Does it matter when I buy Applecare?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Pngwyn, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2008
    So I just bought a new iMac and opted not to get Applecare.. now I'm looking it over and it doesn't seem like such a bad deal.

    I'm just wondering if the 3 year coverage going to overlap the 1 year built in warranty (making it a 2 year warranty that I'm buying) or does the 3 year period only start after the original warranty is over?
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2010
    It extends the original warranty an additional 2 years making 3 years total.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2007
    Boston, MA USA
    The coverage is from the original purchase date, regardless of when you purchase it. There's also a deadline for when you have to purchase it by, though I'm not sure what it is now. I think it used to be a year, and perhaps still is, though I believe it's a lot shorter for iPhones now, so I'm not sure if computers are shorter now too.
  4. macrumors 603


    Depends where you are located, some countries have more than 1 year warranty.
  5. Pngwyn, Dec 27, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012

    thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2008
    So in reality it's paying for 2 years of extra service and not 3.. I need to consider if that's worth it :\

    You guys think a new 27" iMac is really at risk of failure within the first 3 years?

    Well good thing I have a year to decide
  6. macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2009
    I think it certainly makes sense for laptops, which tend to be failure prone, but I'd guess it can come in handy for iMacs too. Also, there used to be some clause about it also covering a TimeCapsule if purchased in addition to the computer (maybe not even the same purchase). Check out the fine print of the contract.

    But in general, you don't want to buy it until near the end of your regular Apple warranty, because there is always the possibility that the computer will be accidentally destroyed or lost in a manner not covered by Applecare. In my friend's experience, that involved spilling a glass of orange juice into the bag with her laptop.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    A Hebrew

    Jan 7, 2012
    Unless you want the phone service after 90 days of purchase, there is no real reason to get it right away other than it is better to get it done sooner than later.
  8. macrumors regular

    Jul 4, 2011
    Denton, TX
    I bought it for my MBP on about day 362 with no problems.
  9. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac or Apple Display

    • You can buy AppleCare any time during the first year warranty period, so you don't have to buy it at time of purchase.
    • You can check your remaining warranty and/or AppleCare coverage here
    • AppleCare will extend the 1 year warranty for an additional 2 years, for a total of 3 years coverage from the date of your Mac purchase.
      It also extends telephone support from 90 days, which is included with your original warranty, to a total of 3 years.
    • AppleCare follows the device, not the owner. When a Mac changes hands, the AppleCare coverage still applies to the computer. There is no need to "register" the new owner in order to receive coverage.
    • You cannot buy AppleCare again or renew it once it expires.
    • Neither the Apple Warranty nor AppleCare will cover damage from accidents, spills, etc. They only cover manufacturing defects.
    • AppleCare+ provides some coverage for accidental damage, but is only available for the iPad and iPhone, not for Apple computers.
    • Neither the Apple Warranty nor AppleCare will cover batteries that have worn out. They only cover defective batteries.
    • You can buy AppleCare from Apple or from other sources, such as Amazon, B&H Photo Video, L.A. Computer Company and others. Exercise caution when buying from sites such as eBay, as some AppleCare offers have been scams.
    • For more detailed questions, read the AppleCare Protection Plan (pdf) agreement.

    As to whether AppleCare is worth it or not, that's a matter of opinion. You'll find lots of opinions on both sides, with roughly 75% saying it's worth it. You really need to decide if it's worth it to you. If you want more information, you can search the forum, where you'll find dozens, if not hundreds of threads asking "is AppleCare worth it?" The overall consensus seems to be about 75% in favor of it.
  10. macrumors 68020


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
    don't forget it's free phone support as well and there were a few times when my time capsule kept erasing all my media but because i bought it when i bought my mbp with apple care they walked me through it over the phone,that was a big help and it's for 3 years instead of 90 days
  11. macrumors 601


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    One other point to consider is how you paid for the iMac. If you used a credit card that offers an extended warranty program, then that should factor into your decision.

    For me, I always buy my electronics and computer gear with my Amex card. I'm familiar with their programs and they offer a doubling of the manufacturer's original warranty for free (well, there is an annual fee for the card itself). Other credit cards have their own programs as well ... typically they add a second year.

    So for me, the decision is whether I feel the money is worth having the 3rd year of coverage. I don't put any value to the 90-day phone support as I live close to 3 Apple Stores and have the power of Macrumors to help on other issues. Plus I'm pretty tech savvy and can fix most problems myself.

    Be sure to check the fine print ... in the case of Amex, the entire purchase has to be charged to the card, so if you use a gift card for a portion of the purchase, then the program doesn't apply.

  12. macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2005
    Never Ender
    Are you a student by chance? If so you can buy AppleCare for a pretty reasonable price ($119 instead of $169).
  13. macrumors 68040


    Dec 19, 2004
    Consider that extended warranties generate huge profit margins for companies. True you do run the risk of failure and that failure can be costly. If you look at the long term cost of warranties. You'll have spent much more money on warranties in a lifetime than you would have on repairs and no warranties.

    When I worked in retail the profit margin on warranties was 70%.

    For the most part electronics fail right away or last much longer than their warranties. I've owned quite a few computers, TV's and stereos. Rarely has one had a hardware failure. Most of my audio equipment in my house is over 20 years old and still used regularly. Computers last until woefully obsolete and stored away.

    Large appliances on the other hand I do buy warranties for. My family really puts them through the ringer. Every one has had at least one major failure. Where just the parts cost more than the warranty.
  14. macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2012
    To answer your question, it is indeed possible. I have a late 2007 24" Imac and did purchase the Applecare. Think about the cost to total spend.

    I used the phone support several times though I did find that most users are smarter than level 1 support or Apple Store Genius reps. After 4 months of use (switched from windows), I was teaching them.

    Also, my hard drive did die in month 6. Apple sent a tech to my house (60 miles at the time) to fix it onsite and didn't charge me a dime. I was down for a total of 2 days. I would note that the 2nd hard drive died in year 4 which I replaced myself. Back then, Apple used Seagates which were awful. I don't know if they still do but my current Western Digital drive has been running for better than a year without issue.

    In the end, it is really your gamble but I always run under the assumption that all hard drives die at some point. Multiple backups are essential.

    Hope this helps.
  15. macrumors 603

    Feb 20, 2009
    "Does it matter when I buy Applecare?"

    It might.

    If you buy AppleCare, you want to buy a "sealed box" with the registration number printed on the outside.

    What you DO NOT want to buy is "ebay AppleCare" (if indeed anyone still sells it), where the seller DOES NOT send you a sealed box, but instead emails you a "registration code".

    This was a long-running scam a few years' back, and I sense more than a few folks got burned by it. The scammers used "code generators" to create false (but "enter-able") registration codes. Later on, when a user tried to actually use the AppleCare, Apple would come back and state that the original code was not valid, and the user was left hanging...
  16. Pngwyn, Dec 31, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012

    thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2008
    Thanks everyone for the responses! Here's an update:

    I bought applecare for the student discount which I thought was a great deal. I actually did purchase my iMac with AMEX so I'm kinda bummed I'm only actually paying for 1 year of extra warranty and the unnecessary (in my case) phone service.

    If the Applecare is being shipped to me is it still possible to return it when I receive it? I am heavily considering it.. I've always thought warranties are a waste of money too, but aren't iMac parts potentially much more expensive than the student discounted Applecare?
  17. macrumors G5


    Nov 25, 2005
    1. Where do you live? What are consumer rights in your country like? That makes a huge difference.

    2. If your Mac has problems in the first 12 months that are fixed under warranty, then I'd say it is more likely that it will have further problems in the next 24 months (depends on the problem, obviously). If your Mac has no problems at all in the first 12 months then it's more likely to have no problems later on.

    3. If you buy an iMac and Apple Care and it breaks after 35 months, it gets fixed for free and you have a 35 month old repaired iMac. If you don't buy Apple Care and it breaks after 35 months, worst case you buy a new iMac, the money you saved on Apple Care pays some part, and you have a brand new and probably much better Mac.

    4. Always keep backups.
  18. IronManFanatic, Jan 11, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014

    macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2014
    Did You End up Returning AC?

    Did you end up returning AC? I too, also got AC for a student discounted price (at a local retailer - paid AUD $190 10% JB deal), though after reading my Statutory warranties in Australia, we should have free hardware repair for 24 months and beyond as stated here. (

    I never wanted AC, it was just thrown in to the deal, I thought it was a good deal, since Apple sells it for $229 (student discount and $270 for non-students ( Ended up saving $40, but for something I was never going to buy, I just lit $190 on fire for something I would potentially never need. I would rather save the money myself, or put it towards a RAM or SSD (next model up) upgrade.

    ~$1600 was my mark for buying a new rMBP Haswell laptop. Ended up paying $1663 for a 10% discounted Haswell rMBP (2.4/8/256) + $190 for AC, so $1853 all up, which was starting to push my price point. Note, Apple sells this model for $1729 w/ student pricing (

    For Australians, the way the ACCC handles this is extremely sketchy. Some people are saying a 'reasonable time' is equal to 36 months, some are saying 24 months. :/ (

    Seems like Apple are just hoping that their consumers will just fall towards their AppleCare plan because it makes things 'much easier' (3 yr Phone support, terms and conds. are easily marketed in Apples favour - []) and more widespread (Globally) to seek repairs, rather than go by what local Governments' Statutory warranties/guarantees state.

    tl;dr: Apple has to repair faulty hardware (for free) within 24 months or beyond; only on Australian soil (provided the defect is caused by wear and tear, and not purposely/accidentally (a fall) damaged(?), i.e. a manufacturing defect). If you're a person who wants extended phone support or just another 3rd year of warranty, then get AppleCare.

    I feel like returning AC, I wasn't even planning to initially get it.

    Also, I love the wording Apple has used. 'The AppleCare Protection Plan provides up to three years of additional hardware service options'. Sneaky. > 'up to'. I'm guessing they can avoid a lot of legal disputes with that wording; for potential customers who bought AC and find out that they actually had 24-months+ warranty enforced by the ACCC and want to complain about it.

    Here's a good article for Australian residents.
  19. macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Any repair you have to pay for is likely going to cost more than the price of AppleCare for an iMac. This includes Apple replacing the HD.
  20. koa
    macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2005
    If you used an AmEx card you actually have four years total coverage. First year uses the warranty that came with computer, second and third year covered by AppleCare and fourth year is covered by AmEx, which is really easy to deal with.
  21. Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    Kite flying
    Read the helpful and informative post written by GGJstudios, above, as it is a very useful and informative one on the topic of Applecare.

    For what it is worth, I'm a big fan of Applecare. Firstly, it gives peace of mind for three years.

    Secondly, I have had cause to use it on almost all of my computers, and Apple parts are expensive. A complete HDD failure on a MBP (in the third year) was dealt with without fuss under Applecare, and I have had to replace keyboards on two different MBAs, and a Magsafe on one. Replacement parts for Apple are quite expensive, and my experience is that over the course of three years, the Applecare has usually paid for itself.

    Moreover, it is also helpful if one wants to sell an Apple Mac computer; my timeframe for computers is three years - the exact same cycle as Applecare. Therefore, before Applecare expires I have either replaced or sold (or, as has also happened, gifted) my computer while there is still a few months of Applecare on it.

    Finally, it does matter when you buy Applecare. You must buy it within the first year - in other words, before your first year of ownership of the computer has expired. You cannot buy it subsequently.
  22. macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    AppleCare has saved me so many time on my MacBook Pro. I know the price of AppleCare might seem disappointing, but think about it like this: you will not have to worry about the computer at all for the next few years.

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