AppleCare for Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Howard54, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. Howard54 macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2009
    Is AppleCare for a Mac Mini worth it?

    The units have a very good reliability rating from what I have read and since there is no monitor, keyboard or mouse to cover it seems expensive at a list price of $149, probably discounted down to around $100 from what I have seen. Either way that is a pretty high % of the unit's purchase price.

    Any thoughts?
  2. 300D macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2009
    Only for laptops.

    At the least, wait until the factory warranty is almost up before considering to buy it.
  3. X1Lightning macrumors 6502


    Feb 19, 2007
    I agree, wait till the end of the factory warranty and then see how well it held up
  4. thestumper macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I would strongly consider it when the one year warranty has almost expired. Normally I would say "no" for an item at this price point, but consider the following:

    1) Apple doesn't exactly have a spotless track record with this latest revision of its product line. Granted, most of the problems seem centered around the iMac, but quality control is a bit suspect at this point IMO.

    2) I had a Mini that I bought for my mother die two months out of warranty. It was a logic board problem (according to Apple) and would have cost around $450 to fix. I paid around $500 for the Mini, so THAT represents a REALLY high percentage of the units purchase price.

    It's not a PC where you can simple toss in replacement components from any reliable supplier - your parts come from Apple and they can charge what they want.

    Wait 11 months and see how things are going, but realize that if you roll the dice and lose, it's an expensive proposition.
  5. knewsom macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2005
    It depends on how long you need the computer for. If you're only going to keep it for a year or two, then no. If you need it for three years, then yeah, it's probably worth it.

    I got the AppleCare on my new iMac, but it was less than 5% of the cost of the computer. I generally won't pay for a warranty if it's more than 10%. Like my Aluminum Macbook, the warranty was $250, the computer cost 1100 bux. Riiiight. SO not gonna happen. If it breaks, I'll buy another one.

    ...but at $100 bux, that's 1/5th or 20% of the mac mini price. Yowch. I dunno I wouldn't, but then, I don't tend to keep computers for more than 2 years, and if I do, I repurpose them, and they're not expected to be reliable. For me, it would not be worth it. For my grandmother, who keeps computers for like 4 or 5 years, it'd be a different story.
  6. Kate. macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2009
    I bought my first Mini in July. The hard drive started dying in November so the Apple Store replaced it with a new machine. That one had a bad hard drive in it, too, so they replaced it with another new machine. AppleCare has definitely been worth it for me.

    I love the Macs I've owned over the past decade but every one of them (an iBook, an iMac, and now three Minis) have all needed some kind of repair and the AppleCare has always paid for itself. Even if something doesn't go wrong, I appreciate the piece of mind it brings. But I like my machines to last at least three years. If you're someone who replaces their computer every couple years, you might not find it necessary.
  7. knewsom macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2005
    Kate, I'm sorry to inform you that all Macs come with one year of AppleCare for free. ...if what happened was AFTER the year was up, then yeah, your Apple Care was worth it. ...if not, then, sorry, maybe it wasn't. :(
  8. Kate. macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2009
    Yes, I realize that. :) My point was just that the Mini's are just as capable of having problems as any other Mac.
  9. Max(IT) Suspended


    Dec 8, 2009
    if you're going to keep it for more than 2 years (as I do), Applecare worth it IMHO
  10. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    The Mini is the most reliable Mac far.
  11. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    in the past i would have said if you had asked for a mini g4 1.42 forget the apple care as there is nothing that can go wrong , but latest quality issues with apple products ...i would not bet on it lasting the first year without problems
  12. archipellago macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2008
    3 minis...

    HDD died
    Logic board failure
    GPU failure....

    nothing Apple make is reliable...

    I love the Macs I've owned over the past decade but every one of them (an iBook, an iMac, and now three Minis) have all needed some kind of repair

    a damning indictment indeed.

    Yet I'm sure that if surveyed you'd think that Apple were great and the best in the world. hence Apple's false satisfaction rate.

    The fact that you have had 5 devices from them at a premium price ALL fail doesn't ring any bells.

    If you bought a car that turned out to be faulty why would you buy the next 4 from them if they all turned out to be faulty?

    you wouldn't...

    yet Apple are different....??

    Amazing how MS get all the bad press and Apple are golden...?

    just shows that in this world in this day and age its' all spin and marketing.. no substance.

    to the OP you are LIKELY to have problems inside 18mths - 2 years....

    your call...
  13. bkspero macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2009
    $60 on eBay

    I agree with some of the other posters that Apple reliability is not the best, and the cost of Apple-specific replacment parts (like the logic board) is very high. So if you can't afford to just throw the Mini away and replace it in the event of a failure, Applecare is a good idea. It is also a good idea if you want technical support from Apple, as the standard warranty only includes 90 days of tech support (as part of the 1 yr parts and labor warranty).

    You can pick up Applecare for the Mac mini for about $60 on eBay. Seems like it could be a recipe for fraud, but fraud would be immediately apparent when the buyer tries to register the Applecare with Apple (as one must do to put it into effect). So the fact that the sellers have thousands of positive feedback entries regarding Applecare purchases convinced me to give it a try for a Mac Pro. Seller emailed me the Applecare number. I registered it, and it went through without a hitch. I then called Apple and they confirmed that everything was proper with my Applecare coverage. So I would not hesitate to buy from someone on eBay who has multiple positive feedback from buyers of Applecare agreements.

    Good luck whatever you decide.
  14. knewsom macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2005
    I've had the opposite experience - I've owned 6 apple computers over the years, two iPhones, and two iPods. The only one that has EVER needed a repair (this list excluding my current iMac) was my Mac Plus.

    The flipside is my new iMac that arrived all sorts of fubar.
  15. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    My experience is the exact opposite. Other than a dead 4 year old laptop battery, I haven't had a single problem with 5 laptops, 4 desktops, and 2 monitors in the past 15 years. A third monitor developed a problem, well out of warranty, but Apple replaced it with a refurbished model free of charge despite it being out of warranty. So I'm not surprised that Apple leads in customer satisfaction.
  16. Max(IT) Suspended


    Dec 8, 2009
    Maybe the problem are you (I mean the enviroment you keep your computers ...).

    I owned something like 6 or 7 Mac's in my life, without a single issue.
  17. ArrowSmith macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2009
    I also chose not to buy the AppleCare because my MacBook is used like a Mac Mini(desktop). I don't ever use it like a laptop. Now you ask, why did I buy a MacBook? Well back in late 2008, the Mac Mini did not have Core 2 Duo.
  18. iSavant macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2007
    I intend to buy Applecare when my Mac mini Server reaches the 10 month point

    It should still be a good server for my purpose at three years old and I fully intend to count on it for at least that long.
  19. Max(IT) Suspended


    Dec 8, 2009
    it is not the way you use it, it is the way it is made. AppleCare do not cover for accidentally drops ...
    A notebook (and a Mini is quite similar to a laptop) is a tiny enclosure with a lot of electronic components (that generates heat) inside. It can has a failure in his lifespan
  20. rigid macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2008
    My imac needed a new video card and logic board after 13 months of I would say applecare is worth it =). It was actually repaired twice, so I kind of saved about $1400 lol.
  21. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...I wonder how that stat is figured as it seems they are the "least sold" model also compared to apple's laptops and other machines...
  22. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    The retailer I use in the UK gives me a 2 year warranty, so I've not bothered. However my current Mini was bought direct from Apple, so I might have a look at Applecare before the warranty runs out.
  23. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    "Least sold" doesn't matter. Reliability is based on % people with reported problems among people who bought the model.
  24. rtrt macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    i think that the way that you use it is one of the factors in the reliabilty of a laptop.

    if used as a portable then they're typically subject to rough handling that most desktops will never see.

    damage that might be more likely to occur includes;

    early hdd failure, case problems - cracking, hinges etc, screen damage... i'm sure there are more examples
  25. knewsom macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2005
    Buy with your AmEx, they'll double the factory warranty.

    Also, look at what companies that buy the mini do - typically corporations go through the trouble of calculating the average failure rate, the cost of repair or replacement, and balancing that with the cost of te extended warranty. Whichever works out to be cheaper, they do. I suggest you do the same.


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