AppleCare is the technology support and coverage service offered for hardware made by Apple Inc. It is included free of additional charge with all newly purchased Apple products (iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, iPod, Macbook, and Apple Displays) and included accessories (earbuds, power cords, and batteries) through a limited one-year warranty and 90-day period of telephone technical support. Within the first year of ownership, it is possible to extend coverage for two additional years through purchase of the AppleCare Protection Plan for Macs or AppleCare + for iPhones and iPads.
Service is provided through on site-repairs at the Genius Bar, located in a retail Apple Store. Alternatively, after speaking to an AppleCare representative on the phone or Apple website, devices may be mailed to an Apple repair center for service. Products that cannot be repaired are replaced with new or refurbished products.
For Macs, certain software support is included, such as OS X, iLife, and iWork. For iPhones and iOS devices, software support currently covers iOS, iCloud, and Apple-branded apps like iTunes, Facetime, Mail, and Calendar. AppleCare does not cover accidental damage such as drops, spills, or liquid immersion, as well as loss or theft of devices.
AppleCare Protection Plan
Users wanting longer coverage than the standard amount included have the additional option to extend this cover by purchasing an AppleCare Protection Plan.
The AppleCare Protection Plan is sold by Apple and its authorized resellers. It is available for purchase with every major piece of Apple hardware, including smaller devices and computers, along with many of their accessories. An AppleCare Protection Plan can be purchased at the same time as the hardware, or separately after the original hardware purchase, as long as the original Apple hardware warranty is active, usually within the first year. However for iPhones and iPads, in territories where the product is branded AppleCare+, the plan has to be purchased within 60 days of buying the device concerned.
For all hardware devices, following the included 90-day telephone/Internet support and one year hardware warranty, buying the AppleCare Protection Plan for a Mac computer or a separate AppleCare Protection Plan for Apple displays extends both support and hardware to three years, while buying AppleCare+ for iPods and other iOS devices can extend both support and hardware to two years. Extended coverage under the Protection Plan is available for the Apple Watch for either two or three years, depending on the particular model of the device. Other Apple hardware accessories have similar AppleCare Protection Plans available and generally extend cover for up to two years following purchase.
AppleCare does not cover accidental damage (such as drops, spills, or liquid immersion), but in territories where the extended AppleCare Protection Plan product is branded AppleCare+ for iPhone and iPad, higher cover is offered for accidental handling damage, for an additional service fee per incident, at up to two incidents per plan holder.
Included Mac accessory coverage
Users who purchase an AppleCare Protection Plan with any Mac computer are also automatically entitled to receive coverage for some other related Apple accessories. Along with coverage for the Mac, any additional Apple display is covered (must be purchased at same time as the Mac though), and/or any Apple AirPort device, e.g. AirPort Express Base Station, AirPort Extreme Base Station, or Time Capsule (although the AirPort device or Time Capsule must be purchased up to two years before the Mac purchase or during the term of the AppleCare Protection Plan coverage).
There are several third-party warranty providers, along with traditional insurance providers, that will also cover Apple products. Some may include accident, loss, and theft coverage as well as hardware failure. Some major retailers that sell Apple products sell their own extended service plans as well.
Overall, technology critics state that the AppleCare Protection Plan is worth the purchase. While largely immobile Mac Desktops may not require extended coverage, portable devices such as Macbooks, iPhones, and iPads benefit from a longer period of repair in comparison to the purchase of a brand new device.
AppleCare Extended Service
In some countries or areas, such as parts of Latin America, where there are no Apple offices, the "AppleCare Extended Service" product is instead available, which offers the same hardware warranty without the phone/Internet support.
AppleCare and EU legislation
Local regulations in parts of Europe gives consumers a minimum of two years warranty on hardware defects, which overlaps the benefits of AppleCare. This effectively means that an AppleCare Protection Plan still extends phone/Internet support from 90 days on all devices. However no additional benefit is derived from purchasing an Apple Protection Plan on those devices where the Plan would only cover hardware for two years anyway. However, for Mac computers with or without any additional included covered Mac accessories, (or separately purchased Apple monitors with their own purchased Apple Protection Plan) this still extends cover to a third year from the statutory two years.
In Italy, Apple has been accused of failing to inform customers about their rights.
- "AppleCare Products". Apple Inc. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
- "AppleCare+ for iPhone".
- "AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac or Apple Display". Apple Inc.
- "AppleCare for Apple Watch". Apple Inc.
- Jon Seff. "Is AppleCare worth it?". MacWorld. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
- "Apple Italy throws up ruling on its store site". The Register.
- Apple - AppleCare products and services
- Apple Products and Statutory Warranty
- European Consumers Centres Network
- APP Mac North America
- Embedded Mac Warranty USA