AppleCare+- Not Really a Great Deal?
AppleCare+ is an add on service warranty that consumers can purchase when they are buying an iPad or other Apple product. As you might expect there is a cost for the service contract as well as a deductible for certain repairs that you might need. Determining if this service package is a good idea for you or your business will greatly depend on the intended use of the iPads.
The AppleCare+ service program offers users either a 2 or 3 year contract to provide software technical support via phone as well as hardware support for that same time period. In addition, screen repairs and repairs of other accidental damage can be made when you pay a $49 deductible. The initial investment in the service agreement is $59 for the 2 year plan and $79 for the three year plan. If you are leaning towards purchasing a plan, the 3 year plan is the least expensive rate on a per year basis.
Consumer Based Use
If you are buying an iPad for yourself or your child to use as a personal device, then you might be better off investing in a protective case for the iPad rather than spending the money on the service contract. In most cases with regular personal use, screen damage is the only service that consumers normally use. And with the deductible you will be paying either $108 or $128 for the repair of your screen. The cost of a case and a screen protector on the other hand could be purchased for less than $50.
However, if you are not familiar with Apple products and would like to have the peace of mind that comes with a few years of tech support then springing for the service plan is not a bad idea. This allows you to call tech support for software issues and hardware issues rather than going to a local tech shop.
School or Business Applications
When evaluating the AppleCare+ for a business or school application, the numbers are a little different. The purchase price of the iPads is normally lower as they are purchased in bundles or 10 packs. In addition, the tech support is normally a service performed by an internal IT department so that portion of the service agreement is pretty useless. Also the cost of the service plan and the deductible are not substantially less than the full replacement cost of the iPad. Finally, the damage rate on a bulk purchase would need to be 40% or greater to recover the cost of the entire service contract.
Personal comfort level will have a great deal of impact on a single consumer’s decision but in most cases businesses are not going to reap a financial benefit from purchasing a large AppleCare+ service agreement.