Do I Need Apple Care for Macs?

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Do I need Apple Care for Macs? This is a prudent question that you should ask yourself when you are just about ready to purchase a new Mac. or even if your Mac’s one year warranty is still valid. Since Apple Care plans can cost anywhere from $149 (for a Mac Mini) to $349 (for a MacBook Pro), it makes sense to put some thought into what will be a fairly expensive purchase.

First of all, what does Apple Care cover?

When you purchase a Mac without Apple Care, you get a 1 year warranty and 90 days of one-to-one telephone support from Apple, telephone support that will address your queries about both hardware and software problems related to your Mac. Now, when you decide to purchase extended support by purchasing Apple Care, you will be extending your warranty to three years and your one on one phone support facility will also be extended for a period of three years.

Apple Care will basically honor all problems with your Mac, whether hardware or software, by replacing, repairing or by helping you troubleshoot issues over the phone.

However, Apple Care WILL NOT cover damages caused by you. In other words, if your MacBook Pro’s display suddenly shows up pixels that just won’t go away, Apple Care will replace your MacBook Pro’s display or your entire MacBook Pro itself.  On the other hand, if you dropped your MacBook Pro and have shattered the screen, Apple Care won’t be able to do much, hardly anything actually.

Apple Care – What it can do for your Mac?

  • Provide onsite repair, mail in repair and carry in repair services (for problems that you did not cause)
  • Provide you with repair service anywhere in the globe
  • Provide repair coverage for your Mac, your Mac’s power adapter, RAM, camera, mic, speakers, display, HDD and other major components
  • Provide OS X, iLife and iWork software support
  • Provide support to help you connect printers to AirPort
  • Provide direct phone access to Apple Experts

Apple Care – When it makes sense?

  • Expensive Mac purchases – If you are purchasing very expensive Macs, like say a $10,000 Mac Pro, it would be a very poor decision to not invest in Apple Care as an Apple Care signup can potentially help you replace your $10,000 Mac Pro for $349, should something go terribly wrong with your Mac Pro, without you being at fault of course
  • When you don’t know much about Mac hardware and software – If you are a complete amateur when it comes to running a computer, not knowing how to do things like free up disk space, re-install your OS X or figure out simple hardware fixes for your Mac’s problems, an Apple Care purchase might be a smart decision as Apple Care provides you with award winning and courteous phone support
  • When you are buying refurbished Macs – Refurbished Macs sold through the Apple store are remarkably durable, just as how new Macs from Apple are. However, if they are being discounted and sold as refurbished, it only makes logical sense that they would need Apple Care more than when you buy a brand new Mac
  • If you use portable Macs – If you are buying an expensive MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, you are probably going to haul it around a lot, to work, to school and to many other places. When you take your Mac portable, there are more chances of you dinging it somewhere, bumping it into a wall and even doing things like exposing it to changes in temperature that can all bring on an untimely and expensive repair, something that Apple Care can take care of, very cost effectively

Apple Care – When it doesn’t makes sense?

  • If you upgrade often – If you love Apple products and are always in line to purchase their new generation Mac, ready to sell your old Mac, signing up for a three year Apple Care program doesn’t make much sense. If you don’t think you will keep your Mac for at least 2 years, skip on the Apple Care purchase
  • If you are hardware and software savvy – Do you think you can confidently manage a DIY RAM upgrade or a SSD upgrade after watching a few YouTube video tutorials? If yes, you can save yourself the $300 Apple Care purchase. A vast majority of the calls and service jobs that Apple Care receives are problems that can be fixed with simple DIY repairs

When can you buy Apple Care?

A lot of people assume that Apple Care has to be bought at the time of the purchase of a new Mac or other new Apple Device. That is however not true. You can purchase the extended Apple Care protection before your Mac’s 1 year out of the box warranty expires. All you will need is the original receipt of your Mac purchase.

Alternatives to Apple Care Protection

Square Trade, a very popular protection plan for computers and other electronic devices, sold primarily at Amazon, allows you to sign up for a 3 year ($1,000 – $1,250) computer accident protection plan for just $229.22. Click here to check out Square Trade’s protection plan for your Mac.

This coverage will protect your Mac against spills, drops and hardware failures, whether you caused them or not. It also offers a 5 day fix or replacement guarantee, along with free two-way shipping, making it a very good alternative purchase to the Apple Care plan, especially because they cover drops or unintentional damages cause by you.

There you go, our tips on helping you decide whether or not you need Apple care for your Mac purchases. If you have thoughts or comments on this post, please do share them, using the comment box below. We look forward to them, as always!

About the Author
Michelle, author at Mach Machines. A tech lover and an insatiable latte drinker. Michelle blogs about improving the personal computing experience.

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