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What you need to know

  • AppleCare+ can now be bought as a subscription.
  • The subscription automatically renews unless cancelled.
  • Paying via subscription costs more.

Apple has updated the way AppleCare+ can be bought on iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches. Following the change customers can pay for AppleCare+ via an ongoing subscription, rather than paying upfront.

Apple previously allowed customers to pay for a two or three-year fixed period via monthly payments, but that is no longer available. Instead, the new subscription model doesn't appear to have an end date and could theoretically be used to cover products that are beyond their initial two or three year coverage.

The change was found after an AppleCare+ legal document was updated and then spotted by a 9to5Mac reader.

For Monthly Plans, your Plan Term is one (1) month. Your Plan will automatically renew each month unless cancelled as set forth in the "Cancellation" Section 9 below, including in the event that Apple is no longer able to service your Covered Equipment due to the unavailability of service parts, in which case Apple will provide you with thirty (30) days' prior written notice of cancellation, or as otherwise required by law.

Perhaps oddly, the new subscription payments aren't available on Macs or accessories – including the recent addition of AppleCare+ for headphones.

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It is however worth noting that paying for AppleCare+ monthly appears to be more costly than paying upfront. At the time of writing AppleCare+ for an iPhone XR would cost $149 for two years of coverage. Paying the monthly fee for the same period would cost $191. Pricing for the new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max isn't yet available.

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