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AppleCare: Should you bite?

As I predicted, Apple is seeing strong sales of the new iPad. If you are one of the millions who have bought – or are planning to buy – Apple’s latest triumph, you may wonder if you should include an AppleCare extended warranty.


Extended warranties are about risk tolerance, something that is very personal. But is it a good value? Let’s consider the facts:

Apple hardware comes with a one-year warranty. You also receive free phone technical support for up to 90 days after buying a product. At any time before the one-year warranty expires, you can buy an AppleCare Protection Plan – with one exception. But I’ll get back to that.

What exactly do you get with AppleCare? An extra two years of hardware service and phone support for Macs and computer displays. The gadget plans provide an extra year of coverage for your iPod or Apple TV.

But do note that you don’t buy an AppleCare “plan” to cover all your “iTems.” It will include the computer display and router if they’re bought at the same time as a computer. Otherwise, you purchase AppleCare separately for each product you buy. Prices vary based on the product. As an example, AppleCare for an iMac is $169.

Apple products have a reputation for quality, but any mass production will spit out a lemon once in awhile. Of course, you’ll probably know before the one-year warranty expires whether you have a bad machine.

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