Is AppleCare+ worth it? I worked at Apple for years, here's everything I learned at the Genius Bar

AppleCare Products
(Image credit: Future / Apple)

AppleCare+ is Apple’s insurance offering for all of its hero products that protects your devices from accidental damage and extends the limited warranty. Throughout my time working at the Genius Bar I was often faced with customers asking if AppleCare+ is worth it or if they should save their cash for an accessory or something else entirely instead.

So I’m here to answer the age-old question: Is AppleCare+ worth it? And should you add the insurance policy to your basket next time you purchase an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, Apple TV, Vision Pro, AirPods, or HomePod?

General AppleCare+ benefits

Before I get into whether or not AppleCare+ is worth it for each individual Apple hero product, we’re going to look at the general benefits of AppleCare+.

AppleCare+ extends your limited warranty beyond the 12 months you get with an Apple purchase. This means that depending on the product you’ll either get two or three years of warranty coverage instead of the regular one-year coverage. If you opt to pay monthly for AppleCare+ you can continuously extend the warranty of your products, fantastic for people who keep their devices for a few years.

AppleCare+ also gives you free battery replacements on products should the battery capacity drop under 80% while still covered by the plan. This is brilliant for iPhones, especially considering that devices are lasting far longer than ever before.

Is AppleCare+ worth it for my iPhone?

iPhone 15 Pro on a tree stump

(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future / Apple)
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AppleCare+ for iPhone prices
ProductAppleCare+ (2 years)AppleCare+ monthlyAppleCare+ with Theft and Loss (2 years)AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss monthly
iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max$199$9.99$269$13.49
iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 14 Plus$179$8.99$249$12.49
iPhone 15, iPhone 14, iPhone 13$149$7.99$219$11.49
iPhone SE (3rd generation)$79$3.99$149$7.49

After years of seeing broken iPhones at the Genius Bar, I think most people should purchase AppleCare+ for their iPhones. Especially on the best iPhones like the iPhone 15 Pro Max, repair costs are astronomical so one mistake without AppleCare+ and you’d wish you had purchased it to begin with. For example, a display repair on a 15 Pro Max costs $379 without AppleCare+ versus $29 with AppleCare+ — a no-brainer for peace of mind as one small mistake and your iPhone repair is nearly half the price of your smartphone.

Nowadays you can pay for AppleCare+ monthly, this is fantastic as the subscription allows you to pay past the 2-year mark extending the warranty of your device indefinitely until you decide to upgrade to a new iPhone like the iPhone 16 when it comes out later this year.

The Theft and Loss AppleCare+ option is slightly more expensive and while it may seem like something worth having to protect your iPhone from being misplaced or stolen there are lots of safety features that should help should this scenario occur. For instance, Find My is required in order for this version of AppleCare+ to remain valid so why pay the extra fee when your iPhone’s last location will be shown regardless? If you’re deeply concerned about theft then paying roughly $70 extra over two years may be worth it for you, but I think this addition devalues the overall value proposition of the program. Additionally, some bank accounts or insurance policies already offer protection against theft and loss, so it might be worth checking with your provider before paying extra for the most premium AppleCare+ tier.

Is AppleCare+ worth it for my iPad?

iPad Pro with M4 chipset

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AppleCare+ for iPad prices
ProductAppleCare+ (2 years)AppleCare+ monthly
iPad Pro 13‑inch (M4)$169$8.49
iPad Pro 11‑inch (M4)$149$7.49
iPad Air 13‑inch (M2)$99$4.99
iPad Air 11‑inch (M2)$79$3.99
iPad, iPad mini$69$3.49

Of all the products Apple sells I can’t think of one more in need of AppleCare+. If you buy an iPad, especially one of the best iPads like the iPad Pro M4 then please add AppleCare+ at checkout. You have 60 days to add the insurance if you opted out at first but the reason I’m so forceful with AppleCare+ for iPad is that iPad repair costs are quite frankly wild.

If you crack the screen of an iPad or damage the chassis, Apple will offer to replace the full unit at costs close to the original price of the device. If you’ve got AppleCare+ however the repair cost varies depending on the model between $29 and $99, saving your bank balance and bringing a source of relief if anything bad was ever to happen to your tablet. In my opinion, AppleCare+ for iPad is a must for all models, especially for parents who purchase one for their kids — trust me I’ve seen children breaking iPads many times and without AppleCare+ it isn’t pretty.

Is AppleCare+ worth it for my Apple Watch?

Apple Watch Ultra 2 Series 9 and Watch SE together

(Image credit: Future / Britta O'Boyle)
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AppleCare+ for Apple Watch prices
ProductAppleCare+ (2 years)AppleCare+ monthly
Apple Watch Ultra 2$99$4.99
Apple Watch Series 9$79$3.99
Apple Watch SE$49$2.49

Ranging from $49 to $99 if you buy two years outright or under $5 a month if you opt for the monthly AppleCare+ subscription, the insurance plan for the best Apple Watch models is definitely worth your consideration. Just like the iPad, Apple Watch models are sent away to the depot for repairs from the Apple Store, and most issues are resolved with a full unit replacement. This means that a broken display on an Apple Watch Ultra 2, for example, ends up costing $499 instead of just $79 with AppleCare+. In other words, break your Watch once with AppleCare+ and the insurance policy has already paid itself off.

Considering your Apple Watch is on your wrist and prone to bashes, especially if used for sport, an AppleCare+ plan feels like a must-buy when picking up your next smartwatch.

Is AppleCare+ worth it for my Mac?

M3 MacBook Pro review

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AppleCare+ for Mac prices
ProductAppleCare+ (3 years)AppleCare+ annually
MacBook Air 13‑inch (M2)$179$64.99
MacBook Air 13‑inch (M3)$199$69.99
MacBook Air 15‑inch (M3)$229$79.99
MacBook Pro 14‑inch$279$99.99
MacBook Pro 16‑inch$399$149.99
Mac mini$99$34.99
Mac Studio$169$59.99
Mac Pro$499$179.99

I never buy AppleCare+ for my Mac and I’m not too sure why. When I was in college I broke the display of my MacBook Pro twice and wished I had AppleCare+ when the huge repair fees were revealed. I think more than the other AppleCare+ plans we’ve discussed this plan really depends on the type of Mac user you are. If you travel a lot and keep your MacBook in a backpack then AppleCare+ will give you peace of mind should something happen on your travels. If you stay at home and only work from your desk then it’s harder to justify the cost of AppleCare+.

AppleCare+ for Mac can be paid annually or three years up front and you get unlimited accidental damage claims throughout that period. Mac repairs can be incredibly expensive so if you’re worried about dropping your Mac or are prone to accidents like spilling your coffee over the keyboard, then an insurance policy like AppleCare+ is well worth the cost. 

With Mac, the extended general warranty really plays a part here too as most people keep their Macs far longer than other Apple products. Not only does your AppleCare+ cover your Mac but it also covers accessories like your power brick, which can be very expensive to replace — a 96W power adapter costs $79 at the Apple Store.

Is AppleCare+ worth it for my AirPods?

AirPods Pro 1 and 2 side by side

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AppleCare+ for Airpods prices
ProductAppleCare+ (2 years)
AirPods, AirPods Pro, Beats$29
AirPods Max$59

You’ll notice a recurring theme here with my AppleCare+ advice: If it’s a product that is used outdoors then I highly recommend picking up the insurance policy. For AirPods and Beats, you’ll spend $29 for two years coverage and if you own the AirPods Max the price is slightly more expensive at $59. That said, none of these plans cover loss and that seems to be the most common problem with the small wireless earbuds.

I always add AppleCare+ to my new AirPods purchases but I have yet to use the services. If you’re the kind of person to lose sleep at night because you paid $29 to cover your AirPods Pro 2 and never used the extra coverage then I’d probably say skip, but otherwise, AppleCare+ for AirPods is well worth the small upfront fee.

Is AppleCare+ worth it for my Vision Pro?

Apple Vision Pro.

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AppleCare+ for Vision Pro prices
ProductAppleCare+ (2 years)AppleCare+ monthly
Vision Pro$499$24.99

Yes. If you’ve spent over $3,500 with tax for a spatial computing headset then you should spend $24.99 a month or $499 for two years of AppleCare+ coverage. Why am I so sure about this? Well, the repair costs for accidental damage on Apple Vision Pro are astronomical ($799 for the front glass or $2,399 for any other physical damage), yes the price of AppleCare+ is expensive and the excess is $299 but if you’ve got the cash to burn on Apple’s first generation spatial computer then why not pay that little bit more to protect it?

When I tested the Apple Vision Pro in the Apple Store I thought about the times I’d maybe move instinctively or trip on something that could cause the headset to break and I think everyone who’s investing in this new Apple product should cover their backs just in case disaster strikes. You’ve spent thousands already, what’s a few hundred dollars more?

Is AppleCare+ worth it for my Apple TV?

Apple TV 4K 2022 box on a counter

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AppleCare+ for Apple TV prices
ProductAppleCare+ (3 years)
Apple TV$29

AppleCare+ for Apple TV is only $29 for three years but I honestly don’t think I would ever buy it for myself or for a loved one. Yes, you’ll get all the benefits of AppleCare+ and coverage on the remote as well, but considering the small black box is usually very reliable and won’t be moving around your home regularly I don’t see the need for paying extra.

In my time working at the Genius Bar, I never saw accidental damage on an Apple TV, there were often software faults that required resets but I also never saw any hardware issues. Obviously your mileage will differ depending on your usage but I think you’re best saving $29 unless you’re worried about the longevity of the product or you have young kids that might want to snatch it from under the TV.

Is AppleCare+ worth it for my HomePod?

Apple HomePod 2 in black

(Image credit: Future / Stephen Warwick)
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AppleCare+ for HomePod prices
ProductAppleCare+ (2 years)
HomePod mini$15

Just like the Apple TV, I don’t see the need for AppleCare+ for HomePod. The main benefit is the extension of the limited warranty as all HomePod hardware repairs need to be sent to Apple’s depot from the Apple Store.

If you’re concerned about the longevity of your HomePod then the low upfront cost for AppleCare+ may be worth it, but you can’t extend past the two-year warranty so it may just be wasted cash. I would hope most people’s HomePods last longer than two years and considering they are in a static position in your household, you’d be very unlucky to need to use an accidental damage claim. You’ll need to weigh up if the extra $15 for HomePod mini or $39 for HomePod 2 is worth another year’s coverage but for me, I think I’d pass and replace when the speaker stops working altogether.

John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself. Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings. John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.  John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit. 

  • Just_Me_D
    It is indeed worth it, especially if you're prone to drop your device or you often let children play with it.
  • FFR
    À complete no brainer
  • Just_Me_D
    If the question was "Should you get Apple Care + then I would advise the following:

    1. Yes, if it's financially feasible
    2. Yes, if you're prone to drop your device or you often let kids play with it.
    3. Not really, if you have a backup device.
    4. No if you don't think you need it.
  • Bannana2000
    I think you math is off-
    “a display repair on a 15 Pro Max costs $379 without AppleCare+ versus $29 with AppleCare+”

    The cost of screen repair with AppleCare+ is $29 plus ~$100 a year.

    The cost of NOT breaking your screen with AppleCare+ ~$100 a year.

    For this article to be meaningful, you need to know the chance of breaking your phone in order to calculate the true expected cost.
  • HowardBrazee
    I have AppleCare for my iMac. I dropped it and have a crack in the face. I don't normally notice it, but I'd be willing to spend the $100 to fix it, but I'm not willing to give up my computer for the time it would take to fix it.
  • pRose
    poor article. insurance is all about making money. if one can afford to not have insurance, then do not have it. even with his years of experience at a genius bar, there is no mention of the units sold v. how many get broken. these empirical observations do not really deal with what the true sample size is, and therefore i am completely suspect of any conclusions done here.