Switch to iPhone: For Apple Store and AppleCare

There's never been a better time to switch to iPhone. Whether you're tempted for yourself or looking to help the Android user in your life, the all-new, all-better iPhone 6 and iPhone-6-plus make the move more compelling than ever — especially when you add the value of Apple Stores and AppleCare.

A Genius in every store

Not everyone lives near an Apple Store. If you don't, Apple has really good phone and online support. If you do, however, they have Genius Bars and a lot more. When Apple built-out the Apple Stores they did something unprecedented — they put a Genius Bar at the back of every one. Instead of more shelf or display space, instead of more revenue generating products or money-collecting registers, they spent valuable real estate on a place where customers could come in and, for free, get help with their Apple devices.

A couple of years ago I went to an New Year's eve party. Just as it got close to midnight, something went wrong and one of the fireworks came hurtling at me. Sparks bounced off my jacket and landed on the screen of my iPhone. Yes, I'd been Instagraming some of the pictures I'd taken. I brushed the screen off but it felt funny. It felt rough. I though it was just dirty but no matter what I did, the roughness remained. It was almost as the though the fireworks had melted or mangled the coating on the screen.

A few days later I took it into the Genius Bar at the local Apple Retail Store. The genius looked it over and then said he would swap it out for a new iPhone. I got a stern lecture about how I should take better care of my devices, but the entire exchange was very quick and I was, of course, delighted. I entered my iCloud ID, my backup downloaded, and within less than an hour I was out of the Apple Store with my new iPhone, screen intact.

I then walked over to my carrier store to get something taken care of with my bill. I waited in line behind a gentleman who was having an issue with his non-iPhone. The carrier rep told him he'd have to mail it away, get an estimate, agree to the estimate, wait for the repair, and then have it mailed back. The rep estimated two weeks, and said there weren't even any phones to lend him while it was gone.

The contrast was striking.

I've told this story before and every time I do I'm flooded with responses from people who've had similar experiences — something goes wrong with their iPhones, they take it to the Genius Bar, and it gets fixed. Often, though not always, at no charge.

Every iPhone sold by Apple comes with a one year AppleCare hardware warranty and 90 days of complimentary support. For $100 you can extend that to AppleCare+ which provides for two full years of hardware warranty and support, and includes steep discounts on repairs even for accidental damage.

The peace of mind that comes from knowing that if one of the most important tools for your daily life, your phone, has a problem, you can go somewhere, talk to a real person, and get it fixed is invaluable. And Apple Store Genius Bars do it every day.

It's part of the value you get when you buy an iPhone. You can get cheaper Android phones, but you can also get phones from Samsung and others that cost every bit as much as an iPhone. None of them include the value of an Apple Store or Genius Bar.

That exactly what one of our readers, duncanator, made sure to point out:

The most recent Nexus 5 had a GPS issue that I just ended up fixing myself. I know that with an Apple device that I can just take it to my apple store and they will take care of me. That is a big part of the experience that cannot be overlooked.

Hands-on help

Apple Stores also offer shopping assistance, if you're not sure which model, color, or capacity you want to buy and you want to see all the options and have them explained to you in person. Once you buy, Apple Stores offer free help setting up your new iPhone, including moving data over from your old device.

What's more, Apple Stores offer free workshops on how to use all the basic features of your iPhone, how to use your iPhone with your Mac, iCloud, iTunes, iBooks, and the App Store, iPhone photography, and apps like GarageBand, iMovie, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

For an extra $100 you can even get one-on-one training sessions for an entire year. My mom tried out One on One out after getting her iPhone last year:

My specialist asked what I wanted to learn, I told her, and we began our session. Her technical knowledge was outstanding and what's more, because I'd said I was a visual learner and because she was an artist, she not only showed me what to do on my iPhone but drew diagrams and notes for me on paper that I could take with me as reminders.

One of our readers, acondax followed up with the tremendous value of One on One, even for the tech-savy:

About 5 years ago I purchased a One To One membership at my local Apple Retail Store and I used it to learn pro apps such as Final Cut 7, Motion and the Logic suite.Whereas similar courses can cost hundreds of dollars when taking into account the number of hours (even online training like Lynda), a full year costs $99. I definitely got my money's worth during that year and I had some of the best trainers who were there to address my specific questions and teach me the apps in and out.Fast forward a year and I landed my first job as a video editor so that money easily paid for itself.

Being able to not only find the perfect iPhone for you, but learn how to use it, all freely or inexpensively, and all from trained professionals whose only goal is to help you get more out of your experience, like AppleCare, is invaluable.

And again, it's something competitors like Samsung, Motorola, HTC, LG, and others simply can't match, on cheaper or similarly priced phones.

Time to switch!

Apple can be conservative when it comes to things that reduce battery life. When it comes to providing the most advanced technologies, however, especially when they improve performance, power efficiency, and security, Apple races ahead. That's great news for consumers, because it means we can get an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus not only with an incredibly fast Apple A8 processor, but with Touch ID and Apple Pay as well. And those are just two of the benefits of switching to iPhone.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.