If you’re prone to accidentally dropping your iPhone frequently and worried about breaking it, AppleCare+ might be the coverage you’re looking for. But what it is precisely, and how is it beneficial to Apple users?

We’ve talked a lot about AppleCare in the past, including the differences between regular AppleCare and AppleCare+, as well the whether or not AppleCare+ is worth the cost. But we’ve never really actually answered the simple question, “What is AppleCare (and AppleCare+) to begin with?” So let’s get to the bottom of it.

AppleCare Is What Apple Calls Their Limited Warranty Coverage

For starters, it’s important to know the difference between AppleCare and AppleCare+, because many users interchange the two and think they’re relatively the same thing. The truth is that AppleCare+ is an add-on service that costs money, while AppleCare comes free with every new Apple product that you purchase.

AppleCare is just a limited warranty for all of Apple’s products. It’s similar to the warrant any other manufacturer provides on their product, but Apple gives it a fancy name. This warranty guarantees that the product will work as usual for up to a certain amount of time. If something breaks within that timeframe (through no fault of the user), the manufacturer will fix it free of charge.

RELATED: What's the Difference Between AppleCare and AppleCare+?

The length of the warranty and what exactly it covers and doesn’t cover varies depending on the manufacturer, but AppleCare lasts for one year and covers any defects, and things that break that aren’t the fault of the user (e.g., the power button randomly not working anymore, etc.).

AppleCare is also applied no matter where you buy the product. So even if you buy your new iPhone at Best Buy or the carrier store, you’ll get the same AppleCare coverage as if you were buying it directly from Apple.

AppleCare is also transferable. So if you buy a new iPhone, but then sell it to someone else three months later, the new owner of that iPhone will automatically take over the remaining nine months of AppleCare coverage on that device.

However, if you want extra coverage on top of the limited warranty (as well as a more extended warranty), you can pay more money and opt for AppleCare+.

AppleCare+ Covers Accidental Damage and Adds An Extra Year

While AppleCare comes free with every new Apple product, you can pay a fee and upgrade that to AppleCare+, which adds an extra year to the regular AppleCare coverage (so two years total), as well as provides accidental damage coverage if you ever drop your iPhone or iPad and crack the screen (or damage anything else that was your fault).

The cost of AppleCare+ coverage varies depending on the device, but here’s a quick rundown:

  • $199 for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and X.
  • $149 for iPhone XR, 8 Plus, and 7 Plus.
  • $129 for the iPhone 8 and 7.
  • $249 for the MacBook and MacBook Air.
  • $269 for the 13-Inch MacBook Pro.
  • $379 for the 15-Inch MacBook Pro.
  • $169 for the iMac.
  • $249 for the Mac Pro.
  • $99 for the Mac Mini.
  • $79 for Apple Watch Series 4.
  • $49 for Apple Watch Series 3.
  • $39 for the HomePod.
  • $29 for the Apple TV.

With AppleCare+, you get “up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage,” and there is a deductible depending on the type of damage and the device:

  • iPhone: $29 for screen damage, $99 for any other damage.
  • iPad: $49 for any type of damage.
  • Mac: $99 for screen damage (or external enclosure damage), $299 for other damage.
  • Apple Watch: $69 for any kind of damage.
  • HomePod: $39 for any kind of damage.
  • iPod Touch: $29 for any kind of damage.

Having to pay a deductible is a little undesirable—especially since you already paid for AppleCare+—but it beats paying the several hundreds of dollars it would cost to get a screen replacement otherwise.

AppleCare+ Can Also Cover Loss or Theft for an Extra Fee

A new addition to AppleCare+ is loss or theft coverage, which lets you get a new replacement iPhone if yours gets lost or stolen. However, you have to pay extra for this type of coverage on top of the regular AppleCare+:

  • An extra $100 for the iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, 8 Plus, and 7 Plus.
  • An extra $80 for the iPhone 8 and 7.

Keep in mind that this extra coverage is entirely optional, and there are significant deductibles for replacing a lost or stolen iPhone:

  • $269 for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and X.
  • $229 for the iPhone XR, 8 Plus, 7 Plus, 6S Plus, and 6 Plus.
  • $199 for the iPhone 8, 7, 6S, and 6.

This means that if you ever lose your new iPhone XS (or get it stolen), you’ll have to pay $269 to get it replaced. That’s not chump change, so even with this kind of coverage, you’ll still want to be careful and keep an eye on your phone so that it doesn’t disappear.

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So Should You Get AppleCare+?

Whether or not you should opt for AppleCare+ depends on how you use your Apple devices, especially how you treat them overall.

If you’re prone to dropping your device a lot, upgrading to AppleCare+ will likely be worth it. Sure, it’s $200 more you’ll have to pay if you get a newer iPhone, but even if you drop your new iPhone XS Max twice and crack the screen both times, you’ll be saving a whopping $400 in costs compared to if you didn’t have AppleCare+.

RELATED: Is AppleCare+ Worth It?

As for the loss and theft coverage, that’s also completely dependent on how you treat your iPhone. Some people are forgetful or negligent with their devices (it’s ok to admit it!). If there’s even a slight chance that you could see yourself losing your iPhone at some point in the future, that extra $100 you’d have to pay can save you a lot of money down the road when something like that eventually happens.

In the end, you have to be honest with yourself regarding whether or not accidental damage and loss or theft could be in the cards for you at any point. If so, you’ll likely want AppleCare+. And even if you don’t think so, hey, unexpected things happen—AppleCare+ can be beneficial just for the peace of mind.

Profile Photo for Craig Lloyd Craig Lloyd
Craig Lloyd is a smarthome expert with nearly ten years of professional writing experience. His work has been published by iFixit, Lifehacker, Digital Trends, Slashgear, and GottaBeMobile.
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