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AppleCare+ is now available as a monthly subscription for some devices

AppleCare+ Logo
AppleCare+ Logo (Image credit: Apple)

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 (opens in new tab) 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.

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.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.