First of all, DISCLAIMER: I do NOT work for Apple! There is no reason I would tell you to buy something unless I’d do it myself. We are an independent business helping people who own Apple products to get the most out of their investment. That includes upgrading older Macs–the Genius Bar won’t see you if your Mac is older than 5, by the way–and helping our clients master all kinds of technology challenges in their Apple world. So, why would I suggest buying AppleCare? Isn’t that like an extended warranty for suckers?
1. The number one reason is, Apple products are becoming more and more difficult to work on. Some components on newer Macs are impossible to replace, while others are extremely labor intensive. This means, in some cases, you will spend more trying to fix something than to replace the computer! Can you imagine if you had to replace your car if you got a flat tire? It’s like that.
This sounds outrageous, but take the example of the MacBook Pro. Up until 2012 it has been relatively easy to upgrade memory, hard drive, and battery. Even the display can be replaced without too much sweat. But around 2013-2014 and later, the SSDs and RAM started becoming soldered onto the board so those parts are no longer upgradable. So if something goes wrong, that’s a Logic Board replacement, and those get into the high 3-4 digit costs when you factor in labor! Not to mention all the time you lose. And, the batteries are glued into the case with extra-strong adhesive, so you risk damaging your computer should you attempt to replace a battery. This has already come up a few times in our shop. If they had AppleCare–boom–it would’ve been covered. Now, instead of a $99 battery replacement, they are looking at a very costly replacement of the entire top case.
2. If you plan on keeping your computer for at least 3-5 years–and most Macs run for a good 7-10 years–it’s a good investment to guarantee you’re covered for at least the first 3 years.
Many headaches can be avoided if you have AppleCare and can simply get a replacement computer within warranty. Now…with all that being said, AppleCare is NOT for everyone!
When you should NOT buy AppleCare
1. If you plan on replacing your computer within 1-3 years anyway. In some high-productivity and professional environments, computers are replaced frequently. In this case, having a 3 year warranty probably won’t serve you–although it does help the value if you resell it.
2. If you are “bad with technology,” reckless, or accident-prone. If this describes you, whether you like it or not, it is likely you will void your warranty by spilling something on the keyboard, dropping the computer, or some freak accident. Spending the extra money on AppleCare will not help you because accidental damage is not covered!
In short, protect that fancy piece of equipment you’re investing in, and it just might save you down the road!