This means that it’ll expire after a certain amount of time, and you’ll no longer be able to use it.
Limited Accidental Damage Repairs
Only a certain number of accidental damage incidents are covered, and they come with service fees. You can get an estimate on what these services fees may be here – they’re usually much less than what it would cost without Applecare.
Some issues, like cosmetic damage, may not be covered. This means that in some cases, third-party insurance or warranties might offer better value that actually cover cosmetic damage.
The question to ask
When considering AppleCare, my recommendation is to simply ask yourself whether or not you would purchase a new system to replace your current one with an identical one if it breaks (as opposed to going cheap with a Mac Mini if your top-end iMac goes kaput).
If you find you enjoy or rely on your Mac enough to warrant a full replacement in the event it breaks, then I would suggest the cost of AppleCare will at least be worth the relief to know you can have the system serviced quickly and without any additional fees.
While I had saved a small amount from the cost of coverage for my MacBook, had I covered it with AppleCare I would not have had to juggle the thought of $1500 versus a new system for a few hundred dollars more, and then ultimately gone ahead with buying the new Mac.