Weekly Poll: Do You Buy AppleCare?

Generally speaking, I usually find the “insurance upsell” to be a total rip-off. Only last week I was offered the chance to insure my new kettle against damage. I mean, really? It’s a kettle…

But when it comes to Apple products, I tend to have a different opinion. I’ve bought AppleCare for two machines in the past, and both times I made the most of the extended warranty with repairs or replacements for various parts.

Although it may look like a solid, magical piece of aluminium, your MacBook is actually a very complicated piece of technology. And things do go wrong! Although AppleCare costs a few hundred extra bucks at the outset, I’ve always found it to be a worthwhile investment.

But do you feel the same way? I’d love to hear your opinion, as this is a topic that doesn’t come up all that often. Are you an AppleCare user, and if so, have you ever actually needed to use it?


  • http://butlerm.com Matthew Butler

    Need the option “Never have but wish I would have”

  • LaToya

    Having AppleCare recently saved me $600 on a new logic board. I would have been devastated without it.

  • http://darrinrich.com Darrin

    I used to buy it for all my Apple stuff. Lately I have used Squaretrade for warranties. I have 3 iPhones for the family covered by it and a Macbook pro

  • tcdesign

    I bought it for my Mac Pro but just found out about Squaretrade this morning and will use it in the future.

  • Alexa

    Hell, yes. The motherboard on the 17″ iMac I bought my parents went a few weeks before my AppleCare expired. They didn’t feel like fixing it, so they upgraded me to a 20″ aluminum iMac and gave me money back because it was less expensive.

    Also, my 1st generation MacBook Air’s power cord kept shorting out the Air. After replacing everything it still shorted out, and I was upgraded to a top of the line MacBook Pro.

  • Bob D

    Not after having Apple claim water damage on a Macbook which had never had water spilled on it. There are warranties like Square Trade, which will cover not only liquid damage, but drops as well – you know, an actual warranty.

  • Vladdy11

    I never buy it. I used apple to a long time now and only once a computer when bad on it first year and it still under cover. What I do is I try to sell my laptop every to year or so and instead of buying apple care I use that money cover the difference for a new machine. That way my computer is never to all and out of warranty for to long. My iPhone I sell it every year and get the new one. Same with my I pad now.

  • http://mkasu.org mkasu

    I once had a Macbook Pro which broke horribly hardware-wise just after 1,5 years. I’m so happy I had Apple Care, so they just repaired it (they needed to exchange almost everything, motherboard broke).

    Since then, I’ve bought Applecare for most of my apple devices.

  • http://www.onedigitallife.com/ Paul

    I take a wait-and-see approach. You can actually buy applecare the day before your standard warranty runs out (at the same price it would have cost the day you bought the device). So, I wait to see if I have problems with my device. No problems – I don’t buy. Problems – I buy right before the warranty runs out.

  • David

    It’s also useful when it runs out as a “I’ve had my mac how long?! Time to buy a new model…” reminder!

  • http://www.staatdebokmakoud.nl Ben Hokjesgeest

    “Buying” warranty is ridiculous and should be outlawed in my opinion. When I buy a $1700 computer it should not break down after 1 year of usage! Actually, dutch law states exactly this: the consumer can and should expect a product to remain functional for a reasonable period of time. We can all agree that 1 year is not reasonable.

    Presenting a phone helpdesk as an exclusive privilege is actually outrageous as well. Isn’t some support reasonable to expect?

  • http://dapl.me Dan Palmer

    Having worked in an Apple Premium Reseller (essentially an Apple Store, most people thought we were an actual Apple Store) I can tell you that all of the staff had AppleCare. We knew it was worth it. Also, from my experience, approximately 20-25% of Macs were sold with AppleCare in the store I worked in, but that varied for each staff member.

  • Liz

    I’m SO thankful I bought AppleCare. After only about 6 months of having my MacBook Pro, the logic board had to be replaced. Then just before the 3 years ran out, I took it in again for a review – I’d noticed the fan seemed to be running more often and was quite loud. The Genius reviewed it and didn’t seem to find anything except that my battery wasn’t lasting as expected. I also had replaced the power cord not knowing it was covered by the warranty. I left the machine there overnight, and the next day was told that they were replacing: the battery, the cord, the logic board AND the hard drive. When I got it back, I was told I’d need to reload any software I’d purchased. I went to do so and the optic drive would just spit the disc back out without loading – so it went in again. The optic drive was replaced as well.

    I was concerned about the number of repairs the machine had needed (this being my first Mac ever) and the Genius put a note on my visit indicating he was extending my warranty another 6 months and if anything else went wrong with the same parts I’d had replaced, I’d get a new machine. So far nothing else has happened.

    I’m not someone who could fix those things myself, so AppleCare was DEFINITELY worth it for me.

  • http://www.ianmayman.com/ Ian Mayman

    I’ve had my Macbook Pro for nearly four years. Had a battery problem after six months but nothing else. If it weren’t for the warranty I could have replaced the battery for less than AppleCare.

    For my iPhone however I have bought AppleCare as that costs a lot less and phones face all kinds of extra exposure outdoors. That was a year ago, so two years remaining and I’ve not needed it so far, apart from a minor software usage query that I could have resolved with help on the discussion forums and probably in an Apple store from a passing member of staff.

  • Paul Natsch

    I’ve owned 8 Macs (all desktops) since 1986 and never bought AppleCare for any of them. Never had a problem with any of them that would have made use of AppleCare. Admittedly if there was any insurance I would buy it would be AppleCare but it’s still alot to pay for after spending so much on the Mac in the first place.

    My late 2009 27″ iMac hits the one year mark next month. I have thought about getting AppleCare for it but chances are I’ll let previous experience make my decision for me. Gamble? Yes. But so for said gamble has saved me alot of money.

  • Soyek

    I’ve actually taken what seems to be the highest risk possible. Not only I haven’t bought an AppleCare protection plan, but I’ve even bought my first Mac – Feb’09 MBP17″ – through eBay from another country :)

    The truth is, I’ve bought it completely over my status at the time, sacrificing hell a lot for it. But it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
    It’s hard to believe, but back then (in a month it will be 2 years ago) I saved something around £900/$1400 shipping included – taking average rates for today – by buying it from UK and not in my Poland. Recieved all papers and had valid 1y warranty which I couldn’t afford to extend and which already ended.
    And here I am with absolutely no problems at all with my precious Mac, with only minor keyboard issues I’ve overcome by myself thanks to YouTube, making occasional „spring cleaning” with compressed air and taking care of the system with CleanMyMac and OnyX.

    And You know what? Apple still haven’t managed to make my MBP feel old. It’s as unibody as the latest ones, with the same gorgeous 1200p display, with the same enormous battery which still holds 5 hours for me at 92% health, and with realtime switchable GPU thanks to gfxCardStatus app. The only bad thing I could possibly say about it is that stupid lack of audio output in MDP, which I have to provide to HDMI from Toslink, through special adapter.

    Reading all Your comments I guess I have to be lucky tho’. Time will tell for how long. There’s still one year ahead of me to have a chance to regret not buying AppleCare for the last money in wallet :)

  • C Olson

    I always buy it for resale value alone. I tend to upgrade every two years, and with the AppleCare on it, you can get quite a bit more for it, easily the amount that AppleCare costs, and you get the comfort of having the warranty. It’s also nice if you’re selling the computer to someone who’s a Mac newbie, because then you tell them it’s coming with phone support too!

    Also, when you have problems, Apple tends to go a lot further to make you happy when you have AppleCare, even if it’s a problem within the first year. (Like shipping you a replacement unit instead of repairing a unit that has had multiple problems, etc.) I worked for an Apple Reseller, and having AppleCare always made getting a customer’s complaint dealt with much easier.

  • http://projectplus.ca Luke Chesser

    Legally (at least here in Canada), you could break your mac in the first two years and have it fixed or replaced on Apple’s dime, regardless of paying for applecare insurance. It’s part of the law that any manufacturer or distributor of products are responsible for the product if it fails during a reasonable time period. Since Apple offers a low-cost insurance policy – Applecare, they are essentially stating that the reasonable time period is two or three years, or else it would be financially risky for them to insure their products for such a low price. If you were to take it to court, you’d win easily. However, since it’s a lot of trouble to go to, Applecare and similar insurance plans usually win-out for the simple convenience factor: we don’t all have time to go chasing down managers and lawyers citing the law.

    I’ve never had problems with Apple, but I have had problems with other tech companies and have been able to have expensive products replaced without warranty by contacting high-up executives. In my experience, the lower-down store managers are usually incompetent, but if you go high-up and state your case, they realize the legitimacy of the case in court, the importance of customer satisfaction, and they quite frankly would rather buy you a new product than deal with another 10 complaint emails and the possibility of a court case.

  • http://www.pobox.com/~meta/ mathew

    Consumer Reports recommend extended warranties for laptops. I always buy AppleCare for mine, and sadly it has never failed to be worthwhile…

  • kadie

    Through work I had a MacBook with Applecare and just a few weeks before the warranty expired my monitor stopped turning on. I hadn’t even registered my Applecare, so after calling and setting everything up they had me send in my laptop. In less then a week, after testing my machine and finding many other items that I didn’t even realize were having problems, they returned basically a brand new computer with all the main parts replaced. New logic board, new monitor, new casing (mine had a crack) and several other things. Next time I buy my own machine I will certainly spend the extra money on Applecare and make sure to send it before the warranty expires!

  • http://www.iynque.com iynque

    I can fix software myself. Hardware is another matter and I’m always glad I bought the AppleCare. A dying battery, a frayed power cord, a cracked chip, a disfigured port, etc. Not things I can fix myself, but it’s free and easy with AppleCare.

  • http://pennyauctionsecret.com Alex

    I’ve owned my mac for about 5 years now and have never had issues with it, had I spent money on apple care i think it would of been a wasted investment

  • adam

    applecare is a must. Mine just ended on my black macbook last month. Throughout the course of the three years there were little various things such as the button on the trackpad not clicking bam new top case(three to be exact), random chip in the plastic on the side(new enclosure), literally a week before the three years was up my usb port stopped working so I got a brand new logic board. A new battery because the first one expanded. Also a great addition was the battery charger. I had three overheat on me and break. I’d bring it in and right there a new one. So all in all I’d suggest getting Applecare.

  • http://claytron.com claytron

    I decided not to go with Apple Care on my ’09 Mac Mini, this was a mistake. The logic board went out and the cost for repairs was almost as much as a new mini. In the end I decided to just upgrade (and buy Apple Care this time).

  • Marty

    Yes and always yes for 1 reason – resale. I usually rollover my MBP every 1-2 years and it makes it a million times easier to get a decent price for it.

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