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AppleCare vs AppleCare+: The Differences, Which One to Buy?

Like their products, Apple’s protection plans don’t come cheap, making you question whether it’s even worth buying. You currently get a standard AppleCare warranty with an option to upgrade to AppleCare+ and or Apple Care Protection Plan in some regions. Here’s a detailed AppleCare vs AppleCare Protection Plan vs AppleCare+ comparison to help you figure out if AppleCare+ is worth the money for your device.

AppleCare vs AppleCare+

What is AppleCare?

What is Apple Care

AppleCare is the standard one-year warranty that comes with every Apple device. You don’t have to pay for this as it comes free with the purchase of your device.

This warranty covers manufacturing defects and hardware and software-related issues that are not the fault of the user. But it does not cover accidental, physical, or liquid damages.

If you face any of these issues, your device will get free service or replacement. Apple also offers complimentary 90-day technical support to help you set up the device and resolve issues over the telephone.

What is AppleCare Protection Plan?

AppleCare Protection Plan is an extension of the standard AppleCare warranty. With it, you can pay to get an extended warranty for your Apple device. It also adds battery service if your device retains less than 80% battery and global repair coverage.

However, Apple is slowly discontinuing this plan, and only select regions currently have the option to buy Apple Protection Plan. You may not be able to buy it in countries where it has already been discontinued.

What is AppleCare+?

What is Apple Care Plus

AppleCare+ is a paid protection plan for your Apple devices that offers an additional year of warranty and covers unlimited incidents of accidental damage so you can stay free of any worries when your iPhone falls victim to the pavement.

Let’s take a look at what other advantages you get from buying AppleCare+:

  • Covers unlimited incidents of accidental damage (additional service fee applies).
  • Priority access to Apple experts via chat or phone.
  • Global repair coverage.
  • Free-of-charge battery replacement (battery health must be less than 80%).
  • A replacement device is offered for the duration of the repair.

Do note that you can only buy AppleCare+ at the time of purchase or within 60 days starting from the date of purchase.

What is AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss for iPhone?

AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss is an iPhone-exclusive plan. It has all the benefits of AppleCare+ and covers two accounts of theft or loss of your iPhone in a year. You will still have to pay a deductible fee, but it essentially lets you get a new iPhone for half the price in case your device gets lost or stolen.

Currently, it is available in only these countries: Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Make sure to turn on Find My iPhone, or else you will not be able to claim this service.

Summarising AppleCare Plans

All these AppleCare plans can get quite confusing so let’s understand the specifics of each plan and what they offer:

  • AppleCare: This is a standard one-year warranty that covers manufacturing defects and hardware failures. You get it for free with every Apple device on purchase.
  • AppleCare Protection Plan: This plan extends the standard warranty up to three years, but it does not cover accidental damage. Apple is slowly discontinuing this plan, and you might not be able to purchase it in regions where it has been discontinued.
  • AppleCare+: It is the complete protection plan for your Apple device. This plan gives you an extended warranty period, covers for unlimited incidents of accidental or liquid damage, the option to get a replacement device, and more.
  • AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss: This plan is only available for iPhones. With it, you can pay a deductible service fee to get a replacement iPhone if it gets lost or stolen. You also get all the benefits from AppleCare+.

AppleCare vs AppleCare+ : iPhone

AppleCare vs AppleCare Plus iPhone

With AppleCare on iPhone, you receive a free one-year warranty on your device, and it covers your iPhone and in-box cable against manufacturing issues and hardware failures.

On the other hand, AppleCare+ will give many more advantages, including cover for accidental damages at a higher price.

Here are the salient features of AppleCare+ for iPhone:

  • 2 years of extended coverage from the date of purchase.
  • Coverage of accidental damages for unlimited incidents for the duration of the plan. Service fee is applicable and varies based on the damage.
  • Priority access to Apple support via chat or call.
  • Free battery replacement. Battery health must be below 80%.
  • Receive a replacement device for the duration of the repair.
  • Schedule a technician to replace the broken screen at home.
  • Same-day repair at most metropolitan cities.
  • Software Support by Apple Experts.
  • Get a new iPhone for a deductible fee in case of theft or loss. Only available with AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss.

These benefits you get when you buy AppleCare+ with your iPhone.

Here is a list of supported iPhones and their AppleCare+ plan: 

              AppleCare+   AppleCare+ With       Theft and Loss
Plan Charges Monthly      2 years Monthly 2 years
iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max $9.99 $199

(₹28900.00)

$13.49 $269
iPhone 14 Plus $8.99 $179

(₹21900.00)

$12.49 $249
iPhone 14, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 12 $7.49 $149

(₹17900.00)

$11.49 $219
iPhone SE (3rd Generation) $3.99 $79

(₹8900.00)

$7.49 $149

Visit the Official AppleCare+ webpage to learn more about AppleCare+ for iPhone.

Should You Buy AppleCare+ for iPhone?

AppleCare+ for iPhone can make the device more expensive than it already is. In our opinion, folks who use their phones carefully, with a screen protector and a case applied, can skip buying extended insurance. You can put that extra money into grabbing more storage or accessories.

On the contrary, it’s a nice add-on for people who love using their iPhones naked and have a history of breaking devices. You can also spread the cost by buying the AppleCare+ later (within 60 days) but again, that increases the risk of you breaking the screen first.

Also, do note that there’s a specific service fee associated with each repair under AppleCare+, which, again, is not cheap.

AppleCare vs AppleCare+ : iPad & Accessories

AppleCare vs AppleCare Plus iPad

Coming to iPad, AppleCare will cover the product for one year of manufacturing or hardware defect. It only includes the iPad itself and the contents of the box. You will also receive complimentary 90-day technical support from Apple.

AppleCare+ for iPad gets you protection for not just the iPad but also its official accessories, a two-year coverage period, and a list of other great advantages.

These are the benefits you get with AppleCare+ on iPad:

  • Two-year warranty for iPad as well as Apple Pencil and official iPad Keyboard.
  • Unlimited incidents of accidental damage protection for iPad and its official accessories (service fee applies).
  • 24/7 priority access to Apple technical support over chat and phone.
  • Free battery replacement. Battery health must be below 80%.
  • Express Replacement Service.
  • Software Support by Apple Experts.
  • Additional Mail-in-repair and Carry-in-repair services.

I hope this gives you a clear idea of everything you get with AppleCare+ on iPad.

Here’s the price breakdown for AppleCare+ plans for iPad: 

                   AppleCare+
Plan Charges Monthly 2 years
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation) $7.99 $149
iPad Pro 11-inch $5.99 $129
iPad Air (5th generation) $3.99 $79

(₹8900.00)

iPad, iPad mini $3.49 $69

Visit the Official AppleCare+ webpage to learn more about AppleCare+ for iPad.

iPad Apple Care Plus

To check AppleCare+ pricing for other iPad models, go to the product page, select your variant and scroll down to see AppleCare pricing.

Should You Buy AppleCare+ for iPad?

Buying AppleCare+ doesn’t make much sense if you use your iPad at home and with a hard casing (which most generally do). However, if your iPad is often around children or is your go-to travel companion, you may do the cost analysis and proceed with the purchase. It can also be beneficial if you use official accessories with the device.

AppleCare vs AppleCare+ : Apple Watch

AppleCare vs AppleCare Plus Apple Watch

Apple Watch, Apple Watch Nike, and Apple Watch Ultra get a one-year standard AppleCare warranty that includes hardware failure coverage and 90 days of Apple support with AppleCare. As for the more expensive Apple Watch Hermès, you get two years of AppleCare coverage with two years of technical support.

Opting for AppleCare+ gets you two years of warranty on the Apple Watch, Apple Watch Nike, and Apple Watch Ultra with priority access to Apple support. Here, Apple Watch Edition and Apple Watch Hermès users will enjoy a three-year extended warranty and benefits with AppleCare+.

Let us look at all the perks you get with AppleCare+ on the Apple Watch:

  • Two years of coverage for Apple Watch, Apple Watch Nike, and Ultra. Three years for Apple Watch Edition and Apple Watch Hermès.
  • Unlimited incidents of accidental damage protection. Service fee applies and varies for different models.
  • 24/7 priority access to Apple technical experts through chat or phone.
  • Global warranty coverage.
  • Free battery replacement if the health goes down to less than 80%.
  • Receive a replacement Apple Watch while yours get repaired.
  • Software Support by Apple Experts.
  • Additional services: Mail-in-repair and Carry-in-repair.

With all these benefits and a three-year warranty, AppleCare+ does sound like an interesting deal.

Here are the prices for AppleCare+ plans for AppleWatch: 

                                AppleCare+
Plan Charges Monthly 2 years 3 years
Apple Watch Ultra $4.99 “$99

(₹10900.00)”

Apple Watch Series 8 $3.99 “$79

(₹8900.00)”

Apple Watch SE $2.49 $49

(₹6900.00)

Apple Watch Hermès $4.99 $149.00

Visit the Official AppleCare+ webpage to learn more about AppleCare+ for Apple Watch.

Should You Buy AppleCare+ for Apple Watch?

An Apple Watch usually suffers more wear and tear than any other product. If you’re not using a protective case or screen protector, occasional bumps may damage the watch’s display or body. And this is where AppleCare+ comes to the rescue.

But again- there are Apple Watch users without a single scar on their units. At the same time, some users end up having lots of dents and scratches within a few weeks. It all boils down to how you generally treat the watch and the environment it’s used in.

AppleCare vs AppleCare+ : MacBook, Mac, and Apple Display

AppleCare vs AppleCare Plus Mac Macbook

AppleCare for Mac and Apple Displays gives you limited one-year warranty coverage and 90-day complimentary tech support by Apple.

With AppleCare+, you get more benefits on the Apple Display than on the Mac. Mac and Apple Display owners enjoy three years of warranty and coverage, but only Apple Display users get additional coverage for the stand and the wall mount.

These are the additional features you get with AppleCare+:

  • Certified Apple support and service coverage.
  • Priority access to Apple technical support.
  • Protection against accidental damages for unlimited incidents (service fee applies).
  • Global repair coverage.
  • Battery service coverage.
  • Support to troubleshooting and fixing software.
  • Service offered: Carry-in repair, onsite and mail-in repair for portable computers.

Now that you have looked at all the features that you can get with AppleCare+, let us look at the AppleCare+ plans for Mac and Apple Display: 

             AppleCare+
Plan Charges Annually 3 years
MacBook Air (M1) $69.99 $199
MacBook Air (M2) $79.99 $229

(₹20900.00)

MacBook Pro 13-inch $89.99 $249

(₹22900.00)

MacBook Pro 14-inch $99.99 $279
MacBook Pro 16-inch $149.99 $399
iMac $59.99 $169
Mac mini $34.99 $99
Mac Studio $59.99 $169

(₹16900.00)

Mac Pro $109.99 $299
Apple Studio Display $49.99 $149

(₹13900.00)

Pro Display XDR $179.99 $499

Visit the Official AppleCare+ webpage to learn more about AppleCare+ for Mac and AppleCare+ for Apple Display.

Should You Buy AppleCare+ for MacBooks, Mac, and Apple Display?

MacBooks may suffer a lot of unintended damage during the course of use. This includes liquid damage due to spilled coffee or water, cracked screen by kids or pets, broken hinges, black screens, and whatnot.

And it costs huge to repair these portable machines, at times, nearing the cost of buying a new one. Hence, buying AppleCare+ for any Apple laptop, you plan to keep for longer than a year or so is always recommended.

On the other hand, Macs and Apple Displays are generally stationed at a place that also makes them less prone to damage. Basis the environment you’re going to use them in, you can skip buying AppleCare+ to save some money.

AppleCare vs AppleCare+ : AirPods, AirPods Max, and Beats

AppleCare vs AppleCare Plus AirPods

No matter which Apple or Beats branded music accessories you use, AppleCare covers them the same. You get a one-year warranty which ensures that your AirPods or Beat headset will get repaired or replaced free of cost if they have manufacturing or hardware defects. And 90-day technical support is bundled in with AppleCare as a complimentary bonus.

Upgrading your plan to AppleCare+ will give you several other benefits and double the warranty period.

Below are the features you gain when you buy AppleCare+ for AirPods or Beats devices:

  • You can claim your warranty anywhere in the world.
  • Mail your AirPods for repair using a prepaid shipping box provided by Apple.
  • Take your AirPods to the nearest Apple Store or authorized service outlet for repair.
  • Get a replacement AirPods while yours get fixed.
  • Enjoy accidental, liquid damage protection for unlimited incidents (service fee applies).
  • Replace your AirPods battery for free if the health goes down to less than 80%.
  • Software support for Bluetooth and Siri.

With AppleCare+ perks wrapped up, it is time to look at the AppleCare+ plans available for AirPods, AirPods Max, and Beats:

AppleCare+
Plan Charges 2 years
AirPods, AirPods Pro, Beats $29

(₹2900.00)

AirPods Max $59.00

Visit the Official AppleCare+ webpage to learn more about AppleCare+ for Headphones.

Should You Buy AppleCare+ for AirPods or AirPods Max?

It’s more likely you’ll lose AirPods before you manage to break them. And unlike iPhones, where you get a special plan with coverage for theft and loss, there’s no such provision here. AirPods generally don’t suffer from physical damage.

Having said that, it’s not impossible. We got a pair of AirPods completely damaged and deformed after suffering an accident on the road. And we have also seen pets chewing the buds. But again, it’s a very rare possibility. We don’t see much value in buying AppleCare+ for AirPods.

AppleCare vs AppleCare+ : Apple TV and HomePod

AppleCare vs AppleCare Plus HomePod TV

Owners of Apple TV or HomePod also enjoy a one-year AppleCare warranty. This gets you 90 days of Apple support and coverage against any technical faults not caused by the user.

Both of these devices also get an option for the AppleCare+ protection plan. It extends the warranty period to up to three years and includes other advantages that make it easy for you to get your device repaired. These are the advantages you get with Applecare+ for Apple TV and HomePod:

  • Two-year extended warranty for HomePod and three years for the Apple TV.
  • Connect with Apple support executives on a priority basis.
  • Schedule a pickup and delivery for your HomePod.
  • Express Replacement Service
  • Extend your warranty coverage globally.
  • Get Software support to troubleshoot issues.
  • Mail or Carry your Apple TV and HomePod for repair.

These were all the advantages offered by AppleCare+ but before making any decision, check out the price and available AppleCare+ plans for Apple TV and HomePod: 

AppleCare+
Plan Charges 3 years
Apple TV $29.00
HomePod mini $15.00

Visit the Official AppleCare+ webpage to learn more about AppleCare+ for Apple TV and AppleCare+ for HomePod.

Should You Buy AppleCare+ Insurance for Apple TV or HomePod?

If you’ve placed your Apple TV or HomePod in one place and don’t plan on moving it again, you don’t have to worry much about accidental damages. Since you won’t carry them around, it’s safe to skip buying AppleCare+ insurance. But if you do, the repairs will be much cheaper if something goes wrong.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is it Possible to Extend AppleCare+ Coverage?

The answer is yes. You can extend your AppleCare+ plan for another two years on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch and up to 3 years on Apple Watch Hermès. But it has to be bought within 30 days after the original plan has ended.

The extended coverage plan is currently available in these countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Q. Can you Buy AppleCare+ on a Monthly Subscription Plan?

Yes. Apple offers the option of a monthly subscription to AppleCare+ coverage, but it is only available if you paid upfront for AppleCare+ and your original coverage has ended. It gives you the advantage of paying a monthly fee and canceling the service anytime, but it costs more than the annual subscription.

Q. Is it Possible to Get AppleCare+ After 60 days?

Although Apple does not allow users to buy the AppleCare+ after 60 days of buying the device. Apple users in the U.S. and Canada can get AppleCare+ after the initial sixty days. You have to take your device to the Apple store for examination by a technician. If they give the go-ahead, you can buy AppleCare+.

Q. Is Battery Replacement Covered in Standard AppleCare Warranty?

No. AppleCare does not cover battery replacement if your battery health goes down. But if your battery has manufacturing defects or causes abrupt issues within the warranty period, you can get it repaired from the nearest Apple Store or Apple-authorized service center.

Q. Can You Get AppleCare+ for Refurbished Devices?

Only refurbished devices purchased from the Apple website can get AppleCare+ coverage. If you have bought a refurbished product from a third-party seller or website, you will not be able to purchase AppleCare+.

Q. How Do you Check AppleCare+ Coverage Status?

If you want to check how much time is left in your AppleCare+ plan and device eligibility, then you can head over to Coverage Check Page and enter your device’s serial number to check the current status.

AppleCare vs AppleCare+: Should You Buy the Plus?

Even though AppleCare+ offers many more features and benefits, it can easily dig a hole in your pocket, especially if you live and breathe in the Apple ecosystem. For some products like MacBook and Apple Watch, it makes sense to go with AppleCare+ as it saves more money than it costs, but for others, I’d say the standard warranty with AppleCare is enough.

We suggest avoiding AppleCare+ for AirPods, old iPhone models, and iPad (generally used with protective casings). And also stationery items like Macs, Apple Display, Apple TVs, and HomePod.

Ultimately it is up to you to evaluate which of your Apple products require the extra protection and which do not. And also how carefully you use the devices and the environment, they’re used in. You can even go for third-party insurance, which costs less but look out for their terms and conditions.

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Anshuman Jain

Hi! I am Anshuman and I write about consumer technology for Gadgets To Use and Browsers To use. I follow new trending and new developments in tech. I frequently write about these topics and cover them. I am available on Twitter at @Anshuma9691 or Email me at [email protected] to send in your feedback and tips.