Apple has clarified the terms under which customers can purchase AppleCare+, Apple’s new warranty with accidental damage protection.
The company had issued conflicting requirements under which users need to purchase the plan. Initially, Apple said that the plan had to be purchased at the same time as the iPhone. However, some online orders did not offer AppleCare+ as an option to purchase simultaneously. Additionally, the terms of AppleCare+ mistakenly copied the standard AppleCare term, stating that you must purchase it within the first year, and not simultaneously with the iPhone purchase, as planned.
Apple now says that you have until November 14th to purchase AppleCare+ and activate it on an iPhone. After November 14, you cannot purchase AppleCare+ after purchasing the iPhone; it must be purchased simultaneously after the 14th. This will allow customers and stores time to stock AppleCare+ and offer it simultaneously with new iPhone purchases.
AppleCare+ adds up to two accidental damage replacements over the two-year coverage period. The plan builds upon AppleCare by augmenting its one-additonal-year and technical support coverage, with $49/incident deductibles for accidental damage of the device. Unlike SquareTrade, and other third-party insurance plans, AppleCare+ does not offer replacements for lost or stolen devices.
Apple Retail Stores will begin to clamp down on their previously-generous replacements for iPhone units that are damaged. Due to subsidies, customers would be forced to pay $600, $700, and possibly $800 for replacement units. To combat this, Apple offered “courtesy replacements” and $200 replacements for water-damaged devices when brought into their retail stores. It is not clear if the $200 replacements for screen and water damaged devices will be continued after AppleCare+. However, goodwill and courtesy replacements for free will end effective immediately.
Both AT&T and Verizon offer heightened insurance plans for the iPhone family of devices currently. These plans generally run around $11 per month, and have deductibles ranging from $100 to $200. However, unlike AppleCare, these plans extend beyond two-years and also cover lost and/or stolen devices. Sprint does not currently cover iPhone with its Total Equipment Protection, as we previously covered, and instead will promote AppleCare+ instead. Eventually, Sprint does appear to have planned an introduction of iPhone to its TEP service. However, no timeframe was given and Sprint has declined to comment on their internal memos from our previous report other than to confirm information to consumers.