The value of AppleCare
June 28, 2011
Not typically a fan of extended warranties, we do make an exception: AppleCare. And that’s because had we not invested in AppleCare in the past, we would have been royally screwed. This, contrary to the Apple-products-are-rock-solid belief that many, including Shawn Blanc, share:
For the record, I bought AppleCare once. It was for my first Mac; a 12-inch PowerBook. I never needed AppleCare for that Mac, nor have I needed AppleCare for any other Apple computer or device I’ve owned since then.
Shawn’s an Apple enthusiast, so we can assume he’s owned his fare share of Apple devices. Still, our own experience has made AppleCare invaluable, as we can’t even remember every time some Apple device needed this or that fixed/replaced. But, off the top of our head:
- Our iPod Mini needed replacement after the battery stopped, well, charging.
- The RAM in our 17” Powerbook needed to be replaced after the computer stopped booting.
- The logic board in our 17” Powerbook needed to be replaced after the screen developed random, horizontal lines.
- Our iPhone 3GS needed replacing after it stopped turning on.
- The RAM in out 17” MacBook Pro needed to be replaced after the computer stopped booting.
- The logic board on our 17” MacBook Pro needed to be replaced after the computer stopped booting.
- The battery on our 17” MacBook Pro needed to be replaced after it exploded.1
- Our TimeCapsule’s hard drive died and needed to be replaced.
It’s not even that we beat up on our hardware - we’re actually quite anal about our equipment staying in a pretty pristine condition. And again, this is just off the top of our head, as we’re fairly certain that we brought our 17” monsters into a local Apple Store more than this in order to get stuff fixed. Between these problems and those our friends/family have encountered over the last several years, we consider AppleCare a pretty good deal, as we’re well ahead in what we otherwise would have paid on getting things fixed outside of the basic Apple warranty.
Mind you, this isn’t to say that Apple quality sucks (because we still consider Apple gear better than competing products), merely that any sufficiently complex technological device is bound to have problems. We’re just on the opposite end of the spectrum than Shawn, who has apparently been very lucky with his Apple gear.2 We’ve had no problems with our more recent Apple purchases (Mac Mini, iPhone 4, iPad, and iPad 2), but three out of four are different beasts compared to traditional Apple computers. If anything, we’d recommend AppleCare for any traditional Apple computer purchase, but may be hesitant to recommend it for Apple mobile devices.
The battery developed a huge bulge, which stressed the casing and prevented optical media from ejecting properly. Another “known” issue. ↩
Admittedly, we were lucky with our original 15” Powerbook, which despite a broken hinge (it fell) still manages to run flawlessly. Our original iPod, also, was rock-solid over the years, and unlike our other Apple equipment, was bought used and saw considerable wear out and about. ↩