Many Apple device owners struggle when trying to decide whether to invest in the AppleCare Protection Plan that sales represents often aggressively pitch to customers. If you break your iPhone, you will likely be ecstatic that you were cautious enough to purchase the plan. However, the plan is not cheap. Plus, it is purchased for particular time periods so if the device makes it through two years without breaking or being chucked at a wall, that initial investment will likely be a source of regret. In a recent article for The Daily Times, contributor Lee Pitts shared a relatable perspective.
"I'm a worry-wart with 'B-negative' blood who can only stand so much optimism," Pitts wrote. "I feel bad about feeling good. Here's how bad it's gotten. My old computer died and I had to buy a new one. When the salesman asked me if I wanted the AppleCare plan I said 'no' because you had to pay for two years and I thought, 'what a waste that would be if I suddenly died in the 18th month and I ended up paying for six months I didn't need?'"
In a recent article for The Mac Observer, contributor Ted Landau took a closer look at AppleCare. He had written a column years ago in 2006 that explored the question of whether Apple owners should care about AppleCare, considering the advantages and disadvantages. He reached the conclusion that AppleCare is a bad investment in almost every case. In a more recent 2011 follow-up article, Landau confirmed that his conclusion is the same it was years ago: AppleCare for iOS devices is still a bad investment.
Comparing the costs
Landau stressed that if you were to look at nearly any Consumer Reports issue regarding extended warranties, they nearly always advise people to avoid them because they are not worth the money.
Taking a look at how repair costs compare between one performed through AppleCare versus one performed using a third-party repair services provider like iResQ, it becomes immediately clear that it is wise to pass on the extended warranty. Apple device owners pay for the AppleCare coverage upfront, and need to pay an additional $50 per incident to use it. Furthermore, if there are more than two incidents in which the device is damaged, Apple device owners who purchased the AppleCare protection will no longer be covered.
Without coverage, Apple device owners will have to pay the out of warranty pricing for Apple repairs. Take a common repair for the iPhone – like a broken screen, for example. For those who consult iResQ to repair the screen on an iPhone 5, the services will only cost $219, while the same out of warranty repair will cost $249 when done through Apple. While this demonstrates that choosing iResQ can mean a modest savings of $30, the advantages become even clearer as you look back at older models.
For an iPhone 4 or 4S, iResQ's iPhone screen repair services are only $89, while repairs cost $149 for the iPhone 4 model and $199 for the 4S model when performed through Apple out of warranty. Moving back even further, iResQ's iPhone screen repair services for an iPhone 3G or 3GS model will only cost you $59 or $69 respectively. However, the same repair from Apple out of warranty will cost $149.