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Top 5 iPhone 4S Warranty Options Compared

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For iPhone 4S preorder buyers, the iPhone 4S will soon be in your hands. That means enjoyment, but it also means that you might drop your iPhone 4S and break it.

While the iPhone 4S might only cost $199 when you buy it, the actual price is much higher. When you sign a two-year contract, your carrier covers part of the cost because it can make it up  from data plans and other extras. If your iPhone 4S breaks, you’ll have to pay full price unless you have some type of coverage.

We’ve rounded up several iPhone 4S warranty, insurance and protection plans to help you decide how to protect your iPhone 4S. Don’t forget to hit up the bottom of the post for an easy comparison chart.

Read: iPhone 4S Case With a 1 Year Warranty Included 

If you don’t have some form of protection, you might end up with a broken iPhone that looks like this one, without an affordable fix.

Broken iPhone 4

Broken iPhone 4, Still Working.

AppleCare+ – $99

The most common form of iPhone 4S protection will be AppleCare. New with the iPhone 4S is a more consumer friendly version of protection called AppleCare+. This protection is $99 for two years, and it covers hardware issues and support.

New with AppleCare+ is coverage for two accidental damage. This means if you drop your iPhone or spill water on it, you can get it replaced for a $49 deductible, but only twice.

AppleCare+ Graph

This is a nice addition from previous years, but doesn’t cover every possible issue you might have with your new iPhone, such as loss, theft or damage in a fire or earthquake.

Also, AppleCare+ needs to be purchased at the same time as your iPhone.

Purchase with MasterCard or American Express – Free

MasterCard extended warrantyIf you have an American Express or MasterCard with the Extended Warranty protection, you can double the Apple warranty, giving you two years of hardware coverage. This is a free benefit of purchasing with your participating card. Many Platinum and gold cards have this as a free benefit, to be sure, call the 1-800 number on the back of your card.

You will need to pay for the full iPhone 4S with your credit card, keep your receipt and a copy of the original warranty. If something goes wrong after your one year Apple warranty is finished, you can call up your credit card and get the ball rolling. You will have the repair done at a place of your choosing, usually an Apple Store, and the company will send you the check. You cannot cancel your credit card if you want to use this.

Also, it is worth noting that this is only free if you pay off your credit card before the next billing cycle.

Carrier Insurance AT&T and Verizon – $6.99-11 a Month

If you purchase your phone through AT&T or Verizon, you can add extended warranty options to your account. These services incur a monthly charge of $9 to 11 bucks, or about $240 over the course of your iPhone 4S ownership.

On AT&T you need to choose the Mobile Protection Pack $9.99 a month, which includes coverage for lost, stolen and damaged devices. In order to get a new device, you need to pay a $199 deductible, and can only make two claims. AT&T also offers a 6.99 insurance plan, but it is not showing up as an option if you preorder the iPhone 4S. If you want to save $3 a month, you’ll need to call in and hope for the best.

iPhone 4S protection plans

Verizon iPhone 4S protection plans

On Verizon, you can choose between a Total Equipment Coverage or Wireless Phone Protection Plan for $9.18 or $10.99 a month. Verizon lists the deductibles at $169 for a 16GB iPhone 4S and $199 for the 32GB iPhone 4S, but lists no pricing for the 64GB iPhone 4S.

Sprint has chosen not to offer carrier protection.

These plans are very pricey, with a total cost including one replacement at over $440. I would suggest looking for another plan, or just putting some money back in case of a failure.

SquareTrade – $99 for two years

SquareTrade is a popular company for iPhone protection, and right now is offering 2 years of iPhone 4S protection, including drops and spills, for $99.

iPhone 4S Insurance SquareTrade

The Squaretrade iPhone 4S plan is available within 30 days of purchasing your iPhone 4S, and also covers manufacturer defects.If you need to use the Spill/Drop protection you must pay a $50 deductible.

If you need to file a claim, you can have your phone sent in to SquareTrade or take it into the Apple store and be reimbursed for the repair costs. There is a 5 day turnaround guarantee, if your phone is gone for longer, you can get your warranty cost refunded.

If your iPhone is older than 30 days when you want your warranty, you can use the SquareTrade iPhone app and pay a higher fee.

Worth Ave. Group – $89 a year

Another option is Worth Ave. Group iPhone 4S insurance. I have covered 5 reasons insurance is better than an extended warranty before, but in short it covers more.

iPhone 4S insurance

With insurance, you get coverage for loss or theft and all sorts of random disasters large and small – in addition to protection from accidents.

Worth Ave. Group doesn’t currently show an iPhone 4S ordering option on their website, but Customer service says coverage is coming.

iPhone 4S Warranty and Protection Options

When it comes to picking the best warranty, you’ll need to figure out what you need most. While accidental coverage is easy to come by, protection from loss or theft is more expensive. Here’s a handy IPhone 4S warranty protection chart to help you make your decision.

iPhone 4S Protection Plans 2 Year Price Deductible # of Claims Accidental? Loss/Theft Disaster
AppleCare+ $99 $49 2 Yes No No
Credit Card $0 $0 1 per purchase No No No
AT&T or Verizon $168-$260 $169 to $199 2 Yes Yes No
SquareTrade $99 $50 on Drop Spill up to $599 coverage Yes No No
Worth Ave Group $174 $50 1 – $600 Coverage Yes Yes Yes

Best Value

The best value in iPhone 4S protection for most users will be AppleCare+ or SquareTrade. Both of these plans offer low entry price and a low deductible. While there is no loss or theft coverage, it is still a great value.

The worst value is buying through Verizon or AT&T. By the time you factor in 24 monthly payments and one deductible, you’re only $200 off the off contract price of an iPhone 4S. If you have to choose between carrier coverage and no coverage, I’d put some money in savings and take my chances.

Do you purchase iPhone insurance or an extended warranty? Which option is your favorite?

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and Notebooks.com. He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]

65 Comments

  1. Mike Reilly

    10/10/2011 at 2:23 pm

    I plan to buy the iphone 4s this year, and then buy the iphone 5 at full cost next year.  I’ll need to sell my iphone 4s right before the iphone 5 is announced.  Isn’t the 1 yr plan with Worth Ave Group the best insurance plan for me?

    • Taisia

      10/10/2011 at 2:50 pm

      how much would you be selling your iphone 4S next year? I would do something similar

  2. manaiou

    10/10/2011 at 3:25 pm

    I don’t need insurance. If I lost my iphone I will use $10 worth phone and save on data. If it get cracked, I would sell it , so the same.

  3. Anonymous

    10/10/2011 at 4:06 pm

    …..

  4. Drkdraconis

    10/10/2011 at 4:33 pm

    Best buy has a really good program called buy back that is only $30 when you get their insurance which has $0 deductible fee and will guarantee you 50% of retail cost if it comes out in the next 6 months. That’s what im doing!

    • Joesanerd

      10/18/2011 at 6:42 pm

      So you plan on selling your phone in the next 6 months?

  5. Dan

    10/10/2011 at 6:47 pm

    Why Applecare+ over Square Trade:
    !) Applecare+  provides up to 2 claims, ST is limited 
    2) Applecare+ includes unlimited tech support, no tech support for ST
    3) Applecare+ has no wait period for service- stores can provide an immediate replacement, not ST
    4) Applecare+ is backed by Apple, not a  C-rated insurance company (Warrantech/AMTrust) by the BBB

    • DBPickus

      12/28/2011 at 11:13 am

      Dan, you gave me exactly what I needed to know about the difference. You helped me make the decision, thanks.

  6. Fidelnv

    10/10/2011 at 8:43 pm

    So I’m guessing no one knows about “Geek squad Black Tie protection” from best buy. You walk in and can add it on with in 30 days of buying an iPhone. It’s $14.99 a month with UNLIMITED claims and covers physical damage, water, internal, software and defective units. Oh and no deductible EVER! WOW.

    • BigBlue5803

      10/11/2011 at 7:40 am

      Wow. Didn’t know that. But do you have to purchase from BestBuy in order to get the “blacktie geeksquad” insurance.? And do they just bill you through your carrier?

      • Fidelnv

        10/11/2011 at 11:59 pm

        No you didn’t have to purchase your phone at best buy, just has to be purchased within 30 days. Aka go to a best buy MOBILE department, everyone else in the store doesn’t know anything. And it comes out automatic every month on a debit or credit card, cancel anytime, no commitment.

        • Fred

          03/02/2012 at 10:56 am

           Black Tie is a sham. They find every way possible to burn you. Trust me, it happened to me, and so I began researching. Do a quick google search for complaints. Plus, by the time you get done paying for the two years of protection, you’ve paid $360, which is far more that AppleCare, and more than the cost of the phone originally. Black Tie is a poor choice.

        • lori

          01/04/2013 at 8:27 am

          I can’t cancel…they want the whole 3 years paid…only cancellable within 30 days….this bites!

    • ShipIt

      10/11/2011 at 8:53 pm

      Does not include UNLIMITED claims:

      If your product receives two (2) repairs as the result of cracked screens or has been replaced pursuant to
      this ADH Coverage provision, this Plan has been fulfilled in its entirety. ADH Coverage expires one (1), two (2), or three (3) years from the original product purchase date as stated on your purchase receipt. If we determine in our sole discretion that your product cannot be repaired, we will replace it with a product of like kind and quality that is of comparable performance or reimburse you for replacement of the product with a voucher or gift card, at our discretion, equal to the current market value of the product, as determined by us, not to exceed the original purchase price of your product, including taxes.

      • Fidelnv

        10/12/2011 at 12:02 am

        FALSE.

        The mobile department doesn’t things differently when it comes to phones compared to everything else in the store, pcs, tvs, ipods, etc etc. I would know I work there.

        • Fidelnv

          10/12/2011 at 12:06 am

          Does*

    • Anonymous

      10/16/2011 at 2:53 pm

      That’s a lot of money!  $15 x 12 months = $180 a year.  2 years would be $360, which is the cost of an Apple Cared iPhone 4 on ebay!

    • Dw

      11/19/2011 at 8:15 am

      Hmm, now let’s see   – $14.99 / month equals $179.88 per year & no deductible – unlimited claims.
      AppleCare has $99 / two year and a 2 incident $49 deductible which would be $99+$49$ = $148 total.  That’s far better than the Best Buy Plan.  I admit that unlimited claims is great, but lets face it, how many times has anyone ever had to use their insurance phone plan more than twice.

    • Oldguy

      12/07/2011 at 8:11 pm

      I and others in the family have purchased BestBuy best protection packages available at the time for other items purchased there. We’ve had opportunities over the years to use them — all with poor results. Sloppy workmanship, restore services not provided, replacement/loaner not available, quick turn-around never done, “refurb” replacement with no real warranty — each resulted in a partial refund of the “protection” purchase price because I made noise about the lack of promised services.  Sounds real good ’til you actually need it.
       

    • Cattie

      09/04/2012 at 5:23 pm

      Or you can go with Worth Ave Group for $94 for 12 months and even with their $50 deductible, your still $35 better off than with Best Buy’s policy.

  7. granndaddyyypurp

    10/10/2011 at 9:43 pm

    Dude buy it at best buy and get the black tie program for $10 a month. Do anything with your phone they fix or replace it. When you buy that, buy back program is $30 bux and you can get a new phone sooner, no new contract. Best deal ever I’m getting the 4s on Friday cuz of that preordered leyygo

    • Fidelnv

      10/12/2011 at 12:05 am

      $10 a month for non iPhone smartphones, aka any smartphone that’s not Apple. Still an awesome deal because you have unlimited claims and never a deductible. Just doesn’t cover lost or theft. Odds are you won’t lose your phone… I wouldn’t lose my kid haha

      • Whoow

        11/07/2011 at 12:36 pm

        What happen to my lost phone, when I lost it? Is it gonna be locked, or tracking down who got it?

  8. Jdc

    10/11/2011 at 2:30 pm

    You can buy Applecare+ only when buying the iPhone 4S direct from Apple.  It is not offered by Verizon and if you buy the iPhone from Verizon this according to Apple is the process to get Applecare+.

    If
    you order the iPhone 4s with us you can add Applecare+. Since Verizon has
    their own insurance, they do not offer that to you. I am sorry they do not
    offer it. IF you want AppleCare + what you can do is make a free
    appointment at the Apple Store within 30 days of getting the iphone, and
    they can set up Applecare+ purchase for you. So
    I can purchase Applecare+ from your store. Can I do it before I receive my
    phoneSince
    you are not buying the iPhone from us, and it is insurance you need to
    wait until get it, so the Genius can make sure there is no damage prior to
    adding Applecare + to it. You will need to wait until you get it. OK
    Thanks. I think I understand. I will take the phone in unopened from its
    delivery.  Can I just go to the
    store without an appointment?Perfect
    the Genius at the store can help you once you get to that point. Here is
    the link to make an appointment when you get it: http://www.apple.com/retail/geniusbar/

    • Radman

      10/14/2011 at 11:41 am

      It is NOT true that you’d have to buy AppleCare+ w/ the phone purchase or even withing 30 days. 

      Quoting from the section 11.(x) of the AppleCare+ (found here: http://images.apple.com/legal/applecare/docs/AppleCarePlus.pdf ):
      “You must purchase the Plan while your original iPhone is within Apple’s One Year Limitedwarranty. Apple is not obligated to renew this Plan. If Apple does offer a renewal, it willdetermine the price and terms.”So, there you go.  You can buy AppleCare+ anytime within the first year of purchase and add it in.  When I went into AT&T this morning to buy the phone, the guy erroneously told me I’d have to buy the plan with the phone. Maybe so they make some extra money.  But it is absolutely NOT true.
      warranty. Apple is not obligated to renew this Plan. If Apple does offer a renewal, it will
      determine the price and terms.”

      So, there you go.  You can buy AppleCare+ anytime within the first year of purchase and add it in.  When I went into AT&T this morning to buy the phone, the guy erroneously told me I’d have to buy the plan with the phone. Maybe so they make some extra money.  But it is absolutely NOT true.

      • Radman

        10/14/2011 at 11:44 am

        Of course, if you want to buy the plan, better to buy it sooner, rather than later. :)  I’ll search around the web to see if I can buy it cheaper than the full $99 price….

      • Alysa

        12/27/2011 at 1:32 pm

        This is correct and you could wait until the 1 year warranty is almost up and then buy the Apple+. However, that means that for the first year you will only have a regular/limited warranty. This won’t cover drops and spills or the two “incident” claims and doesn’t even cover a depleted battery. Unless you don’t think you’ll drop your phone within the first year, I would suggest purchasing an extended warranty as soon as possible. 

  9. Guest

    10/11/2011 at 9:10 pm

    Question…does Worth Avenue Group only provide one claim? I can’t find this information anywhere on their website. Thanks!

  10. Richard Clay

    10/14/2011 at 3:43 am

    Best to get a specialist insurance policy which includes extended warranty cover. Use a comparison tool like the one on http://www.insuranceforiphone4s.co.uk to compare deals.  

    • Connie1070

      12/13/2011 at 10:54 am

      Why are you giving us a link to a UK insurance program? That doesn’t make sense…

  11. Ensquared

    10/18/2011 at 4:52 am

    Josh Smith you should do your homework before you compare iPhone Insurance. Ensquared.com should be considered as leading iPhone Insurance.

    1 Year Insurance for $98.99, 2 claims, each with $1000 value (not like ST or WA with less than $1k combinded)- $150 deductible.
    2 Year Insurance for $89.99 ($10 cheaper than ST), 3 claims, each with $1000 value- $50 deductible

    Visit http://www.ensquared.com for more information or read the iPhone Insurance reviews at:
    http://www.ensquared.com/iPhone_Insurance_Reviews

    • ekc

      10/29/2011 at 11:01 am

      Just went to ensquared’s site — it says $179 deductible for each iphone claim (2 yr plan) — not worth it to me.

  12. Tommy Kay

    10/18/2011 at 12:30 pm

    Geek Squad?  Silly.  24 months of Geek Squad is $360.  What are you smoking?

    • Mike

      12/14/2011 at 11:22 am

      Pay geek squad up front $229.98 for 2 years

      • Jossueanthony

        02/29/2012 at 6:07 pm

        Even thoe u didn’t buy the phone at best buy u could still get the insurance from there

      • Cattie

        09/04/2012 at 5:33 pm

        Still much more than Worth Ave group, even with their $50 deductible, and they cover loss or theft.

  13. Ajm5002

    10/20/2011 at 6:49 pm

    http://squaretrade.extole.com/activate/6913334/cfedb733c5ade0253c59c69d91a2e5d881f068cbIf you are getting an iPhone use this link for insurance and we both get money. You will save $5 off the price of the insurance. Much better than AppleCare or Verizon’s Insurance plan

  14. Shyaporn

    11/06/2011 at 8:22 am

    Applecare+ does NOT cover liquid or water damage.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3302

    • Seeley Cat

      11/25/2011 at 10:42 am

      Shyaporn, I believe you are pointing to the regular Applecare warranty info, not Applecare+.  

      Applecare+ does cover liquid damage.   http://www.apple.com/legal/applecare/docs/applecareplus.pdf

  15. Alex g

    11/13/2011 at 6:51 am

    I just got the AT&T plan iam going to claim it lost and sell my iPhone 4s so fuck AT&T iam get my money back >:-/ lol

    • Connie1070

      12/13/2011 at 11:07 am

      Insurance Fraud…Not a smart move!

    • guest

      12/23/2011 at 6:39 am

      I sense some sarcasm in your post, but in case you were serious- if you report the phone is lost/stolen, the carrier will block it on their network, so it can’t be re-activated.  do you intend to also f**k the person you sell it to?

  16. Angie

    12/23/2011 at 8:24 am

    What about safeware insurance? I had it for my iPhone 4 and when it was stolen from me I was reimbursed for the new phone. Is it good for the 4S

    • Angelo

      05/12/2012 at 1:40 pm

      http://www.esurranty.com is the best bet for iPhone 4s insurance. $0 deductible for mechanical malfunction, $50 deductible for cracked screen and $150 to get the phone replaced if its lost or stolen. Backed by Starlight Insurance which is a A+ rated company. Esurranty.com is the best!

  17. Pkgman620

    01/09/2012 at 7:31 pm

    I just returned from Apple Store in ATL area today.  Bought 3 Iphone 4s for Christmas on 12/6/11 from Verizon and went in to get AppleCare+ today (12/8/12)  Cost me 99$ for each phone and was also told by the Genius that it was good I came in now as I only had 30 days to get the insurance option.

    • Megan

      06/10/2012 at 4:23 pm

      with esurranty.com you can get coverage anytime. Even after a year. They have loss and theft coverage. It’s called D/R device replacement. The deductibles are low and the price is very reasonable. A+ rating for coverage providers. http://www.esurranty.com

  18. Eexploria-Blogger

    01/17/2012 at 11:35 pm

     I think it is the Square trade with flexible features and higher user satisfaction in terms of service. What about Best buy  and Ensquare?
    http://www.eexploria.com/easy-tips-to-select-the-best-iphone-insurance/

  19. Yuna15

    01/18/2012 at 11:56 am

    I bought the AppleCare+ because I plan to keep my phone for 2 years. I got the unlocked iPhone 4S. I think it’s worth it.

  20. Martypongo

    01/18/2012 at 2:46 pm

    GoCare is another alternative.  Their coverage protects against: Drops, spills, cracks, liquid submersion, mechanical failure.  They have a $50 deductible (2 year plan).   They cover used or new phones with 24/7 Support.
    More Benefits
    Data RecoveryTechnical SupportOpt. Loaner PhonesTrade-in program

  21. Daddysavaho

    02/03/2012 at 9:03 am

    I bought my warranty from http://www.esurranty.com. They have loss & theft coverage that replaces the phone up to $1000 for a $145 deductible. None of the one’s you recommended have that. Also, their price was the best. They are underwritten by 2 different insurance companies and though I haven’t had to use the service, I’m glad I have it. 

  22. No

    02/22/2012 at 4:54 pm

    You need to consider ProtectCell.  Blows these all out of the water.  And I sell for Verizon.

    • Angelo Maimone

      04/06/2012 at 3:06 pm

      iphone, ipad coverage for less than $40!
      http://www.esurranty.com iphone warranty/insurance for $39.99 a year with loss and theft coverage available. #1 Rated Warranty provider and backed by a national insurance company.

  23. Angelo Maimone

    04/06/2012 at 3:08 pm

    I bought my warranty from www.esurranty.com. They have loss & theft coverage that replaces the phone up to $1000. I lost my phone about a month after I got the coverage and a new phone was in my hand within 2 days! New, not refurbished like these other company’s do. I have sprint service and esurranty coverage! The best bar none!

  24. Drod3223

    04/11/2012 at 7:41 pm

    I would highly disagree with the choices for best plans, neither offer theft!! There are some other good options out there, BUT they are all filled with small print. I had squaretrade and they are good if you damage your iPhone, but if you lose it your done….I tried worth ave, but they are expensive and put you through hoops for any claim.

    I currently have Insure apple iphone and the are the best I have used. They have NO claim limits and not a lengthy list of exclusions, especially like ensquared! I have no complaints with them and they are reasonably priced. Probably should have made the final list in my opinion.

  25. Rosy

    05/07/2012 at 5:10 am

    I bought coverage for my iphone and ipad from http://www.esurranty.com and saved over applecare. They replace it for me for $145 and fix it for free. If I crack the screen or drop it it only costs me $50. Also they contract through apple so when I cracked my iphone screen I took it to the apple store and got it fixed within a day. They are great and I will always recommend them.

  26. Megan

    06/10/2012 at 4:25 pm

    • William S.

      06/26/2012 at 5:47 pm

      eSURRANTY.com has the lowest price and the fastest service. I had my screen replaced within 2 days for $50. The yearly price is less than $70 and you can transfer it to any other phone for free. http://www.esurranty.com

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  30. Nick Golden

    08/23/2012 at 1:29 am

    So…. My iPhone is shattered home button does not work or vibrate. 200$ for replacement or 170$? I have 9$ Verizon coverage. But I got a little confused. Or would it be more cause it was my fault? Or should I say I lost it…?

  31. Angelo Maimone (@angelomaimone)

    08/29/2012 at 5:52 pm

    http://www.esurranty.com iPhone loss and theft insurance for $69 year. Lowest deductibles, and very friendly staff. Free transfer of coverage to any phone anytime and they also cover ipad’s and laptops.

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  33. dv8ed

    11/10/2012 at 7:17 pm

    http://www.esurranty.com iPhone 5 deductible $189 for theft/loss… ouch!!

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