What does Applecare cover, and is it worth the buy?

The moment comes for all of us. That moment when you’ve settled on the Apple device you’re gonna walk out of the store with, you’re about to swipe your card to seal the deal, and the cashier asks “Do you want to add AppleCare?” No matter how many times you’ve been in this situation, or how prepared you think you are before making the purchase, there is always a moment of hesitation where you debate whether or not to tack on that extra cost.

You will undoubtedly ask yourself “Is AppleCare worth the buy?” But, before you can answer that, you have to ask “what does AppleCare cover?”

We know that not all retailers, or even Apple themselves, make it very clear what all is covered with AppleCare, especially when it comes to the difference among all the products. And without fully understanding what is covered, it’s tough to make a confident decision when the time comes. Hopefully, this article will serve as your guide before making your next Apple purchase.

What Does AppleCare Cover?

what does applecare cover

What does Applecare cover? Honestly, it depends largely on the product you are buying. In this guide we’ve broken it down into iPhones, iPads, Macs, and more.


iPhones outsell all other Apple products, so we’ll start here. So, back to that familiar situation of being asked whether or not you will add AppleCare to your shiny new iPhone – what does AppleCare cover?

Out of the box, AppleCare or not, all iPhones come standard with a one-year limited warranty that covers hardware repair for any malfunction with your phone. So if your screen is working properly, or your home button stops responding, or even if your battery won’t hold a charge, Apple will either repair or replace your device. You’ll also get 90 days of phone and chat technical support.

What you get with AppleCare:

  • Additional year of hardware coverage. Pretty self-explanatory here. Everything that’s covered in that first year of hardware coverage, covered for that second year. This coverage also applies to any include accessories like earbuds. Since many people are on two-year carrier plans this is a great benefit.
  • Coverage for two accidental incidents. iPhones aren’t invisible, and there’s a good chance that you’ll drop it. Given that the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have glass backs, there’s also a good chance that it will break. With Apple Care, you will be covered for two accidental damage incidents, but these are subject to a $29 service fee for screen damage, and $99 for anything else like water damage for the non-waterproof iPhones.
  • 24/7 technical support. Finally, and really, least exciting, you will get 24/7 technical support for the life of the device via phone or chat.

Apple also introduced AppleCare+ with theft and loss along with the 2018 iPhones. With the new program, you get everything mentioned above as well as some protection if your device is lost or stolen. 

What you get with AppleCare+ theft and loss:

  • Everything available with AppleCare. 
  • Replacement devices are available at a reduced cost in case your device gets lost or stolen. In this case, the charges will be – 
    • $269 for the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and iPhone X. 
    • $229 for the iPhone Xr, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 6s Plus.
    • $199 for the iPhone 8, iPhone 7, and iPhone 6s. 
  • Keep in mind that to avail this service, you will need to have the Find My iPhone feature enabled on your smartphone. 

So, is AppleCare worth the buy for iPhones? If you plan on keeping the device for two years, are prone to dropping your device, or just like the comfort of knowing you can get technical help no matter how long you’ve had your phone, then AppleCare might be worth the extra dough.

New MacBook 2016 TouchBar


I just recently purchased a new MacBook and was faced with the question of whether or not to add AppleCare. This seems to be a little bit of a harder decision than when buying an iPhone because though they are portable, there’s much less of a chance of you damaging the actual device. But, technology is technology, and anything can go wrong.

Like iPhones, MacBooks (and all Mac for that matter) come standard with one year of hardware coverage and 90 days of phone and chat technical support. That covers pretty much anything that could go wrong by way of hardware defects such as the battery going bad, hard drive issues, etc.

What you get with AppleCare:

  • An extra two years of hardware coverage. If you plan on using your MacBook for a while, which most people will, you might consider paying for AppleCare to get longer peace-of-mind with your hardware coverage. This also covers the included accessories such as the power adapter.
  • Coverage for two accidental incidents. Though it’s less likely that you will have accidental damage with your MacBook, there is still that chance. You might spill something, or even drop it off your book bag. Or, you could be running away from a stampede of elephants and trip. You just never know. Either way, screen damage or external enclosure damage will cost you a $99 service fee for repair, and any other damage will be a $299 service fee. Fortunately, your MacBook doesn’t have to be repaired by Apple technicians. There are other Apple-authorized technicians that can handle repairs and still accept Apple Pay.One thing worth noting is that this does not cover any damage that is a result of modifications to your machine.
  • 24/7 technical support. Again, not the most exciting thing, but in case you ever have questions about how to use any of the Apple software, need help getting connected a WiFi network, etc. You will have support for the life of the device.

AppleCare coverage for MacBooks is consistent across the lineup, though pricing does vary from $249 to $379. This is likely due in part to the more powerful, more advanced components inside of the newer MacBooks. Even at the higher price, though, the accidental coverage service fees remain the same.


iMacs also come standard with one-year hardware coverage. Surprisingly more affordable at $169, iMac coverage is largely the same as that of MacBooks, so let’s jump straight to it.

What you get with AppleCare:

  • An additional two years of hardware coverage. RAM goes bad, screen isn’t working properly, power adapter has a short – these are all things that will be covered for the first three years of owning the device.
  • Coverage for two accidental incidents. If you accidentally bump into your desk and knock over your iMac (don’t want to know what you are doing), you will be covered for the damage. Like iPhones and MacBooks, damage to the screen or external enclosure will cost you a $99 service fee, and any other damage will cost you a $299 service fee.Again, it’s worth noting here that this does not cover you if you make hardware modifications to your device. If you put in some really cheap components for some reason and it fries your machine, sorry, you’re out of luck. And, since iMacs aren’t exactly portable, you won’t be able to mail in your machine to get it serviced like you can with MacBooks.
  • 24/7 technical support. One cool benefit to having AppleCare for you iMac is that you can request to have a technician come to your workplace to take a look at your Mac. This, obviously, is subject to your location.

Since many people use iMacs for 5-7 years, it’s almost a no-brainer to add this coverage for only $169. That upfront cost and any service fee you might owe is much less expensive than purchasing a new computer altogether.

Apple Care Mac Pro

Mac Pro

If you haven’t noticed a pattern here yet, AppleCare coverage is pretty consistent across the board. At $249, coverage for Mac Pro is roughly the same as that of iMacs. All of this below is in addition to the one year of hardware coverage and 90 days of technical support.

What you get with AppleCare:

  • Two additional years of hardware coverage. This takes your hardware coverage from one year to three years. Seeing as how Apple hasn’t released any updates to this machine since it’s release, it’s safe to say you could use this for a while (unless they release something new and you want to upgrade.)
  • Coverage for two accidental incidents. Like with the iMac, you might get rowdy and bump this off a table or maybe your dog comes barreling through the house and plows into it. With services fees the same as the other products above at $99 for external enclosure damage and $299 for any other damage, accidental coverage might not be necessary but is great for peace-of-mind.
  • 24/7 technical support. Like with the iMac above, you can have a technician come to your place of work to check out your machine is something is going wrong. You also have access via phone or chat whenever you need it.

iPad Pro AppleCare


Back to something a little more fragile. If you’re picking up an iPad in the near future, you’ll definitely want to consider AppleCare. If you’re like me, you might have child handling the device from time to time, and you may also neglect to protect with a case (I’m trying to get better about it, ok?). So, what do you get with AppleCare?

What you get with AppleCare:

  • One additional year of hardware coverage. Purchasing AppleCare will add another year of hardware coverage to the standard one year that you already get. Just like the iPhone coverage, this covers you if the screen malfunctions, the device no longer charges, or if the battery won’t hold a charge.
  • Coverage for two accidental incidents. iPads get toted around almost as much as iPhones, and especially if you’re using them to entertain kids, there’s a good chance they might meet the ground. If so, AppleCare has you covered with a service fee of $49 for any kind of damage, more affordable than that of the iPhone’s plan.
  • 24/7 technical support. In addition to the 90 days you get complimentary, you will

Given that the service fee is a bit more affordable than that of the iPhones and Macs, purchasing AppleCare is something worth considering depending on how you plan on handling the device.

iPod Touch Apple Care


Believe it or not, people do still use iPods. As with the other products on this list, iPods come standard with a one-year hardware warranty and 90 days of technical support. If you’re in the market for an iPod, and are trying to decide whether or not to purchase AppleCare in addition to the warranty you already get, here’s what’s included.

What you get with AppleCare:

  • One additional year of hardware coverage. iPods are great products and will last you a while, so if you want to add a bit of extra security, you have that option. If your headphone jack malfunctions (yes, these still have headphone jacks), battery stops charging or the home button refuses to respond, you’ll be covered under AppleCare. This also covers the included earbuds and charger.
  • Coverage for two accidental incidents. As with any portable device, especially as thin and light as iPods, there’s a good chance of you dropping it onto a hard surface, or into a body of water. Either way, if you want to protect your device against yourself, AppleCare for iPods adds coverage for up to two accidents with a service fee of $29.
  • 24/7 technical support. If you do begin to experience issues with your iPod Touch, you can bring it into a store anytime to have it checked out. You also have unlimited access to phone support if you need help diagnosing an issue or just have a question about something like connecting to WiFi.

iPods are great for kids who aren’t quite old enough to need an actual smartphone, and given that there’s a good chance they will break it, it might not be a bad idea to add AppleCare to protect yourself against expensive repairs.

Apple Watch AppleCare

Apple Watch

Your Apple Watch will literally be exposed to the elements every minute that you wear it. Though your device’s face is relatively resilient with the Iron-X glass, and it’s also water resistant up to 50 meters (Series 3), accidents still happen, and that’s a pretty expensive watch to have unprotected. So if you decide to purchase AppleCare for your Apple Watch, what exactly do you get?

What you get with AppleCare:

  • One additional year of hardware coverage. The standard Apple Watch and the Apple Watch Nike+ come standard with one year of hardware coverage. This, like the other devices in this article, covers you if the battery stops charging, the display craps out, or if any of the included accessories aren’t functioning as they should. With an Apple Watch Edition or Apple Watch Hermes purchase, that standard goes up another year to two years out of the box. Adding AppleCare to any of these watches will get you one extra year of hardware coverage.
  • Coverage for two accidental incidents. Like, I said. Your watch will constantly be exposed to the elements. Bumps, scuffs, scratches or things more serious are all possible to happen. If you want to be covered and avoid paying for a watch replacement in full, adding AppleCare might be a smart play. Given that the Apple Watch Edition and Apple Watch Hermes are made from more premium materials, the service fee for these devices is a bit higher at $79. For the common person’s Apple Watch, the AppleCare service fee will run you a whopping ten dollars less at $69.
  • 24/7 technical support. If your Apple Watch is acting up, you’ll get unlimited access to Apple experts over the phone or in-person with the addition of AppleCare.

Apple TV

Apple TV is a bit of a tougher sell for AppleCare, especially given that it’s pretty unlikely that you’re going to damage the device. It doesn’t matter anyway though because AppleCare for Apple TV doesn’t offer any accidental coverage. So, what does it offer?

What you get with AppleCare:

  • One additional year of hardware coverage. In addition to the one year that comes standard with the product, you’ll get an extra year on top of that to cover the Apple TV itself as well as the included Siri Remote.
  • 24/7 technical support. Can’t figure out how to work your Apple TV, with Apple Care you will have unlimited access to technical support over the phone or via chat.


Not covered under AppleCare, but come with a one-year manufacturer warranty that covers the battery and other hardware malfunctions.

Interestingly enough, one of Apple’s newest products, AirPods, do not have the option for Apple Care. However, they are covered under a similar warranty as the other products. You AirPods will come with a one-year manufacturers warranty which will cover any manufacturing defect such as a faulty battery or speaker. If your products, AirPods or their charging case, malfunction while under warranty, Apple will cover it at no fee. However, if the defect is due to normal wear and tear, you will subject to a $49 fee.

If you damage your AirPods or their charging case while out of warranty, Apple can still repair or replace them for a fee of $69. And, just as everyone fears, if you lose an AirPod or the charging case, you can have it replaced for $69. Or you could just buy headphones that aren’t so easy to lose. Just a thought.

Wrap Up

Hopefully, this article serves as a quick guide as to what exactly is covered for each product that has AppleCare available. When it comes to deciding whether or not to actually buy AppleCare, that’s really your call. Depending on how long you plan on using the device, and what your specific usage is actually like, purchasing AppleCare may make sense. However, if you are the extremely careful, extremely reserved type with your technology, you might take a chance and do without.

Do you have AppleCare on any of your devices? If so, have you ever had to take advantage of the repair service? We would love to hear about your experiences!

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