Im curious, at what point do you stop paying for apple care on an iPhone? I have an iPhone 12pro max, I keep paying for it. Should I stop?
Everyone has different comfort level for that. It all comes down to the price you are willing to pay to fix that specific phone in case of an accident or something stops working, also replacement price comes in play, which is how much it costs you to replace the device completely. I would say between 2-4 years would serve you well.
I’d love to see some demographic data on this, because I suspect location is playing a role too. I’m in the UK and I’ve never had Apple Care, and none of my “real life” friends have either. Yet from the internet at least my impression is a lot of Americans buy it?
I feel the product warranty suffices (which I guess might vary by country?) and my home insurance would cover me if I did something particularly daft like put my phone in the wash or something.
I don’t think I’ve ever gotten separate Apple Care. Instead I invest in the toughest Otterbox for my phone immediately. The regular warranty is good enough.
Same, I love Otterbox - the cases and their screen covers. They’ve saved my phone a few times!!
When I’ve bought AppleCare, I’ve just done the lump two or three year option. I guess I would recommend stopping somewhere around that level of investment. It depends on your personal luck or care with that type of device, difference in quality of support you get where you live, your ability to save the money you would’ve spent on AppleCare.
I’ve never paid for Apple Care. But I’m also not hard on my devices, and I’m willing to eat the cost of a replacement should I drop my phone in the lake or something.
AppleCare (for any device) is just insurance. There are two things to know:
- The insurer (Apple in this case) always makes money, otherwise they wouldn’t offer it.
- The customer should only insure things for which a sudden repair/replacement cost would be a financial burden.
- OK, one third thing. Since AppleCare+ covers accidental breakage, if the customer is careless then it might still pay. For careful customers the value proposition is probably less because of paying for unneeded insurance.
When I was a baby MBA at a big multinational, the head of our corporate insurance department began every answer to a request for risk management guidance with the following precept: Never insure a risk you can afford to take. If you can cover the cost of repair or replacement without undue financial distress, don’t pay for insurance.
AppleCare isn’t just insurance. It’s also a higher level of service. The math is a little different than if buying, say, Best Buy’s extended warranty.
I buy AppleCare for laptops, always. Before it ends I send in the lap top for inspection. I’ve had displays, cases, keyboards, cables, batteries replaced, under AppleCare. More than once Apple has essentially replaced the laptop. Once, more than a decade ago, the week I was finalizing my dissertation, the power supply died. Apple just handed me a new laptop.
I had the full AC on my iPhone 13 Pro—theft and loss—stopped after two years because now I would get a new phone.
Considering the insane amount of resources used to manufacture a new phone, tablet, or computer I attempt to get the maximum usable life out of my Apple products. So I buy AppleCare for the full amount of time offered at purchase (2 or 3 years) and more recently have continued with monthly payments as long as possible. Twice over the years I’ve had Apple replace Macs with newer models and that has convinced me that it’s worth the investment.
Take an empirical approach to see if this is worth it for you.
Cost of AppleCare / Cost of device = % cost for AppleCare
How likely are you to break your device? If you think the probability is more than the percentage cost, buy AppleCare. If not, don’t.
I’d be surprised if the average person’s probability gets anywhere near the % cost of AppleCare.
EDIT: if you already have AppleCare, then look at the amount you’ve paid for AppleCare and the value you’ve got from AppleCare. How does it stack up for you?
I think there’s a consideration for the likeliness of that risk though. Apple is averaging actuarial data across the entire population of AppleCare subscribers either at the global or a very broad geographic level. Then they set prices such that they make money on the average user.
The question basically comes down to your personal actuarial table, and your perception thereof.
If you’ve gone a decade without breaking a phone screen, and can pay cash for the phone (some carriers at least used to require AppleCare if you were financing through them), maybe you don’t need it. If you’ve broken multiple phones over that time period, AppleCare is a no-brainer.
Personally, I value the extra access to Apple Support that comes with it. Sometimes that support isn’t great, but at least it’s there.
I know people who put the money they would have spent on AppleCare and similar warranty programs in an envelope and stash it away as a kind of tangible self insurance in the event of loss. One of them explained to me that it was less painful for them to pay for device repairs out the envelope than their bank account, even though it’s functionally the same thing.
An aside: my other used to do something similar with store coupons. She’d drop whatever amount she’d saved that day into a big glass jar and then donate it all to the local food bank right before Thanksgiving.
I agree - it depends on the level of risk. The phone and the laptop that go to the field are covered. The desktop devices are not.
LOL. At least it’s a decision I don’t have to make. I live in a country — which is most countries really — where you either buy Apple Care or you don’t. Then it runs out. If you bought it.
I bought Apple Care for the souped up Mac mini because, who knows what might happened. The question is, after the 3rd year, can I still buy Apple Care? I didn’t know that is an option but this thread seems to imply that it’s possible. Have anyone tried it?
I’ve not done this for a Mac (yet), but have done it for phone, watch, and ipad. The option may not be available in all countries.