It’s not just the price of the iPhone that’s going up.
On Tuesday, Apple unveiled the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, as well as a top-end iPhone X. The iPhone 8 line launches September 22, with preorders opening Friday.
Meanwhile, the $999 iPhone X will open preorders on October 27, and go on sale November 3.
This doesn’t take into account AppleCare, the extended warranty program users can opt to add to their new purchase to protect it from defects or accidental damage.
As with older iPhones, AppleCare for the iPhone 8 costs $129 for up to two years of coverage. The iPhone 8 Plus is $149, while the iPhone X jumps to $199.
So, is AppleCare really worth it? Let’s break it down.
What does it cover?
On the hardware front, AppleCare covers the phone, battery, and included accessories such as earpods for two years, according to the AppleCare website. You’re also covered for up to two incidents of accidental damage (we’ll get to that shortly). It covers technical support, including 24/7 priority access to Apple’s experts by chat or email. You choose to mail in your device for repairs or bring it to the store. There’s also a special express replacement service. Users also get software support, in case you run into issues setting up email or wireless networks.
What if I crack my screen?
If you damage the iPhone’s screen, you only pay a service charge of $29. Important note: You won’t get that price if you choose express replacement service. Outside the warranty, replacing the screen on an iPhone 8 would cost $149, and $169 on an iPhone 8 Plus.
How much do other repairs cost?
For plan-holders, any damage done to the iPhone that’s not a cracked screen costs $99. The coverage supports either repairs or replacements. Apple says any replacement equipment they offer “may be new or equivalent to new in both performance and reliability.”
Is it worth it?
It depends on how concerned you are breaking your smartphone. If you have a habit of cracking screens, a $29 fee to fix it is pretty good. However, it only covers two cases of accidental damage. Beyond that, you’re on your own.
Also, you’re dealing directly with Apple, which can offer peace of mind over taking your phone to a third-party repair shop.
There is an important caveat here with AppleCare: it does not cover your iPhone if it’s lost or stolen. Many wireless carriers offer insurance, where you pay a small monthly fee, and you’re covered if the device is damaged, lost or stolen.