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What does a phone manufacturer warranty really cover?

phone with cracked screen

A battery that doesn’t charge. A phone that overheats and shuts down. Annoying? Yes. Covered under your phone’s manufacturer warranty? Also yes. But what about those dropped phones that result in cracked screens, or water damage when your friend splashes you next to the pool? A phone manufacturer warranty will not cover the everyday accidents that are more common, and more likely to happen. You’ll need to invest in an extended phone warranty for accidental damage like that.

We’re going to break down what exactly is covered under a manufacturer’s warranty, some of the popular phone manufacturer's and their coverage options, and why you might want to shop around before committing to an extended phone warranty from the phone manufacturer.

Apple iPhone Warranty

AppleCare is offered with the purchase of all new Apple products, and it is Apple's standard limited product warranty. The majority of Apple products are eligible for 90 days of technical support, and one year of coverage for hardware failure. Read more about AppleCare vs. AppleCare+ in this article.

For coverage through Apple that encompasses accidental damage or theft and loss, you’ll need to invest in AppleCare+. AppleCare+ can be purchased as a two-year fixed-term plan, or on a monthly plan, with costs up to $249 for two years or $12.49 monthly, depending on your iPhone’s generation. However, this isn’t a flat fee for access coverage under AppleCare+. Each incident will cost you an additional $39-$129 deductible, depending on the level of damage. AppleCare+ will cover a variety of issues like accidental damage, battery issues, and theft or loss, but it comes at an expensive premium.

Samsung Phone Warranty

A Samsung manufacturer’s warranty is included with the purchase of all new Samsung phones. With an unusually generous 24-months of coverage, Samsung’s standard warranty on phones covers defects in materials and workmanship. Though it provides longer-term coverage, it still won't cover cracked screens or water damage.

For accidental damage coverage, you’ll need to purchase Samsung Care+. Protection against theft & loss is available, but at another additional cost. All of Samsung’s extended phone warranties are categorized into four tiers. Samsung Care+ covers cracked screens, damage from liquid, and 24/7 expert support. Its cost varies, and can run as low as $49 for a two-year term, or $3/month over a 36-month term. Adding on Theft & Loss protection bumps the monthly cost up to a minimum of $7.99/month, and is only available on a 36-month term. Deductibles for cracked screens or a replacement phone run from $29-$249 depending on the damage, which is pricey on top of an already-expensive extended warranty plan.

Pixel Phone Warranty

Google’s Pixel phone comes with a manufacturer warranty that covers its hardware for one year. Refurbished phones are only eligible for coverage for 90 days. For coverage beyond the manufacturer warranty, Google offers Preferred Care.

Like other extended phone warranties, Preferred Care covers cracked screens, water damage, and the hazards of everyday phone use. Coverage varies based on your Pixel’s generation, with costs ranging from $199 for two-year coverage on a Pixel 7 Pro, to $129 for two years on a Pixel 6a. Coverage can also be paid monthly, at prices from $6-9 a month. The service fee (effectively the deductible) ranges from $49-$149 depending on your phone model and type of damage.

LG Phone Warranty

LG’s phone manufacturer warranty is in line with other providers. It offers one year of coverage on parts and labor, and requires additional purchases for any coverage related to use, or accidental damage. While LG currently offers The Second Year Promise, a second year of complementary limited warranty coverage for certain phones, LG does not offer an option to purchase additional coverage for accidental damage.

Perhaps this is because LG has realized that there are more comprehensive, cost-effective options out there for extended phone warranty coverage. 

MulberryCare for phones is a better alternative

While a manufacturer phone warranty does have some value, it isn't likely to cover the accidental damage that's bound to happen to your phone. Gone are the days when you had to lock in to an expensive extended warranty from the manufacturer in order to protect your phone. You have options, and even better options than most manufacturers offer for their extended warranty coverage. Mulberry will even cover accidental damage to your phone, free for the first year. And not the kind of free that is accompanied by a bunch of asterisks and surprise processing fees. Free as in no deductibles, no hidden fees and no cost for the 1-year plan. Want to know how we can give you free coverage?

 “Uh-huh,” you’re thinking. “But what do I actually get?” 

What you get is quality protection against cracks and breakage, drops and spills, mechanical issues - you know, coverage for the accidents that actually happen. You don't have to settle for costly coverage, service fees and deductibles from your phone manufacturer. Mulberry’s got your back (and your phone) covered.

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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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