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[Updated] With No iPhone This Summer, Is It Time To Buy AppleCare?

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July 12, 2011 Update: I bought AppleCare for iPhone. My first warranty ever.

As the typical June/July release window for new iPhones begins to pass, and rumours strongly suggest that the next generation iPhone is due this fall 2011, my mind has been preoccupied with the idea of AppleCare for iPhone.

Warranties

Let me just say that I do not, and never have, bought warranties for any type of electronic product. I do this because I typically replace the majority of the electronics every year or so. A case in point is the iPhone.

Since the original iPhone, I have received a new device every year. In 2007, it was the original iPhone. In 2008, it was the iPhone 3G. In 2009 was the iPhone 3GS. In 2010, it was the iPhone 4. Now in 2011, it will be the iPhone 4S/5/whatever-you-want-to-call-it.

The point here being is that whichever iPhone I purchase I can always use the standard one year warranty period. When that warranty period expires, a new device is typically available. Plus, in the four years of using iPhones, I have never once had a technical problem that required a visit or phone call to Apple.

But this year things are different. This year, there is no one year cycle for the iPhone. As the typical June/July release window for new iPhones begins to pass, I find myself thinking about AppleCare for iPhone. Do I need it?

AppleCare For iPhone

If we assume that the next generation iPhone will be released in September/October 2011, that gives my iPhone 4 about one to two months of no warranty coverage. While that does not sound like a long time, if something does go wrong, say the Home Button stops working, that will be a very, very long one to two months to wait for a new device.

Also, due to my iPhone 4 being loaded with iOS 5, Apple will not replace or service my iPhone because iOS 5 is not an officially released firmware. To get support, I would have to downgrade from iOS 5 to iOS 4.3.3 which honestly seems like more trouble than the $79 for AppleCare. Plus, with AppleCare I can easily have my iPhone 4 replaced under warranty in the fall (when iOS 5 is released) for a new device.

There is also the thought of giving my iPhone 4 to a friend or loved one, which I have done in the past. I would be doing them a great a service by picking up AppleCare, replacing that iPhone 4 under warranty in September/October (giving them a virtually new device), and then picking up the next generation iPhone for myself.

Decisions, Decisions

As of today, I have 23 days to make a decision about whether or not to purchase AppleCare for my iPhone 4. It is not a decision of spending the $79, but a decision of do I really need it? And so my mind continues to contemplate.

Are you thinking about AppleCare for your iPhone 4? If so, why? Or do you already have it? Share your thoughts.

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  • I am thinking of doing it as well, I think I will be holding on to the phone for another year or two, waiting for the iP6/5 next summer or fall.

  • I am thinking of doing it as well, I think I will be holding on to the phone for another year or two, waiting for the iP6/5 next summer or fall.

  • AZ

    “… I can easily have my iPhone 4 replaced under warranty …”
    How are you planning to replace it if there is nothing wrong with it?

  • Ex

    Don’t worry yourself about that 🙂

  • Ex

    Don’t worry yourself about that 🙂

  • I ended up getting Apple Care on my 3GS (which I still have, can’t afford to replace my phone every year) and I don’t regret it.  Since my original 1 year warranty lapsed I have replaced my USB cable, headphones and the entire phone (volume rocker broke).  Getting my phone replaced for something covered under the warranty also means that the scratch on my screen and on the back of the phone were “fixed” as well.  If/when I get my next iPhone, be it the 4, 4S/5 I will differently get Apple Care again.  Plus having Apple Care will increase the re-sale value of the phone.

  • Anonymous

    No extended warranty for me. I never buy them for anything… Not for my car, tv, fridge, or anything else

    Take care of the product by not doing stupid silly things to it and it will last.

  • Cshupe2

    I did cuz I’m getting next years iphone

  • Robert

    I have the date marked on my calendar for contemplation haha.
    My home button is sometimes finicky as I have to press it more than once sometimes to get it to register a press :/
    I am not upgrading to the next gen iPhone so this may be helpful to purchase. The only thing holding me back is selling this and getting a new phone (thank u apple for high resale value).

  • Robert

    I have the date marked on my calendar for contemplation haha.
    My home button is sometimes finicky as I have to press it more than once sometimes to get it to register a press :/
    I am not upgrading to the next gen iPhone so this may be helpful to purchase. The only thing holding me back is selling this and getting a new phone (thank u apple for high resale value).

  • Anonymous

    I thought about getting it, but wondering If a new iPhone comes out. If it does than I won’t buy AppleCare.

  • Anonymous

    Apple will support your phone running IOS5 while under warranty. You just need to have a legitimate active developer account, and have a verified hardware issue. They will not support you for software issues or to replace your phone for the purpose of downgrading your OS.

  • Anonymous

    I never bought an extended warranty for any of my products, this one is no exception… I’m thinking of replacing my iPhone 4 under warranty and sell it before the iPhone 4S/5 gets announced… for the simple good reason of selling it for at least 100$ more than after the >50 million iPhone owners start selling theirs and the market value goes down… 😉
    You might ask me what are you going to do without a phone or iPhone during the 2-3 months, well i will simply use a krzr during this period and since i have an iPod touch and iPad 2… i won’t be missing iOS for too long…

  • Anonymous

    I never bought an extended warranty for any of my products, this one is no exception… I’m thinking of replacing my iPhone 4 under warranty and sell it before the iPhone 4S/5 gets announced… for the simple good reason of selling it for at least 100$ more than after the >50 million iPhone owners start selling theirs and the market value goes down… 😉
    You might ask me what are you going to do without a phone or iPhone during the 2-3 months, well i will simply use a krzr during this period and since i have an iPod touch and iPad 2… i won’t be missing iOS for too long…

  • Anonymous

    I never bought an extended warranty for any of my products, this one is no exception… I’m thinking of replacing my iPhone 4 under warranty and sell it before the iPhone 4S/5 gets announced… for the simple good reason of selling it for at least 100$ more than after the >50 million iPhone owners start selling theirs and the market value goes down… 😉
    You might ask me what are you going to do without a phone or iPhone during the 2-3 months, well i will simply use a krzr during this period and since i have an iPod touch and iPad 2… i won’t be missing iOS for too long…

  • Anonymous

    Same price as a battery replacement, isn’t it?  But covers everything for another year.  My 3G had problems just before the Apple Care period was up, and I got a replacement.  Actually, got two replacements, since I also had another 3G with Apple Care, and it also developed problems just before that 2nd year was up.  Was worth it for me.

  • Rustybarnacle

    I consider the device and how much the extended warranty is.  I had a silly little radio, not an MP3 player or anything that I’d walk around with every day and I replaced it 3 times for I think it was a $5 extended warranty fee.  Any time its high though I pass.  At $79, I’d probly still give it a pass as I don’t seem to have any problems with Apple products so far.

  • I got AppleCare. I plan to get a new phone this year and I’ll be giving my iPhone 4 to my wife.
    She has my old iPhone 3G.
    It’s a good investment.

  • Anonymous

    Both of mine were never dropped, and were taken care of very well.  Didn’t stop both of them from developing issues before the 2nd year was up.  And even though they were 3G units, and the replacements will last for a long time, they’re annoying to use since Apple broke them with the iOS 4 release, heh.  But the point is, they did NOT last even though they were taken care of very well.  They’re electronic devices that can produce a lot of heat.  They’ll only last so long.

  • Anonymous

    Keep in mind that you have to buy it before the original warranty runs out.

  • Anonymous

    Keep in mind that you have to buy it before the original warranty runs out.

  • Anonymous

    That’s the attitude that keeps the warranty cost so high…

  • Anonymous

    That’s the attitude that keeps the warranty cost so high…

  • Ex

    Wrong.

    My comment was too keep the conversation focused on the post and not methods of device exchange.

  • Ex

    Wrong.

    My comment was too keep the conversation focused on the post and not methods of device exchange.

  • Anonymous

    Question – is the $79 fee for applecare a yearly fee or a one time fee?

  • Anonymous

    Question – is the $79 fee for applecare a yearly fee or a one time fee?

  • Ex

    It is a one-time cost.

  • sg

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts… I am now considering purchasing AppleCare.

  • sg

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts… I am now considering purchasing AppleCare.

  • Tyrone101

    i was under the impression that applecare was transferable? in that case wouldnt it be okay if you got it now and when the next iphone comes out you cover that with your apple care for another year and a half and if apple goes the same route with iphone 6 as it did iphone 5 (more than a year cycle) youll be covered from now till the iphone 6?

  • Tyrone101

    i was under the impression that applecare was transferable? in that case wouldnt it be okay if you got it now and when the next iphone comes out you cover that with your apple care for another year and a half and if apple goes the same route with iphone 6 as it did iphone 5 (more than a year cycle) youll be covered from now till the iphone 6?

  • Tyrone101

    i was under the impression that applecare was transferable? in that case wouldnt it be okay if you got it now and when the next iphone comes out you cover that with your apple care for another year and a half and if apple goes the same route with iphone 6 as it did iphone 5 (more than a year cycle) youll be covered from now till the iphone 6?

  • Anonymous

    Meh not worth it to me. I take good care of my devices and the iPhone is quite resilient. Extended warranties statistically are a waste of money, just depends on who you are. It’s not necessary at all, but if you want to pay for peace of mind, sure.

  • Anonymous

    Meh not worth it to me. I take good care of my devices and the iPhone is quite resilient. Extended warranties statistically are a waste of money, just depends on who you are. It’s not necessary at all, but if you want to pay for peace of mind, sure.

  • iluviphone

    EX, I would definitely get Apple Care because I got my iPhone 4 on the day of its release last year for $159 under contract and say if I get Apple Care for $79.99 now, I am pretty sure that no matter when the next iPhone comes out, I can definitely sell my iPhone 4 with Apple Care for at least $400 or more. Therefore, I can put that money toward my next iPhone when it comes out. I have used last 3 models of iPhones and have sold them for more than $400 without Apple Care. This year I will get Apple Care since the next iPhone is not out yet and I dont know when it will be released. Therefore, I will get my Apple Care before July 29 for sure and I would strongly recommend you to get it as well. Remember, Apple products are always an investment.

  • iluviphone

    EX, I would definitely get Apple Care because I got my iPhone 4 on the day of its release last year for $159 under contract and say if I get Apple Care for $79.99 now, I am pretty sure that no matter when the next iPhone comes out, I can definitely sell my iPhone 4 with Apple Care for at least $400 or more. Therefore, I can put that money toward my next iPhone when it comes out. I have used last 3 models of iPhones and have sold them for more than $400 without Apple Care. This year I will get Apple Care since the next iPhone is not out yet and I dont know when it will be released. Therefore, I will get my Apple Care before July 29 for sure and I would strongly recommend you to get it as well. Remember, Apple products are always an investment.

  • Ex

    Thank you for your insight!

  • Anonymous

    And yet your continued evasion of the last poster’s question and vagueness of your original statement lead us to believe that your planned method of replacement is less than honorable. And this conversation is still about the post – you wrote about device replacement as if warranties are an easy way to refurbish a device.

  • Anonymous

    And yet your continued evasion of the last poster’s question and vagueness of your original statement lead us to believe that your planned method of replacement is less than honorable. And this conversation is still about the post – you wrote about device replacement as if warranties are an easy way to refurbish a device.

  • Anonymous

    And yet your continued evasion of the last poster’s question and vagueness of your original statement lead us to believe that your planned method of replacement is less than honorable. And this conversation is still about the post – you wrote about device replacement as if warranties are an easy way to refurbish a device.

  • Anonymous

    And yet your continued evasion of the last poster’s question and vagueness of your original statement lead us to believe that your planned method of replacement is less than honorable. And this conversation is still about the post – you wrote about device replacement as if warranties are an easy way to refurbish a device.

  • Anonymous

    I grabbed AppleCare on launch day partly because I was planning to keep the phone long enough to skip this year’s release (guessing it would be another minor upgrade) and partly because the associate at the Apple store insisted it was a 3 year warranty even though I knew better…

  • Anonymous

    I replaced my 3G due to a crack in the casing at the dock connector (common problem) and had to replace the screen on the replacement due to color issues. Both during the original warranty luckily – though if I hadn’t upgraded to the 4, I would have considered AppleCare. I take very good care of my electronics – my 6 yr old laptop is still working. I also took out an extended warranty on a new fridge that included replacing spoiled food and it stopped cooling the first week we had it – the replacement has been good for a few years now.

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  • JfromK

    I bought AppleCare for my iPhone 4 knowing that the next installment wouldn’t be released close enough (for me) to the 1 year warranty running out. Also because it makes my iPhone more attractive to sell, when it comes time to upgrade.  And if the next iPhone isn’t worth putting out $750ish dollars for compared to just keeping the 4 for another year then I’ll still have warranty on it for myself.

  • JfromK

    I bought AppleCare for my iPhone 4 knowing that the next installment wouldn’t be released close enough (for me) to the 1 year warranty running out. Also because it makes my iPhone more attractive to sell, when it comes time to upgrade.  And if the next iPhone isn’t worth putting out $750ish dollars for compared to just keeping the 4 for another year then I’ll still have warranty on it for myself.

  • JfromK

    I bought AppleCare for my iPhone 4 knowing that the next installment wouldn’t be released close enough (for me) to the 1 year warranty running out. Also because it makes my iPhone more attractive to sell, when it comes time to upgrade.  And if the next iPhone isn’t worth putting out $750ish dollars for compared to just keeping the 4 for another year then I’ll still have warranty on it for myself.

  • Tim Aucoin

    It’s only $79?? Heck yes it’s worth it! I’ve just had my iPhone 4 replaced due to a faulty home button (2 weeks ago).

  • Tim Aucoin

    It’s only $79?? Heck yes it’s worth it! I’ve just had my iPhone 4 replaced due to a faulty home button (2 weeks ago).

  • Tim Aucoin

    It’s only $79?? Heck yes it’s worth it! I’ve just had my iPhone 4 replaced due to a faulty home button (2 weeks ago).

  • Dewcanada

    It’s only transferable if the device is replaced. Not if you buy another one…

  • Dewcanada

    It’s only transferable if the device is replaced. Not if you buy another one…

  • Dewcanada

    1. Apple will still take care of your device with iOS 5 ONLY if the problem is a verifiable hardware issue.

    2. AppleCare also includes free phone support for 2 years, it’s about $60 per call without it.

    3. Increases resale value, by a LOT.

    I have AppleCare on all of my Apple hardware and it’s always paid for itself in saved repair/support costs over the years. Since in the phone’s case, you will make that money back when you sell it so, I suggest you get it. Besides, you never NEED a warranty, until you NEED it!

  • doublej

    I have the same issue.  My home button wasn’t responding.  The problem started yesterday, and I took it to a Apple store, and was given a brand new replacement right away.  I asked if the new phone gets a 1 year warranty, the Apple Genius rep, said on replacements they give 90 days only.  Since I bought my original iphone 4 in Sept 2010, this replacement warranty will carry me over by a couple of weeks (into October).  I guess I was lucky that I was still within the 1 year warranty period.  And no, I still don’t plan on buying Applecare.  I put my purchase on my credit card which extends the warranty (I bought a factory unlocked model).

  • doublej

    I have the same issue.  My home button wasn’t responding.  The problem started yesterday, and I took it to a Apple store, and was given a brand new replacement right away.  I asked if the new phone gets a 1 year warranty, the Apple Genius rep, said on replacements they give 90 days only.  Since I bought my original iphone 4 in Sept 2010, this replacement warranty will carry me over by a couple of weeks (into October).  I guess I was lucky that I was still within the 1 year warranty period.  And no, I still don’t plan on buying Applecare.  I put my purchase on my credit card which extends the warranty (I bought a factory unlocked model).

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