Apple has announced a new iPad that will be hitting shelves in select markets around the world on March 16th. In addition to that announcement, Apple has also introduced AppleCare+ for the new iPad, an extended warranty service that covers incidental damage and stretches the iPad’s warranty out to two years.
Every iPad comes with a limited warranty. However, that warranty does not protect against accidental damage, such as a shattered display. The limited warranty lasts for only a year and offers just 90 days of complimentary support.
Complimentary support includes telephone support for basic setup, installation, assembly, and connectivity for hardware and telephone support for installation, launch, or reinstallation for software.
AppleCare+ will, for $99, extend complimentary support to two years and also extend the warranty to two years. In addition, it will also cover water damage, drops and hardware malfunctions. Users are limited to two incidents and AppleCare+ must be purchased within 90 days of the purchase of a new iPad.
Each of those incidents are subject to a $49 service fee from Apple, similar to an insurance deductible.
Those buying a new iPad will be greeted with the offer for AppleCare+ and it’s at that point that many people will ask this question:
“Should I buy AppleCare+ for my new iPad?”
Let’s quickly examine both sides of the coin.
You Should Get AppleCare+ If:
You’re worried about breaking your iPad. Maybe you’re clumsy. Maybe you have kids running around the house. Maybe you work or live in an environment where it could easily get damaged. If that’s the case, $99 may be worth the peace of mind.
You should also consider buying AppleCare+ if you don’t plan on keeping your new iPad in a case. Some people just flat out hate using a case with their tablets. Of course unprotected iPads are more susceptible to physical damage.
If you’re not a geek or don’t have a family member to walk you through how to use your new iPad you may appreciate AppleCare’s extended phone support. Some users would rather pick up the phone than wade through Apple’s support forums or spend time searching for tutorials online.
You Should Not Get AppleCare+ If:
Many credit cards offer complimentary extended warranties on purchase. For example, American Express automatically doubles the warranty of gadgets up to certain limit, depending on which card you have. American Express also protects gadgets against theft and accidental damage for up to 90 days after purchase. That’s enough protection to make some iPad buyers skip AppleCare+.
AppleCare+ may be redundant if your home insurance policy covers devices and you have a low deductible. That of course will differ from policy to policy so you’ll want to check and make sure that you’re covered before you decide to fork over that $99 for something you don’t actually need. Remember, you don’t need to buy AppleCare+ the same day you buy your iPad, so you have plenty of time to check with your insurance agent and add an insurance rider if necessary.
Of course if you plan on upgrading to the 4th generation iPad in a year you won’t realize the full value of AppleCare+.