Gizmodo’s Kyle Wagner notes that if you’re buying an Apple product, whether it’s a new machine or Certified Refurbished, adding a few $hundred more to the up-front price for AppleCare extended warranty coverage can hurt, and of course you get a year of AppleCare included in the price of the device.
So do you need to pay for the longer coverage? Wagner says it depends substantially on what device you’re buying. Short answer, if you’re buying an expensive professional machine, especially one that will be used away from an office or home workstation like a MacBook Pro with Retina display, going with AppleCare is probably a no-brainer.
An option unique to iPhones called AppleCare+ also merits serious consideration. For optional $100 extra, Apple will cover two incidents of accidental damage with a $50 deductible apiece, which could pay off big time if, say, you drop your iPhone in a swamp, like my daughter recently did hers.
On the other hand, for lower-priced Apple products, AppleCare coverage can represent a sizable percentage of the overall purchase cost, and especially if you upgrade to new systems frequently, the odds of benefiting from an extended warranty are not high.
Also note that you don’t have to make up your mind at the time of purchase. You can upgrade to the extra two years of warranty coverage any time during the first year of ownership.
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