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Is AppleCare+ worth it for iPhones?

AppleCare+ vs MulberryCare for iPhone extended warranty coverage

With over 2.2 billion phones sold as of 2022, iPhones have quickly become some of the most popular devices in the world–and their high price tags reflect that. Ranging anywhere from $429 for the iPhone SE to $1599 for the 14 Pro Max, iPhones are expensive purchases. It can be painful to spring for the additional iPhone extended warranty for your iPhone, but with that kind of investment, an extended phone warranty makes a lot of sense. If you do your research on phone warranty options, it doesn't have to be painful.

In this article, we’ll take a look at iPhone AppleCare+, including what’s covered, how it compares to other phone warranty options, information about AppleCare phone replacement, and whether or not AppleCare+ for iPhone is the best option for you.

What is AppleCare and what does it cover?

Apple provides a standard, limited warranty for almost all of its products. For the iPhone, this includes one year of coverage against hardware defects and 90 days of technical support. While any free warranty is generally helpful, if you read Apple’s fine print, you’ll see there are some significant gaps in AppleCare standard coverage. Some examples include:

  • Accidental damage: AppleCare doesn’t include coverage for any accidental damage. If you drop your phone or crack the screen, you’ll be left with some hefty repair fees. 
  • Theft or loss: One of the biggest reasons most iPhone users need a replacement phone is if their phone is lost or stolen. Unfortunately, AppleCare doesn’t cover any theft or loss incidents.

What is AppleCare+?

AppleCare+ is Apple’s extended warranty option, and it both increases the extent and length of your coverage. AppleCare+ extends your warranty for two years from the purchase date.

What does AppleCare+ cover?

For iPhones, Apple offers two extended warranty options: AppleCare+ and AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss. Here is the breakdown of the benefits included in both coverage options:

  • Extended warranty: Extends your warranty to two years from the time you purchase AppleCare+. (AppleCare+ can be purchased anytime within 60 days of when you purchase your iPhone, and up to a year after your iPhone purchase if you bring it into an Apple store for inspection). 
  • Accidental damage: AppleCare+ offers accidental damage coverage. Although your repairs still won’t be free, you’ll get to repair your iPhone for a majorly discounted rate (for the newest iPhones, such as the 14 Pro Max, even repairing a cracked screen can cost you hundreds of dollars). AppleCare+ allows you to repair your iPhone for only $29 per screen replacement, and $99 for other accidental damage, with unlimited incidents of accidental damage.
  • Priority customer service: With AppleCare+, you’ll have 24/7 access to priority Apple customer service for help with installation or other support for your device.
  • Phone replacement: AppleCare+ allows you to replace your damaged phone for an accidental damage fee. With AppleCare+, Apple will send a new phone to you, free of charge, so you don’t have to wait for the original to be repaired.

Additional benefits included in AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss

The key difference between AppleCare+ and AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss is that the latter includes protection against theft and loss (go figure!). You’ll get up to two incidents of theft and loss covered per calendar year, with a $149 replacement fee.

What doesn’t AppleCare+ cover?

While at first glance it might seem like AppleCare+ covers everything, there are some caveats you should look out for. For AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss, Apple will only replace your iPhone if Find My iPhone was enabled at the time it was lost, along with other strict stipulations.

In Apple’s fine print, it also limits what kind of “accidental damage” it will cover. For example, damage that is considered intentional or reckless by Apple will be rejected from coverage. That seems pretty subjective.

Lastly, while repair costs are high for iPhones, there are cheap alternatives to the Apple store for phone repairs. Non-Apple tech companies often offer less expensive options, and there are even tutorials online for fixing your screen or doing other minor repairs. However, sometimes you get what you pay for (especially with DIY phone repair) and you may end up taking your iPhone to a few shops before the issue is actually fixed. Keep in mind that some warranties are voided if you attempt to repair the damage on your own.

How much does AppleCare+ cost?

The cost of AppleCare+ depends on the product you have. It also varies depending on whether you go with the monthly subscription option or the fixed term. This article outlines the general costs for AppleCare+ based on the device. 

When can you buy AppleCare+?

AppleCare+ is available either at the time you purchase your iPhone, or anytime within the first 60 days of your iPhone purchase.

Are there other warranty options besides AppleCare+?

If you’re on the fence about AppleCare+ (or if you've decided it's too expensive for you), there are other extended phone warranty options available. MulberryCare offers the same (or better!) coverage for a fraction of the cost of AppleCare+. And with MulberryCare, you won't pay any deductibles or service fees. 

By installing the free Mulberry browser extension, you'll get alerts when MulberryCare is available for iPhones and any other products you’re shopping for. That's right, MulberryCare like AppleCare+, but it's available for more products than just phones. You can even get unlimited free 1-year protection plans for items you buy online.

Should I get Applecare+ for my iPhone?

Whether or not you should invest in AppleCare+ really depends on the iPhone model you have and how much risk you’re willing to assume. While a new iPhone can be extremely expensive, AppleCare’s price tag might be out of most people's price ranges. The better question is, should you get an extended warranty for your iPhone? To that, we'd say yes, but you have more affordable options that will provide the same quality coverage. 

To check out extended warranty options for your iPhone and other products, install the free Mulberry browser extension. You’ll be able to see what affordable warranty options are available through Mulberry in real time as you shop.

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Kim Miller

About the author

Kim Miller is the Head of Consumer Marketing at Mulberry. She is passionate about building products and brands that make consumers happy, save them money and make their lives easier. Have an innovative idea for Mulberry you'd like to share? Give her a shout! She'd love to chat about anything from fintech and UX to gardening and antiquing.

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