If you have ever bought an iPhone directly from Apple or one of their partner retailers like BestBuy or Target, they have probably tried to sell you pretty hard on AppleCare.
The problem is that many people don’t understand the scope of AppleCare, like how much it truly costs and what it does and doesn’t cover.
Before you head out to buy your next iPhone get a better understanding of AppleCare fees for iPhones and whether that is the best option.
How Much Does AppleCare Cost?
One misconception about AppleCare is that there is a flat price across the board.
There are multiple tiers of pricing based on how much you want covered and which phone model you get. AppleCare is also like any other insurance plan when you still have to pay a deductible for your repairs on top of what you already pay for your monthly or yearly subscription to the plan.
For instance, an iPhone Pro or Pro Max will cost $13.49 a month, or you can save a little money by buying a lump sum two-year coverage for $269. All models ranging between the iPhone 11, 12, 13, 14 and iPhone 15, cost $11.49 per month or $219 for two years.
The newer Plus models, such as the iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 15 Plus are $12.49 month, or $249 for two years.
The third-generation iPhone SE is also covered at $7.49 per month or $149 for two years. It is vital to note that even after spending all that money, you will still have to pay a deductible if you ever use your AppleCare coverage.
What Repairs or Services are Included With AppleCare?
AppleCare does have some services rolled into the cost without any extra fees, but it is important to note that a broken screen or back glass will cost you an extra $29, what Apple lists as “other accidental damage” costs $99 extra, and replacing a lost or stolen phone costs $149 on top of what you’ve already paid for the AppleCare plan.
AppleCare does have a few benefits that don’t come with an additional fee, like 24/7 priority support online or over the phone. They will help you troubleshoot your software and guide you through how to use your phone.
They also offer same-day repairs at Apple stores in most major metropolitan areas.
Perhaps one of the most underrated features of the program is the express replacement service, where they will send you a new phone before you send in your damaged one, so you are never without a phone. However, they give you a relatively small window to send in your broken phone and if you miss that window they charge a high price for the late fee.
Furthermore, you have to know how to back up your old phone and switch sim cards into the new phone for everything to work properly.
What is not covered by AppleCare?
While AppleCare covers most of what could happen to your phone throughout a typical day, it does not cover everything. For example, they will not protect or repair any cosmetic damage like scuffs, scratches, or dings. It goes without saying, but if you don’t have AppleCare, you also won’t get any repairs, you will pay for their out-of-warranty repair fees.
They will not cover damage done by using your phone in a way that was not intended, AppleCare will not cover it. In addition, they will not cover a phone that third-party products have damaged, opened, or modified by a third party or has a serial number that has been altered, defaced, or removed.
Perhaps the most noteworthy exception to the AppleCare plan is that they will not repair pre-existing conditions, so if you walk out of the store, drop your phone and crack your screen, then walk back in and add AppleCare protection, it will not cover that cracked screen.
When and Where Can I Purchase AppleCare?
Some people may be confused about the timeline for purchasing AppleCare and where they can purchase the policy. This may not have always been the case, but Apple has made it reasonably easy to buy an AppleCare plan now.
AppleCare can be added at the time you purchase your iPhone or up to two months later through any of the following:
From Your Device
Open up your settings app and go to the General tab. Choose the About option, then click on AppleCare+ Coverage Available.
You can do it online here, but it requires you to provide a serial number and run a remote diagnostic. You can also read our article on how to check your AppleCare coverage.
This may be the best option for those who are not technically inclined, but you have to provide proof of purchase, and they will meticulously inspect your iPhone for any damage.
You can call 800-275-2273, but this also requires proof of purchase, and they run a remote diagnostic on your phone.
What if I Want to Cancel the Plan?
If you decide that an AppleCare plan is not the right choice for you and decide to cancel it, there are a few ways to go about it, depending on how you purchased your plan.
Paid in Full at Time of Purchase
If this is the case and you cancel within the first 30 days, you will get a full refund minus the value of any service that has already been provided. If you cancel after 30 days, you will be refunded at a pro-rated rate minus the value of any services provided.
To get your refund, you will need your AppleCare agreement number, your iPhone’s serial number, and your original sales receipt.
If you pay for your plan monthly, you can cancel it anytime by going to the settings app, tap on your name, tap subscriptions, and cancel the AppleCare subscription.
This option does not offer a pro-rated refund, so it may be best to time the cancellation around when the payment comes due.
AppleCare may give some people peace of mind, but others may find it an annoying extra expense for something that may never happen. Some people may just not like that they have to play by Apple’s rules for a device they own.
Whether you just don’t like the terms and conditions of AppleCare or if it is too late to add the service because you already have a hardware issue that needs fixing, consider Gophermods for all of your repair needs. We offer fast, convenient, and affordable repairs for your iPhone, tablet, and more.